Rights activists call for Russian asylum for Snowden

Edward Snowden file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – June 26, 2013) Prominent human rights activists in Russia are calling on the country’s authorities to offer political asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. “I’m very sad that Russia is not using this situation and is not offering Snowden the opportunity to remain on Russian territory,” Kirill Kabanov, a member of the […]

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Independent Russian Election Watchdog To Create Replacement Despite Suspension

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, June 26, 2013) The suspension by the Justice Ministry of the operation of the Golos (Voice, or Vote) association will not prevent its leaders from registering a new and similar organization; moreover, Golos has recently launched the winding-up procedure, deputy executive director of the association Grigoriy Melkonyants has told RIA Novosti. The Justice Ministry has suspended […]

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Russia to Overhaul Academy of Sciences

Adaptions of Image from Livermore.gov of Element 118 Atoms

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 27, 2013) ­ The Russian government is to overhaul the nation’s Academy of Sciences, it announced on Thursday, including stripping it of the right to manage its property in apparent impatience with the state of the organization. “It’s important to allow the scholars to focus on science and research and spare them of the irrelevant […]

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Jailed businessmen await amnesty or pardon?

Russian Jail File Photo Showing Outer Wall, Windows, Barbed Wire

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, special to RBTH – June 26, 2013) The Russian president’s unexpected initiative may set back preparation of the law. The economic amnesty decree is almost ready, according to members of the lower house of Russia’s Federal Assembly. The State Duma deputies hope to get the bill passed by July 5. Yet, […]

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Khodorkovsky Marks 50th Behind Bars

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – June 27, 2013) Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former owner of defunct oil giant Yukos, spent his 50th birthday Wednesday behind bars after spending nearly 10 years in prison on charges of fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion in what many see as President Vladimir Putin’s revenge for the businessman’s political ambitions. Over the past […]

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Moscow has record number of mayoral contestants

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 27, 2013) Two more aspirants filed for registration as Moscow mayoral candidates on Thursday, the city elections commission told Interfax. “The documents were filed by two unemployed men: 53-year-old Andrei Kim and 43-year-old Sergei Golkin,” the commission representative said. The city elections commission denied registration to one self-nominee, unemployed Alexei Denisov earlier in the day. “There […]

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Russia Will Not Survive in Its Current Borders, Russian Regionalist Says

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 27, 2013) A St. Petersburg regionalist argues in a new book, “Global Separatism as a Means of Overcoming ‘The End of History’,” that Russia is unlikely to survive in its current borders because of the historical burdens it has inherited from the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire and because of […]

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State to Keep Rosneft and RusHydro in New Privatization Plan

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 27, 2013) ­ Russian oil giant Rosneft, hydropower holding company RusHydro and the nation’s second-largest lender VTB Bank are among assets that should stay under state control, Economics Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said on Thursday after presenting the government’s new privatization plan for 2014-2016. “Proceeding from the current state of world markets and problems with the […]

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Russia Scales Down Asset Sales as Medvedev Bemoans Delays

Empty Boardroom

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Scott Rose & Olga Tanas – June 27, 2013) Russia will raise a third less than previously estimated from asset sales in the next three years, downsizing the program as Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev criticized the lobbying that’s putting a brake on plans. Revenue from asset sales will bring the budget about 630 billion rubles ($19 […]

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Russian Navy Pulls Personnel Out of Syria Base – Deputy FM

Syria Map

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 27, 2013) ­ Russia currently has no military personnel at its resupply facility in the Syrian port of Tartus, a senior diplomat said, though an expert affiliated with the Ministry of Defense downplayed it as a possible temporary measure. “Currently, there is no one in Syria from the Russian Defense Ministry,” Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail […]

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The ‘big game’ in Central Asia is long over

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Sergei Markedonov, special to RBTH – June 27, 2013 – Sergei Markedonov is a visiting research fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.) What the implications of Bishkek’s decision regarding the lease of the NATO-U.S. transit center at Manas are for Moscow. On June 20, 2013, the parliament […]

