RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting of the Council for Interethnic Relations” – KremlinRu

Russia Regions Map

(Kremlin.ru – October 26, 2018) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Council for Interethnic Relations held at the administration centre of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area – Yugra. The meeting participants discussed current issues related to Russia’s state ethnic policy, the influence of geographic and demographic development on interethnic relations, and additional measures to protect the native languages of the peoples […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Anti-Ukrainian, anti-immigrant feeling in Russia up in past 5 years – Levada Center head” – Interfax

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW. Oct 29 (Interfax) – The level of xenophobic tendencies in Russia is higher than it was at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union but has declined since 2013 and about 8-15% of Russia’s adult population is xenophobic, Lev Gudkov, the head of the Levada Center, said. “The level of diffuse, massive xenophobia has increased considerably over […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Entrepreneurs of political violence: the varied interests and strategies of the far-right in Ukraine; For Ukraine’s far right, violence has become a source of influence and power [Excerpt]” – OpenDemocracy/ Denys Gorach

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

(opendemocracy.net – Denys Gorach – October 16, 2018) Denys Gorbach is a leftist activist and researcher working on the Ukrainian labour movement. [Full text: opendemocracy.net/od-russia/denys-gorbach/entrepreneurs-of-political-violence-ukraine-far-right] “The recent wave of anti-Roma pogroms in Ukraine has spawned a new series of texts on right-wing violence. However, a significant part of this literature still mostly relies on discourse analysis, which cannot fully explain […]

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Slogan ‘Russia for the Russians’ Correctly Understood Shouldn’t Frighten Anyone, Vinogradov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 28, 2018 – windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/08/slogan-russia-for-russians-correctly.html) Many have been upset that the share of Russians who support the slogan “Russia for the Russians” has almost doubled over the last year, Mikhail Vinogradov, the president of the Petersburg Politics Foundation, says. But there isn’t any harm in this, unlike slogans suggesting that “Russia is […]

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Most Russians Believe There is a Worldwide Conspiracy against Their Country, VTsIOM Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 20, 2018) Two out of every three Russians (66 percent) say that there exists a group of people abroad and at home who are seeking to rewrite Russian history, replace its traditional values, and undermine its greatness, according to the results of a new VTsIOM survey. Only 26 percent say that […]

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Research the revenge: what we’re getting wrong about Russia Today; Data-mining and analysis will not reveal what makes Russian propaganda tick.

Kremlin and River

(opendemocracy.net – Vasily Gatov – August 15, 2018) 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 over 30 years of professional experience in domestic and international media, as well as media analysis, strategy and development. [opendemocracy.net/od-russia/vasily-gatov/what-we-are-getting-wrong-about-russia-today] I personally know […]

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“Russia, My History” — History as an Ideological Tool

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

(PONARS Eurasia – Ivan Kurilla, Sergey Ivanov, Adrian Selin – August 5, 2018 – ponarseurasia.org/point-counter/russia-my-history-as-ideological-tool) The emergence of permanent history parks in Russia can be compared to the advent of “Institutes of National Memory” that operate in a number of former Soviet and Central European states. The vision of history they present is highly politically engaged. History as an Ideological […]

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Russia’s World Cup Team Bucks Multiethnicity Seen On Swiss, Other Teams

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Pete Baumgartner – June 30, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-world-cup-team-no-multiethnicity-swiss/29329228.html) While there is a splash of ethnic diversity on virtually every team playing in soccer’s 2018 Russia World Cup, many cite the Swiss national team for setting the standard for being multicultural. Known affectionally by its fans […]

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NEWSLINK: “David Dimbleby on a Russia in crisis and the holes in President Putin’s defence” – The Times (UK)

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

“With coercion and cunning propaganda, the president has kept Russians in line. But on a pre-World Cup visit David Dimbleby finds money is running out and the Kremlin’s cultivation of a siege mentality is starting to backfire”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Whatever It Was, We Didn’t Do It” – New York Times Editorial

