JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia, an Early Space Pioneer, Never Regained Its Lead; The U.S. leapfrogged the Soviet Union by landing a man on the moon 50 years ago this month, and kept its place ever since” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

International Space Station file photo

“Russians still brim with pride over being the first nation to send a human into space.  Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin … circling the Earth in 1961[] remains a national hero whose story is taught to Russian schoolchildren. But ever since the U.S. leapfrogged the Soviet Union by landing a man on the moon 50 years ago this month, Russia has […]

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Flexible Stagnation: How Lukashenka Has Held On To Power For 25 Years In Belarus

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – July 20, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/amp/flexible-stagnation-how-lukashenka-has-held-on-to-power-for-25-years-in-belarus/30066472.html) In 1994, the last Russian troops left Germany and the Baltic states, bringing a symbolic end to the Cold War. The same year saw the Rwandan genocide, and American entrepreneur Jeff Bezos launched an online […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Interview with Oliver Stone” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – July 19, 2019) Vladimir Putin answered questions from American film director, screenwriter and producer Oliver Stone. The interview was recorded on June 19, 2019 in the Kremlin. Oliver Stone: So, I interviewed Mr Medvedchuk. It was in Monte Carlo. He gave us a very interesting interview. He gave us his view of the Ukraine. I gather that you’re […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin Opens Door to Changing Constitution as Succession Looms” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“The Kremlin raised the possibility of changing Russia’s Constitution after a top lawmaker proposed bolstering parliament’s powers, in a move that could help to extend … Putin’s rule. … constitutional amendments, including allowing parliament a say in forming the government, received ‘a widespread response’ and are ‘a matter for discussion,’ Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters …. Putin in 2024 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Denies Visas for Teachers at Anglo-American School in Moscow” – New York Times/ Andrew E. Kramer

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

“Russia’s Foreign Ministry has … denied visas for teachers at a [Moscow] school … run by Western embassies … American officials suggested [the action] was an effort to exert political pressure on the United States by curtailing schooling for the children of diplomats. It is not clear why the Russian government denied entry to 30 teachers, about one fifth of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The roots of Putin’s power over Russia; Four new books examine the leader’s hold over the vast nation through the lens of history” – Financial Times/ John Lloyd

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

“… Putin is a gambler. Russia’s population is shrinking, its real-terms wages and gross national income per head are tumbling, it has failed to create successful industries and services and is blighted by entrenched corruption – and yet its president behaves like a poker player with a royal flush. … form[ing] a close relationship with [China’s] President Xi Jinping … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “It’s been more than a month since Ivan Golunov was framed, charged, and released. What’s happened to his story since?” – Meduza

FSB Building file photo

“… thirty leading Russian and international news outlets … published the report Ivan Golunov was working on … before his arrest. Journalists from seven Russian media sources had already begun working to complete the report …. Golunov’s exposé … shed light on corruption and FSB ties in the Moscow funeral industry. … [and] includes allegations of misconduct committed by intelligence […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian envoy urges U.S., NATO countries to store nukes only in own territories, like Russia does” – Interfax

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

BRUSSELS. July 17 (Interfax) – Russia urges the United States and other NATO countries to store their nuclear arsenals only in their national territories. “Russia deploys and stockpiles all its nuclear weapons exclusively on the national territory. We call upon U.S. and NATO to follow this practice,” Russian Permanent Representative to international organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said on Twitter […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “IMF Cuts Forecast for Russian 2019 GDP Growth to 1.2%, Calls for Reforms” – Reuters

File Photo of IMF Acronym on Wall Below Row of Circular Lights, adapted from image at state.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

“The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for Russian economic growth in 2019 to 1.2% from 1.4% after a weak first quarter, saying broader reforms would be needed for stronger growth. Without deeper structural reforms, long-term growth is projected to settle around 1.8%, the IMF said …. Priority should be given to creating a more vibrant private sector and reducing […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin distances itself from Moscow election controversy” – Interfax

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Interfax – July 16, 2019) The Kremlin has distanced itself from the controversy surrounding the registration of candidates in September’s Moscow city council election. “Broadly speaking, this is a matter for the electoral commission, and here the Kremlin simply has neither the authority nor any intention to intervene in this situation,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on 16 […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians’ Fear of Chernobyl Repeat Hits Record Low, Poll Says” – Moscow Times