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Ivanishvili doesn’t regard Georgia’s accession to NATO threat to Russia

NATO Meeting file photo

(Interfax – TBILISI, June 26, 2013) Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili has said that Georgia’s accession to NATO is a choice of the Georgian people and it does not matter whether Russia likes it or not. At a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen Ivanishvili answered the question about how Georgia intends to improve relations with […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#117 :: 27 June 2013

Map of Russia

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#117 :: 27 June 2013 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: www.russialist.org JRL on Facebook: www.facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#116 :: 26 June 2013

Map of Russia

Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#116 :: 26 June 2013 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: www.russialist.org JRL on Facebook: www.facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: http://russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. RIA Novosti: Over 100,000 to Benefit From Economic Amnesty -­ […]

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Twelve Suspects Deny Charges as Bolotnoye Trial Begins

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – June 26, 2013) A Moscow court on Tuesday opened the trial of 12 people suspected of taking part in “riots” and clashing with police at a now-infamous anti-government rally on Bolotnaya Ploshchad last May. More than 400 people were detained at the protest on May 6, 2012, and at least 14 participants […]

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Moscow Blog: The Kremlin’s PR incompetence

File Photo of St. Petersburg Economy Forum Outdoor Banners and Building Facade

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris – June 26, 2013) Russia has just hosted its premier investment summit, the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on June 20-22, which is supposed to showcase the country and attract badly needed foreign investment. Instead, thanks to the Kremlin’s typically moronic handling of its PR, it only managed to make Russia […]

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Participant in Yukos case expertise says it was purely non-profit and voluntary

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 25, 2013) Mikhail Subbotin, a participant in the public expertise of the second Yukos case and senior scholar from the Institute of Economics and International Relations, who is expected at the Investigative Committee on Wednesday, has drawn a parallel between the current case of experts and “doctors’ plot” at the end of the Stalin era. “It […]

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Economic amnesty does not apply to Khodorkovsky, Lebedev – lawyer

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW. June 25, 2013) Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev are not eligible for the economic amnesty, their defense said. “As we have suspected, although hope dies last, this amnesty was not intended to release Khodorkovsky and Lebedev,” Lebedev’s lawyer Vladimir Krasnov told Interfax on Tuesday. “Comparing what was planned at the start […]

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Our Changing World Order – the More Options for Cooperation, the Merrier

File Photo of G8 Heads of State Outdoors in 2013

(RIA Novosti – Simon Saradzhyan – June 25, 2013 – Simon Saradzhyan is a researcher at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center) The recent G-8 summit in Northern Ireland quickly became another reminder that Russia has not quite integrated into what was originally founded as a club comprising the West’s richest liberal democracies. Post-Soviet Russia may boast the world’s sixth largest […]

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Moscow and Tehran: A ‘cautious’ partnership

Map of Iran with Stylized Radar Sweep and Radiation Symbol Background Image

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Vladimir Evseyev, special to RBTH – June 26, 2013 – Vladimir Evseyev is the director of the Center for Social and Political Studies) Abatement of tensions around Iran serves Russia’s interests, but two countries must find a new way to develop their complicated bilateral relations. A presidential election took place in the Islamic […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: American idealist in Europe: Obama’s nuclear talk

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Kolbin, special to RBTH – June 26, 2013 – Alexander Kolbin is a research fellow and coordinator of the Russia and Nuclear Non-proliferation Program at the PIR Center) U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent speech in Berlin indicates that he remains an “idealist without illusions” when proposes more vigorous nuclear reduction. Addressing a […]

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Contradiction between ‘modernizers,’ ‘conservatives’ farfetched – Ulyukayev

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 25, 2013) Russia’s new economic development minister, Alexei Ulyukayev, considers farfetched a contradiction between “modernizers” and “conservatives.” “Sometimes you read about a contradiction between stability and development. There are modernizers, who are for development, and there are conservatives, who are for stability,” Ulyukayev said as he met with ministry staff. “But it doesn’t happen that way. […]

