NEWSLINK: “WikiLeaks Publishes CIA Hacking Tool Designed To ‘Impersonate’ Russia’s Kaspersky Lab” – ZeroHedge/ Tyler Durden

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“On September 18th, the U.S. Senate voted to ban the use of products from the Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab by the federal government, citing national security risk. The vote was included as an amendment to an annual defense policy spending bill approved by the Senate on the same day and was written to bar the use of Kaspersky […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Senate Confirms Huntsman as US Ambassador to Russia” – AP

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil

“Jon Huntsman … former Utah governor … won easy confirmation Thursday as U.S. ambassador to Russia …. by voice vote. He breezed through his confirmation hearing last week as Republicans and Democrats praised his qualifications …. Huntsman has twice served before as a U.S. ambassador. … to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush and … to China under President Barack Obama before returning […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Statement of Jon Huntsman, Nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

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Statement of Jon Huntsman, Nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation Senate Committee on Foreign Relations September 19, 2017 Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, and Members of the Committee, It is an honor to appear before you today as President Trump’s nominee to be the United States Ambassador to the Russian Federation. I want to thank the President […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Senate approves $500 million military aid, lethal weapons for Ukraine”

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

“The … Senate passed … the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, authorizing the provision to Ukraine of $500 million worth of military aid, including lethal defensive weapons. … approved 89 to 8 votes, [the bill] will now go to the president’s desk … [it passed] the House … on July 14. * * * The executive summary … [says] that half of the $500 million … will be withheld until […]

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NEWSLINK: “Latest Diplomatic Rift Places US, Russia on Edge of ‘Tipping Point'” – Russia Matters/ Paul Saunders

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“The Russian government’s recent announcement of its decision to eject American diplomats and block access to two diplomatic properties may signal an approaching tipping point in the United States-Russia relationship. Trump administration officials and members of Congress should consider very carefully how to proceed. While the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official announcement of Moscow’s latest moves focused primarily on Russia’s complaints […]

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New U.S. Sanctions on Russia Are a Mixed Bag; Europeans are rightly wary that promoting U.S. exports is an ulterior motive.

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – July 24, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. The European Commission is preparing to counteract the new sanctions the U.S. Congress may impose on Russia this week. This may sound as if Europe is […]

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Cold War Deja Vu Deepens as New Russia Sanctions Anger Europe

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Marc Champion – June 18, 2017) Russia on Sunday accused the U.S. of returning to “almost forgotten Cold War rhetoric,” after President Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate some sanctions on Cuba. It could have dropped “forgotten.” There’s been a lively debate among historians and diplomats for years over whether the souring of relations between the U.S. […]

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NEWSLINK: “FBI’s Comey: Russia is ‘greatest threat of any nation on Earth’ to U.S. democratic process” – CNBC/ Jacob Pramuk

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“#FBI Director James #Comey told senators Wednesday that #Russia remains involved in American politics, saying he thinks the country poses the ‘greatest threat’ to the U.S. political process of any in the world. During a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham – a foreign policy hawk – asked Comey ‘what kind of threat’ Russia presents ‘to the […]

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The latest proof that Russia hacked the U.S. election in 2016 …

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The latest proof that #Russia hacked the US election in 2016: Eugene B. Rumer Senior Fellow and Director Russia and Eurasia Program Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Former national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the U.S. National Intelligence Council Testimony before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence March 30, 2017 “I am convinced that Russian intelligence services, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Lawmakers Want Documents on Russia Election Probe” – Reuters

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee called on the Trump administration … to provide them with … documents related to the investigation of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The request may be an effort to avoid a repeat of an unusual document access arrangement made between the Senate Intelligence Committee and CIA to review information related to enhanced […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Intelligence panel chair asks why Democrats denied FBI access after Russian hacking (excerpt)” – McClatchy/ANNA DOUGLAS

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… [Senator Richard] Burr wanted to know why the Democratic National Committee didn’t give the FBI direct access to servers and devices that had been compromised in a cyberattack. FBI Director James Comey told Burr the agency and its investigators had made ‘multiple requests at different levels’ for access to DNC infrastructure and John Podesta’s devices for the purposes of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Watch Out for Putin, Senators Warn Trump; On Capitol Hill, lawmakers express concern over president-elect’s foreign-policy ambiguity” – Wall Street Journal

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Two senior Senate Republicans are warning Donald Trump against cozying up to Moscow as lawmakers from both political parties voice alarm about potential consequences of the president-elect’s foreign-policy moves. Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, warned Tuesday against rapprochement with Moscow after what appeared to be an amicable Monday phone call between Mr. Trump and Russian […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Senate Committee Looks To Revive Cold-War Era Body To Catch Russian Spies; A new intelligence bill also proposes tightening how Russian diplomats can travel. ” – Buzzfeed

