NEWSLINK: “At Site of U.K. Poisoning, Doubts About Case Creep In” – New York Times/Ellen Barry

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“… along Salisbury’s shopping streets, residents and businesspeople compare notes on the questions that remain unanswered. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Pushes NATO to Ready More Forces to Deter Russian Threat” – Reuters

NATO Meeting file photo

“The United States is pressing European allies to ready more NATO battalions, ships and planes for combat … to shore up NATO’s deterrence against a potential Russian attack. … seek[ing] broad agreement for the plan … when … defense ministers meet, laying the ground for endorsement by NATO leaders at a [July] summit …. [envisioning] 30 land battalions, 30 air […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Londongrad oligarchs are being forced back to Russia’s embrace; As sanctions bite, tycoons feel hemmed in by Vladimir Putin’s power” – Financial Times/Max Seddon

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“…. once ideal go-betweens between Russia and the west. … [s]uddenly, oligarchs are too Russian for a west eager to clean up its act and too western for a Russia hunting for ‘enemies of the people.’ … the nature of oligarchy … has changed dramatically …. Putin shifted the power dynamic …. under an unwritten rule: they were allowed to […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Battle Against Kremlin Propaganda Network RT” – Daily Beast/Jamie Ross

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

“The Kremlin-funded news channel RT is facing an existential threat in one of its most important target markets. An onslaught of 10 simultaneous investigations into alleged breaches of impartiality laws leave it in serious danger of losing its broadcasting license in the United Kingdom. After years of broadcasting a pro-Russian take on the day’s news to a small but loyal band […]

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NEWSLINK: “England fans at World Cup ‘at risk of blackmail from Russian mafia hookers’; There are fears gangsters could threaten to send incriminating pictures to fans’ wives or post them on social media” – The Daily Mirror (UK)/Tom Davidson

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

“… ‘It’s not just the Russian government we have to be fearful of when it comes to England fans.  It is also the Russian mafia who we know exploit sex, and use the internet and dating, to offer women in order to blackmail customers.’ …”  

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NEWSWATCH: “John McCain: ‘Vladimir Putin Is an Evil Man'” – Wall Street Journal/The Saturday Essay/John McCain

John McCain file photo

[note from JRL web editor: warning, contains mild profanity] “… Sir Andrew Wood, a retired British diplomat … told me he knew a former MI6 officer … Christopher Steele ….  * * * I agreed to receive a copy of … ‘the dossier.’ …. The allegations were disturbing … I had no idea which if any were true. I could not […]

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Mary Dejevsky: “re Gessen’s article [‘The Quiet Americans Behind the U.S.-Russia Imbroglio’]”

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

Subject: re Gessen’s article Date: Wed, 9 May 2018 From: Mary Dejevsky <marydejevsky@gmail.com> [Mary Dejevsky is a writer and broadcaster. She is a former foreign correspondent in Moscow, Paris and Washington, and a special correspondent in China and many parts of Europe.] Who makes US Russia policy and why is it in such a mess is the question Keith Gessen […]

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NEWSLINK: “Revealed: UK’s push to strengthen anti-Russia alliance; Exclusive: ministers will use series of summits to pursue containment strategy and urge rethink of diplomatic dialogue” – The Guardian (UK)/Patrick Wintour

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

“The UK will use a series of international summits this year to call for a comprehensive strategy to combat Russian disinformation and urge a rethink over traditional diplomatic dialogue with Moscow, following the Kremlin’s aggressive campaign of denials over the use of chemical weapons in the UK and Syria. British diplomats plan to use four major summits this year – […]

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NEWSLINK: “Nobody is safe from Russia’s colossal hacking operation; Russia hackers have targetted ‘millions’ of connected devices in the UK and US. It’s all part of Putin’s grand plan to disrupt the west” – Wired (UK)/Nicole Kobie

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… this week U.S. and U.K. authorities teamed up to issue a joint warning about communications infrastructure, including home-office routers. The rare joint alert noted that routers, switches, firewalls and network intrusion detection systems at government and businesses were the main targets of Russian hackers, but it added that even “small-office/home-office customers” should take more protective action, as should Internet […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Is Russia Sponsoring Terrorism?” – New York Times/Senator Cory Gardner

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

“… The State Department should consider adding [Russia] to its list of state sponsors of terrorism, alongside its close allies Iran and Syria. … Russia has invaded … Georgia and Ukraine … supports the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad and our enemies in Afghanistan … is engaged in active information warfare against Western democracies, including meddling in the 2016 United […]

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British Media Regulator Probing RT’s Impartiality After Salisbury Poisoning

