Putin calls for BRICS to assert financial independence from West

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – July 10, 2015) With a total GDP of $32 trillion and uniting 43% of the world’s population, the BRICS grouping of emerging powers took an assertive global stance at its annual summit in the Russian city of Ufa, as it unrolled plans to rival Western-dominated financial institutions. Marking the organisation’s seventh […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: Back-to-back Russia-hosted summits put Putin in coveted starring role.

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

Images of a Putin alongside leaders of other large countries, signing economic deals, will reinforce Russia’s argument that it doesn’t need the West. It’s a seductive view, but a superficial one, say analysts

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Russian Senators Propose Ban of 12 Foreign NGOs, Reining In Civil Society

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – July 9, 2015) In what experts see as Moscow’s latest bid to rein in civil society, Russian senators released a list Wednesday of 12 foreign NGOs whose work they believe poses a threat to national security, and who should thus be declared “undesirable” and prohibited from operating in the country. The Federation […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian officials express “regret” over closure of prominent “foreign agent” NGO

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

(RIA Novosti – July 8, 2015) Russian officials have reacted with “regret” to the closure of the Dynasty (Dinastiya) NGO, Russian news agencies reported on 8 July. The Dynasty Foundation, headed by telecommunications tycoon and philanthropist Dmitriy Zimin, is one of major donors of academic research in Russia. In a highly controversial move, the Russian Justice Ministry has put it […]

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Russia Can No Longer Afford to Be the Militarist and Expansionist Power It has Always Been, Shevtsova Says

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

(Paul Goble – Staunton, July 8, 2015) After a brief attempt to escape from its past in the 1990s, Russia under Vladimir Putin is “again returning to militarism … the model of existence in which Russia had existed for centuries” in order to prepare for war. No other such civilization exists in the world now, but Russia “cannot militarize as […]

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Russia Only Has Itself to Blame for Lost Influence in Post-Soviet Sphere

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – July 1, 2015) As Russian officials scramble to heap blame on Western NGOs for anti-government protests that have swept the Armenian capital in recent days, analysts argued that Moscow only has itself to blame for its loss of influence in the former Soviet space. More specifically, Russia has lost its regional grip […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: After midnight in the library, Putin sets out his world view

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

It was two minutes before midnight when Russian President Vladimir Putin finally entered the meeting room in the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library, more than three hours late, to be interviewed by a dozen exhausted journalists. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/20/us-russia-putin-idUSKBN0P00JG20150620

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NEWSLINK Foreign Affairs/Charles King: The Decline of International Studies; Why Flying Blind Is Dangerous

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

The end of the United States’ premier federal program for Russian studies saved taxpayers only $3.3 million—the cost of two Tomahawk cruise missiles or about half a day’s sea time for an aircraft carrier strike group. The development was part of a broader trend: the scaling back of a long-term national commitment to education and research focused on international affairs. […]

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Putin’s unrealizable dream vs. his all too-real nightmare

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – June 15, 2015) That Vladimir Putin lives in a different reality than do other world leaders is now more or less common ground. Now, two commentators have described respectively what the Kremlin leader dreams about and what his worst nightmare might turn out to be. In a commentary of Kyiv’s “Novoye vremya,” Yury […]

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Interfax: West loses tool of pressure on Russia after its withdrawal from G7 – Pushkov

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

MOSCOW. June 11 (Interfax) – The value of the G7 has markedly depleted in the U.S.’ eyes without Russia, State Duma International Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov has said. “To my mind, the G7 is merely another incarnation of the Western alliance, a club for friends of the United States of America. So, I believe its value has markedly depleted even […]

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Russians think their country is most hospitable, foreigners disagree

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

(Interfax – May 15, 2015) Russians think their country is the world most hospitable, but foreigners maintain an opposite viewpoint, according to a survey conducted in 15 states by use of the Momondo meta-search engine. Thirty-eight percent of polled Russians said their country welcomed foreigners in a best possible way. They gave second place to Turkey (18 percent) and third […]

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Putin Is No James Bond Villain

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 9, 2015) Despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars on foreign-language propaganda, all that President Vladimir Putin has achieved outside Russia is the status of a Bond movie villain. He may enjoy it, especially since there’s no 007 in sight to tackle him, but his variety of pop stardom is growing into […]

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Putin: Russia has no relations with G7 but ready to cooperate with its members bilaterally

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

(Interfax – June 10, 2015) Russia currently does not maintain any relationship with the G7, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “We have no relations with the G7, what relations could there be?” Putin told journalists following negotiations with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on June 10. At the same time, “if our partners want it, we will be developing active […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by President Obama in Press Conference after G7 Summit (excerpts)

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

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – Elmau Briefing Center, Krün, Germany, June 8, 2015) PRESIDENT OBAMA: With respect to security, the G7 remains strongly united in support for Ukraine. We’ll continue to provide economic support and technical assistance that Ukraine needs as it moves ahead on critical reforms to transform its economy and strengthen its democracy. […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia sets out what it wants from USA, NATO, EU in new foreign policy document

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(RIA Novosti – June 8, 2015) Russia reserves the right to respond to any unfriendly steps towards it taken by the USA, says the document containing a review of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s performance in 2014 and medium-term objectives, as reported by RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya) on 8 June. “In constructing our engagement […]

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NEWSWATCH Washington Post: At G-7 meeting, Obama’s primary task is confronting his Putin problem

