NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. and Russia Plan for Conflict” – Stratfor

File Photo of F-22 Fighter and Ground Crew

… In critical areas, including … Syria and Ukraine and arms control … both [the United States and Russia] would genuinely like to negotiate viable solutions. Nevertheless … mistrust … runs deep … vast differences of opinion and outright conflicts of interest will continue to undermine efforts …. With little hope of a positive outcome, the strategic decision-makers in Washington […]

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Russia Hails Eurobond Triumph as Traders Ask: Who Bought It?

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Bloomberg – – Andrey Biryukov, Lyubov Pronina – May 25, 2016) Russia hailed its sale of $1.75 billion of Eurobonds as a triumph in the face of sanctions and “unprecedented pressure” from U.S. and European Union governments. While Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the deal showed foreigners have “trust” in Russia, investors expressed concern the bond won’t be admitted […]

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Is the U.S. behind Japan’s reluctance to sign a peace treaty with Russia?

Japan Map

In the second part of this series on Russia-Japan ties, Rakesh Krishnan Simha looks at how the two countries are finding common cause in many areas, despite being unable to settle the over 70-year old dispute over the Southern Kuril Islands. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – – RAKESH KRISHNAN SIMHA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – May 25, 2016) The Russia-Japan […]

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The Futility of Dialogue With Putin

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Jamestown Foundation – – Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 13, Issue 100 – Pavel K. Baev – May 23, 2016) The need to keep the channels of dialogue open with an unpredictable Russia is taken as an absolute imperative by many Western politicians. But they are often surprised when this tactic backfires. The foreign ministers of the member states of […]

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Economy Minister Says Russia Out of Recession More Than Six Months

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

(Moscow Times – – May 20, 2016) The Russian economy has been out of recession for more than six months, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said during a briefing at the Russia-ASEAN summit on Friday, the TASS news agency reported. Russia’s GDP may perform better than the official forecast, which predicted a decline of 0.2 percent, Ulyukayev said, attributing […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Inevitable Decline of Putin’s Russia” – US News/Paul Shinkman

Putin Descending a Staircase

The downfall of the Soviet Union has taken on renewed resonance in 2016, as a similar set of pressures appears to be aligning against America’s former Cold War foe, raising questions as to whether it, too, may overtax itself. … the Kremlin in the early 2000s consolidated a resurgent Russia’s economic power among a few trusted business elites, failing to […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting on defence industry development

Patriot Missile Launch file photo

( – May 13, 2016) Vladimir Putin held this week’s final meeting with Defence Ministry leadership and defence industry representatives. The meeting covered the current tasks of the defence industry, specifically, mobilisation readiness of defence industry companies. Another issue on the agenda was the deployment of the US missile defence system in Eastern Europe. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What to expect from next U.S. ambassador to Ukraine” [former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Marie Yovanovitch] – Kyiv Post/Armine Sahakyan

Marie Yovanovitch file photo, adapted from image at

Ukraine can expect Marie L. Yovanovitch, likely the next U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, to try to help achieve a political accommodation between Kyiv and eastern Ukraine’s separatists, to oppose corruption and political thuggery, and to defend human rights and journalist rights. * * * Yovanovitch, who was born in Canada into a family of immigrants from Russia, majored in history […]

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Is NATO’s antimissile defense system in Europe a threat to Russia?

Aegis Ashore Missile Defense File Photo

Moscow has called the American antimissile defense system in Romania a threat to its security. Washington and Brussels insist that the system is not aimed at Russia and is helpless against Russian missiles. But is this true? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – – ALEXEY TIMOFEYCHEV, RBTH – May 16, 2016) The first American antimissile defense system on European soil, […]

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Interfax: Target for U.S. missile shield in Europe still important issue, Russia sees it as threat – Kremlin spokesman

Mssile Defense Control Room

MOSCOW. May 12 (Interfax) – It is still important to clarify against whom the U.S.’ missile defense system in Europe is being deployed, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said. “It was first explained quite elaborately by a missile threat that could potentially emanate from Iran,” Peskov told journalists on Thursday. “Now we know that the Iran situation has changed […]

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Why are Russia’s journalists so prone to conspiracy theory?


The popularity of conspiracy theory in Russia today isn’t about cultural mindsets. It’s about media ethics. ( – Ilya Yablokov – May 9, 2016) Ilya Yablokov teaches Russian politics, history and media at the University of Leeds. His research interests include conspiracy theories, nation building and politics in post-Soviet Russia, the history of post-Soviet journalism and international broadcasting. His article […]

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Why is NATO once again talking of deterring ‘resurgent Russia’?