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Tolstoy’s Entire Body of Work Goes Online, Descendant Says

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 26, 2013) ­ Count Leo Tolstoy was a prolific author, rich and generous enough to bequeath his works to be published and distributed free of charge. His epics “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina” still top most of the lists of greatest novels of all time, and his controversial views on Christianity earned him excommunication […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Putin warns of demographic crisis, says infant mortality halved in 10 years

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Kremlin.ru – June 22, 2013) Text of report “XI World Congress of Perinatal Medicine, 22 June 2013, Moscow” published in English by Russian presidential website on 25 June Vladimir Putin spoke at the XI World Congress of Perinatal Medicine being held in Moscow. The congress is taking place in Russia for the first time. Around 2,500 delegates are attending the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Putin answers questions at St Petersburg Economic Forum – Kremlin transcript

File Photo of St. Petersburg Economy Forum Outdoor Banners and Building Facade

(Kremlin.ru – June 21, 2013) Text of report “Answers to questions from St Petersburg International Economic Forum participants, 21 June 2013, St Petersburg” published in English by Russian presidential website on 24 June; subheadings added editorially: Russia’s priorities in G20 MODERATOR (retranslated): Mr President, the St Petersburg International Economic Forum is being held in your hometown. I would like to […]

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Over 100,000 to Benefit From Economic Amnesty – Ombudsman

Boris Titov file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 26, 2013) ­ A proposed economic amnesty in Russia is expected to release almost 100,000 people from criminal liability, Russia’s business ombudsman Boris Titov said on Wednesday. “Under a previous draft, we counted 13,500 people serving their prison terms on charges covered by the draft amnesty. But we should also not forget about 70,000-80,000 people […]

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Snowden Not Being ‘Debriefed’ by FSB – WikiLeaks

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 26, 2013) ­ Fugitive former CIA employee Edward Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking state secrets, is not collaborating with Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said on its Twitter feed Wednesday. “Mr. Snowden is not being ‘debriefed’ by the FSB. He is well, and WikiLeaks’ Harrison is […]

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Snowden and Moscow: the real debate is elsewhere

Edward Snowden file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief – June 24, 2013) Whatever you think about whistleblower Edward Snowden’s future plans (or, indeed, his whereabouts) – you may be falling for a neat trick all of the same. While all of us have been busy discussing Snowden – why he did what he did, his personality, whether or not […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Not Obliged to Expel Snowden – Border Guards

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 26, 2013) ­ US whistleblower Edward Snowden, stuck in a Russian airport since Sunday, appeared to have a transit visa ­ but even if he does not, he may get away with just a small fine, a Russian border guards spokesman told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. “Looks like he’s got a visa, that’s why he’s […]

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Interfax: Assange, Manning, Snowden are new dissidents – Pushkov

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax -MOSCOW. June 26, 2013) Alexei Pushkov, the head of the State Duma committee on international affairs, considers former CIA official Edward Snowden, who is wanted by the U.S. authorities, a dissident. “Assange, Manning and Snowden were not spies and released secret information because of their convictions, not for money. They are new dissidents, fighters against the system,” Pushkov said […]

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Russia After Putin: Inherent Leadership Struggles

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(Stratfor.com – June 24, 2013 – “Russia After Putin: Inherent Leadership Struggles is republished with permission of Stratfor.”) Editor’s Note: This is the first part of a three-part series on Russia’s leadership after President Vladimir Putin eventually leaves office. Part 1 revisits Putin’s rise to power; Part 2 will examine Russia’s demographics, energy sector and Putin’s political changes; and Part […]

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EVENT: Last Call for RSVPs: Generation Next: Emerging Civic Leaders in Russia Today [Washington, D.C., Wednesday, June 26, 2013, nearly full]

