NEWSWATCH: “#Panetta: #Putin Wants To Restore the Soviet Union; The former secretary of defense has made similar remarks before, but this time he was more direct” – U.S. News

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

#Russian President Vladimir #Putin’s main interest is restoration of the Soviet Union, former Secretary of Defense Leon #Panetta said …. ‘Let’s not kid anybody,’ said Panetta, who also served as CIA director and White House chief of staff. ‘Putin’s main interest is to try to restore the old Soviet Union. … that’s what drives him.’ Panetta added of the current […]

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#Putin approves #Russia’s new foreign policy blueprint

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(RIA Novosti – December 1, 2016) President Vladimir #Putin has signed a decree approving #Russia’s new Foreign Policy Concept, state-owned RIA Novosti news agency reported on 1 December. The key points of the document, according to RIA Novosti, are as follows: USA – The risk of a war, including a nuclear war, between the leading powers is low, but the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “‘We’re OUTBREEDING you!’ Putin taunts West as he unveils drive to boost Russian birth rate” – The Daily Express (UK)

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

… Putin… issued an extraordinary putdown to the West as he boasted that Russia was outbreeding its rivals and unveiled new scientific measures to up the country’s birth rate further still. … plans to roll out 94 “hi-tech” perinatal centres across the country during his annual address to parliament. … Putin pledged a series of measures, from scientific to social, […]

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TRANSCRIPT: “Joint meeting of the Council for Culture and Art and the Council on the Russian Language”

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

(Kremlin.ru – Dec. 2, 2016) Vladimir Putin is chairing a joint meeting of the Council for Culture and Art and the Council on the Russian Language in St Petersburg. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, We have gathered today in St Petersburg, which has a very concentrated cultural programme these days. The International Cultural Forum is taking place […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – December 1, 2016) [Complete text in Russian and video: http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53379] Vladimir Putin delivered the Annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. The Address was traditionally delivered at the Kremlin’s St George Hall. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon colleagues, members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies, citizens of Russia, Today, as usual in these annual addresses, […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of Primakov Readings International Forum

Yevgeny Primakov file photo, with William Cohen in partial profile

(Kremlin.ru – November 30, 2016) Vladimir Putin addressed a meeting of the International Forum Primakov Readings devoted to studying Yevgeny Primakov’s academic and political heritage. The International Forum Primakov Readings took place on November 28-30 in Moscow with the support of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Primakov Institute of World Economy and […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Maxim Oreshkin

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Kremlin.ru – November 30, 2016) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Oreshkin, how long have you been working as Deputy Finance Minister now? Maxim Oreshkin: Practically two years. Vladimir Putin: Two years. Before this, you were… Maxim Oreshkin: Department Director at the Finance Ministry, and before that, I was in banking, at VTB and the international bank. Vladimir Putin: You […]

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NEWSLINK The Nation/Stephen Cohen: “False Narratives, Not ‘Fake News,’ Are the Real Cold War Problem. Any détente initiatives by President-elect Trump must break with spurious U.S. accounts of the new Cold War.”

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

“Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments are at TheNation.com.) ….”

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Russia’s Central Bank Wants You to Believe; Governor Elvira Nabiullina has introduced her own version of forward guidance. The results are mixed.

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova – November 29, 2016) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-29/russia-s-central-bank-wants-you-to-believe] When central bankers start making predictions about what they’re going to do in the future, reality often has other plans. Just ask Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, or Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Recent attempts at so-called “forward guidance” — telling the public how interest rates […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Campaign in Syria Exposes Moscow’s Defense Gaps; Deployment of warships to assist Assad regime lays bare weaknesses in Russian military’s naval aviation and carrier operations” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of Deck of Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

“A flotilla of Russian warships in the Mediterranean … provid[es] a high-profile show of force in support of the Syrian regime. But … also throw[s] into sharp relief the limits of Moscow’s conventional military. … the quarter-century-old Kuznetsov lacks the kind of powerful catapult system … featured on U.S. carriers, forcing Russian planes to carry lighter payloads and less fuel […]

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Kremlin Media Doesn’t have Long-Term or Profound Impact on Young, Surveys Show

Adapted File Photo of TV Set in Russia with Camera, Camerman, Woman on Set in Background

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 28, 2016) Surveys of university-age Russians over the last decade show that these young people quickly accept the regime’s list of enemies but almost as quickly shift when the regime’s outlets do and that these shifts have little impact on the way in which young Russians view their country’s place in […]

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Kremlin announces new personnel decisions in connection with election of officials to Russian Academy of Sciences

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. Nov 28 (Interfax) – More personnel decisions will be made in connection with the election of officials as corresponding members and academicians of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov said. “Some more personnel decisions are sure to be made,” Peskov told reporters, responding to a question as to why not all officials who were […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

