Surkov’s ‘Crisis of Hypocrisy’ Not Just in the West but in Russia Too, Inozemtsev Says

Vladislav Surkov file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 8, 2017) In an essay posted on the RT portal yesterday, Vladislav Surkov argues that the West is suffering from “a crisis of hypocrisy” in which people are no longer prepared to accept the shibboleths of the past and are demanding a clearing away of the existing political and social system […]

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Russia’s Regions Ask Moscow for Financial Help

Russia Regions Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladimir Kozlov – November 7, 2017) Against a backdrop of the Russian economy gradually coming out of recession and oil prices on the rise, the country’s far-flung regions have been feeling financial strain and are now asking the center for help. Udmurtia, a small republic east of Moscow, and its newly appointed governor Alexander Brechalov […]

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Pavel Koshkin: “The Review on Zygar’s Book — The Empire Must Die”

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

Subject: the review on Zygar’s book — The Empire Must Die Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2017 From: Pavel Koshkin <pkoshkin.russia.direct@gmail.com> The Empire Must Die: Understanding Russia’s political theater between 1917 and 2017 The main goal of Mikhail Zygar’s new book is to prove that every member of society can contribute to the development of a country’s history and make difference. […]

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Communist Party Leader Zyuganov Says He’s Not Running for President (Yet)

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 8, 2017) The longtime leader of Russia’s Communist Party denied that he’s running for president in 2018 – less than 24 hours after seemingly announcing his candidacy on state-run television. Gennady Zyuganov said on the centennial anniversary of the October Revolution on Tuesday that “every organization” within his party had backed his candidacy for […]

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Russia increases military presence in strategic areas of globe – General Staff chief

File Photo of Deck of Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

MOSCOW. Nov 7 (Interfax) – Russia’s military presence in strategic areas of the globe has markedly grown over the past five years, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov said. “The growth of the Armed Forces’ combat capabilities over the past five years has resulted in a significant expansion of Russia’s military presence in strategic areas of the world,” Gerasimov […]

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Russians Protest More but Still Seldom Politically – and Regime Ignores Them, New Study Says

Nemtsov March of Mourning

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 7, 2017) The Moscow Center for Economic and Political Reforms says that the number of protests in the Russian Federation has risen dramatically since the first quarter but that most are narrowly focused on specific issues or labor disputes and that, as a result, the authorities have generally ignored them. In […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Reception to mark National Unity Day”

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

(Kremlin.ru – November 4, 2017) At the reception in the Grand Kremlin Palace, Vladimir Putin greeted all Russians on National Unity Day and presented the Presidential Prize for contributions to strengthening the Russian nation’s unity and the Order of Friendship to foreign nationals for their efforts in strengthening peace and mutual understanding between peoples. The Presidential Prize for contributions to […]

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On Revolution Centenary, Perplexed Russians Ask, ‘Who Am I To Judge?’

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth, Robert Coalson – ST. PETERSBURG/MOSCOW – Nov. 5, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/anniversary-bolshevik-revolution-100-lenin-assessment/28836011.html) The small museum in St. Petersburg located in the apartment where Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin lived in the months before the October 1917 Bolshevik coup was inexplicably closed one recent weekday afternoon. A small, […]

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Moscow Times: Putin, Jesus And Elon Musk Are Young Russians’ Top Role Models

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 3, 2017) Young Russians have named President Vladimir Putin, business magnate Elon Musk and Jesus Christ as their main role models – after their parents. Russia’s most popular social networking site VK in July asked 10,000 14-25 year-olds who had the most positive influence in their life. The majority said their parents were their […]

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Some 200 people participate in nationalist rally in southeastern Moscow – police

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW. Nov 4 (Interfax) – An authorized rally of nationalists on Moscow’s Pererva Street has concluded, about 200 people participated in it, the police said. “The procession marking Unity Day celebrations, authorized by Moscow authorities, has concluded in the city’s southeast. Some 200 people participated in the event,” the Russian Interior Ministry’s main department for Moscow said in a statement […]

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Russian Women Are Politically Alienated, Gender Gap Report Shows

