Russia Goes All In On Arctic Oil Development

Arctic Map

(Oilprice.com – Tsvetana Paraskova – October 19, 2017) Neither sanctions nor persistently low oil prices are hindering Russia’s ambitions or plans to develop oil resources in its sections of the Arctic. In April, state-controlled oil giant Rosneft started drilling the northernmost well on the Russian Arctic shelf in the Khatangsky license area in the Laptev Sea. In June, Rosneft struck […]

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Interfax: Russia-U.S. substantive dialogue on START, INF Treaty is needed – Ryabkov

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 20 (Interfax) – Russia and the United States need to start substantive dialogue regarding the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), but Moscow is unaware of the U.S. administration’s stance on offensive arms reduction, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “We have no idea as to what the administration of […]

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NEWSLINK: “A Russian Take on ‘The Americans’ Scares Moscow Liberals; The political conversation in Putin’s Russia increasingly revolves around cinematic versions of reality.” – Bloomberg/ Leonid Bershidsky

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov » Read more

NEWSLINK: “Russian health officials want an all-out war against smoking in public (and other places)” – Meduza

No Smoking Symbol

“Russian Health Ministry officials want to expand dramatically the list of places where smoking is prohibited. … [to] include … communal apartments, within 10 feet of public transportation stops … underground and overground walkways, within 10 feet of shopping malls … in private vehicles in the presence of children … ‘in the presence of anyone who objects to the consumption […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Vladimir Putin and Fyodor Lukyanov at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – Sochi, October 19, 2017) [Video with English translation: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55882] Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary session of the 14th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club titled The World of the Future: Moving Through Conflict to Cooperation. The general topic of the Valdai Club this year is Creative Destruction: Will a New World Order Emerge […]

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Systemic Liberals and Communists Helping to Keep Putin Regime in Power, Shevtsova Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 17, 2017) It has become a commonplace to observe that “the Kremlin is losing control of the situation” and that it is using “preventive repressions” against not only its obvious opponents but even its own followers, Liliya Shevtsova. But despite regular predictions of its imminent demise, the Putin regime remains entrenched […]

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NEWSLINK: “When ‘against all’ isn’t necessarily against Putin; Prominent Russians react to Ksenia Sobchak’s presidential campaign” – Meduza

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

“Television host, socialite, and LʼOfficiel Russia chief editor Ksenia Sobchak announced on October 18 that she intends to run for president next year, confirming rumors that have circulated for the past six weeks. We still know very little about her campaign, though there are reports that political consultant Vitaly Shklyarov (who helped several opposition candidates win municipal races in Moscow […]

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NEWSLINKS DIGEST: More American tales of Russiagate

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

  These Americans Were Tricked Into Working For Russia. They Say They Had No Idea. Buzzfeed.com October 17, 2017   Facebook admits Russia agents used Messenger to disrupt U.S. presidential election Recode.net October 18, 2017 In attempt to sow fear, Russian trolls paid for self-defense classes for African Americans CNN.com October 18, 2017 Trump Campaign Staffers Pushed Russian Propaganda Days […]

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Interfax: Russian minister says no tit-for-tat response in media war

Satellite Dishes

(Interfax – October 18, 2017) Russia’s Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov has said Russia should not take analogous retaliatory measures in response to any action by the American authorities regarding Moscow’s English-language station RT, including any bans, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 18 October. “If our colleagues [USA] take any unilateral steps, of course Russia will prepare some reply. […]

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Interfax: Moscow accuses Kyiv of forced Ukrainization policy

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

MOSCOW. Oct 18 (Interfax) – The Russian Foreign Ministry has called on international human rights institutions to influence Kyiv over Ukraine’s discriminatory laws regarding the use of the state language in education and the media. “We call on relevant international human rights institutions, including, primarily, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human […]

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Top Russian official ‘unaware’ of plans for new ‘foreign agent’ law

Kremlin and River

(Interfax – October 18, 2017) The first deputy head of Russia’s presidential administration, Sergei Kiriyenko, has said he is unaware of any forthcoming Russian legislation which would designate individuals with the status of “foreign agents”. “I don’t know anything about this,” Kiriyenko said on 18 October when asked about the matter. Media reports on 9 October, citing a source, said: […]

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Russian Director Vows To Quit Cinema After ‘Hysteria’ Over TV Spy Thriller

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, October 17, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-director-vows-to-quit-cinema-after-tv-spy-thriller/28800376.html) Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) agents battle fifth columnists and CIA “sleeper” cells bent on sowing chaos and torpedoing a gas deal with China. Americans seeking a “colored revolution” try to frame Russia for the assassination of an […]

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Russian Elections Chief Says Navalny Cannot Run Until 2028