(Kremlin.ru – November 25, 2016) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects to discuss support for non-resource exports and environmental development. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues. Today we will look into measures to support non-resource exports and to improve the environmental situation in the country. We need to form a […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Council for Science and Education

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Kremlin.ru – November 23, 2016) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Presidential Council for Science and Education. The draft National Science and Technology Development Strategy was the main item on the agenda. The President gave the instruction to draft the strategy in June 2015. The Education and Science Ministry was responsible for drafting the document and the Centre for […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH/Kommersant: “Russians think their country should become ‘a great power'”

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

“The majority of Russians assume that the country will be a great power in the future and are ready to accept hardline policies for the sake of order in the country, according to a survey by the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Most people are more concerned about personal problems than those of the state, however.”

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Memorial publishes on its site list of almost 40,000 NKVD officials from 1935-1941

Joseph Stalin file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 24 (Interfax) – A database of almost 40,000 NKVD officials of the ‘Great Terror’ era was published on the website of the Memorial society, the organization told Interfax. “Access to A. N. Zhukov’s directory ‘Personnel of the State Security Bodies of the USSR. 1935-1939’ has been opened on the Memorial website,” Yan Rachinsky, co-chairman of the human rights […]

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Russian Communications Expert Says Kremlin Is Hacker-Proof

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 21, 2016) The Kremlin’s vital information systems are impervious to hacking, according to Sergei Plugotarenko, director of the Russian Association for Electronic Communications. In an interview with the state-run TASS news agency, Plugotarenko explained that the Kremlin’s systems are divided into separate tiers, external and internal, with the latter housing critical information which might […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Russia’s economic line after minister’s dismissal to remain unchanged – view” [Andrei Kostin]

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

“The dismissal of Alexei Ulyukayev from position of the economic development minister would not affect the country’s economic line, VTB’s CEO Andrei Kostin said ….”

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Kudrin’s 13 Points about What Russia Must Do to Overcome Its Backwardness

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 21, 2016) At the conclusion of the All-Russian Civic Forum, Aleksey Kudrin, the head of the Civic Initiatives Committee, outlined his ideas about what Russia needs to do over the next 20 years to avoid disaster and return to modernization and democracy. Znak’s Dmitry Kolesev has organized them as 13 theses. […]

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Putin Optimistic About OPEC Deal, Russia Is Ready to Freeze

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov – November 21, 2016) Russian President Vladimir Putin said he sees no obstacles to an OPEC agreement this month after oil exporters made major progress in overcoming differences as he reaffirmed Russia is willing to freeze crude output at current levels. “Whether an agreement will be reached, I can’t say 100 percent, but there’s […]

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Russian Foreign Ministry has concerns about worsening of relations with U.S. up until Obama Administration’s last day in office

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

MOSCOW. Nov 17 (Interfax) – Moscow is of the view that Barack Obama’s outgoing administration will be seeking a worsening of relations with Russia until its last day in office. “There are also concerns that the White House will be consistently worsening the atmosphere of relations [with Russia] until its last day,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said at […]

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Following Supreme Court Presidium’s verdict Navalny regains right to be elected until new trial concludes

Alexei Navalny file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 16 (Interfax) – The Russian Supreme Court Presidium’s decision to reverse the sentence in the Kirovles case against opposition activist Alexei Navalny and businessman Pyotr Ofitserov restored Navalny’s right to stand for election. “Alexei has a right to participate in elections at any level right now,” Navalny’s spokesperson Kira Yarmysh told Interfax on Wednesday. However, if a guilty […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian bribery probe widens amid reports of Kremlin power struggle” – Washington Post/David Filipov

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

“… Russia’s state-run news agency reported … more officials could be targeted in the corruption probe that has already led to the arrest of the … economic development minister. Other news reports … name[d] names, all of them of officials close to … Medvedev, leader of the so-called liberals, who tend to favor a smaller state role in society and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Fate of Russia’s Liberals” – Stratfor

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

Russia’s economic and political problems are piling up, and they may be putting members of the country’s more liberal circles at risk. In the most high-profile arrest to be made in post-Soviet Russia – and arguably, since the 1950s – Economic Minister Alexei Ulyukayev was detained … on charges of bribery and extortion. … Russian authorities [said] Ulyukayev received $2 […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Opposition Leader Navalny’s Case Sent for Retrial” – AP

Alexei Navalny file photo

Russia’s Supreme Court on Wednesday scrapped a criminal conviction and sent the case of opposition leader Alexei Navalny for retrial, opening the door for his potential run for office.  … convicted in 2013 of embezzling timber …. Following unsuccessful appeals in Russia, Navalny, a trained lawyer, turned to the European Court of Human Rights which ruled in February that Russia […]