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 2, 2017) Russia has closed the gender divide between men and women across health and life expectancy for the first time in over a decade, but women remain alienated from politics, according to a new report on global gender inequality. The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2017 Global Gender Gap Report analyzes gender parity based […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Reality TV Opposition” – New York Times/Oleg Kashin/ Translated by Carol Apollonio

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

“[Sobchak’s father] was mayor of Leningrad … [and] made … Putin his deputy. … he defended Mr. Putin from corruption accusations. … [Sobchak] fled the country … [facing] his own corruption allegations. … [returning] after … Putin became prime minister …. For the opposition, [Ksenia] Sobchak’s meeting with [Putin] … amounts to treachery: A true [Putin] opponent … would never negotiate with him about participating in the election. But are there any real […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: [Vladimir Putin and Igor Borisov at] Meeting of Council for Civil Society and Human Rights (transcript concluded)” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – October 30, 2017) [Full transcript here en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55947] Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights at the Kremlin …. Igor Borisov: Mr President, thank you for giving me the floor. I have just a few words about the elections. I understand we have a very compressed schedule; Mr Fedotov is ready to […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANCRIPT: “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a meeting with members of the Association of European Businesses in Russia Moscow, October 31, 2017” – Russian Foreign Ministry

Sergei Lavrov file photo » Read more

Welcome to Gdov, where Russia comes to an end; Russia’s westernmost district is dying out – and with it, hopes for the country’s rebirth.

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(opendemocracy.net – Sergey Damberg – November 1, 2017) Sergey Damberg is a sociologist and graduate of St Petersburg and Bielefeld universities. He directs the Expertise sociological bureau, and is a researcher at Centre for Independent Social Research. In 2014-2015, Damberg was the general manager of Pskov Drama theatre. Together with Russian sociologist Sergey Damberg, we start a new column series […]

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‘Russians to This Day Remain Soviet People,’ Moscow Psychologist Says

Artist's Rendition of Head and Brain, adapted from .gov image at lbl.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 31, 2017) Russians remain “Soviet people,” Aleksandr Asmolov says, not in terms of the specific ideological program pushed by the communist regime but rather according to three deep structures which informed that program, ensured its widespread acceptance, and guarantee its continuing vitality. Asmolov, a professor of psychology at Moscow State University, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin: Russia Ending Conscription” – Russian Defense Policy Blog

File Photo of Russian Military Conscripts Boarding Train with Gear

“… Putin significantly changed the script for Russian military reform on October 24 by indicating intent to end the draft in favor of volunteer contract service. … Putin told his young audience: ‘While I don’t have a ready-made answer, in the same vein if we try to develop this practice further, then maybe we’ll come up with something, but in general […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia moves up to 35th place in the World Bank’s annual ‘Doing Business’ index” – bne Intellinews

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

“… Russia is ranked 35th in the 2018 issue of the World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report published on October 31, moving up five places …. Another international rating, the 2017 Economic Freedom Index compiled by the Heritage Foundation in February, placed Russia in the 114th position in the ‘Mostly Unfree’ category … with a score of 57.1 of 100. … the […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the global themed conference titled 100 Years of the Russian Revolution: Unity for the Future – Moscow, October 31, 2017” – Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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

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

Kremlin and River

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

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Putin approves of initiative on Foreign Ministry commission monitoring compatriots’ rights abroad

foreign-ministry-200

MOSCOW. Oct 30 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has supported human rights defenders’ proposal on setting up a special commission in the Russian Foreign Ministry in order to monitor the situation with Russians citizens’ rights abroad and provide them with legal assistance, if necessary. “I believe, it’s a good idea. It can be even more efficient than just the […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Opening of Wall of Sorrow memorial to victims of political repression” – KremlinRu

Russia Map

(Kremlin.ru – October 30, 2017) Following the meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, Vladimir Putin and the Council members attended the opening of the Wall of Sorrow memorial to victims of political repression on Akademika Sakharova Prospekt. The opening was also attended by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. President […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Fedotov at] Meeting of Council for Civil Society and Human Rights” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Kremlin.ru – October 30, 2017) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights at the Kremlin. The focus of the meeting was on measures to implement the State Policy Concept on immortalising the memory of victims of political repression. The agenda also included issues related to the Council’s activities on ensuring citizens’ environmental rights, […]

