Category Archives: Foreign Policy, Security, Visas

NEWSLINK Reuters: Russia must review participation in international funds – finance minister

Anton Siluanov file photo

Russia must review its participation in international financial organisations because the country is paying too much in fees, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/15/russia-crisis-internationalfunds-idUSR4N0X602D20150415

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Putin’s Mideast Gains Trump $27 Billion Loss From Iran Agreement

Middle East Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Stephen Bierman – April 14, 2015) As Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, he’s willing to take an economic hit to expand his political influence. He’s taking the same approach with Iran. Lifting sanctions and allowing Iranian oil onto global markets would threaten to deepen the plunge in crude […]

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NEWSLINK Association for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies: On Russian Visas for Researchers

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

For non-Russian passport holders required to obtain a visa to conduct research in Russia, the safest visa choice appears to be the Common Humanitarian visa type, backed by an invitation from a Russian academic organization, and specifying “scientific-technical” purposes of the visit, rather than a tourist or business visa. You can obtain a multi-entry humanitarian visa as well, at least […]

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VIDEO NEWSWATCH Legatum Insitute: The Menace of Unreality: Combating Russian Disinformation in the 21st Century.

Satellite Dishes

The Legatum Institute, on Oct. 14, 2014, hosted a panel discussion on “The Menace of Unreality: Combatting Russian Disinformation in the 21st Century.”  The event featured Anne Applebaum, Director of the Legatum Institute’s Transitions Forum, Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Ukraine, Oleksander Scherba, Ambassador at Large at the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Michael Weiss, Editor-in-Chief of The Interpreter, Peter Pomerantsev, journalist […]

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The Trolls Who Came In From The Cold

Satellite Dishes

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Viktor Rezunkov – ST. PETERSBURG, March 16, 2015) Last May, Tatiana N decided she wanted a higher salary than the average journalist can expect. After responding to an advertisement in the popular HeadHunter job-search website, she became a Kremlin-paid Internet troll. Tatiana — who, like others interviewed for this story, asked that her last name not […]

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Sanctions-Strapped Russia Outguns the U.S. in Information War; Moscow drowns out Voice of America, and facts are a casualty

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Nicole Gaouette – April 2, 2015) The troubled U.S. agency responsible for delivering news around the world is being outgunned in Eastern Europe by Russian outlets unrestrained by notions of fact-based journalism. The unequal competition raises fears among U.S. officials that Moscow is winning the information war about events in Ukraine, even as the Russian economy […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: A Russian TV Insider Describes a Modern Propaganda Machine

Satellite Dishes

“It was shocking,” said Mr. Pomerantsev, speaking over coffee in London last month. “They really saw television and news as a movie, and talked about it as a movie.”

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Russia’s Ideology: There Is No Truth

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

IMAGINE if you grew up lying. Not a little bit, for convenience, but during every public moment of your life: at school, at work, at social events. You had to lie to survive, because the punishment for telling the truth was the loss of your academic or professional career, or even prison. For Russians who came of age before 1991, […]

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NEWSLINK Newseum Event: Journalism/Works: Putin: Power, Persuasion and Propaganda

Newseum and Environs Aerial View

Anti-American sentiment and a nationalist fervor in Russia are rated higher today than at Cold War peaks – and at the heart of those twin developments is a master of propaganda, media control and mass audience appeal: Russian president Vladimir Putin. This year is the 30th anniversary of the launch of perestroika and glasnost under Mikhail Gorbachev – and the […]

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NEWSLINK Epoch Times: Russia’s Weapon of Choice: Information Warfare

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

With its annexation of Crimea, aggression in the eastern Ukraine, and military and economic threats to NATO nations, the Kremlin has resumed a new kind of Cold War. Regardless of what Vladimir Putin may say, his motives are not benign. The West has reacted with surprise, confusion, paralysis, and mostly inaction.   Epoch Times: Russia’s Weapon of Choice: Information Warfare. […]

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NEWSLINK BBC: Russia’s global media operation under the spotlight.

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

The Kremlin’s international media operation appears to be going from strength to strength with two recent high-profile launches and more in the pipeline. But it is also coming under increased scrutiny over its lack of editorial balance and accusations that it is deliberately using disinformation to counter and divide the West. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30040363

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NEWSLINK Institute for War & Peace Reporting: How Russia Fights its Information War

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

The Kremlin is committing huge resources to extending its influence through spin rather than soldiers. As the Ukraine crisis continues, IWPR editor Daniella Peled talks to writer and regional expert Peter Pomeranzev about how Russia is using the media as an extension of its military power. Russia is devoting great resources to the information war – how effective is this […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: Russia – perhaps more restrained and less powerful than you think?

