Valdai Highlights: Putin’s Hard Questions on U.S. Global Role

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Andrew C. Kuchins – October 26, 2018 – russiamatters.org/blog/valdai-highlights-putins-hard-questions-us-global-role) Andrew C. Kuchins is a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. In contrast to some recent Valdai meetings, Russian President Vladimir Putin evinced no visible anger toward the United States or the West at this year’s gathering of academics […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. ‘Love’ of Sanctions Won’t Stop Moody’s Upgrading Russia” – Moscow Times

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 29, 2018) Moody’s Investors Service thinks it’s likely that the U.S. will sanction Russia’s sovereign debt. But it might just upgrade the country to investment grade anyway. “Those sanctions are likely to come because they would target what the administration has in mind: trying to impose pain on Russia,” Moody’s analyst Kristin Lindow said […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin, Trump to compare notes on many issues – Peskov” – Interfax

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. Oct 29 (Interfax) – The primary objective of the upcoming meeting between the presidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, is to “compare notes” on issues related to strategic stability, especially in the context of the United States’ intention to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said. “The […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-189 :: Monday, 29 October 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#189 :: Monday, 29 October 2018 A project sponsored through […]

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Withdrawing From the INF Treaty: Consequences and Costs

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – October 23, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/withdrawing-inf-treaty-consequences-and-costs) The opinions of Belfer Center experts, as reprinted below, were originally published by Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. We have supplemented these with opinions from three highly regarded Moscow-based experts, translated from various Russian-language sources (last three entries). Nobuyasu Abe Senior Fellow, Belfer Center’s […]

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RUSSIALINK: “A New Nuclear Arms Race Has Begun; President Trump says he plans to withdraw from a nonproliferation treaty that I signed with Ronald Reagan. It’s just the latest victim in the militarization of world affairs” – Mikhail Gorbachev/ New York Times

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

“Over 30 years ago, President Ronald Reagan and I signed in Washington the United States-Soviet Treaty on the elimination of intermediate- and shorter-range missiles. For the first time in history, two classes of nuclear weapons were to be eliminated and destroyed. …”

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RUSSIALINK: “42 Percent of Russians Say No Existing Political Party Represents Their Interests – Poll” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 26, 2018) Forty-two percent of Russians say they don’t see a political party that adequately represents their interests, according to a new study published by a Russian university. The ratings of the ruling United Russia party have fallen to 10-year lows as public anger simmers over an unpopular pension reform signed into law earlier […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Establishes Foundation to Preserve Russia’s Native Languages” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 26, 2018) President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree that establishes a foundation to help preserve Russia’s native languages, the Kremlin announced on Friday. The measure comes in the wake of worries in Russia’s republics that their native languages are under threat. In June, the State Duma signed a bill into law that restricts […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-188 :: Friday, 26 October 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#188 :: Friday, 26 October 2018 A project sponsored through […]

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Let Them East Cheese: Russian Plant Thrives Amid Sanctions

Russia Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Dmitry Lyubimov, Tony Wesolowsky – Oct. 22, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/let-them-east-cheese-russian-plant-thrives-amid-sanctions-/29557433.html) Sergei Chernych proudly points to the gleaming Western-made stainless-steel machinery at his cheese factory in Mari El, a small republic in Russia’s Volga region. Production at the plant in Sernur, some 90 kilometers east of the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin’s Approval Rating Lowest Since 2013 – Poll” – Moscow Times/ Levada Center

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 25, 2018) President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has fallen to 66 percent, its lowest level since 2013, according to a recent poll published by the independent Levada Center. Putin’s popularity has been hurt by controversial legislation he signed earlier this month to raise the pension eligibility age to 65 for men and 60 for […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin sees national projects as detailed plan of breakthrough in Russia’s development” – Interfax

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – Russia will have to “make a breakthrough” in its development, and the implementation of the national projects envisioned by President Vladimir Putin’s May Decrees must be put under “substantive control,” Putin said on Wednesday. “We needed a detailed plan of such a breakthrough, a resolute progress on each track, and considerable and serious work was […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. decision to quit INF treaty already made, to be finalized in a month – Lavrov” – Interfax