Chernobyl File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 17, 2019) Fewer Russians believe that a Chernobyl-like nuclear disaster could happen now than at any point in the past two decades, according to an independent Levada Center poll published Wednesday. The April 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl power plant in Soviet Ukraine spread radioactive material across much of the Northern Hemisphere, affecting tens […]

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RUSSIALINK: “New nuclear arms treaty shouldn’t be worse than New START, but there’s only its outline now – Russia’s Dzhabarov” – Interfax

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

MOSCOW. July 16 (Interfax) – Russia and the United Stated do not have much time left to draw up a new nuclear arms treaty, which should be comprehensive and should not be worse than the 2011 New START Treaty, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee Vladimir Dzhabarov said. “It seems to me that the architecture […]

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Capital’s Hard Line on Local Election Registration Further Radicalizing Muscovites, Yudin Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Windows on Eurasia – Staunton, July 14, 2019) Moscow residents have never been fans of United Russia and would never overwhelmingly back its candidates, but the authorities have decided to ensure that 90 percent of the local deputies will be from that party using various pretexts to disqualify opposition candidates rather than coopting moderate opponents, sociologist Grigory […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Cop Jailed for Ignoring Murdered Domestic Violence Victim’s Pleas” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 12, 2019) A Russian police officer has been convicted of negligence after telling a domestic violence victim to “come back when you’re dead” minutes before she was murdered. Police inspector Natalya Bashkatova received a domestic abuse call in the city of Oryol in late 2016 but refused to investigate the victim’s claims, telling her, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Meeting with Moscow City Elections Commission chair didn’t take place – opposition candidates to Moscow City Duma” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. July 15 (Interfax) – A meeting between Moscow City Elections Commission Chairman Valentin Gorbunov and the candidates from the opposition effectively did not take place, Ilya Yashin, a Moscow City Duma candidate in the 45th constituency, told journalists in front of the elections commission’s building. Media were not allowed to enter the building. “Instead of what was publicly announced […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ Review: Wishing and Waiting; Eleven stories by a Russian cardiologist that show how doctors and patients alike soothe themselves with lies, shortcuts and elisions.” – Wall Street Journal/ Laura Kolbe

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“… In these 11 stories … Dr. Osipov, a Russian cardiologist, fiction writer and playwright, regards the field of medicine as though it were a hapless production of a surrealist play. … [T]he borders between hope, delusion and dishonesty are hazy and heavily trafficked. … Dr. Osipov is a master of dramatic irony, wringing bittersweet humor from what the reader […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “India, Russia Seek to Skirt U.S. Sanctions Threat to Arms Deals” – Bloomberg/ Nc Bipindra, Evgenia Pismennaya

India map

“India and Russia have agreed on a new payment method through their national currencies for multi-billion-dollar defense deals … [seeking] to avoid risks created by the U.S. threat of sanctions and banking restrictions. … [and to] enable India to pay the first installment … for two warships … Russia is building for its navy …. Defense contracts will be settled […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Review: The Struggle of Russia’s crony capitalists” [re: Anders Aslund new book]” – Reuters/ Dasha Afanasieva

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

“… Anders Aslund … in ‘Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy‘ … [casts Putin] as a patriarchal overlord … handsomely reward[ing] those loyal …. creat[ing] a new elite of friends, former co-workers and relatives. What’s less clear is what, if anything [can be done about it]. … [A]naly[zing] the last 15 or so years of Putin’s […]

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Attitudes of New Leaders in Russia and U.S. Making Nuclear War Ever More Likely, Golts Says

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 9, 2019) The decision of Moscow and Washington to dispense with arms control agreements, the attitude behind that which holds that the most powerful countries must not be constrained by such accords, and the lack of understanding among the leaders in both capitals about the nature of war all make a […]

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Crime, Torture and Punishment in a Moscow Suburb; Viktor Lukyan, sentenced to six years for murder, had little chance of a fair trial under a system that presumes defendants are guilty