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Debates about the origins of Russia’s intervention into Ukraine have typically taken as given Russia’s position as a muscular, capable regional power, engaged in what Realists regard as power maximization. This perspective suggests the moves by Russia were caused by external forces and NATO’s move east, with conquest of the former Soviet space an inevitable response. Critics of this perspective suggest that […]

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Russia forging new acquaintances in Latin America

Latin America Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yevgeny Bai, special to RBTH – March 27, 2015) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently completed a tour of Latin America that was notable for its focus on countries usually seen to be outside Moscow’s sphere of interest. With traditional ally Venezuela mired in crisis and the leaders of Brazil and Argentina occupied […]

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Interfax: Russia to take into account threats resulting from new U.S. security strategy

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Interfax – March 26, 2015) Russia will react to the adoption of a new U.S. security strategy and will take into account emerging risks and threats in its founding documents related to national security, says Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “Certainly, all threats to Russia’s national security are taken into consideration. They will be analyzed, and if need be, amendments will be […]

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Putin marks 15 years in power with harangue against West

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – March 27, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 26 marked 15 years since he was elected as Boris Yeltsin’s successor by summoning the heads of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and warning them sternly that there was a western conspiracy to undermine and contain Russia. Putin struck a dark […]

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HIV is not grounds for deportation, says Russia’s Constitutional Court

Microscopic Image of T-Cells Infected by HIV

According to a ruling by the Constitutional Court of Russia, being HIV-positive does not represent an unconditional basis for deportation from the country for foreign nationals. Speaking to RBTH, human rights advocates called the decision an important achievement in protecting of the rights of people in Russia living with HIV. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Darya Lyubinskaya, special to RBTH […]

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Moscow Times: Russia Will Overcome Post-Crimea Challenges, Putin Vows

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – March 19, 2015) With the Kremlin walls glowing crimson in the background Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin praised tens of thousands of adulating fans for their support of Russia’s annexation of Crimea one year ago. He acknowledged that issues have mounted since the annexation, but assured the cheering crowd – the size of […]

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Russian Elites but Not Russian People, Ready to Capitulate to the West, Kagarlitsky Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 17, 2015) The West does not understand Russia, but it does understand very well indeed Russia’s elites; and as a result, it has seriously miscalculated in its dealings with Moscow about Ukraine, according to Boris Kagarlitsky, who argues the elites are ready to capitulate in the face of sanctions but the […]

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Where will Putin Strike Next?

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 5, 2015) The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize, to suggest that old rules and old expectations no longer apply and thereby increase uncertainty and fear. That explains why someone like Kseniya Sochak has suggested that she is next on Putin’s list now that the Kremlin has killed Boris Nemtsov and […]

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Putin Will Likely Attack a NATO Country Next, Portnikov Says

NATO Meeting file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 27, 2015) Because Vladimir Putin seeks both recognition as the leader of a superpower and a new Yalta at which he and Western leaders will partition the world into spheres of influence and because he can only move toward that goal by new acts of aggression, the Kremlin leader is likely […]

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Russia’s dependence on oil prices may threaten national security – official

Nikolay Patrushev file photo

(Interfax – February 25, 2015) Moscow, 25 February: Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev thinks that the aim of the Western sanctions is to put pressure on the development of Russia’s mineral resource base, while Russia’s dependence on oil and gas prices may pose a threat to its national security. “The aim of the sanctions is to put pressure on the […]

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Moscow Times: Russians Increasingly Worried About Foreign Military Threat

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 24, 2015) Russians are increasingly worried about foreign states being a military threat, a new poll revealed. The independent Levada Center pollster said Saturday that 68 percent of Russians believe a foreign power threatens Russia’s national security, a 24 percentage point increase over the decade. The poll, taken Jan. 23 to 26, revealed that […]

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Interfax: Russians say external military threat has grown – poll

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Interfax – February 20, 2015) Sixty-eight percent of Russian citizens recently interviewed by the All Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies (VTsIOM) believe that their country faces a real military threat from outside, as compared with 52 percent of respondents in 2014, and 49 percent in 2000. Twenty-eight percent of those polled took the opposite view (42 percent in 2014). […]

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Interfax: Russians mostly worried about economic problems, inflation and price rises – poll

File Photo of Older Russian Woman Shopping in Grocery Store

(Interfax – February 9, 2015) Economic problems and inflation rates leading to soaring prices are Russians’ biggest worries as mentioned by 23 percent and 22 percent of respondents respectively in a recent poll held by the Public Opinion Foundation. Compared to December 2014, the share of Russians upset by economic problems has grown by 9 percent. The Foundation polled 1,600 […]

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NEWSWATCH: Inside Putin’s Head: The Crisis in Russia and Ukraine and Worst-Case Putin Scenarios