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In its 2017 Intelligence Authorization Bill, the Senate Intelligence Committee is asking the White House to reinstate a presidentially-appointed group to unmask Russian spies and uncover Russian-sponsored assassinations. The group, which would include personnel from the State Department, intelligence community and several other executive offices, would meet monthly. Along with spies and covert killings, the committee would also investigate the […]

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Lawmakers: More U.S. Pushback Needed Against Russian Aggression

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(Voice of America – voanews.com – Pamela Dockins – June 8, 2016) U.S. lawmakers have expressed concern that the Obama administration may not be engaged enough in countering what they view as Russia’s bad behavior in Ukraine and Georgia. “I worry that the message that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin must be taking from our response is that his limit-testing aggression […]

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VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT: Russian Violations of Borders, Treaties, and Human Rights – U.S. Senate Testimony by Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland

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Russian Violations of Borders, Treaties, and Human Rights Testimony, Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Washington, DC, June 7, 2016, As prepared [Video of hearing also appeared here http://www.c-span.org/video/?410738-1/federal-officials-testify-human-rights-violations-russia][Video includes all speakers and some lawmakers; Nuland testimony transcript follows below] Thank you Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Cardin, and members […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Lawmakers look to get tough on Russia” – The Hill

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Russian aggression will be high on lawmakers’ minds when the House Armed Services Committee meets Wednesday to mark up its annual defense policy bill. … the Russians have buzzed a U.S. Navy destroyer, barrel rolled over a U.S. reconnaissance plane and warned the United States to steer clear of its territory. … committee members say there will be plenty in […]

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TRANSCRIPT: DNI – Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community [excerpt re: Russia] – Statement for the Record

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(Senate Armed Services Committee – James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence – February 9, 2016) Leading Threat Actors Russia. Russia is assuming a more assertive cyber posture based on its willingness to target critical infrastructure systems and conduct espionage operations even when detected and under increased public scrutiny. Russian cyber operations are likely to target US interests to support […]

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U.S. National Intelligence Director Says Russia Is Paranoid, Aggressive

DNI Seal and Smaller Seals of Agencies Related to DNI

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – February 10, 2016) Russia is “paranoid” about NATO and is likely to continue “aggressive” actions this year to support its claim to great power status, U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper said in Senate testimony Tuesday. In a report on “Worldwide Threat Assessment” that Clapper presented to the Senate, Russia topped a […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Russian Propaganda: Ways and Means – Leon Aron Senate Testimony

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Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation On “Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine and the Propaganda that Threatens Europe” Russian Propaganda: Ways and Means Leon Aron, Ph.D. Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies American Enterprise Institute November 3, 2015 The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: “U.S. Weighs Talks With Russia on Military Activity in Syria. Pentagon leaders grilled over strategy to deal with regime of Bashar al-Assad.”

Syria Map

The Wall Street Journal reports on U.S. military and foreign policy responses to stepped-up Russian activity in Syria, including Congressional criticism of the Obama administration. The Obama administration is considering discussions with Russia on military activities Syria in what would mark a shift in approach as U.S. policy comes under growing criticism at home. * * * In a scorching […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Victoria Nuland Testimony on Ukraine Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

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US Department of State TESTIMONY ON UKRAINE BEFORE THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE Testimony Victoria Nuland Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC March 10, 2015 As prepared Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Menendez and members of this committee-thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today on the situation […]

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TRANSCRIPT: A Military Assessment of the Russian War in Ukraine

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A Military Assessment of the Russian War in Ukraine Stephen Blank Senior Fellow American Foreign Policy Council February 2015 Testimony Presented to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, March 4, 2015 Ukraine needs military help from abroad in terms of weapons, training, and finances to help sustain its government and economy in the face […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Russian aggression against Ukraine and the West’s policy response. Steven Pifer Testimony to Senate Foreign Relations Committee

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The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation Statement for the Record Russian Aggression against Ukraine and the West’s Policy Response Steven Pifer Senior Fellow, Center on the United States and Europe The Brookings Institution March 4, 2015 [Also appeared at foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/030415_Pifer_Testimony.pdf] Russian Aggression against Ukraine and the West’s Policy Response Introduction Mr. Chairman, Senator Shaheen, distinguished […]

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NEWSWATCH: Obama’s Pentagon nominee suggests support for arming Ukraine

Ashton Carter File Photo

[“Obama’s Pentagon nominee suggests support for arming Ukraine” – Reuters – Phil Stewart, Andrea Shalal- February 4, 2015] Reuters reports on remarks by U.S. Secretary of Defense nominee Ashton Carter regarding U.S. policy towards Ukraine and Russia, such as arms for Ukraine and continued economic pressure on Russia. President Barack Obama’s pick to become defense secretary told Congress on Wednesday he […]