NATO Meeting file photo

Recent comments by high-ranking U.S. military officials show that the West is continuing to support the idea of a military build-up in Eastern Europe to “deter” Russia. What’s behind these statements? Some believe that the groundwork is being laid to change the balance of power in Eastern Europe in the West’s favor. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – – ALEXÉI […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Donald Trump: Neither a friend nor enemy for Russia. Even though the Kremlin appears outwardly hopeful about a Trump presidency, there are reasons for concern, including the unpredictability of Trump’s future foreign policy moves. 14. Bryan MacDonald, Spring’s Holy Trinity: How every ‘anti-establishment’ vote is now Russia’s fault”

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “How educational exchanges adjust to the crisis in U.S.-Russia relations. While educational exchanges between the U.S. and Russia have suffered from the deterioration in bilateral relations, there are still some successful programs that are finding innovative ways to foster collaboration”

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags » Read more

NEWSWATCH: “One of Russia’s biggest holidays is a WWII anniversary Americans don’t think about” – Washington Post

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

Ask any Russian about their family’s World War II experiences and the answer, almost invariably, is one of suffering and battlefield service. * * * Russian President Vladimir Putin revived the Soviet-style tank parade in 2008, seeing the day as a way to rally citizens around the flag. But despite the hundreds of missile launchers, warplanes and antiaircraft guns that […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Russia Resents Us” – Patrick Buchanan

Europe Map

… a Russian SU-27 did a barrel roll over a U.S. RC-135 over the Baltic, the second time in two weeks. … the U.S. destroyer Donald Cook, off Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, was twice buzzed by Russian planes. … Putin’s message: Keep your spy planes and ships a respectable distance away from us. Apparently, we have not received it. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “No, Putin did not call Donald Trump ‘a genius'” – Washington Post/Glenn Kessler

Donald Trump

“‘I think he [Russian President Vladimir Putin] said some really nice things. He called me a genius. He said Trump’s a genius. Okay. So, you know, that’s nice.’” Click here for Washington Post/Glenn Kessler: “No, Putin did not call Donald Trump ‘a genius’”

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Conventional arms race draws the world closer to state of brinkmanship. With NATO’s military buildup near Russian borders and signs of instability from the Middle East to East Asia, it’s no longer inconceivable that the great powers could find themselves involved in a conventional war.”

File Photo of F-22 Fighter and Ground Crew » Read more

NEWSWATCH: “The West needs to stop panicking about Russia’s “hybrid” warfare” – Vox/Mark Galeotti

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

… The fact is that Russian security discussions are dominated by an awareness of the country’s vulnerabilities to a stronger, richer, larger, more advanced West. Up to now, though, we have not let ourselves acknowledge our strengths. The greatest risk for the West is, after all, not its weakness of means but a perception of its weakness of will, both […]

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NEWSWATCH: “NATO’s Breedlove Calls for Sharper Focus on Russia Ahead of Departure. Gen. Philip Breedlove says U.S. needs more reconnaissance satellites amid Russian threat.” – Wall Street Journal

Philip Breedlove file photo

The U.S. has too few intelligence assets focused on the threat from Russia and should concentrate its technical capabilities on Moscow’s growing military might, NATO’s departing supreme allied commander said. The U.S. has begun to build up the number of intelligence analysts examining Russia, which stood at 13,000 at the height of the Cold War before dipping to a low […]

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RBTH: Polls: Corporate corruption in Russia falls to U.S. level

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

Russian companies have recorded a drop in the number of kickbacks and bribes in their sectors, a study by Ernst & Young has revealed. According to the survey, corporate corruption in Russia has dropped so much that it is now on a par with the U.S. A similar conclusion has been reached by experts from PwC. (Russia Beyond the Headlines […]

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NEWSLINK Foreign Policy/DAVID FRANCIS, LARA JAKESA: “‘Sanctions Are a Failue…Let’s Admit That.’ With Europe debating re-opening economic ties to Russia, have U.S. sanctions on Moscow lost their teeth?”

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags » Read more

NEWSWATCH: “Iran and Russia Move Closer but Their Alliance Has Limits” – Reuters

Iran Map and Flag

When Iran took delivery of the first parts of an advanced Russian air defense system this month, it paraded the anti-aircraft missile launchers … to mark Army Day. … the Kremlin’s decision a year ago to press ahead with the stalled sale of the S-300 system was the first clear evidence of a growing partnership between Russia and Iran that […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Reasons to be hopeful after the Russia-NATO Summit. Russia and NATO renewed their dialogue for the first time since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, but the talks failed to produce any results. However, the very fact that the summit took place means a lot and gives reason to hope that the two sides can eventually find a compromise.”

File Photo of Official at Podium in Front of Large NATO-Russia Council Signage » Read more

Same Level of Corruption Recorded in Russian, U.S. Businesses – Survey

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Moscow Times – – April 23, 2016) Thirty-four percent of respondents in Russia and and the United States agree that bribery and corruption are widespread in their country, a survey by multinational financial services company EY reported. The survey results show business professionals in both countries agreed that corruption in business was widespread in their respective nations. EY – […]

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NEWSLINK RBTH/ “Why Russia hopes for realism from the next U.S. president. With the election picture gradually becoming clearer in the U.S., political analyst Fyodor Lukyanov asks whether the identity of the next American president really matters in Russia, and explores the crisis of realism in U.S. foreign policy.”

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain » Read more

Poll Shows Russians Want Trump to Win U.S. Presidential Election

Donald Trump

(Moscow Times – – April 20, 2016) The majority of Russian citizens would like to see Donald Trump become the next president of the United States, according to a poll held by the Britain-based research firm YouGov. 20,000 citizens from G20 countries were surveyed and asked their opinions on the upcoming U.S. elections. Thirty-one percent of Russians gave Trump […]

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