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The Loyalty of Fear; Putin sends a message to the elite with the arrest of Russia’s economic development minister

File Photo of Rosneft and Russian Flags Next to Rosneft Banner

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog, Mikhail Fishman – November 16, 2016) It was an awkward, dramatic national moment for Russia: a bonafide minister of the federal government standing in court as the defendant, facing corruption charges and promising his cooperation to prosecutors, pleading to be released on bail. The hearing ended slightly anticlimactically, with a decision to place […]

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Global Conflict ‘Russians’ Greatest Fear’ – Poll

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 14, 2016) Potential global conflict is Russians’ greatest fear, a report by state-run pollster the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) has announced. VTsIOM’s annual “fear index” rates common anxieties among the Russian population from 100 to -100. Global tensions, conflict and war took the top slot as Russians’ main worry with a ranking […]

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The roots of Russia’s atomised mourning; Post-Soviet people have spent two decades mourning a society that never existed.

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(opendemocracy.net – Kirill Kobrin – November 14, 2016) Kirill Kobrin is a writer, historian and journalist. He is an editor of the Russian intellectual journal Neprikosnovennyi zapas, and is the author of 20 books and numerous publications in the Russian, German and Latvian press. He lives in London. This is the third in a series of essays by Kirill Kobrin […]

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Updates: Russian Economy Minister Ulyukayev Appears in Court on Corruption Charge

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

The longstanding minister has been formally charged on corruption allegations. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 15, 2016) Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev has appeared in Moscow’s Baumansky court to face corruption allegations. Ulyukayev was charged with accepting a $2-million bribe on Tuesday, having been arrested by agents from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) late on Monday night. The […]

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Interfax: Putin orders help for Ukrainian city of Henichesk with gas supplies

Gas Flame file photo

YAROSLAVL. Nov 12 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered to provide aid in the form of natural gas supplies to the Ukrainian city of Henichesk again, like last winter. “We need to help. Do the same thing [that was done last winter],” he said in response to the relevant request by Crimean governor Sergei Aksyonov. “It is, of […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Visit to Avtodizel plant (excerpt)

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

(Kremlin.ru – November 12, 2016) [DJ: For a better sense of real issues in Russia that concern Putin read the complete long transcript here: en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/53244] During his trip to Yaroslavl, Vladimir Putin visited the Avtodizel Yaroslavl Motor Plant, part of the GAZ Group, which produces goods under the YaMZ brand. The President saw the production process and met with the […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Central Bank anticipates remaining anti-Russia sanctions”

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

“The recovery may be stretched over time at present because [economic growth] factors should be different, unlike those before the oil price collapse. We understand this pretty well and speak about changing the behavior model of the economy and its development model. Economic recovery signs surfaced by now and the Bank of Russia expects minor growth of GDP,” Nabiullina said.

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “World Bank upgrades its forecast for the Russian economy; Prediction a significant improvement over June report”

World Bank Building

On Nov. 9, the World Bank released its latest forecast for the Russian economy. The prediction was better than expected, showing the Russian economy shrinking by 0.6 percent in 2016, then rising by 1.5 percent in 2017 and by 1.7 percent in 2018. In June, the World Bank predicted that Russia’s GDP would fall by 1.2 percent in 2016.

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “No one expects swift improvement of Russian-US relations after Trump’s victory – Peskov”

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

“No one expects that relationship will improve in a fortnight between Moscow and Washington. We have a very heavy burden of disagreements on our shoulders. But nonetheless, if our two leaders, I mean the current Russian leader President Putin and President-elect Trump, are wise enough to have a political will to talk to each other and to try to solve […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Russian PM says Trump’s victory not to affect macroeconomic forecast”

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

“‘As you know, we have an extremely conservative variant (of a macroeconomic forecast), a conservative one, a more or less optimistic scenario, but if you think that we should create a “Trump forecast” for our budget, it will not happen,’ the Prime Minister said.”

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Russia Is Not Immune

Putin Descending a Staircase

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – November 11, 2016) For years, Vladimir Putin’s regime has been exploiting and manipulating the antiestablishment wave sweeping across the West. The Kremlin has been piggybacking on the angst and anger of the dispossessed and the disenfranchised to hobble Western governments and undermine faith in democratic institutions. It’s been using the West’s democratic institutions […]

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Breaking Bad: How Russian State Patriotism Destroyed the Far Right; The Kremlin’s intervention in the Ukraine conflict has fragmented Russian nationalist groups

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Kupfer, Bradley Jardine – November 11, 2016) On Friday, Nov. 4, chants rang out through the suburban neighborhood of Lyublino, in southeastern Moscow: “We are Russians! Glory to the Slavic nations! Glory to the white races!” Soon, a crowd appeared on the horizon. Some of the men – for they were mostly men – […]

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RUSSIALINK Russian International Affairs Council: “Russia and the United States Have to Get Back to Constructive Dialogue. Interview with Igor Ivanov.”