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – October 17, 2017 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-navalny-elections-pamfilova-presidency/28799529.html) Russia’s top election official says that opposition politician Aleksei Navalny will not be eligible to run for office until about 2028. Speaking at a youth festival in the southern city of Sochi, Central Election Commission chief Ella Pamfilova warned Navalny and […]

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Global Warming Threatens Moscow’s Arctic Development Plans and the Lives of People There

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 17, 2017) Some Russian officials, including Vladimir Putin, apparently believe that global warming will work to Russia’s ultimate benefit by allowing for crops over a larger portion of its territory; but in the shorter term, global warming is undermining Moscow’s plans to develop the Far North and even threatening the lives […]

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Interfax: Oreshkin sees positive foreign investor sentiment regarding Russian economy recovery

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – GORKY, Oct. 16) Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin said he saw positive sentiment among foreign investors regarding a recovery in the Russian economy. “Today’s meeting was definitely characterized by overall positive sentiment regarding the fact that the Russian economy has begun to recover and that economic growth has taken off. Companies feel this in their financials,” Oreshkin […]

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Interfax: Putin to say “something big” at Valdai next week – spokesman

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

(Interfax – October 13, 2017) President Vladimir Putin is to make a “very important” speech at the Valdai discussion club meeting next week, his press secretary Dmitry Peskov has said, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 13 October. “Something really important is being prepared for his traditionally interesting address at the Valdai forum,” Peskov said. Putin, who attends the […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with participants of 19th World Festival of Youth and Students (with Q & A)” – KremlinRu

Satellite Image of Earth in Style of Mercator Map, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Kremlin.ru – October 15, 2017) Following the opening ceremony of the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students, Vladimir Putin met with festival participants – students and young specialists from Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia, France, Jamaica, the United States, India and Zimbabwe. Moderator Ksenia Razuvayeva: Mr Putin, good evening. Starting today, we can consider our World Festival of Youth and Students […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Opening of Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

(Kremlin.ru – October 14, 2017) Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Before the Assembly the President met with members of the IPU Executive Committee. The President of Russia awarded the Order of Friendship to IPU President Saber Chowdhury. The Order was presented for a major contribution to the […]

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NEWSLINK: “A tale of two revolutions, or ‘decommunisation’, Ukrainian-style; Ukrainian politicians see their country’s Soviet heritage as a major obstacle on the way to abrave new world. It’s a shame they’re using the same revolutionary methods as the communists to deal with it.” – OpenDemocracy/ Sergey Rumyantsev

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion » Read more

NEWSLINK: “CARIBBEAN CRISIS 2.0: ILLUSION OF PERMISSIVENESS” – Valdai/ Maxim Starchak

Map of Cuba and Environs

“… The international security system is collapsing, there is no dialogue. The parties do not consider negotiations, options, but prefer options for developing their military activities. Sooner or later, this may lead to a full-scale crisis similar to Cuba 1962. However, this may not be a bad thing. The Caribbean crisis has taught us to understand that the value of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “The Billionaire Adviser: A Story of Russia’s Anti-Corruption Campaign; The story of the arrest of Oleg Korshunov, deputy director of Russia’s prison system, looks at first glance like a victory in an anti-corruption campaign. But the truth is much more complex”  – Carnegie Moscow/ Olga Romanova 

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“… Korshunov merely operated too blatantly, his detention is unlikely to change much, and he may eventually get free on parole …”  

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RUSSIALINK: “Waking the Russian Spirit of Urbanism; Urban renewal could become a new doctrine of patriotism” – Moscow Times/ Sergei Kapkov

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

“… They’ve looked around and realized that Russian cities are not nearly as beautiful as they could be, and in addition to amusement park rides and shish kebab stands, they can build skate parks and dance floors. And the harsh Russian climate is no obstacle to developing urban cycling. …”  

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Presidentialism, Even More than Putin, is Russia’s Curse, Golosov Says

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 12, 2017) The real threat to Russia’s future development, Grigory Golosov argues, lies not in the various repressive actions Vladimir Putin has taken but in the presidential system enshrined in the Russian Constitution which makes “any strong president” into “a potential Putin.” Writing in the Takiye Dela portal today, the St. […]

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The Evolution of Homo Sovieticus to Putin’s Man; The tumultuous decades have left their mark on Russians’ inner life

File Photo of Crowd in Russia Including Person Waving Russian Flag with Eagle

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog, Lev Gudkov – October 13, 2017) [Text with charts themoscowtimes.com/articles/the-evolution-of-homo-sovieticus-to-putins-man-59189] Lev Gudkov remembers sitting in his Moscow office as a young sociologist, surrounded by stacks of letters. It was 1989, and for the first time after decades of hushed conversation around kitchen tables, Russians had been asked for their opinions on a range […]