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

[“At G-7 meeting, Obama’s primary task is confronting his Putin problem” – Washington Post –  Steven Mufson – June 6, 2015] The Washington Post covers U.S. policies towards Russia and Ukraine amidst the latest meeting of the G-7: The G-7 meeting is a symbolic moment. After the Cold War, the annual gathering of the leaders of the world’s major industrial nations […]

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Interfax: Russians like Belarus and China, have aversion to U.S., EU and Ukraine – poll

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(Interfax – June 8, 2015) Most Russians speak ill of the United States, the European Union and Ukraine and see Belarus, China and Kazakhstan as friends, the Levada Center has told Interfax. Seventy-three percent of 1,700 respondents polled in 134 populated localities on May 22-25 expressed negative feelings for the U.S., 15 percent said the opposite, and 12 percent were […]

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US aim to “contain” Russia, China a concern – Russian security official

Eurasia Map

(Interfax – May 30, 2015) The US policy in the Asia-Pacific region is viewed by Russia with concern as it aims to “contain” both Russia and China, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoliy Antonov has said. Separately, Antonov did not rule out “open confrontation” in the region faced with “new challenges and threats”. His remarks were reported by the Russian news […]

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Russian ‘Troll Farm’ Lawsuit Postponed When Defendant Fails to Show

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – June 2, 2015) Russian court hearings into a lawsuit by a former Internet “troll” against her former employer have been postponed after the defendant failed to show up for the proceedings. A city court in St. Petersburg also ruled that the plaintiff, Lyudmila Savchuk – who said her suit was intended to […]

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Rights Groups Condemn ‘Dangerous’ Russian Undesirables Law

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, May 26, 2015) Rights groups named as potential targets of a new law allowing the government to brand international organizations “undesirable” and shutter their Russia operations have criticized the legislation, calling it a “dangerous” new weapon in a Kremlin campaign to suppress civil society. Activists expressed concern on May 26 that the […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: Legally silencing Russia’s undesirables

Russian State Duma Building file photo

Russia has just taken another step toward pernicious use of the law to buttress the authoritarian whims of its leader. Both houses of parliament recently passed legislation that would allow the government to label as “undesirable” — in effect, to outlaw — any foreign or international organizations deemed a threat to the “defensive capabilities or security of the state, to […]

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A Net Assessment of the World

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(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – May 19, 2015 – stratfor.com/weekly/net-assessment-world) A pretentious title requires a modest beginning. The world has increasingly destabilized and it is necessary to try to state, as clearly as possible, what has happened and why. This is not because the world is uniquely disorderly; it is that disorder takes a different form each time, though it […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: Spurred by Western criticism, Russians experience something new: patriotism

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

In the past, Russia was an empire, then a communist colossus, then a ‘defeated’ power expected to adopt Western ways. But current tensions with the West are fostering what may be the birth of a distinct Russian nationalism.

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Building a fragile EM coalition

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – May 11, 2015) The May 9 victory parade on Red Square was a show of strength by Russia, which is locked in conflict with Ukraine and the West. But it was also a show of solidarity by some emerging markets that have sided, to a greater or lesser degree and with […]

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Victory Day network session

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – May 8, 2015) The crowds in Moscow will be out in force on May 9 to watch what is expected to be the largest ever Victory Day celebration, with the traditional parade of military hardware through Moscow’s Red Square. But in terms of geopolitics the real event […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: After the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. tried to help Russians.

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

Mr. Putin’s remarks reflect a deep-seated paranoia. It would be easy to dismiss this kind of rhetoric as intended for domestic consumption, an attempt to whip up support for his war adventure in Ukraine. In part, it is that. But Mr. Putin’s assertion that the West has been acting out of a desire to sunder Russia’s power and influence is a […]

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NEWSLINK Foreign Affairs: Paper Tiger Putin; The Failure of Russia’s Anachronistic Antagonism

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin is not as strong as he might seem, or, more important, as he might hope. Although Russia supports fighters in Ukraine, invaded Georgia in 2008, sold missile systems to Iran, and recently threatened Denmark and Lithuania with nuclear war, it is, in reality, a muted and restrained power operating in a system that no longer supports […]

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A Vicious Circle: The More Aggressive Putin Is, the More Russians Love Him

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 29, 2015) Russian polls, admittedly not the most reliable source, suggest that the more aggressive Vladimir Putin is, the more Russians love and support him regardless of the immediate impact of his policies on their lives, a vicious circle that history suggests could lead to a disaster especially given Moscow’s possession […]

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Putin gives the world his geography lesson: ‘All the former USSR is Russia’

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – April 28, 2015) The 150-minute film “The President” about Vladimir Putin is mostly boring and predictable in that it insists that “without Vladimir Vladimirovich nothing in the country will work,” Kseniya Kirillova notes. But she points out that there are three “lessons” contained in the film that must not be ignored. First, she argues, […]

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NEWSLINK Gallup: Russia Receives Lowest Approval in World; U.S. Highest

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Russia in 2014 earned the lowest approval ratings globally for the eighth consecutive year and posted the highest disapproval ratings it has received to date. U.S. leadership received the highest approval rating in the world, with the median 45% approval topping ratings of the leadership of the European Union, Germany, Russia and China — as it has most years since […]

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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

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(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

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(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.

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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

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(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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