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 25 (Interfax) – The Russian assessment is that the United States will officially announce its withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in a month or so, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “Regarding the withdrawal from the INF Treaty, which has not yet been officially announced, but the intention was, and regarding talks in Moscow, including […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-187 :: Thursday, 25 October 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#187 :: Thursday, 25 October 2018 A project sponsored through […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “NATO Dusts Off a Cold War Skill: Moving Troops; Alliance is holding its biggest military exercise in decades, testing its ability to transport soldiers and equipment by road, rail and water” – Wall Street Journal/ Daniel Michaels

U.S. Army Tanks in Transport Arriving in Germany, adapted from army.mil

“… NATO’s largest exercise since the Cold War. … [involves] 50,000 troops …. [m]oving forces from 30 countries to Norway for … Trident Juncture …. [T]en thousand vehicles, 250 aircraft and 65 ships were dispatched …. * * * NATO and the [EU] … [have] agreed to deepen cooperation … including [with] mobility. The EU … spends billions … annually […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-186 :: Wednesday, 24 October 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#186 Wednesday, 24 October 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Won’t Have to Look Far for Darkest View of Russian Economy, Kudrin Says” – Moscow Times

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 24, 2018) From his new perch atop a government agency that monitors the budget, one of the few people President Vladimir Putin has publicly called a friend has some blunt words about what’s in store for Russia’s economy. Alexei Kudrin, the head of the Audit Chamber since May, warned in an interview that a […]

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Authoritarianism in Russia Comes from Bottom Up Not Top Down, Karaganov Says

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 23, 2018) Russia is now living through a period of reaction, Sergey Karaganov says; but its anti-Western roots lie not in the elites but in the population. “Russia’s authoritarianism was not imposed from above but is the result of our history which has formed our genetic code.” “Without the centralization of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “[Putin at] Small Business as a National Project forum” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Putin Sitting at Desk, Looking Down, Writing, During Call-In Show, adapted from screenshot of video at kremlin.ru

(Kremlin.ru – October 23, 2018) The President spoke at a plenary session of the All-Russia Non-Governmental Organisation of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses OPORA Russia’s Small Business as a National Project annual forum. Before the session, Vladimir Putin visited the technical workshops of Moscow’s Technograd recreational and educational complex, which opened at VDNKh in September. This complex is aimed at educating […]

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Patriarch Kirill’s ‘Fatal Inability to Compromise’ Costing Russia Influence Abroad, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 21, 2018) The Moscow Patriarchate’s “categorical” unwillingness to reach any compromise with its opponents may make some Russians happy, the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say; but its approach under Patriarch Kirill not only violates Christian principles but undermines the possibility of maintaining Russian influence in churches abroad. Kirill and his church […]

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Russian-Ukrainian Church Turmoil Driven by Political Ambitions

File Photo of Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, adapted from image at cia.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Nicolai N. Petro – Oct. 19, 2018) Nicolai N. Petro is a professor of political science and the Silvia-Chandley Professor of Peace Studies and Nonviolence at the University of Rhode Island. He writes frequently about church-state relations in Ukraine and Russia. His latest book, “Ukraine in Crisis,” was published by Routledge in 2017. [Text with […]

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RUSSIALINK: “[Putin] Meeting with Assistant to the US President for National Security Affairs John Bolton” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(Kremlin.ru – October 23, 2018) [Video of meeting youtube.com/watch?v=lSR_5qwjgbE] Vladimir Putin received in the Kremlin Assistant to the President of the United States of America for National Security Affairs John Bolton. Taking part in the meeting from the Russian side were Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. Earlier today, Russian Defence Minister […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia wants to seek common ground in relations with U.S. – Putin to Bolton” – Interfax

Kremlin and River

[Video of meeting youtube.com/watch?v=lSR_5qwjgbE] MOSCOW. Oct 23 (Interfax) – At a meeting with United States National Security Advisor John Bolton Russian President Vladimir Putin has upheld Russia’s desire to seek common ground in the relations with the U.S., while Bolton said that Washington pursues the same goal in the relations with Moscow. “Despite different approaches one can and needs to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia has ‘more than five times as many spies in Britain now than it did during the Cold War” – Daily Mail (UK)

