NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Meddling in the U.S. Elections. How It Helps Him Back Home.” – Foreign Affairs/Gregory Feifer

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Every four years, whenever there is a U.S. presidential election, a melancholy settles over Russia. When global fascination mounts over the selection of the free world’s next leader, Russians feel ignored. … * * * … On top of its usual peddling of influence, disinformation campaigns, and, in some cases, war, Moscow tried discreetly hacking Ukraine’s elections in 2014. Ukrainian […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The United States Must Be the World’s Policeman; Only America has the material and moral greatness to stop the slide into chaos and foster peace.” – The Wall Street Journal/Anders Fogh Rasmussen

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Barely had I been seated before Vladimir Putin told me that NATO – the organization that I then headed – no longer had any purpose and should be disbanded. … in December 2009, I sensed … Putin was challenging the world order that the U.S. created so successfully after World War II. Beginning in 2014, he invaded Ukraine and launched […]

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NEWSLINK Los Angeles Times/Max Boot: “Who’s better for his people? Putin or Obama? The answer is obvious.”

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

“… I am no defender of President Obama. I was a foreign policy advisor to John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, and I have been very critical of Obama’s weak foreign policy. I think the Iran nuclear deal, the withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 and the hands-off policy toward Syria, in particular, have been catastrophic mistakes. I am […]

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NEWSWATCH: Michael McFaul and Barack Obama share insights about Russia

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

Michael McFaul on Twitter, Sept. 9, 2016: [tweet will appear below, yet might take some extra time to load for some users] If Obama seized control of Fox, allowed only supporters in Congress, closed the NRA & arrested Trump, he too might have 80% approval rating — Michael McFaul (@McFaul) September 9, 2016 Barack Obama, Speech in Philadelphia, Sept. 13, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Aligned with Russia in Syria, Pentagon awkwardly treads on new terrain” – Reuters

Syria Map

… the reactions of U.S. military officials range from caution to outright skepticism over a Geneva-based ‘joint integration center’ that may soon bring together American and Russian militaries to discuss shared targets for the first time since World War Two. … U.S. officials past and present voiced concerns about the initiative, underscoring the Pentagon’s long-public criticism about the way Russia […]

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Russian Security Services Forced to Reveal Home Searches

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 7, 2016) Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) must now inform home owners and residents if their property is searched by government agents. The FSB must notify residents 24 hours after the search has taken place, according to a new decree signed on Aug. 12. Contact can be made by post, email or fax, telephone, […]

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Putin as Complex as he is Predictable

Putin at Desk

Subject: Putin as Complex as he is Predictable Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2016 From: Dale Herspring <falka@ksu.edu> Putin as Complex as he is Predictable Dale R. Herspring, a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, is a Retired US diplomat and Navy captain). Talking to officials in Washington when Vladimir Putin’s name comes up, […]

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Russian Stocks Climb to Fresh Record as Ruble Gains on Oil, Fed

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ksenia Galouchko – September 5, 2016) Russian stocks climbed to a record for the second day in a row and the ruble rallied with bonds as oil advanced and investors speculated U.S. rates will stay low, fueling demand for higher-yielding assets. The Micex Index closed up 0.7 percent to 2,017.38 after piercing the 2,000-point level for […]

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Re: Putin as Complex as he is Predictable

Putin Descending a Staircase

Subject: Re Putin as Complex as he is Predictable Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2016 From: Andrei Liakhov <gaffriloff@yahoo.co.uk> (Andrew Liakhov, a doctor of law, a solicitor of England and Wales, is a retired senior officer in the Russian military intelligence senior … and was a senior member of President Gorbachev’s Administration). I totally agree with Professor Herspring’s assessment of Washington’s […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Interview to Bloomberg

Asia Map

(Kremlin.ru – September 5, 2016) Full text of Vladimir Putin’s interview to the international media company Bloomberg has been published. The interview was recorded on September 1, 2016, in Vladivostok. John Micklethwait: Mr President, thank you very much for speaking to Bloomberg. Here in Vladivostok we’re on the edge of the Pacific and on the eve of the second Eastern […]

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Putin Says Russia and U.S. Close to Breakthrough Deal on Syria

Syria Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – September 2, 2016) Vladimir Putin said #Russia and the U.S. are close to striking a deal on fighting terrorists in Syria, potentially a major step toward ending a civil war that’s flooded Europe with refugees and helped give rise to Islamic State. “We’re gradually, gradually heading in the right direction,” the Russian president said in an […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Interview to Bloomberg. Part One

Asia Map

(Kremlin.ru – September 2, 2016) [More complete Russian text here: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/52796] On September 1, Vladimir Putin gave an interview to the international media company Bloomberg in Vladivostok. John Micklethwait: Mr President, thank you very much for talking to Bloomberg. We are in Vladivostok, at the border of Russia, practically the Pacific Coast is its border, and this is already the […]

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NEWSWATCH: Andrew S. Weiss/@andrewsweiss: “Nicely done esp Assange’s little-noted parroting of Russian narrative on #Ukraine, proxy attacks on Moscow’s rivals” [re: New York Times: “How Russia often benefits when Julian Assange reveals the West’s secrets”]

