JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russians are ashamed of the ‘eternal poverty’ of their country” – bne Intellinews

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

“… The collapse of the Soviet Union and the loss of superpower status was … humiliating … Putin has played on [that] with actions like the annexation of Crimea and the war in Syria, to restore some sense of national pride. However, a … Levada Center [poll] this month found that Russians continue to be ashamed of their ‘eternal poverty’ […]

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Gangster Geopolitics: The Kremlin’s Use of Criminals as Assets Abroad

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Mark Galeotti – January 17, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/gangster-geopolitics-kremlins-use-criminals-assets-abroad) Mark Galeotti is a senior associate fellow of RUSI and a senior non-resident fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague, as well as a 2018-19 Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute. His most recent book is “The Vory: Russia’s Super Mafia” (Yale, 2018) [Amazon: […]

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Once Upon A Handout: Russian Fairy Tales Accused Of Teaching Kids To Freeload

Central Bank of Russia file photo

(Article ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tony Wesolowsky – Jan. 17, 2019 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/once-upon-a-handout-russian-fairy-tales-accused-of-teaching-kids-to-freeload/29716156.html) Children in Russia may be spooked by the witches and other dark characters in some of the country’s fairy tales, but a senior Central Bank official sees something even more sinister. Russian fairy tales are teaching kids to expect […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why Russia’s Economy Is Headed for Trouble; A lack of real reforms and a hyper-dependence on oil has prevented the emergence of a healthy, diverse economy” – The National Interest/ Michael Rubin/ American Enterprise Institute.

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“… Putin’s lasting legacy … will not be his wars in Georgia or Ukraine nor the new submarines, fighter jets, nuclear weapons, or hypersonic missiles whose manufacture and unveilings he has overseen. Rather, Putin’s historic legacy will likely be inheriting a country with great economic potential and leaving it an empty husk.  After so many years in power, Putin has […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Pragmatic Paternalism: The Russian Public and the Private Sector” – Carnegie Moscow/ Andrei Kolesnikov, Denis Volkov

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

“Russians have a dream for their children and their grandchildren of a different environment that is favorable for entrepreneurship and private initiatives. This is where the true interests of Russians and their perceptions about the future diverge radically from the interests and perceptions of the state in which they live. …”

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RUSSIALINK: “Almost half of Russians ashamed of USSR’s collapse – poll” – Interfax/ Levada Center

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. Jan 17 (Interfax) – The number of Russians who feel ashamed of and sorry for the collapse of the former Soviet Union has grown from a third to 45% year-on-year, the Levada Analytical Center said in a statement seen by Interfax. Twenty-four percent said they felt ashamed of and sorry for the result of perestroika; the number stood at […]

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Ever More Russians Drawing Analogies between Russia Now and Russia in 1917, Kagarlitsky Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 15, 2019) Ever more Russians are drawing analogies between their country today and its situation in 1917 and between Vladimir Putin and the last tsar Nicholas II, sociologist and commentator Boris Kagarlitsky says; and this is quite “logical” given the tone deaf reaction of the powers that be in both cases […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian lawmakers amend criminal code to reduce pressure on social media activity” – bne Intellinews

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“… the State Duma … adopted amendments to … partially decriminalise … [criminal] code[] Article 282 … widely used for … offences involving social media content. As reported by … Meduza, first-time offenders will now face … misdemeanour charges, risking a RUB20,000 fine ($287 at the current exchange rate) or a 15-day jail sentence, instead of felony charges and a […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Medvedev speech excerpts:] 10th Gaidar Forum: The main theme of the 2019 Gaidar Forum is Russia and the World: National Development Goals and Global Trends.” – GovernmentRu

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – Jan. 15, 2019 – government.ru/en/news/35366/) The Gaidar Forum is an ongoing discussion platform for pressing current issues. The forum has been held annually since 2010 in memory of Yegor Gaidar, a researcher, economist and ideologist of the early 1990s reforms in Russia. Forum discussions centre on Russia’s place and strategic role in the world. Among forum moderators are […]