Kremlin and River

“… Russia’s reaction to all accusations of foul play [has been consistent], whether … [to] well-documented charges by the Netherlands, Australia and other nations that [Russia] was responsible for downing a Malaysian jetliner over Ukraine in 2014, killing 298 … the British accusation that Russia was most likely behind the poisoning of a double agent and his daughter in England […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian govt proposes barring foreign-agent NGOs from anti-corruption examinations – bill” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. May 29 (Interfax) – The Russian government has proposed a number of measures to bar foreign-agent NGOs and certain categories of Russian citizens from participating in anti-corruption examinations; a relevant bill was submitted to the State Duma on Tuesday. The bill, which has been published in the State Duma’s database, “would prohibit citizens with outstanding or unexpunged convictions or […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Blacklists Progressively Fewer ‘Foreign Agent’ NGOs, Justice Ministry Says” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 10, 2018) Russia has blacklisted NGOs at a progressively slower rate since an infamous foreign agent law was signed in 2012, the Justice Ministry has said in an annual report. President Vladimir Putin observed last year that the sharp decline in “foreign agents” resulted from organizations turning down foreign funding. The law has been […]

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West Now Focusing on Young People to Change Russia a Decade from Now, Federation Council Report Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 6, 2018) Foreign governments are seeking to change the attitudes of young people everywhere in hopes “of transforming them into an instrument for undermining national political systems and realizing scenarios of ‘color revolutions’ and the overthrow of existing governments,” according to a report prepared by a special commission of the Federation […]

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Interfax: External funding of foreign NGOs in Russia grows to 7.1 bln rubles within less than year, while their number reduces by 10% – report

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. March 5 (Interfax) – The external funding of foreign NGOs operating in Russia has grown to more than 7 billion rubles in less than a year, the Federation Council’s commission for counteracting foreign interference in Russian affairs said in a special report presented on Monday. “In 2015, Russian socio-political NGOs received 80 billion rubles from the United States alone […]

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Interfax: Russian Foreign Ministry suggests barring U.S. diplomats from monitoring presidential election

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

MOSCOW. Jan 17 (Interfax) – A proposal to deprive United States diplomats of the right to monitor Russia’s upcoming presidential election has been forwarded to the Russian Central Elections Commission (CEC), a source at the Foreign Ministry told Interfax. “The Russian Foreign Ministry assumes that the U.S. side did not allow [Russian] diplomats who planned to visit some polling stations […]

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NEWSLINK: “Toxic cash: the risks of Russia’s ‘sovereign civil society’ programme; By banning NGOs from receiving foreign funding, the Russian government has forced them to seek financial support at home. But state grants undermine civil society’s independence” – OpenDemocracy/ Andrey Kalikh

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Indigenously Funded Russian Civil Society

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

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Debra Javeline, Sarah Lindemann-Komarova – November 30, 2017) Debra Javeline is Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame. Sarah Lindemann-Komarova is Instructor at Novosibirsk State University. [PDF version ponarseurasia.org/sites/default/files/policy-memos-pdf/Pepm496_Javeline_Lindemann-Komarova_Nov2017.pdf] (PONARS Policy Memo) Most reports on Russian civil society focus on government efforts to restrict Western funding to Russian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with legislation on […]

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Russia’s new media law: expanding the field of uncertainty; Russia’s new legislation is not only aimed at foreign media. It’s another step in the process of blurring legal definitions – until they’re useless.

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

(opendemocracy.net – Sergey Lukashevsky – November 29, 2017) Sergey Lukashevsky is the director of the Sakharov Center, Moscow. The Russian state currently lives for two problems – its relations with the US, and the upcoming presidential elections. Society is worried about something slightly different – the state of the healthcare system, rising taxes and reducing incomes. But it’s the authorities […]

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Russia’s New Law Against Foreign Media ‘Won’t Even Work’; New amendments targeting U.S. media could implicate news organizations from other countries too