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Interfax: “Refusal of U.S. Senate to restrict NSA powers marks decline of democracy – Pushkov”

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 19 (Interfax) – Head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee is disappointed that the U.S. Senate decided against considering legislation restricting the powers of the National Security Agency (NSA). “The U.S. Senate turned down the bill limiting the spying activeness of NSA. In this way liberties are sacrificed to total control. The decline of democracy,” he twitted […]

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STATEMENT BY SENATORS JOHN MCCAIN AND LINDSEY GRAHAM ON NEED TO SUPPORT UKRAINE IN FACE OF RENEWED RUSSIAN AGGRESSION

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(mccain.senate.gov – Washington, D.C., November 18, 2014) U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following statement urging the Obama Administration and the European Union to provide the support Ukrainian leaders have long sought in the face of renewed Russian aggression: “President Putin’s renewed aggression in Ukraine demands more than additional empty rhetoric and threats of […]

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STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN ON RUSSIA PROVIDING MILITARY AID TO SEPARATISTS IN UKRAINE

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(mccain.senate.gov – November 7, 2014) Washington, D.C. ­- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement following reports that Russia has violated its ceasefire agreement and again supplied pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine with military equipment and arms: “No one should be surprised by reports today that large columns of Russian tanks, artillery, and military personnel have moved back […]

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Interfax: Congress Republicans to step up pressure on Obama to toughen Russia policy – analyst

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(Interfax – November 5, 2014) The Republicans who have gained control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in the U.S. Congress following the latest elections are likely to put pressure on a politically weakened President Barack Obama to toughen policy in relation to Russia and resolving the issue of weapons for Ukraine, says Alexei Makarkin, First Vice […]

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U.S. Midterms Raise Fears of Decades-Long Russia Sanctions Law

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – November 1, 2014) Concerns are rising among U.S. businesses in Russia that Washington lawmakers could move to enshrine sanctions on Russia in new legislation, extending their impact and delaying their repeal. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed such a legislative proposal last month and analysts warn the measure is more likely […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [DoD Senate Testimony:] “Security Assistance and Support for Ukraine”

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US Department of Defense “Security Assistance and Support for Ukraine” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Testimony by Assistant Secretary of Defense Derek Chollet July 9, 2014 TESTIMONY FOR THE RECORD Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member Corker, and Committee Members: Thank you for inviting me to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, which was precipitated by Russia’s occupation of Crimea and its ongoing […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Steve Hadley Senate Testimony:] Russia and Ongoing Developments in Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Statement of Stephen J. Hadley July 9, 2014 Russia and Ongoing Developments in Ukraine It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to appear before the committee this morning. I would like to discuss briefly what Russian President Putin is seeking to achieve by his actions in Ukraine, how far he is […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Zbigniew Brzezinski Senate Testimony:] Russia and Developments in Ukraine

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Statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee “RUSSIA AND DEVELOPMENTS IN UKRAINE” A Statement by Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski Counselor and Trustee Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) July 9, 2014 More than three months have passed since Putin’s triumphalist speech to the Russian Parliament. In it, he exalted in his military seizure of Crimea while basking in an orgy […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Treasury Department Senate Testimony:] Russia and Developments in Ukraine

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US Department of the Treasury Testimony of Assistant Secretary Daniel L. Glaser Senate Foreign Relations Committee Russia and Developments in Ukraine Wednesday, July 9, 2014 Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member Corker, and distinguished Members of this Committee, thank you for inviting me to speak to you again about the Administration’s response to Russia’s occupation and purported annexation of Crimea and its […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Russia and Developments in Ukraine; Nuland Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Victoria Nuland file photo

(US Department of State – July 9, 2014) Testimony of Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, DC As prepared Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member Corker and members of this committee-thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today on the situation in Ukraine and for your personal investment in the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Chairman Menendez’s Opening Remarks at Hearing on Russia and Developments in Ukraine

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(US Senate Foreign Relations Committee – Washington, DC – July 9, 2014) U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, delivered the below statement, as prepared for delivery, at today’s hearing titled “Russia and Developments in Ukraine.” “This hearing will come to order. We have two distinguished panels today to help us look more closely at […]

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VIDEO: Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on “Russia and Developments in Ukraine”

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Watch the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on “Russia and Developments in Ukraine” here: foreign.senate.gov/hearings/070914 … or here: businessweek.com/videos/2014-07-09/nuland-glaser-chollet-testify-on-ukraine-pt-dot-1  [note from web producer: C-Span version embedded below]

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Ukraine Crisis Drives a Quiet Lobbying Boom in U.S.