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – April 18, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/british-media-regulator-probing-rt-s-impartiality-after-salisbury-poisoning/29174828.html) Britain’s media watchdog has started probing whether Russian news channel RT broke impartiality rules in its programs after a former Russian double agent and his daughter were poisoned in the English city of Salisbury last month. Media regulator Ofcom warned on […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Frantic Parade of Lies” – Washington Post Editorial

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“Russia longs to be taken seriously in matters of global affairs, but … Putin has demonstrated … disdain for the rules-based post-World War II order. What does Russia want instead? In two recent incidents involving the use of outlawed chemicals[, the assassination attempt on Skripal in Britain and a chemical weapons attack in Syria], Russia’s answer has been a frantic […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia Trained ‘Special Units’ on Door Handle Poisonings, U.K. Says” – New York Times/Ellen Barry

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“Russia has been researching the application of chemical agents to door handles as a way to assassinate its enemies, and has been training personnel ‘from special units’ to carry out such attacks, said Mark Sedwill, Britain’s national security adviser … in a letter to the secretary general of NATO. … Sedwill’s letter, the most detailed account of British intelligence on […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Expelling Russian Diplomats Isn’t Enough” – Atlantic Council/Jakub Janda

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

“So far, twenty-eight nations have sent home more than 140 Russian diplomats and spies in a coordinated response to the Russian nerve agent assassination attempt in Salisbury, England. Symbolically, this unprecedented expulsion of Russian officials constitutes an important show of unity, but its practical impact in terms of hindering Russian subversion operations is limited. With the exception of the United […]

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RUSSIALINK: Interfax: Moscow urges London to explain situation surrounding visa for Victoria Skripal – Foreign Ministry

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

MOSCOW. April 6 (Interfax) – The Russian Foreign Ministry has urged United Kingdom officials to explain what is happening about the issuing of a visa to Victoria Skripal, cousin of Yulia Skripal, who is undergoing treatment at a Salisbury hospital after being poisoned, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said. London’s refusal to comment on the situation is outrageous, Zakharova […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Poisoned Russian Agent Sergei Skripal Is Getting Better Fast, Hospital Says” – Reuters

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal is no longer in critical condition and his health is improving rapidly more than a month since he [and his daugter were] poisoned with a nerve agent …. Britain said they were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent first developed by the Soviet Union. Russia has denied it had anything to do with the first […]

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Interfax: Nebenzya: Skripal posed no threat to Russia

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

NEW YORK (UN). April 6 (Interfax) – Former colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) Sergei Skripal posed no threat to Russia, and Moscow had nothing to do with his poisoning, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya told the UN Security Council. “Clearly, he [Skripal] was no threat to Russia […] We have a number of questions. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Porton Down experts unable to identify ‘precise source’ of novichok that poisoned spy; The lab’s boss says a ‘state actor’ made the novichok and also rubbishes claims that it could have come from his facility.” – Sky News (UK)/Paul Kelso

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“… Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, told Sky News they were not yet able to prove it was made in Russia. … ‘We were able to identify it as novichok, to identify that it was military-grade’ … he confirmed the substance required ‘extremely sophisticated methods to create, something only in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Was nerve agent spy poisoned by his breakfast? Police quiz daughter’s friend who brought £1 bag of cereal from Russia as a gift” – The Daily Mail (UK)

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“Police quiz daughter’s friend who brought £1 bag of cereal from Russia as a gift; Yulia, 33, was asked by Sergei Skripal to bring home his favourite porridge; She forgot and instead asked a friend who was travelling later to buy it instead; Metropolitan Police have questioned the unnamed woman over buckwheat …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Poisoned Door Handle Hints at High-Level Plot to Kill Spy, U.K. Officials Say” – New York Times/Ellen Barry, David E. Sanger

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“British officials investigating the poisoning of Sergei V. Skripal … former Russian double agent, believe it is likely that an assassin smeared a nerve agent on the door handle at his home. … so risky and sensitive that it is unlikely to have been undertaken without approval from the Kremlin …. Skripal … was freed in a spy swap with […]

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RUSSIALINK: Interfax: “UK takes West’s anti-Russian campaign to new level with Skripal case – Zakharova”

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

[Interfax reports that Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, appearing on Russian television, has accused Britain of using the Skripal case to give a new boost to the anti-Russian campaign:] MOSCOW. March 31 (Interfax) – The United Kingdom has used the Skripal case to give a new boost to the anti-Russian campaign in the West; the absence of information and non-disclosure […]

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NEWSWATCH: “We must avoid new Cold War: German government’s Russia expert” – Reuters