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As Bad as Russian Roads are for Travel, Russia’s Waterways are Worse, Yemelchenkov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 12, 2019) For most of Russia’s histories, rivers and later canals were the primary transportation network over that country’s vast roadless and largely railway-less areas. Its roads have remained notorious for their poor quality, and its railroads are suffering ever more accidents. But the state of its rivers and canals has […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Justice Ministry begins inspection of Memorial research center as foreign-agent NGO – Memorial” – Interfax

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. Jan 14 (Interfax) – The Russian Justice Ministry is beginning to inspect the Memorial Scientific Research and Education Center on January 14 to see if it is fulfilling the functions of a foreign agent NGO, International Memorial’s press service said. The organization has provided all the documents the ministry requested, the press service said. “The Memorial Scientific Research and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Medvedev hopes pact with oil cos to rein in prices will be honored” – Interfax

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 14 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he hoped agreements between the government and oil companies to rein in fuel prices would be followed and that it would not be necessary to resort to restrictive measures. “As you know we have a number of understandings with oil companies, including that price growth for petroleum products, motor […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Holiday spending in Russia dips slightly year-on-year – poll” – Interfax

New Year's Eve on Red Square with Fireworks, Kremlin, Saint Basil's, Crowds

MOSCOW. Jan 14 (Interfax) – Russians spent an average of 13,870 rubles this holiday season, slightly less than in 2018 (14,195 rubles), the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) said on Monday. “Actual spending generally coincided with the amount planned in late December (13,755 rubles). About 5,375 rubles were spent on gifts for family and friends, 4,592 rubles on New […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with President of Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeyev

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – January 9, 2019) Vladimir Putin met with President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeyev to discuss the development of science and the academic community, as well as promising areas of the Academy’s activities. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Sergeyev, the law on additional powers for the Academy, which I submitted and coordinated with you, was […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting on establishing cultural and educational centres in Russian regions” – KremlinRu

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Kremlin.ru – January 8, 2019) Vladimir Putin held a meeting on the creation of cultural, educational and museum centres in Vladivostok, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo and Sevastopol. The President set the goal to create theatre, concert, museum and educational centres in the Russian regions in his Address to the Federal Assembly in 2018, with details codified in the Presidential Executive Order On […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Managing Russia’s dissolution” – The Hill/ Janusz Bugajski

Russia Regions Map

“Russia’s ongoing attacks on Ukraine and … persistent subversion of Western states demonstrates that Washington and Brussels have failed to restrain Moscow’s imperial ambitions. Engagement, criticism and limited sanctions have … reinforced Kremlin perceptions that the West is weak and predictable. To curtail Moscow’s neo-imperialism a new strategy is needed … [to] nourish[] Russia’s decline and manages the international consequences […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘The art of rejection’ A new report reveals the hidden mechanisms authorities use to restrict protests in Russia” – Meduza

Moscow Protest File Photo

“Article 31 of the Russian Constitution states that citizens of the Russian Federation ‘shall have the right to assemble peacefully.’ However, when protests are not approved by local authorities, those who join them can face arrest, professional consequences, and even criminal charges. The anti-corruption protests that swept Russia on March 26 and June 12, 2017, as well as the Voters’ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia to resume forex purchases after sanctions hiatus; Moscow will spend Rbs265.8bn between next Tuesday and early February” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia’s finance ministry said it is resuming foreign currency purchases on open markets after fears over U.S. sanctions saw it halt them last year to head off a slide in the rouble rate. … Rbs265.8bn … next Tuesday and February 6, the ministry said in a statement on Friday. … the first since the central bank … stopped them in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s GMO debate looks a lot like America’s – with more geopolitics” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

“… faced with something new, Russian lawmakers have generally found it easier to ban it than … debate it, even if such prohibitions often prove dysfunctional …. case in point: Russia’s legislation banning … production of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) … nominally implemented … to keep Russia’s food supply ‘pure.’ The passage two years ago of the law … prohibit[ing] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Russian town that might save the world; Torzhok is experiencing a resurgence because of one woman’s activism” – Christian Science Monitor/ Mark Sappenfield