Artist's Rendition of U.S. Embassy, Moscow, with the Russian Foreign Ministry in the Background

“In an interview for the Interfax news agency, Igor Ivanov, President of the Russian International Affairs Council and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (from 1998 to 2004) shared his thoughts on the U.S. presidential election’s results, pointing out the areas Russia’s future dialogue with the new administration should be dedicated to. “

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Conference Into the Future: Russia’s Role and Place

Sberbank File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – November 10, 2016) Vladimir Putin took part in the international conference Into the Future: Russia’s Role and Place, organised by Russia’s oldest bank, Sberbank, to mark its 175th anniversary. The conference focused on forecasting and analysing future technology trends, discussing the main outlines for technological development, and examining the potential benefits and risks their mass use could bring. […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Putin: Russia to embark on new technological trends for transition to new economy”

Artist's Conception of Nanotechnology Components

“Russian President Vladimir Putin is certain that Russia must sense and embark on the newest trends in science and engineering to make transition to a new economy.”  

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The Art Of The Deal: Russia Is Keen For Trump’s Ad Hoc Diplomacy

Donald Trump

The Kremlin cedes the crown of irrationality to Washington (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladimir Frolov – November 9, 2016) Donald Trump’s election as the 45th U.S. President may have caused some irrational exuberance in Moscow, but there is also a palpable sense of apprehension within the Kremlin. The message to Russia is simple: Be careful what you wish for. […]

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Russia hopes for good relations with U.S., but financial policy making to stay conservative – Siluanov

Anton Siluanov file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 10 (Interfax) – Russia is hoping to make progress in relations with the United States, but will make sure it is in a position to honor its commitments in any scenario by not factoring possible improvements into its financial policy, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters. “We pursue an economic and fiscal policy that does not and must […]

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Russian Supreme Court Wants Fewer Extremism Prosecutions

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Kornya – November 10, 2016) The Russian authorities have stepped up their fight against extremism, convicting approximately three times as many people on such charges in recent years. The greatest increase concerns convictions on Article 282 of the Criminal Code – “incitement of hatred or enmity” – with that number rising from 149 in […]

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RUSSIALINK Russia Today/RT: “MPs propose urgent steps to restore Russia-US relations after Trump elected”

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“A member of the State Duma Foreign Relations Committee has a proposal to launch a special group for restoring normal relations between Russia and the US, while other MPs seek to launch a week of Russian-US friendship to mend broken ties. Vitaly Milonov wrote that the principles of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence are the basis of global security, and […]

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Leonid Bershidsky: The Upside of Russian Interference

United States Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – November 8, 2016) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. Who could expect, when the U.S. election campaign started, that Russia would end up with such a prominent part in it? At times, it looked as […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with Channel 2 Israel

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – November 5, 2016) Ahead of his upcoming visit to the State of Israel, the Prime Minister gave an interview to Yonit Levi, host of the Israeli Channel 2 News. Yonit Levi (via interpreter): Prime Minister, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. I have several questions for you. In your opinion, what could Russia and Israel […]

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For Russia’s Labor Migrants, a Life on the Edge; In slum settlements on the outskirts of Moscow, foreign workers are adjusting to the realities of Russia’s economic crisis.

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Kupfer, Bradley Jardine – November 4, 2016) Not so long ago, the migrant population of Chelobityevo in northern Moscow lived in fear of the police. These were times when uniformed officers would descend on the village unannounced, beating and arresting undocumented workers in their path. Once, migrants were forced to strip naked in freezing […]

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No Early Russian Presidential Elections Says Kremlin

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 7, 2016) The Kremlin has dismissed rumors of early presidential elections as “absolute speculation.” Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists that the issue was “not on the agenda.” “This is absolute speculation,” Peskov said. “There are no such discussions in the Kremlin.” A number of experts had claimed that the vote could be pushed […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin and Patriarch Kirill at] Monument to Vladimir the Great opened in Moscow on Unity Day

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Kremlin.ru – November 4, 2016) Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia opened a monument to the Holy Great Prince Vladimir, Equal of the Apostles, and Christianiser of Russia, on Borovitskaya Square. The monument was erected at the initiative of the Russian Military-Historical Society and the Moscow City Government. It was sculpted by Salavat Shcherbakov, People’s Artist […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Chairman of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov

Russia Regions Map

(Kremlin.ru – November 3, 2016) Vladimir Putin met with Chairman of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. We meet regularly – not as often as we should, but still. I am eager to hear about everything that has been going on recently under your watch. Let us talk about […]

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