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Margaret Talev, Jonathan Allen – May 23, 2014) Turmoil in Ukraine has sparked a boomlet of lobbying in Washington, with an almost five-fold increase in the number of companies and organizations weighing in with lawmakers and officials. The subject is so sensitive that the lobbyists even more than usual want to be heard and not seen. […]

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TRANSRIPT: Ukraine – Countering Russian Intervention and Supporting a Democratic State

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Hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee “Ukraine – Countering Russian Intervention and Supporting a Democratic State” Testimony by David J. Kramer President, Freedom House May 6, 2014 Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Corker, Members of the Committee, it is an honor to appear before you once again, this time to discuss what I consider to be the greatest global challenge […]

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‘Speaking Truth To Power:’ Pussy Riot Members Tell Congress Of Rights Abuses

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(RFE/RL – Luke Johnson – WASHINGTON, May 6, 2014) Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina from the Pussy Riot art collective walked out of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting room to the snapping of cameras from the major television networks as around 20 reporters waited to hear them speak. “We have to talk about these people, we have to talk […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Hearing on the United States, Ukraine and Russia; Testimony by Dr. Angela E. Stent

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on the United States, Ukraine and Russia. May 6, 2014 Testimony by Dr. Angela E. Stent Director, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies, Georgetown School of Foreign Service. Chairman Menendez, Ranking Member Corker, Members of the Committee: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to testify before the Foreign Relations Committee at this […]

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Statement by Senators McCain and Graham On Sanctions Against Russia and the Situation In Ukraine

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

(mccain.senate.gov – Washington, D.C. – April 28, 2014) U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following statement on the Obama Administration’s latest round of sanctions against Russia and the situation in Ukraine: “The Obama Administration’s latest round of sanctions is days late and dollars short. While a unified U.S. and European response to Russia’s aggression […]

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‘Slap On The Wrist’: Congressional Critics Slam ‘Tepid’ Russia Sanctions

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – WASHINGTON – April 28, 2014) A fresh round of U.S. sanctions against top Russian officials amounts to little more than a “slap on the wrist” and will do little to halt the unrest in Ukraine, Republican lawmakers said. Members of Congress in recent days had called for the Obama administration to impose sanctions on key economic players in Russia, such […]

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RIA Novosti: No Evidence Snowden Spied for Russia – U.S. Senator

Edward Snowden file photo

WASHINGTON, January 28 (RIA Novosti) – A senior U.S. lawmaker said Tuesday that she has seen no evidence that intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was working with Russia when he disclosed troves of documents on classified US spying programs. “I have no information to that effect. I have never seen anything to that effect,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate […]

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RIA Novosti: U.S. Senate Backs Sanctions Over Ukraine Violence

Maidan Square file photo

WASHINGTON, January 8 (RIA Novosti) ­ The US Senate has called for possible sanctions against individuals responsible for state violence against Ukrainian demonstrators protesting Kiev’s decision to abandon long-awaited trade and political deals with the European Union. “In the event of further state violence against peaceful protestors, the President and Congress should consider whether to apply targeted sanctions, including visa […]

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Interfax: Moscow perplexed with U.S. demands for review of IOC opinion on Russian gay propaganda law

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Interfax – November 15, 2013) Moscow has called outrageous the U.S. senators’ demand that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) review its opinion on the Russian law banning homosexuality propaganda amongst minors. “We have paid attention to the letter sent by eleven U.S. senators to the International Olympic Committee president and their demand to review the official opinion of the IOC […]

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Interview: McCain On Russia, Putin, And His Pravda.ru Op-Ed

John McCain file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – NEW YORK, September 20, 2013) U.S. Senator John McCain (Republican-Arizona) has defended an opinion piece he wrote this week that was critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, telling Yuri Zhigalkin of RFE/RL’s Russian Service that his remarks were based on the facts about rights abuses in Russia. RFE/RL: Senator, I had the feeling that critics and […]

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Senator John McCain: Russians deserve better than Putin

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(Pravda.ru – September 19, 2013) When Pravda.ru editor, Dmitry Sudakov, offered to publish my commentary, he referred to me as “an active anti-Russian politician for many years.” I’m sure that isn’t the first time Russians have heard me characterized as their antagonist. Since my purpose here is to dispel falsehoods used by Russia’s rulers to perpetuate their power and excuse […]

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Senator McCain invited to speak live on Rossiya 1 television

John McCain file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 15, 2013) Russian Journalist Vladimir Solovyov has invited U.S. Republican Senator John McCain to speak live in his evening program on Rossiya 1 television. “On behalf of the radio and television holding VGTRK, I invite Senator John McCain to speak live in the Sunday Evening program,” Solovyov wrote in his Twitter blog. Solovyov said later on […]

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US Senate Appeals to Russia to Reconsider Adoption Law

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WASHINGTON, January 3 (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) The US Senate has unanimously approved a resolution condemning a new Russian law banning US citizens from adopting Russian children and calling on President Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership to reconsider the measure on humanitarian grounds. In its resolution, approved in a vote late Tuesday, the Senate affirmed that all […]

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