“… Before Ms. Sokolova intervened, why had Torzhok been forgotten? The simplest answer is that it had grown mentally stale. … Sokolova’s ideas for new festivals and civic renewal projects were not rocket science. Yet they have begun to push Torzhok into an entirely new orbit, symbolized by restored train service from Moscow and St. Petersburg. …” Click here for: […]

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Growing Russian Nostalgia for Soviet Past Far More Dangerous than It Appears, Kirillova Says

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 7, 2019) New polls show that the share of Russians who would like to go “back to the USSR” is at its highest levels over the last 15 years, a development many find troubling because it will make the future evolution of Russia toward a normal state far more difficult. But […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In former Soviet states, a new tech-savvy resistance is stirring; From Russia to Armenia to Belarus there has been a surge in online justice campaigns. And it’s making a difference”- The Guardian/ Barbara von Ow-Freytag

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

“… innovative activism is emerging across the former Soviet Union. I work for an organisation that supports civic activists and I see a new energy, self-belief and creativity that defies the pessimism permeating western debates about civil society in the region. … these Generation Z activists … [have] linked … with designers, tech experts and artists to test new forms […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Soldier, spy: more details of Vladimir Putin’s past revealed; Russian president, on a visit to a fortress, says he commanded a howitzer artillery battalion” – The Guardian/ Marc Bennetts

FSB Headquarters Building file photo

“… Putin has revealed that he commanded an artillery battalion during the Soviet period, a detail of his shadowy biography … previously unknown. … Putin’s official biography makes no mention of [it] …. According to the Kremlin, Putin joined the KGB immediately after graduating [in law] from … Leningrad State University in 1975. … [spending] 16 years … rising to […]

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WADA to Inspect Moscow Lab for Doping Violations

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 8, 2019) With the clock ticking towards new sanctions, Russian authorities said on Monday they would allow a World Anti-Doping Agency inspection team to return to a Moscow laboratory to retrieve data it had earlier been denied. Russia’s Sport Minister Pavel Kolobkov said WADA officials would return to Moscow on Wednesday. WADA also confirmed […]

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Russia’s Lower Classes Far More ‘Soviet’ than Its Elites and That is a Big Problem, Inozemtsev Says

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 7, 2019) Russian commentator Vladimir Pozner argument that Russia will change only when the last member of the Russian elite educated in Soviet times passes away (echo.msk.ru/blog/pozner/2346625-echo/) is fundamentally wrong, Russian economist Vladislav Inozemtsev says (echo.msk.ru/blog/v_inozemcev/2347259). Not only is Pozner’s analysis mistaken in serious ways, despite being shared by many, the […]

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One Russian in Four Lacks an Indoor Toilet, One of Many Signs There are Now ‘Four Distinct Russias’

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 7, 2019) According to a new report by Russia’s state statistical agency, Rosstat, 35 million Russians live in houses or apartments without indoor toilets, 47 million do not have hot water, 29 million don’t have any running water inside their residences, and 22 million do not have central heating (ehorussia.com/new/node/17679). In […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Disbands the Concept of ‘Dacha'” – Moscow Times

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jan. 3, 2019) The New Year has ushered in a slew of new laws in Russia, including one that disappears the very concept of country cottages, known as dachas, where many Russians spend their summers. More than 60 million Russians are estimated to own dachas nationwide. What kind of dacha they own, though, was previously […]

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WADA ‘Bitterly Disappointed’ At Russian Failure To Meet Anti-Doping Deadline

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

(Article ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Jan. 1, 2019 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/wada-bitterly-disappointed-at-russian-failure-to-meet-anti-doping-deadline/29687033.html) Russia faces the possibility of renewed sporting sanctions after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed that Russian officials failed to hand over data from its anti-doping laboratory by December 31. WADA President Craig Reedie said on January 1 that he was “bitterly […]

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19 Events — Almost Certain to Occur — Russians Will Be Talking About in 2019

New Year's Eve on Red Square with Fireworks, Kremlin, Saint Basil's, Crowds

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 1, 2019) The events likely to be the most important in the coming year are likely to be things no one can predict accurately or with any degree of confidence, including the passing of leaders, the start of new wars, and developments that in and of themselves seem minor but nonetheless […]

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Only Three Percent of Young Russians Want to Work in Private Sector, Study Finds