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – July 9, 2019) [themoscowtimes.com/2019/07/09/crime-torture-and-punishment-in-a-moscow-suburb-a66314] Lukyan in a Domodedovo courtroom cage in February. He spent more a year in pre-trial detention. Evan Gershkovich / MT On a Wednesday morning late last May in Barybino, a drab town in the Moscow suburbs, a passerby spotted a body wrapped in black garbage bags floating in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians Work More Nights, Weekends Than Other Europeans – Research” – Moscow Times

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 10, 2019) Russia is among the leading countries in Europe where employees regularly work night or weekend shifts, recent research published by the Moscow-based Higher School of Economics (HSE) has said. Nearly half of Russians polled last month said they don’t support the idea of a four-day work week over fears that it would […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with Russian journalists” – KremlinRu

Yekaterinburg file photo

(Kremlin.ru – July 9, 2019) Following the II Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, Vladimir Putin met with Russian journalists and answered their questions. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. Question: First question is about Georgia. May I? Vladimir Putin: We are at such a good international event on technology. Does it [Georgia] demonstrate any achievements in terms of applying […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “New Report: Mueller Lacks Substantiating Evidence Of Russian Election Interference” – The Federalist/ Madeline Osburn

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“New report reveals that Mueller’s investigation missed key evidence to support its central claim that Russia was 100% responsible for election interference.” “… Mueller’s [Special Counsel] report lacks substantiating evidence supporting the central claims of Kremlin interference in the 2016 election, according to … RealClearInvestigations. … discrepancies over the timeline, details, and conflicts of interest from key players in the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Despite ‘thug hugs,’ Trump is tougher on despots than Obama” – New York Post/ Marc Thiessen

White House

“During a single visit to Asia … Trump embraced not one, not two, but three dictators. He became the first American president to set foot in North Korea, where he praised his ‘great friendship’ with North Korea’s despotic leader, Kim Jong Un; he held another cringe-worthy press availability with … Putin, where Trump joked about Russia’s electoral interference; … he […]

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Optimism for Improved U.S.-Russian Relations Is Necessary, But Should Remain Cautious

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Paul Saunders – July 3, 2019) Paul Saunders is the chairman and president of the Energy Innovation Reform Project and a senior fellow in U.S. foreign policy at the Center for the National Interest. This op-ed is written in response to “The Osaka Meeting: Is the Tide Turning in US-Russian Relations?” by Thomas Graham. [russialist.org/the-osaka-meeting-is-the-tide-turning-in-us-russian-relations/] […]

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Putin: Oil Price Volatility Is Hurting Russia’s Economy

Oil Wells File Photo

(Oilprice.com – Irina Slav – July 4, 2019) Economic realities including the fluctuating international oil prices are among factors interfering with the Russian government’s economic program, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Italian Corriere della Serra ahead of a state visit to Rome. Asked about why, despite his overwhelming victory in the latest elections and the virtual non-existence […]

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Managing To Win: Sagging Popularity Forces Russia’s Ruling Party To Dig Into Its Box Of Election Tricks

Russia Regions Map

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – July 4, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/sagging-popularity-forces-russia-s-ruling-party-to-dig-into-its-box-of-election-tricks/30036639.html) Oleg Shein might seem like a perfect choice of a candidate to challenge the ruling-party incumbent in the race for governor in Russia’s Astrakhan Oblast. A State Duma deputy who endured a 40-day hunger strike […]

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Putin has Always Opposed Liberalism, Moscow Commentators Say

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 29, 2019) Many in the West were taken aback by Vladimir Putin’s attacks on liberalism in his recent Financial Times interview, but two Russian commentators have pointed out what should have been obvious to everyone: Putin has been fighting against what he defines as liberal values his entire professional life. Petr […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Instructions following Direct Line with Vladimir Putin” – KremlinRu

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – July 2, 2019) The President endorsed a list of instructions following the special programme Direct Line with Vladimir Putin broadcast on June 20, 2019. Instructions to the Government of the Russian Federation jointly with the State Duma concern, in part, the need to improve the guarantees of implementing the rights and freedoms of disabled and partially disabled citizens; […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Ukrainization should be ‘quite mild’ – Zelensky’s envoy to Verkhovna Rada” – Interfax