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – November 15, 2017) After the Kremlin-backed RT news outlet begrudgingly registered as a foreign agent on Monday, Russia promised to retaliate. Earlier on Wednesday, its lawmakers did just that. New legislation, which will allow authorities to brand any international media organization a “foreign agent,” passed swiftly through three readings in the State […]

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NEWSLINK: “‘You can always expect retaliatory measures from Moscow’ Deputy Duma Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy explains Russia’s new legislation against ‘foreign agents’ in the news media” – Meduza

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“On November 15, lawmakers in the lower house of Russia’s parliament unanimously passed all three readings of amendments to federal laws on the mass media. If adopted by the Federation Council and President Putin, the reforms will empower the Justice Ministry to add certain media outlets to Russia’s registry of foreign agents. State Duma deputies say the legislation is being […]

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Russian Duma Approves Restrictions On Foreign Media

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – November 15, 2017- also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-amnesty-foreign-media-bill-repressive/28854885.html) The lower house of Russia’s parliament has unanimously approved legislation that would authorize the government to designate media outlets receiving funding from abroad as “foreign agents.” The State Duma approved the amendments — which Amnesty International said would deal a “serious blow” to […]

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Kremlin to Target All Foreign Media Amid U.S. ‘Foreign Agent’ Spat

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 13, 2017) All international media outlets in Russia could be hit with new restrictions as part of an escalating media tit-for-tat between Moscow and the United States. The Kremlin’s RT news network agreed to register as a foreign agent in the U.S. by Monday following U.S. allegations it interfered in the 2016 presidential election. […]

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Interfax: Mirroring measures against international media meddling in Russia’s internal affairs may be applied to specific social media – State Duma Deputy Speaker Tolstoy

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

MOSCOW. Nov 12 (Interfax) – Russia’s ‘mirroring’ measures against international mass media interfering with internal Russian affairs may also be applied to some social networking websites, State Duma Deputy Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy (United Russia) said. “Apart from formal participation in the capital – that is, equity holding – or in the functioning of a media in Russian territory, there is […]

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Putin notes big drop in number of “foreign agent” NGOs

Kremlin and River

(Interfax – October 30, 2017) The number of Russian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) registered as foreign agents has nearly halved over the past year, President Vladimir Putin has said. “Currently the number of such organisations in the register of foreign agents has almost halved. Their number dropped from 165 to 89. This is only 0.39 per cent of the total number […]

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Putin Calls Ekho Moskvy Journalist’s Attacker a ‘Sick Person’

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 30, 2017) The man who stabbed a radio editor in Moscow last week was a “sick person” without political motives, President Vladimir Putin said Monday. Tatyana Felgenhauer, a deputy editor at the liberal-learning Ekho Moskvy radio station, was stabbed last week by a Russian-Israeli man believed to have mental health issues. Two state television […]

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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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Interfax: Foreign activity on Kirovles case is attempt to influence 2018 elections in Russia – Federation Council

File Photo of Council of Europe Headquarters Building with Flags in Front

MOSCOW. Sept 25 (Interfax) – The high interest of structures of the Council of Europe in the Kirovles case is an attempt to influence the preparations for the presidential elections in Russia, the Russian Federation Council commission on the protection of state sovereignty said. “Foreign activity around the debate in the structures of the Council of Europe on the so-called […]

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Russians’ Tolerance for Foreigners at All-Time High

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 24, 2017) Negativity towards foreigners in Russia has reached an all-time low, according to the results of a new poll produced Levada Center. Russians who said they’d like to restrict one or more nationalities from the country fell to its lowest level ever at 54 percent, down from 70 percent in 2016, and an […]

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Fascism Remains a Greater Threat in Russia than in the U.S., Mitrokhin Says

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 14, 2017) The clashes in Charlottesville have raised the specter of the rise of fascism in the United States, but Yabloko leader Sergey Mitrokhin says that while Donald Trump has unleashed these forces and Vladimir Putin currently is trying to control them, fascism remains a far greater threat in Russia than […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s reelection strategy in a nutshell: 69% of Russians view U.S. as an enemy per Levada poll …” – Andrew S. Weiss/ twitter @andrewsweiss