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Andrew S. Weiss [Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment, Russia and Eurasia Program], on twitter at @andrewsweiss, “retweets” the New York Times article “How Russia often benefits when Julian Assange reveals the West’s secrets,” commenting: “Nicely done esp Assange’s little-noted parroting of Russian narrative on #Ukraine, proxy attacks on Moscow’s rivals” The “tweet” should appear below, although it might take […]

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The Tin God Behind the Ice Curtain: Observing the State in Russia’s Far East

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – David Ramseur – August 31, 2016) A former journalist, David Ramseur is writing a book on Alaska-Russian relations for the University of Alaska Press, scheduled for publication in Fall 2017. He worked to melt the Alaska-Russian “Ice Curtain” as a top aide to Alaska Governors Steve Cowper and Tony Knowles and U.S. Senator Mark Begich. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russians Hacked Two U.S. Voter Databases, Officials Say” – NBC

United States Map

Hackers based in Russia were behind two recent attempts to breach state voter registration databases, fueling concerns the Russian government may be trying to interfere in the U.S. presidential election … the FBI [sent] a ‘flash alert’ earlier this month to election officials nationwide, asking them to be on the lookout …. * * * U.S. intelligence officials have previously […]

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NEWSWATCH Anne Applebaum/@anneapplebaum: “finally – finally! – Russia’s extraordinary disinformation campaign is creeping towards the front pages”

Satellite Dishes

[Anne Applebaum, on twitter at @anneapplebaum, comments upon Russian disinformation and links to a story from the New York Times, “A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories;” her tweet should be embedded below, yet it might take some time to load for some users; her tweet also can be accessed through this link: twitter.com/anneapplebaum/status/769960717877383168] finally – finally! – […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia Discuss Syria Cooperation Plan. Officials see hope of reducing violence and creating atmosphere for political transition” – Wall Street Journal

Syria Map

… Kerry and … Lavrov are meeting … in a bid to complete a deal on increased cooperation in Syria that officials hope could help create the calm necessary for talks on a political transition. … The Pentagon is concerned about more closely cooperating with Russia, which backs … al-Assad’s regime. * * * Kerry’s efforts are opposed by some […]

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NEWSLINK Valdai Discussion Club/ Paul Saunders: “TECTONIC SHIFTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, OR ARE THEY REALLY?”

Middle East Map

Russia’s military operation in Syria – and America’s restraint there-has catalyzed discussion and debate about possible strategic realignments in the Middle East, generating excitement in Moscow about Russia’s “great power” role and parallel concern in Washington and some allied capitals about future U.S. influence.

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NEWSWATCH: “The Sources of Russian Conduct. Kennan’s Long Telegram needs an update for Putin’s Russia.” – The National Interest/Thomas Graham

Eurasia Map

Writing a lengthy piece for The National Interest, Thomas E. Graham of Kissinger Associates comments upon U.S.-Russian relations. … we need to see Russia in a global context. Today, we largely see it through a European prism, which inevitably magnifies the discord between us as we fall back on memories of the Cold War…. But, if Russia is not a […]

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Third of Russians deem potential Trump victory in U.S. presidential race to be advantageous for Russia – poll

Donald Trump

MOSCOW. Aug 25 (Interfax) – Some 12% of Russians are closely monitoring the progress of the U.S. presidential election campaign, and another 73% have heard something about it, the Levada Center told Interfax. Fifteen percent learned about the upcoming U.S. elections during the poll of 1,600 respondents in 137 populated localities in 48 regions on August 5-8. Fifty-two percent of […]

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NEWSLINK Transitions Online: “Russia’s Donbas ‘Buildup’: Threat or Bargaining Chip?”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Ukrainian leader warns of possible Russian invasion, while the Pentagon tries to inject a note of realism into increasingly tense debate

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Emerges as a Campaign Issue That Can’t Be Ignored” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Russian troops move to the Ukrainian border. Russian jets take off from a base in Iran to attack targets in Syria. Russian #hackers are accused of breaking into Democratic websites. Ukrainian investigators say they believe a top Republican campaign operative took millions in fees from a pro-Russian party. … Add it up and you get an inescapable reality: Russia and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin underestimated Ukrainians and overestimated his ability to divide NATO – Pyatt” – Ukraine Today

Geoffrey R. Pyatt file photo

‘Implementation of Minsk-2 means all the Russian troops go out; it means Ukraine’s control over the international border is restored; it means all the hostages are released; it means all of the tanks, and BMPs, and GRAD missiles, and mortars, all of these heavy weapons go back. The first point of the Minsk agreement was a comprehensive ceasefire, and the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “While the world is distracted, Putin escalates his war in Ukraine” – Washington Post

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

… The … FSB, claimed … one of its officers was killed … near the de facto border between Crimea and Ukraine. Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in early 2014, then backed a violent uprising in … Donetsk and Luhansk. … According to the FSB … a second attempt occurred … with support from Ukrainian artillery, killing a Russian … […]