Verkhovna Rada File Photo

KYIV. July 1 (Interfax) – A Ukrainian presidential envoy to the Verkhovna Rada, and candidate number two on the Servant of the People party election list, Ruslan Stefanchuk, believes that one needs to fight for the Ukrainian language offering “quality, but not harassment.” “As for the law on language, there are several positions. Firstly, the Ukrainian language is a state […]

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Yet Another Benefit from USSR’s Disintegration – Large Reduction in Release of Greenhouse Gases

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 25, 2019) The end of the Soviet Union brought many benefits, but one that has not attracted much attention up until now is that its demise has resulted in a significant decline in the release of greenhouse gases as a result of changes in post-Soviet food systems, a new study by […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Blaze that affected sub broke out in battery area – expert” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. July 3 (Interfax) – The fire on board a Russian Navy deep-sea submersible, in which 14 submariners died, broke out in the submarine’s battery tank, Konstantin Sivkov, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences, said on Wednesday. “It is now known for sure what caused this accident: the fire broke out in the submarine’s […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Meeting with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – July 2, 2019) The Defence Minister reported to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief on the fire on the Northern Fleet deep-water research submersible in the Barents Sea, which killed 14 sailors. Vladimir Putin conveyed his sincere condolences to the families of the dead and gave instructions on providing them with assistance and support. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Shoigu, […]

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Putin Undermines OPEC’s Power

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Nick Cunningham – July 1, 2019) After so much hype and anticipation, it seems that the OPEC meeting in Vienna was all but over before it had even begun. Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to extend the OPEC+ production cuts by six to nine months. The production levels remains unchanged, but the timing could be extended through […]

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The Osaka Meeting: Is the Tide Turning in U.S.-Russian Relations?

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Thomas Graham – July 1, 2019) Thomas Graham, Managing Director at Kissinger Associates, was the senior Russia expert on the National Security Council staff during the George W. Bush administration. To the consternation of his bitterest opponents and to the surprise, and relief, of many, U.S. President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia beating U.S. in race for global influence, Pentagon study says” – Politico/ BRYAN BENDER

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

“A divided America is failing to counter Moscow’s efforts to undermine democracy and cast doubt on U.S. alliances, says the report, which warns of a surge in ‘political warfare.’” “…. The more than 150-page white paper, prepared for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and shared with POLITICO, says the U.S. is still underestimating the scope of Russia’s aggression, which includes […]

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Economic Decline Won’t Spark a Revolution and Kremlin Sees No Need for Change, Inozemtsev Says

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 27, 2019) Many suggest that the continuing economic decline of Russia will prompt people to go into the streets and demand change, Vladislav Inozemtsev says; but “nowhere on post-Soviet space have we see mass protests arise as a result of economic issues.” The Russian people will come to terms with their […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Forget Putin’s ‘liberalism’ jibe. This man runs a war machine; For too long, the west has turned a blind eye to Russian atrocities in a string of wars.” – The Guardian/ Natalie Nougayrède

File Photo of Country Flags Outside 2017 G20 Meeting in Hamburg, adapted from image at state.gov

“… Putin is on a high. Kicked out of the G8 in 2014 after the start of his military operations in Ukraine, he’s been making full use of the G20 summit in Osaka to bask in meetings with world grandees and soak up all the international media attention he possibly can, complete with a not very challenging interview with the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian PM urges United Russia party to back investigative reporters” – Interfax

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW. July 1 (Interfax) – United Russia Chairman and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has urged United Russia members to back investigative reporters or even to hold a party contest for the best investigative report. “I believe it would be the right thing for United Russia to support investigative reporters. I’ll point out that these should be real investigations, not […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Vladimir Putin’s news conference; Following the G20 summit, the President of Russia answered journalists’ questions.” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Country Flags Outside 2017 G20 Meeting in Hamburg, adapted from image at state.gov

(Kremlin.ru – June 29, 2019 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60857) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. Let us begin. Go ahead, please. Question: Good afternoon, Mr President. We would like to ask, since I am the first to ask a question, about your personal results of the summit. There was a lot of scepticism prior to it, coming both from other leaders […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia, U.S. reached understanding in Osaka on strategic stability – Ryabkov” – Interfax