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

[“Inside’s Putin’s Head: The Crisis in Russia and Ukraine and Worst-Case Putin Scenarios” – Gordon M. Hahn – gordonhahn.com – January 31, 2015] Gordon Hahn considers the impact of the conflict in Ukraine and economic repercussions on the stability and viability of Russia’s Putin regime. The … Russian-NATO proxy war in Ukraine along with the Russian-Western economic cold war could destabilize Russia’s […]

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Russia To Face Same Old Questions at Davos In Chillier Atmosphere

File Photo of "World Economic Forum" Display at Davos from Past Session

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – January 21, 2015) As the World Economic Forum kicks off in the Swiss alpine town of Davos on Wednesday, Moscow’s delegates will be working hard to convince participants that Russia is still a sound investment despite tensions over Ukraine and a faltering economy. Speaking at a curtain-raising news conference last week, Klaus […]

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Analyst Provides Insider View of Russian Government Think Tank

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 11 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Valery Dzutsev – January 20, 2015) The revelations of Alexander Sytnik, who recently left his position as a senior fellow at the Russian Institute for Strategic Research, a government-funded think tank, provides a rare glimpse into the inner mechanisms of policymaking in Russia. In his personal account of the […]

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Legislation proposes regulation of ‘undesirable’ foreign organizations

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yekaterina Sinelschikova, RBTH – January 16, 2015) A bill that has passed its first reading the Russian State Duma would give the government the right to fine or ban foreign organizations it deems a security threat. Russia is trying to tighten its control over foreign organizations operating in the country. According to a […]

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Provincialism Keeping Russia from Becoming Great, Inozemtsev Says

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 18, 2014) Russia’s latest turn to authoritarianism and isolationism was possible because of the provincialism of its leaders and people, a sense of being on the margins of the real world and one that prevents them from achieving greatness because they are less interested in that than in “seeking to present […]

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Business New Europe: It’s time for a new pan-European Security treaty

Europe Map

(Business New Europe PERSPECTIVE – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – January 13, 2015) We are in the middle of the worst political crisis since the end of the Cold War and there is a very real, albeit still remote, possibility of war in Europe. Without attempting a detailed analysis of how we got here, in the broadest brush […]

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What You Need to Know About Joining the Russian Army

File Photo of Russian Military Conscripts Boarding Train with Gear

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – January 13, 2015) Tried to join the French Foreign Legion and didn’t make the cut? Don’t fret – the Russian military has created its own force of foreign citizens to fight Moscow’s wars. The Russian Defense Ministry last month announced that foreigners could enlist in the Russian military, a move ostensibly aimed […]

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Securing peace instead of rewarding expansion: An appeal, by over 100 German-speaking experts on Eastern Europe, for a reality-based and not illusions-guided Russia policy

Map of Germany

(opendemocracy.net – Andreas Umland – January 9, 2015) Andreas Umland is a DAAD Associate Professor of European Studies at the Political Science Department of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy [“Some of the most influential German correspondents on Russia and Ukraine sympathise with the appeal, but, for specifically professional reasons, did not add their signatures.”] On December 5, 2014, 60 prominent German personalities […]

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Gorbachev’s Call for ‘Perestroika’ of International Relations His Latest ‘Cynical Scam,’ Ikhlov Says

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

(Window On Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 11, 2105) Mikhail Gorbachev’s current call for the “perestroika” of the international system is just as much a “cynical political scam” as was his original one, something that led many to conclude he wanted something more than just a more effective form of “authoritarian modernization,” according to Yevgeny Ikhlov. With the […]

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Educating Russians abroad

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(opendemocracy.net – Polina Nikolskaya – January 7, 2015) Polina Nikolskaya is a correspondent at Kommersant Vlast. She has previously worked at Gazeta.ru and Lenta.ru. In 2014, the Russian government launched the ‘Global Education’ programme of postgraduate education abroad. But the reaction in Russia has been obstructive and hostile. In October 2014, Russia withdrew from the American Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) […]

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Almost half of Russians feel international isolation – poll

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Interfax – December 8, 2014) Russians differ on whether Russia is currently in international isolation: 47 percent of the respondents surveyed by the Levada Center said they believe Russia is now in international isolation and 45 percent believe it is not. The poll, which surveys 1,600 respondents, was conducted in 134 populated areas of Russia on November 21-24. Over half […]

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Moscow Times: Putin Promises Controlled Freedom in Face of Western Containment

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – December 5, 2014) President Vladimir Putin told the nation on Thursday that Russia’s ongoing clash with the West – which he compared to Hitler – was inevitable and will only make the country stronger by mobilizing its economy and society around common goals and traditional moral values. In his annual address at […]

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Interfax: Russia not seeking self-isolation, not looking for enemies – Putin

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

MOSCOW. Dec 4 (Interfax) – Russia is not going to follow the way of isolationism, xenophobia, and a search for enemies, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “We ourselves will never follow the way of self-isolation, xenophobia, suspiciousness, and the search for enemies. These all are manifestations of weakness, but we are strong and confident. Our goal is to gain as […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Vox Pop: Does Russia have friends or enemies? (video)