File Photo of Empty Chair and Desk with Computer, adapted from image at osha.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 30, 2019) Only three percent of young Russians want to work in the private sector with more than 60 percent saying they would prefer the stability offered by employment in major companies linked to the government or even the government itself, according to a new sociological study of young people in […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] New Year Address to the Nation” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – Dec. 31, 2018) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia, friends, A new year, year 2019, is right around the corner. Behind us is the busy month of December, when we rushed to complete all our urgent tasks, finalised our plans for the future, and of course, got ready for New Year celebrations. Filled with excitement and […]

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Where’s Putin’s Mojo?

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Steve Gutterman – December 28, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/wheres-putins-mojo-/29681689.html) He’s been in power for as long as many Russians can remember. He carried the last presidential election with nearly 77 percent of the vote. And his country commands such attention abroad that its cartoon about a […]

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Russian Opposition Lacks an Agenda Beyond Getting Rid of Putin, ‘Nezavisimaya gazeta’ Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 27, 2018) Those individuals and groups collectively known as the Russian opposition are united in their aspiration to get rid of Vladimir Putin, but they have failed to articulate what they would do if and when they were to get power, the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say. As a result, they […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Outlaws Animal Cruelty” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Dog at Animal Shelter Jumping Up on Person in Winter Clothing, With Beseeching Look

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 31, 2018) Russia has banned petting zoos, animal cafes and the killing of stray dogs and cats under a new law submitted eight years ago that dramatically overhauls rules overseeing the treatment of domestic and wild animals. Stray dogs roam the streets of many Russian cities and towns, and attacks by – and against […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Gala New Year event at the Bolshoi Theatre” – KremlinRu

Bolshoi Theater file photo

(Kremlin.ru – December 27, 2018) Vladimir Putin attended a gala New Year event at the Bolshoi Theatre. Also attending the gala event were Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, his spouse Svetlana Medvedeva, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino and spouse, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin signs law partially decriminalizing Article 282 of Russian Criminal Code on extremism” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Dec 28 (Interfax) – President Vladimir Putin has signed the law adjusting Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code. The law passed in the State Duma on December 19 and approved by the Federation Council on December 21 was published on the official Internet portal of legal information on Thursday. The law initiated by the Russian president decriminalizes first-time […]

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John Helmer: “Book announcement: The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia”

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

Subject: Book announcement Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2018 From: John Helmer The Man Who Knows Too MuchAbout Russia By John Helmer   THE GENUINE GOLDEN SHOWER – JOHN HELMER’S MEMOIRS OF VLADIMIR PUTIN FROM 1991 TO 2018 John Helmer is the longest serving foreign correspondent in Russia; he has been reporting from Moscow since 1989, and on Wednesday, December 19, […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with representatives of the Russian business community” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

(Kremlin.ru – December 26, 2018) Vladimir Putin held his traditional end-of-year meeting with representatives of the Russian business community. More than 60 business leaders, heads of private and state-owned companies, banks, entrepreneurs’ associations and unions were invited to attend. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues. It has become a tradition for us to meet ahead of the New […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Average bribe in Russia for 2018 is $9,000” – bne Intellinews

“[The a]verage bribe in Russia is estimated by the Public Prosecution Service at RUB609,000 ($9,000), while the total amount of uncovered bribes in January-September 2018 stood at RUB1.8bn ($26.7mn), as reported by Vedomosti …. uncovered bribes increased by 3% year-on-year, with suspected bribetakers exceeding 1,000. Out of that more than 400 were law enforcement and military officials. …. [D]amage caused […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Vladimir Putin’s annual news conference” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Screenshot of Vladimir Putin Addressing Federal Assembly, adapted from video at kremlin.ru

(Kremlin.ru – December 20, 2018) [en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/59455 includes video with English translation] [Russian language version kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/59455] The President’s news conference was broadcast live by Rossiya 1, Rossiya 24, Channel One and NTV, as well as Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Rossii radio stations. Television channel Public Television of Russia (OTR) and its site (http://www.otr-online.ru/online/) provided live sign language interpretation of the […]