United States Map, adapted from image at epa.gov

(Andrew S. Weiss, Vice President for Studies (Russia Eurasia Program) Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – @andrewsweiss on Twitter – June 5, 2017) “Putin’s reelection strategy in a nutshell: 69% of Russians view US as an enemy per Levada poll (RUS) https://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2017/06/05/692946-rossiyan-ukrainu-vragom?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=692946-rossiyan-ukrainu-vragom&utm_medium=share “ [embedded live feed of tweet also should load below:] Putin’s reelection strategy in a nutshell: 69% of Russians view […]

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Russia May Shrink Its ‘Foreign Agents’ Registry by Half

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 24, 2017) Russia may drastically shrink its registry of “foreign agents” – non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive foreign funding and political activities, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reports. The government will likely remove half of the organizations from the registry following an analysis of the law’s application by a presidential administration working group. More than 50 […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH/TASS: “Putin orders to submit NGO ‘foreign agents’ report until late March”

Kremlin and River

“Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the presidential staff, Justice Ministry and the presidential envoy for environmental protection to analyze regulatory enforcement of the non-governmental organizations operating as foreign agents and financed by state. The list of Putin’s instructions made following the meeting of the Presidential Council for Civil Society Development and Human Rights held on December 8, 2016 was […]

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Kremlin Official Admits Problems With Foreign Agent Law

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 7, 2016) First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Sergei Kiriyenko told members of Russia’s Human Rights Council that while the controversial Foreign Agents law on NGOs cannot be repealed, it could be improved. Kiriyenko admitted the law was problematic during a conversation with members of the council held on Dec. 6, which lasted […]

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Human rights council to continue attempts to improve law on foreign-agent NGOs – Fedotov

Mikhail Fedotov file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 8 (Interfax) – The Russian presidential Council for human rights will be seeking changes to the law on foreign-agent nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) until it becomes workable, the Council’s chairman Mikhail Fedotov said. “We did not promise that we’d quit our attempts to improve it. We will continue these attempts until it becomes a normal, a quite workable law,” […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Being Russian in Putin’s Russia; Russia is still struggling to define itself nearly a century after the Soviet Union was established.” – Stratfor

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“… Putin has inherited the problem of unity. … He needs an actionable ideology he can implement at the political and cultural level. … Through heavy-handed propaganda, Moscow has used the current stand-off with the United States to rally nationalist fervor against a common enemy. Following Russia’s failures to prevent a revolution in Ukraine, it presented Crimea as a source […]

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Russians Increasingly Indifferent to Idea of ‘Russia for the Russians,’ Polls Show

Russia Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 18, 2016) The share of Russians who back the idea of “Russia for the [ethnic] Russians” has remained almost unchanged at around 50 percent over the last 14 years, but the share of those who are indifferent to this idea has gone up by almost half from 14 to a high […]

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Russians May Care Far Less about Foreign Agent Designations than Kremlin Thinks

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 8, 2016) Vladimir Putin clearly expects that Russians will be put off by and avoid any organization his regime designates as “a foreign agent” because it receives money from abroad. But the experience of the Levada Center, one of the institutions he has classed in this way, suggests that the epithet […]

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Russian Memorial NGO receives “undesirable” funds – ministry

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

(Interfax – October 5, 2016) Russian human rights NGO Memorial has received funds from foreign organisations officially designated as “undesirable”, the Russian Justice Ministry press service has said, as quoted by privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax on 5 October. On the previous day, the ministry included Memorial on the list of “foreign agents” under controversial 2012 amendments to the law […]

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Russian Justice Ministry to consider Anti-Maidan leader’s request on checking several NGOs for foreign financing

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW. Aug 20 (Interfax) – The Russian Justice Ministry will consider an appeal by Federation Council member Dmitry Sablin, the founder of the Anti-Maidan movement, on checking a number of non-governmental organizations (NGO) for receiving financing from abroad. “The Russian Justice Ministry has received an appeal from Russian Federation Council member Dmitry Sablin. The appeal will be considered within the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Russia’s Olympic scandals could benefit Vladimir Putin” – Yahoo