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Vladimir Stakheev, Pavel Gazdyuk, RBTH – November 28, 2014) According to a survey that polled 1,600 people from 45 regions of Russia, 78% of respondents think that Russia has enemies. RBTH’s correspondent went out on the streets of Moscow to ask people who these enemies are and if Russia has any friends. [Video […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Beijing and Brisbane meetings see Russia boost economic ties with BRICS

File Photo of Flags of BRICS Nations and BRICS Logo from Past Summit

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolay Surkov, Gevorg Mirzayan, RBTH – November 24, 2014) The recent APEC and G20 summits yielded important dialogue between Moscow and the West on the Ukrainian crisis and a further strengthening of ties between Russia and its BRICS partners, though relations with West remain strained, as global media were keen to emphasize. Russian […]

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Russia to fingerprint foreigners seeking visas starting Dec. 10, 2014

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

(Interfax – November 25, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on the collection of biometric data for personal identification of foreign citizens and stateless persons. The decree posted on the official legal information portal says foreigners and stateless persons applying for Russian entry visas or transit visas in their travels across Russian territory will be fingerprinted starting […]

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Kremlinphobia, russophobia and other states of paranoia; The Russian government likes to regularly accuse the West of being ‘russophobic.’ They’re right, but not for the reasons they think.

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(opendemocracy.net – Natalia Antonova – November 21, 2014) Natalia Antonova was born in Kyiv and grew up in North Carolina. She works as a journalist and playwright. ‘Russophobia’ has become a charge as common as fascism in the information war between Russia, Ukraine and the West. The accusation brings to mind the tale of the boy who cried wolf. The […]

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Putin, Now Marginalized Internationally, May Become Even More Dangerous, Oreshkin Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 18, 2014) The G-20 meeting in Brisbane demonstrated that “the marginalization of Putin is a fait accompli,” that he has failed to split the West, and that its leaders have no intention of acting as Neville Chamberlain did in the late 1930s, according to Dmitry Oreshkin. The Moscow political scientist, who […]

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Russians say people have right to self-determination but breakup of states undesirable – poll

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW. Nov 18 (Interfax) – Russians have mixed feelings about the wish of some territories to separate from their mother states: 42% support this trend, 30% have a negative opinion and 28% are undecided, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said. Muscovites and St. Petersburg residents exhibit the highest degree of understanding towards the wish to break away (53% […]

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Time for change – G20

G20 Australia 2014

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne/IntelliNews – November 17, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the leaders of the western world at the weekend at the G20 summit, the first face-to-face meeting of all the world’s leaders since the Russian annexation of Crimea in March. “At the closing of the evening program of the G20 summit [in Brisbane] […]

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Putin’s Early Departure From G20 Summit a ‘Mistake’

G20 Australia 2014

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – November 17, 2014) President Vladimir Putin made an early departure Sunday from the two-day G20 Summit in Australia, after fielding an abundance of criticism from Western leaders over Russia’s allegedly aggressive role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, a move some observers say will inevitably be interpreted as a symbol of defeat. […]

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Russia to Rethink Study Abroad Program as East-West Relations Sour

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – November 13, 2014) The government is revising a program that allows graduates to study abroad at the state’s expense and could limit it to nations and universities that are deemed friendly to Russia, the education minister said, amid worsening relations with the West. “We are now carefully reviewing the list of universities […]

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Cable TV Channel CNN Says It Will End Russian Broadcasts in 2015

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 11, 2014) Cable news channel CNN will end its broadcasts in Russia starting on Jan.1, after the country passed a law restricting foreign ownership of media outlets. Time Warner, which owns CNN, said it had notified its Russian cable distributors VimpelCom and Akado that it would stop broadcasting in the country by Dec. 31, […]

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Putin’s Valdai Speech Echoes Not Churchill’s at Fulton but Hitler’s at Berchtesgaden, Illarionov Says

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 9, 2014) Some Moscow commentators have compared Vladimir Putin’s speech to the Valdai Club meeting in to Winston Churchill’s 1946 “Iron Curtain” speech at Fulton, Missouri, but the Kremlin leader’s remarks in fact are far closer to those delivered by Adolf Hitler to Neville Chamberlain at Berchtesgaden in 1938, according to […]

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EVENT: The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture, and Money – Nov. 13 in Washington, D.C.

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

Subject: EVENT / “The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture, and Money” Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2014 From: Institute of Modern Russia <info@imrussia.org> Upcoming Event IMR Report on Kremlin Information War To Be Launched in Washington, D.C. On November 13, editor-in-chief of The Interpreter, Michael Weiss, and journalist Peter Pomerantsev will present their report titled “The Menace […]

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