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Grassroots Modernization

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

The rise of diversity and individualism in Russian society is undisputed. However, these new trends are observed, first and foremost, in the private sphere, in consumption, and in everyday practices, while the political realm remains “frozen.” (PONARS Eurasia – Maria Lipman, Maria Volkenstein – December 17, 2018) Maria Volkenstein is the President, CEO, and Founder of the VALIDATA Market Research […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Numbers Backing ‘Russia’s Agricultural Boom’ Were Inflated, Report Says” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 19, 2018) Russia’s widely lauded agricultural boom was overestimated by as much as 30 percent for certain crops, according to a report published earlier this month. Driven by a weaker ruble and higher oil prices, agriculture overtook arms sales in 2017 to become Russia’s second-biggest export sector behind oil and gas. Official data suggested […]

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Soviet Sentimentality: Russians’ Regret At U.S.S.R.’s Collapse Hits 14-Year High

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Dec. 19, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-regret-at-soviet-collapse-stands-at-14-year-high-poll-shows/29664759.html) More Russians regret the breakup of the Soviet Union than at any other time since 2004, an opinion poll shows. In a survey whose results were published on December 19, two-thirds — or 66 percent — of respondents answered “yes” […]

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Online Social Networks Now Most Important Means to Mobilize Russian Voters, Political Technologists Say

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 14, 2018) In “the new political reality” Russia has entered, one in which anti-elite attitudes are predominant, political technologists say that online social networks and especially Telegram are now far more important tools to mobilize voters than any of the traditional political methods. That is the conclusion offered in a report […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Boris Yeltsin’s shrine in Yekaterinburg brings tears for a legacy smashed by Putin” – Sunday Times (UK)/ Matthew Campbell

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

“… An ailing Yeltsin is believed to have chosen Putin, a former KGB officer, as his successor, because he had a reputation for loyalty. He knew he could count on Putin to protect him and his family. … [H]e made Putin promise to ‘look after Russia.’ In the eyes of Putin’s supporters, he has … [brought] relative prosperity … making […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin on Rap Music: It’s the Drugs That Really Bother Him” – New York Times/ Andrew E. Kramer

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

“Told that rap and hip-hop have grown wildly popular among Russian youth, and that … lyrics are rebellious, mention drugs and include many swear words … Putin mused about banning the music outright … then suggested … he might try to control it. ‘If it is impossible to stop, then we need to lead, and in an appropriate way, direct’ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Half of Russians now say Vladimir Putin is responsible for the country’s problems, according to new poll” – Meduza/ Levada Center

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

“… more than half the country … holds [Putin] responsible for Russia’s problems and the rising cost of living, according to a new poll by the Levada Center. Late last month, 55 percent of the country said Putin is to blame …. Ironically, the same number … credit Putin with … economic success and rising prosperity …. Nearly two thirds […]

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Isolation and Reconquista: Russia’s Toolkit as a Constrained Great Power

Russian Soldiers Marching

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Marlene Laruelle – December 12, 2018) Marlene Laruelle is a research professor, associate director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, director of the Central Asia Program and co-director of PONARS Eurasia at The George Washington University. [russiamatters.org/analysis/isolation-and-reconquista-russias-toolkit-constrained-great-power] In 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s famous Munich speech took stock of what Russia considered the failure of the […]

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Putin Hails Solzhenitsyn As ‘True Patriot’ On Centenary Of His Birth

Alexander Solzhenitsyn file photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – MOSCOW – Dec. 11, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-solzhenitsyn-true-patriot-centenary-birth/29650018.html) President Vladimir Putin has praised late Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn as a “true and real patriot” after unveiling a statue honoring the Nobel Prize-winning author in central Moscow. Speaking at the unveiling ceremony marking the centenary of Solzhenitsyn’s birth, Putin […]

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1993 Constitution Not to Blame for Putin’s Authoritarian System, Shelin Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, December 12, 2018) Many analysts are inclined to blame the presidentialist nature of the 1993 Russian Constitution for the rise of authoritarianism under Vladimir Putin; but Sergey Shelin argues that is a mistake and that Putin’s approach to rule “arose not because a quarter of a century ago this document was adopted.” […]

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