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Russian Liberals Attack Current Regime but Defend Foundation of Regime as Such, Birna Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 27, 2017) One of the fundamental weaknesses of liberal Russian thought and behavior, Irina Birna says, is Russian liberals are always ready to criticize the current regime but defend the basis of that regime as such, refusing to see the links between the two and thus manifesting “a latent imperialism.” They […]

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Crimea should hold new referendum – Sobchak

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

YEKATERINBURG. Oct 28 (Interfax) – The Russian television presenter Ksenia Sobchak, who has decided to run for presidency in 2018, says that Crimea must hold a new independent referendum. “Russia violated its international obligations, that’s the main starting point. There are Russian people living in Crimea, many of them. (…) We cannot treat them as subjects of geopolitics. That policy […]

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Interfax: Don’t forget saddest lessons of Russian history – Volodin in connection with day memorializing victims of repression

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 30 (Interfax) – Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that the events associated with political repression in the 20th century should be remembered so that the past can unite society, not divide it. “The Day of Remembrance of Victims of Political Repressions is one of the hardest memorial dates in our country’s calendar. In the year of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What Does Putin Want? To Maintain His Power No Matter What; A big win for Putin in the March election would be a victory for the Russian autocratic state.” – NBC/ William Pomeranz

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium Gesturing

“In Russia … [elections] are acts of confirmation: The only real suspense … is whether … Putin will receive 70 percent or 80 percent …. Putin … surely understands that reform is the moment of greatest vulnerability for a Russian leader (just ask … Gorbachev). … Putin’s intent is always to maintain control, as recent prosecutions attest. * * * … At the top of […]

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Russia to increase salmon aquaculture

Spawning Salmon File Image, adapted from image at fws.gov

(The Fish Site – thefishsite.com – Jaroslaw Adamowski – October 30, 2017) Russia’s largest farmed fish producer, Russian Aquaculture, is developing its farm network across the country at a time when the country’s authorities are making increased efforts to develop the sector and reduce their dependency on fish imports. Russian Aquaculture currently owns cultivation rights for 30 salmon and trout sites […]

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Russia To Unveil Monument To Victims Of Political Repression

File Photo of Soviet Gulag at Manzanar, adapted from image at nps.gov

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – October 30, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-stalin-putin-soviet-repression-remembrance-day-moscow/28823208.html) Amid controversy over his own methods of maintaining control over Russia, President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to appear at the unveiling of a memorial dedicated to victims of state repression during the Soviet era. The Wall Of Sorrow will be unveiled on […]

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RUSSIALINK: “What Does the Decline of Clans in the North Caucasus Mean for Moscow?” – Carnegie Moscow/ Konstantin Kazenin

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

“Recent speculation that Russia wants to topple the ‘traditional’ clan system in the North Caucasus misses the point: the clan system is in no way traditional, and it is collapsing on its own. The real question is whether the federal center will find other allies in the region when it falls. …”  

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Russian Journalist Yekaterina Gordon Announces She’ll Run for President in March 2018

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 30, 2017) Yekaterina Gordon, a 37-year-old journalist and singer-songwriter with her own law firm, on Monday announced she would be putting herself forward as a candidate for presidential elections in March 2018. The announcement comes less than two weeks after celebrity Ksenia Sobchak placed her presidential bid, in a controversial move which critics say […]

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Ksenia Sobchak, Russia’s Star Presidential Candidate, Will Be Heard; Loud and divisive, Ksenia Sobchak knows how to put on a show

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – October 26, 2017) The jeers and whistles rang out with venom. But that wasn’t going to stop Ksenia Sobchak: She was the one on stage, and she was the one holding the mic. Standing in front of a crowd riled up by the previous three weeks of protests against President Vladimir Putin, […]

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Moscow Times/ Levada Center: Majority of Russians Ready to Hand Putin Fourth Term

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 27, 2017) More than 50 percent of Russians surveyed in a recent independent poll are ready to give President Vladimir Putin a fourth term in office. Asked who they’d vote for if the elections were held this Sunday, 53 percent named Putin. One in five couldn’t name who they’d vote for, while one in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Sobchak and the presidential reality show; Why does the Kremlin allow socialite Ksenia Sobchak to take part in the presidential elections? Distraction? Theatricality? According to security expert Mark Galeotti it reflects the limitations of Putin’s hyper-presidential system. ‘Vote against all’ is a way out for the population” -RaamopRuslandNL/ Mark Galeotti