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

MOSCOW. July 1 (Interfax) – Moscow and Washington have reached substantial understanding on strategic stability, and Russia expects dialogue at the expert level to be resumed soon, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “Strategic stability was one of the two areas on which substantial mutual understanding was reached in Osaka,” Ryabkov  said at the Valdai Discussion Club on Monday […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine President’s Party Leads Poll Ahead of July Election” – Reuters/New York Times/ Reporting: Natalia Zinets, Editing: William Maclean

Verkhovna Rada File Photo

“… ahead of a [July 21] snap parliamentary election …. [a] survey conducted by research group Reiting … showed Zelenskiy’s party, Servant of the People, … support[ed by] 37.3% of people who said they would vote. … The outgoing parliament … is dominated by loyalists of … Poroshenko. Servant of the People, campaigning on a pro-European, anti-corruption ticket, has no […]

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What Is the State’s Share in Russia’s Economy?

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Nini Arshakuni, Natasha Yefimova-Trilling – June 26, 2019) Nini Arshakuni is a former graduate student associate at Russia Matters and at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. Natasha Yefimova-Trilling is editor of Russia Matters. Earlier this year, sanctioned tycoon Oleg Deripaska told the Financial Times that the Russian state holds 70 percent of the country’s economy […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians Are Increasingly Protesting Social, Not Political Issues – Study” – Moscow Times

Moscow Protest File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 26, 2019) Russians are increasingly likely to rally over social than political issues, according to a newly released study of protests in the first three months of 2019. Freedom of assembly has been gradually restricted in Russia since a wave of mass protests in 2011-2012 against President Vladimir Putin. Observers say that nonpolitical demonstrations […]

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Zyuganov Says He’s Loyal to Putin Out of Fears of Disorders

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 25, 2019) In an interview in advance of his 75th birthday, KPRF leader Gennady Zyuganov says he has been loyal to Putin for the same reason he did not challenge the results of the 1996 election: he fears disorder in Russia now just as he feared war in 1996 — with […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow, St. Petersburg Become Cheaper for Expats, Ranking Says” – Moscow Times

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 26, 2019) Moscow and St. Petersburg are becoming more affordable for expats, according to new rankings from a global consulting firm. Moscow placed 27th and St. Petersburg 75th out of 209 cities worldwide for the most expensive locations to work abroad in Mercer’s 2019 ranking, dropping by 10 and 26 spots from last year […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Law on insulting state symbols doesn’t need adjustment – Peskov” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. June 27 (Interfax) – The law on insulting state symbols does not need any adjustment, but law enforcement practice needs control to prevent irregularities; in particular, those associated with restrictions on the criticism of authorities, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Journalists mentioned during a conversation with Peskov on Thursday that the president had said during his recent Q&A session […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Resilient Legal Powerhouse: The Procuracy Enters the 21st Century” – Kennan Institute/ William E. Pomeranz

Satellite Dishes

“On March 18, 2019, President Vladimir Putin signed into law two new restrictions on freedom of speech. One law levied administrative fines on so-called ‘fake news’ while the other imposed penalties for information deemed insulting to human dignity, public morality, or otherwise expressing disrespect to state symbols and institutions.[1] The above laws lacked precise standards, thereby requiring interpretation. What was […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Middle Class Is Shrinking – Bank Report” – Moscow Times

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 25, 2019) Russia’s middle class has fallen by nearly one-fifth since the start of the country’s economic crisis in 2014, an analysis by the Moscow-based Alfa Bank has said. Low oil prices and Western sanctions have reduced Russians’ real incomes for five years in a row. Economists forecast that the population’s purchasing power will […]

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JRL NEWSBLOG: “Russian Orthodox Church to stop blessing missiles” – The Times (UK)/ Tom Parfitt

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… a church commission has concluded that one category of blessings is beyond the pale and should not continue: weapons of mass destruction. … at odds with recent practice. … In November, a priest … blessed an S-400 missile unit as it was deployed to the Crimea. The previous year, a priest could … be seen having just completed the […]

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