EU Map

“Germany wants to keep up a dialogue with Moscow despite joining Western expulsions of Russian diplomats and must avoid a new Cold War, the German government’s coordinator for Russia said …. [EU] member Ireland [and]Moldova … joined the list of countries expelling Russian diplomats over the attack on [Sergei] Skripal, a former double agent. The list includes 22 EU states; […]

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NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “How will the global effort to expel diplomats affect Russia? [with Victoria Nuland and Paul Saunders]” – PBS Newshour

File Photo of Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Adapted From Image at loc.gov

“Sixty Russian diplomats are being kicked out of the U.S. in a bid to punish the Kremlin for an attack on a former Russian spy in the UK. Is that the right response? Nick Schifrin gets reaction from two former State Department officials, Victoria Nuland of the Center for a New American Security and Paul Saunders of the Center for […]

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NEWSLINK: “Factbox: Diplomatic Moves Against Russia After Nerve Gas Attack” – Reuters

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“Following are diplomatic measures announced against #Russia by the United States, Canada, several EU countries and Ukraine in response to the poisoning of a former Russian double agent with military-grade nerve agent in the English town of Salisbury. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump Orders Expulsion of 60 Russians Over Poison Attack in Britain” – New York Times/KATIE ROGERS, EILEEN SULLIVAN

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian officials on Monday, joining a coordinated campaign by two dozen countries to retaliate for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain …. The mass expulsion of Russian personnel stationed in the United States was the largest ever, eclipsing even the darkest days of the global showdown with the Soviet Union. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why did Russia poison one of its ex-spies in Britain?” – Washington Post.Maria Snegovaya

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“With Putin returning to office after this election, Moscow appears poised to continue disrupting world politics for years to come.”

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RUSSIALINK Interfax: “Russia ready to probe Skripal’s poisoning together with UK – Nebenzya”

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

NEW YORK (UN). March 15 (Interfax) – Russia is not involved in the poisoning of former Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the United Kingdom and stands ready to investigate this situation together with the UK, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said. “Russia has nothing to do with this incident. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Does Putin’s Russia reject the West?” – BBC/Sarah Rainsford

File Photo of British Parliament Building Including Saint Stephen's Tower Containing Big Ben

“Amid the furor over a nerve agent spy attack in the UK, Russia is holding a presidential election. … Putin is expected to win yet another term in office. Do ordinary Russians share his outlook? …”  

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NEWSLINK: “If we don’t boycott the World Cup, England fans will almost certainly die in Russia; Here are 13 very good reasons to stay at home” – The Daily Mirror (UK)/Fleet Street Fox

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

“… The Russian state is suspected of involvement in the murder of 14 people in Britain. … more than the Yorkshire Ripper ….  Russian football hooligans are the most organised and ruthless in the world. They injured 130 in Marseille after Euro 2016, including 2 left in comas with life-changing injuries and others who had their Achilles tendons sliced in […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Spy’s Poisoning: Where Does PM May Go from Here? Russia’s apparent attempt to murder Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom leaves Her Majesty’s Government with no good choices” – David Johnson/The National Interest

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“Russia’s apparent attempt to murder Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom leaves … [the UK] with no good choices. Unlike the murder of … Litvinenko … London had no choice but rapidly and publicly to accuse [Russia] of … incompetence in losing control of a nerve agent it invented or attempted murder on British soil. …”  British Prime Minister May […]

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NEWSLINK: “Spy chiefs ‘suspect Russia targeted ex-double agent with poison so rare military scientists still don’t know what it is'” – The Mirror (UK)

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“A secret military lab in Porton Down has been unable to ‘definitively’ identify the substance – raising fears it could be the heavy metallic chemical Thallium”

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NEWSLINK: “Bedroom hackers bigger threat than Russia, regulator says” – Daily Telegraph (UK)/Hayley Dixon

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“Government departments should be more worried about teenage bedroom hackers than state-sponsored cyber terrorists, the Information Commissioner has warned. In a speech to the heads of the civil service and other public bodies, Elizabeth Denham said that most breaches are preventable and bosses should consider the reputational damage as well as financial losses. But rather than panicking about rogue states such as […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Steele boasted to friends of his ‘professional’ work on Russia-Trump dossier” – Washington Times/ Rowan Scarborough

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… On Friday, two Republican senators made a criminal referral to the Justice Department. An investigation revealed that … Steele misled the FBI, said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. The FBI told lawmakers that the bureau had not confirmed the dossier’s core collusion charges since … Steele’s first briefing in […]

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How did 1917 change the west? Failed utopias lead to the death of idealism, and the likes of Putin and Trump are symbols of this process. As we watch Russia struggle with history, the U.S. and U.K. cannot afford to pretend that this history doesn’t affect us too.