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

A report will reveal there are an estimated 200 intelligence officers in Britain The figures from the Henry Jackson Society report will be published next week Author of report Andrew Foxall said capital ‘ill-equipped’ to deal with espionage Click here for: “Russia has ‘more than five times as many spies in Britain now than it did during the Cold War” […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Russian Trolls Inflamed the NFL’s Anthem Controversy; Russia-linked Twitter accounts sent more than 12,000 tweets about the NFL or the anthem in their alleged efforts to sow discord” – Wall Street Journal/ Andrew Beaton

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov » Read more

NEWSLINK: “Here Are The Issues Russian Trolls Are Using To Divide Americans Ahead Of The Midterm Elections; Russian-run social media accounts are still attempting to sow discord in the US, according to federal prosecutors, and they’re spending millions a year on the effort” – Buzzfeednews/Salvador Hernandez

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov » Read more

NEWSLINK: “Putin’s Filmmaker Speaks, Reveals Unseen Footage of Russian Leader’s Rise to Power; Rare insight from Vitaly Mansky, a former Kremlin propagandist, paints an extraordinary portrait of a president drawn ever deeper into dictatorship” – Daily Beast/ Nico Hines

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin » Read more

NEWSLINK: “Whether Russia meddles in the U.S. midterms or not, the damage to democracy has already been done; The key Russian objective is not to aid the Republicans but to undermine American faith in democratic government and its institutions. So far, they’re doing quite a good job” – The Independent/Will Gore

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place » Read more

NEWSLINK: “How Russia cyber attacks helped Trump to the U.S. presidency; It’s clearer than ever: the theft and leaking of Democratic emails were key to Clinton’s election defeat” – The Guardian/Kathleen Hall Jamieson

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code » Read more

RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-185 :: Tuesday, 23 October 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#185 Tuesday, 23 October 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club [Transcript Concluded]” – KremlinRu

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Kremlin.ru – October 18, 2018) [en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/58848 includes full video with English translation] Fyodor Lukyanov: Andrei Sushentsov, welcome. Andrei Sushentsov: I am Andrei Sushentsov from the School of International Studies at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). There have been media reports on a number of countries developing biological weapons agents, and the issue of the presence of the United […]

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Putin’s Valdai Club Remarks on Nuclear War Not New But Very Worrisome, Golts Says

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 20, 2018) At the Valdai Club this week, Vladimir Putin said Moscow would not use a preventive nuclear strike but would “launch on warning” of such an attack on Russia, a position that is not new as such but that given the Kremlin leader’s constant talk about nuclear weapons recently, is […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT & VIDEO: “Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club (transcript continued)” – KremlinRu

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Kremlin.ru – October 18, 2018 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/58848 Includes full video with English translation) Fyodor Lukyanov: To use the wind metaphor – let the east wind blow some more. Let us hear from our colleague from Japan. What do you think he will ask, Mr President? Vladimir Putin: I have no idea. Fyodor Lukyanov: Neither do I. Vladimir Putin: Is it […]

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RUSSIALINK: “It’s wrong to tie future of New START Treaty to situation around INF Treaty – Russian Foreign Ministry” – Interfax

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 21 (Interfax) – The Russian Foreign Ministry sees Washington’s attempts to tie the issue of preserving the New START Treaty to the situation surrounding the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty as a mistaken approach. “The Americans themselves both at the level of the executive branch of government and the level of the Congress have tied the prospect […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia has never considered INF Treaty anachronism, acknowledges issues – Peskov” – Interfax

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. Oct 22 (Interfax) – Russia has never considered the Russia-U.S. Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) an anachronism, although it acknowledges that there are issues associated with the development of missile systems in other countries, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said “No. Without a doubt, issues remain with this treaty because – and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia has trained over 1,000 troops in CAR, more instructors to go there – Foreign Ministry” – Interfax

Africa Map

MOSCOW. Oct 22 (Interfax) – Moscow is planning to send an additional 60 Russian military instructors to the Central African Republic (CAR), and more than 1,000 CAR troops have already completed training, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website. “Over 1,000 Central African servicemen have been trained to date. We intend to continue to provide Bangui […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-184 :: Monday, 22 October 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#184 Monday, 22 October 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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EVENT: November 1, 2018 – Book Launch – “Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation” at The George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs