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

If you think the Russian doping scandal has brought shame and humiliation to Vladimir Putin’s nation, perhaps you need to think again. Experts on Putin and Russia tell Yahoo Sports it may be the opposite: that the doping allegations and the Paralympic ban actually has confirmed suspicions widely held – the rest of the world is unfairly biased against Russia. […]

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CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY: “Drivers of Putin’s foreign policy” – Leon Aron at House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing: “U.S. Policy Toward Putin’s Russia”

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

House Foreign Affairs Committee June 14, 2016 Testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Drivers of Putin’s foreign policy By Leon Aron American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies [Text with footnotes here http://www.aei.org/publication/drivers-of-putins-foreign-policy/] Mr. Chairman, the Ranking Members, Members of the Committee! It is an honor and a pleasure to be here-especially in the company […]

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Grant policy should counterbalance ‘foreign agents’ – Russian human rights ombudsman

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. June 9 (Interfax) – Russian human rights ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova called for the streamlining of grant policies in Russia to support socially-oriented organizations. “[It is necessary] to change or improve grant policies, it is significantly important for counterbalancing these developments which resulted in so-called ‘foreign agents’,” she said at an Open Tribune meeting on issues of civil society development […]

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Five Foreign Organizations Declared ‘Undesirable’ in Russia This Year

Yury Chaika file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 9, 2016) Five foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been labelled “undesirable” by the Kremlin in the past year, the Vedomosti newspaper reported Wednesday. Russia’s Prosecutor General Yury Chaika told the State Duma that investigations into the NGOs are continuing with the help of the Foreign Ministry. The investigations seek to establish if the NGOs […]

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Russian Charities to Be Exempt From ‘Foreign Agent’ Label

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 18, 2016) Charities are no longer to be classified as “foreign agents” if they receive money from abroad, according to a new amendment approved by the Russian State Duma. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in areas such as art and culture will also be exempt from the “foreign agent” label, the Interfax news agency reported […]

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‘All Its Members Faced Jail’: Alekseyeva Recalls Birth Of Russia’s Oldest Rights Group

Lyudmila Alekseyeva file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Claire Bigg, Yelena Polyakovskaya – May 12, 2016) Few activists today can speak firsthand about the creation of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Russia’s oldest operating human rights organization, 40 years ago. Lyudmila Alekseyeva is one of them. At 88, she is Russia’s best-known human rights activist and among the last Soviet-era dissidents still active in the […]

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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. (openedemocracy.net – 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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Hard Work vs. Magic

Kremlin and River

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov, Senior Fellow, Kennan Institute. Editor-at-Large, Vedomosti Daily – April 19, 2016) Russian officials still refer to “conditions for doing business” or “quality of governance” when discussing the country’s economic performance. But the lack of gravitas in these conversations is palpable. Russia’s official economic policymakers command an excellent understanding of the country’s economic problems, […]

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NEWSLINK Newsweek.com/Ben Nimmo: “PUTIN’S PARANOIA IS DRIVING HIS FOREIGN ADVENTURES”

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

NEWSWATCH: “Three Rules of Kremlin Power” – New York Times/Maxim Trudolyubov

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

… Stalin and … Putin … are very different leaders living in very different times. I just cannot help noticing that they seem to follow the same playbook for being a successful autocrat. … Rule No. 1 calls for attributing all victories to oneself — regardless of who or what contributed to the perceived success. … Rule No. 2: Failures […]

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Russia May Label Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation ‘Foreign Agent’

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – March 16, 2016) The All-Russian Interethnic Union of Youth has filed a request with the Russian Justice Ministry that they add the Anti-Corruption Foundation NGO – headed by the oppositioner Alexei Navalny – to its list of “foreign agents.” The group also requested that the Prosecutor General’s Office investigate Navalny for inciting […]

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