Woodrow Wilson Center Facade file photo

Date:  Mon, 24 Jun 2013 Kennan Institute <kennan@WILSONCENTER.ORG> Subject: Kennan Institute – Last Call for RSVPs Kennan Institute/Wilson Center Last Call for RSVPs Our June 26 half-day conference cosponsored with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, Generation Next: Emerging Civic Leaders in Russia Today, is almost full. If you wish to attend, make sure to respond today so we can accomodate […]

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EVENT: The New Russian Sphere of Influence: Does Russia’s Eurasian Union Threaten U.S. Interests? [Washington, D.C., Thursday, June 27, 2013]

Map of Russia and European Region of Former Soviet Union or Commonwealth of Independent States

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2013 From: “The Heritage Foundation” <mailingFP@heritage.org> Subject: Event Invitation for this Thursday – The New Russian Sphere of Influence: Does Russia’s Eurasian Union Threaten U.S. Interests? The Heritage Foundation INVITATION June 27, 2013 The New Russian Sphere of Influence: Does Russia’s Eurasian Union Threaten U.S. Interests? Featuring 10:00 a.m. ­ Panel 1 Ambassador Temuri Yakobashvilli, former […]

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Research report on the Boston Marathon attack

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

From: “Hahn, Gordon M.” <ghahn@miis.edu> Subject: Research report on the Boston Marathon attack Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2013 ANNOUNCEMENT A special 25-page research report on the Boston Marathon attack: ‘The Caucasus Emirate Comes to America: The Boston Marathon Attack’ will soon be available.   For a copy please send an email request to gordon-hahn@sbcglobal.net. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY What I have been warning […]

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Poet and Free-Market Liberal Ulyukayev Takes Over as Economy Minister

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – June 25, 2013) The newly appointed Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Monday that his main task was to prevent a recession, while Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the government expected a 400 billion ruble ($12 billion) budget deficit in 2014. Ulyukayev, who served as first deputy chairman of the Central Bank […]

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Rights group left with crushed computer after eviction from Moscow office – head

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW. June 24, 2013) Police and private security guards crushed a computer in evicting Russia’s For Human Rights group from its Moscow headquarters early on Saturday, according to the organization’s leader. For Human Rights, one of Russia’s oldest and largest rights groups, was thrown out of its office in the city center in a predawn raid because of […]

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The End of the Consensual Hallucination

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – June 24, 2013) A lot of things that people say never happened before suddenly seem to be happening. When news agencies incorrectly reported — based on a forged government press release — that President Vladimir Putin had sacked his longtime ally, Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin last week, some analysts called the incident […]

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Russian Professor Blasts Nature Magazine’s New Rating

Adaptions of Image from Livermore.gov of Element 118 Atoms

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 25, 2013) ­ A member of the Russian Academy of Sciences has dismissed as “nonsense” a new global rating of academic research by Nature magazine, in which his academy ranked 193rd among 200 institutions. “I’m absolutely convinced it’s nonsense, since Russian science is a world leader in many spheres [of research],” geologist Nikolai Lavyorov told […]

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Billionaire to Pay Lease for Evicted Human Rights Group

Mikhail Prokohrov file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 25, 2013) ­ Russian billionaire-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov, who leads the Civil Platform party, will donate 1.5 million rubles ($45,870) to pay the annual rent for a Russian human rights group evicted from its office last weekend, a party member said on Tuesday. Prokhorov made his pledge at a meeting with Lev Ponomaryov, leader of the […]

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Khodorkovsky says could have committed suicide if had known he would be imprisoned

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 24, 2013) Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who will turn fifty in several days, said he would have committed suicide by shooting himself if he had known what was in store for him after his arrest in Novosibirsk ten years ago. Responding to a question from The New Times as to what he would have done […]

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Yukos Report Authors to Face Questioning