File Photo of George Washington Bust at George Washington University

Subject: Event – November 1, 2018 – Book Launch – Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 From: IERES, GW Elliott School <ieresgwu@gwu.edu> Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation [Amazon: amzn.to/ 2S1KHak] This timely book provides a balanced and comprehensive overview of the geographical, historical, political, cultural, and geostrategic factors that drive Russia today. Russia has […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents :: JRL 2018-183 :: Friday, 19 October 2018

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2018-#183 Friday, 19 October 2018 A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s […]

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David Malaher: “Re: Oct. 16, 2018 #41: IMF ranks Ukraine as Europe’s poorest country”

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

Subject: Oct. 16, 2018 #41: IMF ranks Ukraine as Europe’s poorest country Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 From: David Malaher <david@malaher.org> To: David Johnson <davidjohnson@starpower.net> I try to follow Ukraine news through the Johnson List, among other sources. I visited Ukraine in June, touring through nine cities from Liviv to Odessa via a combination automobile and boat (on the Dnieper […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Crimea’s Columbine’: Massacre Draws Comparisons to U.S. Shootings; Death toll from college attack rises to 20, as authorities try to determine the attacker’s motive” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… Authorities said 18-year-old student Vladislav Roslyakov detonated explosives and opened fire Wednesday at [Crimea’s] Kerch Polytechnic College before taking his own life. Initially thought to be a terrorist attack, the massacre was later classified by officials as mass murder. … Kerch is a city in the east of Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula … annexed by Russia from Ukraine […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin calls himself nationalist fighting for preservation of multi-national Russia” – Interfax

Russia Regions Map

SOCHI. Oct 18 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin sees himself as a nationalist who advocates the preservation of a multi-ethnic Russia, not as the “caveman” kind. “If we are going to peddle such caveman nationalism, pour dirt on representatives of other ethnicities, we will break up the country, and the Russian people are not interested in this. What I […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club [Partial Transcript]” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Valdai Club Gathering at Long Tables in Large Hall

(Kremlin.ru – October 18, 2018) [Video with English translation en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/58848] Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary session of the 15th anniversary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. The main topic is The World We Will Live In: Stability and Development in the 21st Century. The plenary session moderator is Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director of the Foundation for Development […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RT France, Paris Match and Le Figaro” – Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sergei Lavrov file photo

“Question: Western countries, the media and various organisations, including the World Anti-Doping Agency and the OPCW, have been constantly accusing Russia of meddling in elections and staging cyberattacks. Just recently, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands simultaneously voiced similar accusations and submitted six-month-old information to the media. What is this? Is this part of a planned […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Sanctions Give Russian Economy an Unintended Boost; For months, rising dollar-denominated oil prices, falling ruble have worked to Moscow’s benefit” – Wall Street Journal/ Avantika Chilkoti

Oil Well file photo

“U.S. sanctions have driven the price of oil and the ruble apart – leaving Russia with expensive crude and a cheaper currency … helping its economy. The price of oil, Russia’s main export, has risen almost 14% since mid-August. … largely because of the coming resumption of U.S. sanctions against Iran, choking off the supply of crude from that country. […]

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Putin Youth Have Fallen in Love with the West but Not with Democracy, Levada Expert Says

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 17, 2018) Putin’s “Generation Z” love the West but not democracy and because of their numbers assume that they won’t be able to change things in Russia and are thus even less inclined to support the opposition of take part in demonstrations, according to Denis Volkov of the Levada Center. In […]

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Russia Must Escape from Hyper-Centralization to Flourish, Pastukhov Says

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 15, 2018) Both supporters of the Putin regime and its opponents share a belief that a hyper-centralized state is the only basis for Russia’s survival, with the first thinking that the way things are being done now will ensure that outcome and the latter certain that with new rulers such an […]

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NEWSLINK: “Cold War and the Academy: An Oral History on Russian and Eurasian Studies [Interview Transcripts Hub]” – The Harriman Institute at Columbia University

Columbia University Campus with Main Building

“… the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, in collaboration with the Columbia Center for Oral History Research, and the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE), embarked on an oral history project that would document the Institute’s substantive role in area studies and academia and its influence on the making of U.S. foreign policy towards the Soviet Union, Russia, […]

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