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NEWSWATCH: “No evidence so far to corroborate Russia allegations over Crimea: U.S.” – Reuters

Geoffrey R. Pyatt file photo

The United States has seen nothing so far that corroborates Russian allegations of a Ukrainian incursion into Crimea … U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, said …. [along with promises that] U.S. sanctions in relation to Russia’s annexation of Crimea would remain in place until the territory was returned to Ukraine. … Putin accused Kiev … of … terrorist tactics […]

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Leon Aron: “Don’t Expect a New Détente Between Russia and the West”

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Olga Khvostunova – July 27, 2016) The Institute of Modern Russia continues its series of interviews with experts on the political situation in Russia, its relations with the West, and the future of the country’s political system. Olga Khvostunova, editor-in-chief of imrussia.org, spoke with Dr. Leon Aron, director of Russian studies at the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Kremlin’s Advantage; Why Cyberwar Will Continue” – Foreign Affairs/ Eugene B. Rumer

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

The hack of … Democratic National Committee emails, now widely attributed to Russian intelligence, has set off a political earthquake in the United States. The brazenness of the attack, the crude attempt to intervene in a U.S. presidential election, and the equally bald-faced denial in the face of mounting evidence of Russian government complicity …. * * * Events of […]

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Russian voting rights groups’ association to analyze results of its U.S. election monitoring

White House

MOSCOW. Aug 4 (Interfax) – An association of Russian nonprofit organizations (NPOs) protecting voting rights, called Civil Control, will participate in monitoring the presidential election in the United States, its members are already monitoring the election campaign remotely, according to Alexander Brod, Civil Control co-chairman and a member of the Russian presidential council for human rights and civil society. “Our […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why the Kremlin might not be the fan of Trump that it’s said to be. Whether or not Trump truly was asking Russia to step into the US presidential campaign by releasing Hillary Clinton’s emails, Russia has reason to doubt whether he would be a friend.” – Christian Science Monitor

White House

When Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump … made a public request to Russia that it publish missing emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal web server, it ignited rampant press speculation …. Was … Trump really proposing that Russia, already accused by US authorities of breaking into the Democratic Party’s servers, violate US law? Or was he merely being sarcastic, as Trump […]

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Clinton Should Listen to Russian-Americans

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sergei Lavrov, Seated With Flags

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – July 26, 2016) The willingness of Hillary Clinton campaign’s to suggest that Russia has interfered in the U.S. presidential election — in the form of President Vladimir Putin’s supposed help for Donald Trump — exposes the weakness of the Democratic candidate’s presidential bid. The campaign is wasting ammunition on loud but inefficient accusations, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s suspected meddling in a U.S. election would be a disturbing first” – Washington Post

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Credit for the internecine furor that disrupted the Democratic Party on the eve of its convention should go to Vladimir Putin. … cybersecurity experts say Russian intelligence operatives were likely responsible for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer network, as well as for leaking to the Moscow-friendly WikiLeaks website some 20,000 emails. The trove appeared online Friday, just in […]

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War Fever

File Photo of F-22 Fighter and Ground Crew

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Jill Dougherty – July 18, 2016) Jill Dougherty is an expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union. In her three-decade career with CNN she served as Foreign Affairs Correspondent, based in Washington, D.C.,where she covered the State Department and provided analysis on international issues. The Russia File is happy to welcome Jill Dougherty as […]

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Russian ‘Gun-For-Hire’ Rinat Akhmetshin Lurks In Shadows Of Washington’s Lobbying World

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – WASHINGTON – July 17, 2016) The hoots and jeers began the minute the movie ended and the lights went up on the seventh floor of the Newseum, a Washington museum dedicated to the free press. The film was a semifictionalized look at the story of Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian lawyer who helped uncover […]

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Russia, America, it’s time to talk face-to-face

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

During the late 1980s, superpower leaders demagnitised international confrontation by speaking directly to the other side. Why shouldn’t we do this again? (opendemocracy.net – Vasily Gatov – July 18, 2016) Vasily Gatov is visiting fellow at the Center of Communication Leadership and Policy at USC Annenberg, and is a Russian media researcher and author based in Boston. He has more […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia Agree on Steps Designed to End War in Syria, but Details Sketchy. Washington initially offered military coordination, but terms of agreement not divulged after two days of meetings in Moscow.” – Wall Street Journal

Syria Map

U.S. and Russian officials said Friday they … reached an agreement on steps designed to pave the way for an end to the civil war in Syria, but top officials declined to detail the specific measures …. John Kerry, without elaborating, said implementing the steps could address … Assad and his regime’s disregard of a February cease-fire …. * * […]

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NEWSWATCH: “An Unfinished Bridge, and Partnership, Between Russia and China” – New York Times

Asia Map

The New York Times covers Russo-Chinese relations and delays in Russia fulfilling its part of a joint arrangement to build an international bridge across the Amur River. … The bridge abruptly stops, hanging in the air high above the river just short of the Russian shore at Nizhneleninskoye …. The gap … left by Russia’s failure to build its own, […]

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