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Interfax: U.S. global missile defense may create prerequisites for massive preventive strike on adversary – Kosachyov

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 13 (Interfax) – The deployment by Washington of its global missile-defense shield poses a threat to strategic stability in the world and may create prerequisites for a powerful preventive strike, Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the Russian Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote in a statement on his Facebook page. “Our Defense Ministry’s information about the consequences of the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Soccer Defeat Is a Loss for Russia. In place of a flood of U.S. travelers for next year’s World Cup, a trickle of Panamanians.” – Wall Street Journal

File Image of Soccer Ball, Field, Stadium with Lights, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“… a fresh setback for U.S.-Russia relations: The U.S. men’s soccer team fell to Trinidad and Tobago … and … failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in three decades. For Russia, hosting the quadrennial event in 2018 … missing out on an influx of rich American tourists …. [A past study by two economists suggests] the tourism boost from […]

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A Corruption Trial Splits the Kremlin; The former economy minister got caught in a sting, and no one knows where Putin stands.

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Evgenia Pismennaya, Ilya Arkhipov, Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik – October 11, 2017) The first prosecution of a minister for graft under Russian President Vladimir Putin contains the kind of details you’d expect in a spy novel, from hidden microphones and coded hand signals to homemade sausages and a bag stuffed with cash. The case against former […]

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U.S. Diplomatic Staff in Russia Could See Another Major Cut

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 11, 2017) The Russian Foreign Ministry has not eliminated the possibility of reducing U.S. diplomatic staff by another 150 or more personnel, the state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported Wednesday. In an interview with Georgy Borisenko, head of the ministry’s North America Department, reporter Maria Kiseleva asked whether Russia is ready to respond to […]

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Kremlin had Its Reasons for Not Cracking Down Harder on Latest Protests, Commentators Say

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 10, 2017) The relative paucity of detentions in Moscow during the anti-Putin Navalny demonstrations last weekend, despite the much larger and more brutal actions of the authorities beyond the ring road, has generated a lively discussion as to why the Kremlin didn’t come down harder. Two commentators, Yekatarina Vinokurova of Znak […]

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Navalny Fund Publishes Retractions in Usmanov Libel Suit

Alisher Usmanov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 11, 2017) The Anti-Corruption Foundation has complied with a court order to publish retractions related to a video critical of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Foundation founder and opposition leader Alexei Navalny was sued for libel in April by Uzbekistan-born Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov over allegations of bribery. Navalny is currently serving a 20-day jail […]

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NEWSLINK: “This is as good as it gets” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“This is as good as it gets. That was the conclusion of Fitch Ratings’ Global Economic Outlook for September 2017. The global economy is in a bit of a sweet spot as the bounce-back growth is strong and the last of the 2008 crash effects are fading away. Commodities prices are high and growth in both developed and emerging markets […]

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NEWSWATCH: “European University at St Petersburg faces research-only future. With latest application for teaching licence rejected in long-running battle with authorities, time is running out to start the new academic year” – Times Higher Education (UK)

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

“Russia’s ‘European’ university is contemplating a future as a research-only institution …. The European University at St Petersburg, a private postgraduate institution, has been wrangling with the government since last year, when it endured a series of snap inspections by authorities and had its teaching licence suspended. Officials claimed that EUSP, which has just 250 students and offers courses in the […]

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Is This The Geopolitical Shift Of The Century?

Middle East Map

(Oilprice.com – Cyril Widdershoven – October 7, 2017) Dr. Cyril Widdershoven is a long-time observer of the global energy market. Presently, he holds several advisory positions with international think tanks in the Middle East and energy sectors in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The geopolitical reality in the Middle East is changing dramatically. The impact of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A Bernie Sanders campaign veteran advises a surging opposition movement in Russia” – Washington Post/ Andrew Roth

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

“Vitali Shkliarov, a 41-year-old political operative born in Belarus, speaks the gospel of Bernie Sanders in the style of a Silicon Valley executive. Technology, he says, is a key to access …. The idea got a test drive in Moscow’s recent municipal elections … the veteran of the Sanders and … Obama campaigns sees it as part of a worldwide movement. * […]

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Interfax: Russia shouldn’t sever relations with U.S. even if Washington pushes for it – Slutsky

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 10 (Interfax) – The way the United States has treated Russia’s diplomatic facilities looks like Russia is being pushed to break up bilateral diplomatic relations, State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda published on the newspaper’s website on Tuesday. “We will not yield to provocations,” Slutsky said. Komsomolskaya Pravda cited […]

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