File Photo of Revolutionaries Marching in Moscow in 1917, adapted from image at state.gov

(opendemocracy.net – Sam Greene – November 22, 2017) Samuel A. Greene is Reader in Russian Politics and Director of the Russia Institute at King’s College London Revolutions – and their centenaries – are best dealt with in the first person. That, of course, creates a certain awkwardness for an academic, whose stock in trade is meant to be distance from […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier” – Washington Post/ Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett, Rosalind S. Helderman, Julie Tate

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“The … Clinton campaign and … Democratic National Committee helped fund research … result[ing] … in a now-famous dossier … alleg[ing] … Trump[] connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin …. [T]he Clinton campaign and the DNC[] retained Fusion GPS [with the help of law firm Perkins Coie] … to conduct the research. … [Fusions GPS] hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British […]

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Russians Mull Movie Ban On British Farce ‘Death Of Stalin’

File Photo of Reel of Film

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – Sept. 20, 2017 – also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-death-stalin-movie-ban-outrage/28747021.html) The Russian Culture Ministry has warned it may ban a British satirical film about Soviet leader Josef Stalin’s death amid an outcry from Communist Party lawmakers who call it the latest example of Western “psychological warfare.” Adapted […]

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NEWSLINK: “Will the cliche of the ‘Russian baddie’ ever leave our screens? With James Norton starring in McMafia, an upcoming BBC drama about a mob family, the country’s criminal image shows no sign of disappearing” – The Guardian (UK)/ Stuart Jeffries

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“… Will McMafia buck or conform to the stereotypes? On the lawn of Munden House, James Norton tells the Guide that he hopes his performance will remind us that Russians are different to what is considered the norm on cinema and TV. He says that one reason he wanted to play Alex, the Anglo-Russian who’s both revolted and seduced by […]

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NEWSLINK: “Boris Johnson is about to perform a policy U-turn as he becomes the first foreign secretary to visit Russia in five years.” – The Independent (UK)/Mary Dejevsky

Boris Johnson file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

“… first … it amounts to an enormous foreign policy U-turn, one of the most definitive by any UK government in many years. Second … it is that rare creature in the currently grim world of diplomacy: a move in the right direction that could play a small part in the making of a better world. This is not, of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “‘VLAD WILL SMASH BRITAIN IN ONE DAY!’; Russians plot to turn UK into Siberian-style labour camp over claims Putin could defeat British Army ‘in a single afternoon’; Report slating the state of the army was met with glee in Moscow and by Russian internet users” – The Sun (UK)/WILL STEWART

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“A report claiming Russia could wipe out the British Army in one day was met with glee in Moscow – with some Russians admitting they want to turn Britain into a giant gulag. … * * * A paper by the Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research (CHACR) … at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, warned that severe […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Foes of Russia Say Child Pornography Is Planted to Ruin Them” – New York Times/Andrew Higgins

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… steeled by a dozen years in the Soviet gulag, decades of sparring with the KGB. and a bout of near fatal heart disease … Bukovsky, a tireless opponent of Soviet leaders and … Putin of Russia, is not a man easily put off his stride. But he got knocked sideways when British police officers … informed him that they […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Soviet dissident had thousands of child abuse images, UK court told; Vladimir Bukovsky downloaded indecent images and films over 15-year period, Cambridge crown court hears” – The Guardian (UK)/Luke Harding

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“… Bukovsky, 73, is charged with 10 counts of making and possessing indecent photos and one count of possessing an indecent computer-generated graphic. He denies all charges. * * * Bukovsky has been a longstanding opponent of Soviet and Russian power. He began his struggle against the Soviet regime in the early 1960s. Soviet authorities eventually kicked him out of […]

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Russian Central Bank Chief Nabiullina Named European Banker of the Year

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 4, 2017) The British finance journal The Banker has named Russian Central Bank Head Elvira Nabiullina as the European Central Bank Chairman of the year. The journal highlighted Nabiullina’s success in controlling Russia’s inflation rate. “The efforts of the Central Bank head has led to the fact that the rate of inflation by the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin-Backed Broadcaster RT Says Loses UK Banking Services” – Reuters

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

Russia accused Britain of political censorship … after a British state-owned bank withdrew its services from Kremlin-backed Russian broadcaster RT. … A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May distanced the British government from the row, saying it was up to NatWest who it offered services to based on its own appetite for risk. … British broadcast regulator Ofcom has ruled […]

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Putin Making the Same Mistake Hitler Did, Piontkovsky Says

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 4, 2016) After meeting with the leaders of Britain and France, Adolf Hitler concluded that he was dealing with non-entities and that he couldn’t possibly lose a war against them, forgetting not only that these countries could and would change leaders but also that the outcome of conflicts reflects not just […]

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