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 25, 2013) Two of the co-authors of the expert report into the second Yukos case have been asked to attend interviews by the Investigative Committee, a news report said Tuesday. Lawyer Mikhail Subbotin told Kommersant that he would attend an interview Wednesday, while earlier this week it was reported that former Constitutional Court Judge […]

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Russian ministry proposes balancing budget in 2014-2016 by cutting transfers, spending

Anton Siluanov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 25, 2013) Russia’s Finance Ministry is proposing three maneuvers to balance the federal budget in 2014-2016 – reduce transfers to the Pension Fund of Russia (PFR), cut budget earmarks for government procurements and postpone some spending on the government arms program until after 2016, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters on Monday. “Right now the situation […]

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Foreign Investors in Russia Hesitant Despite Putin Promises

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

(RIA Novosti – Howard Amos – ST. PETERSBURG, June 24, 2013) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin urged foreign investors to pitch in on several multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects last week, but his audience proved wary, with investors warning that obstacles old and new ­ from lack of predictability to slowing economic growth ­ were likely to deter inflows of new capital […]

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Draft amnesty applies to first time offenders – Kremlin

Russian Jail File Photo Showing Outer Wall, Windows, Barbed Wire

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 25, 2013) The economic amnesty will apply to persons first indicted or convicted of economic crimes. They will be released from custody and their criminal cases probed by investigative authorities and courts will be closed. The rule is established by draft resolutions of the State Duma on the economic amnesty and regulations for the fulfillment of […]

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Lukoil predicts drop in Russian oil production in 2016-2017 without major use of new technologies

Oil Well file photo

(Interfax -MOSCOW. June 24, 2013) Without the large-scale application of new technologies, oil production in Russia will begin to decline in 2016-2017, says a report by Lukoil (RTS: LKOH) on the main trends in the development of global markets for oil and gas in the period until 2025. A characteristic of a majority of Russian deposits is the natural drop […]

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Snowden Didn’t Cross Russian Border – Foreign Minister

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 25, 2013) ­ Russia said on Tuesday that Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee wanted by the US for leaking state secrets, had not crossed the Russian border. Snowden, who leaked details of a US surveillance program to newspapers in the US and UK earlier this month, was widely reported to have flown from Hong […]

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Elusive Snowden Could Cause New Hitch in U.S.-Russia Ties

Edward Snowden file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 25, 2013) Journalists flocked to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on Monday to board a flight to Cuba that supposedly would also contain fugitive Edward Snowden, who is attempting to escape arrest by U.S. authorities for revealing highly classified surveillance programs. According to a widely distributed statement by an unidentified Aeroflot employee, Snowden […]

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Snowden Flight Spotlights Politics of U.S.-Russia Crime-Fighting

Edward Snowden file photo

(RIA Novosti – Carl Schreck, WASHINGTON, June 24, 2013) ­ Former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden’s reported sojourn in Moscow this week is the latest in a series of cases in recent years to rattle U.S.-Russia ties over cooperation in politically tinged criminal investigations. “Both sides have tended to regard as a purely criminal investigation [what] the other side thinks […]

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Russia in the Syrian Conflict

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

Subject: No. 128: Russia in the Syrian Conflict Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 15:40:19 +0200 From: “Russian Analytical Digest (RAD)” <newslist@isn.ch> RUSSIAN ANALYTICAL DIGEST Newsletter 10 June 2013/No. 128 Russia in the Syrian Conflict To download this issue please click here http://www.css.ethz.ch/publications/DetailansichtPubDB_EN?rec_id=2561 Analyses The Impact of the Syrian Conflict on Russian Relations with Other Middle Eastern Countries, by Mark N. […]

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NTV Yukos Film Fuels Campaign Against Khodorkovsky

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 25, 2013) The state controlled NTV channel has aired a documentary alleging that the Yukos founders, including Mikhail Khodorkovsky, were involved in the killing of the mayor of Nefteyugansk in western Siberia in 1998. The film is seen by experts as part of a campaign to set the scene for the third criminal case […]

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