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

“The news that Ksenia Sobchak, part-time opposition gadfly, erstwhile reality TV host, and full-time celebrity, plans to stand in the 2018 presidential elections has – rightly – been interpreted as a Kremlin bid to ‘sex up’ what otherwise seemed unbearably tedious elections and also to split Alexei Navalny’s opposition camp. That Sobchak presented herself as the ‘against everyone’ candidate, simply […]

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NEWSLINK: “THE FRONTLINE INTERVIEWS: THE PUTIN FILES” – PBS/ Frontline

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

56 video interviews and transcripts; Interviews include Yevgenia Albats, Masha Gessen, Julia Ioffe, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Michael McFaul, Molly McKew, Victoria Nuland; Transcript of interview with Thomas Graham #27 ….

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‘Rejection of Revolution Not a Mandate for Stagnation,’ Nezavisimaya Gazeta Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 24, 2017) Vladimir Putin twice last week spoke of evolution as “a positive alternative to revolution,” the editors of Nezavisimaya Gazeta say; but in fact, he has taken the rejection of revolution as an alternative to be de facto a mandate for stagnation in Russia rather than a call for gradual […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin Disappoints Investors With Quick Exit From Moscow Forum” – Bloomberg/ Ksenia Galouchko, Jake Rudnitsky, Andrey Biryukov, Anna Baraulina

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

“… Putin left some guests at Moscow’s main investment forum surprised and disappointed after he broke with his tradition of taking questions from the audience and left after a brief speech. After comments that lasted about 12 minutes at a panel at the VTB Capital Forum on Tuesday, Putin left the stage, leaving behind the sanctioned lender’s Chief Executive Officer Andrey […]

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Sobchak Campaign Teams Up With Igor Malashenko, Who Once Helped Yeltsin

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 24, 2017) In her first press conference since announcing her bid for the presidency, Ksenia Sobchak on Tuesday said Igor Malashenko, who once helped Boris Yeltsin to the presidency, would be joining her campaign team. Sobchak unexpectedly announced last week she would run in presidential elections in March next year. Although President Vladimir Putin […]

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“Against all” option may reappear in Russian elections soon – Matviyenko

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW. Oct 25 (Interfax) – The “against all” option is necessary and may reappear on Russian election ballots in the medium-term future, Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said. “As for this option, I still think it is necessary and I am sure it will reappear in the medium-term future,” Matviyenko told reporters on Wednesday. The “against all” option is still […]

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Udaltsov calls for consolidation of left-wing forces in Russia

File Photo of Sergei Udaltsov Speaking Outdoors, Holding Microphone and Gesturing

ST. PETERSBURG. Oct 25 (Interfax) – The Left Front movement will resume its activity before the Russian presidential election, movement coordinator Sergei Udaltsov told reporters in St. Petersburg on Wednesday. “We’d like to declare that the left-wing movement in Russia is not just looking back but is also mindful of the future,” Udaltsov said, adding that it was not accidental […]

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Interfax: Kremlin had no plans for Russian Revolution centenary celebrations in first place – Peskov

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

MOSCOW. Oct 25 (Interfax) – The Kremlin did not plan to celebrate the Russian Revolution’s centenary in the first place, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday. “The Kremlin is not planning any events on this occasion,” Peskov said. “No one is cancelling anything,” he said. The media said that the Kremlin had planned no events celebrating the […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Russia Calling! Investment Forum” – KremlinRu

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

(kremlin.ru – Oct. 24, 2017) Vladimir Putin spoke at the annual Russia Calling! Investment Forum organized by VTB Capital. This year’s event is being held under the slogan Manage the Difficulties, Control the Risks. The forum is the leading event in attracting portfolio and strategic investment in the Russian economy and promotes effective cooperation between Russian businesses and international investors. […]

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Many Russians Back Existing System but Fear Putin’s Policies are Too Risky, Morozov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 22, 2017) Most commentators accept that Vladimir Putin will easily win re-election as president but suggest that both the level of participation and the number of votes cast for him and his opponent will reflect a division between those who support the Kremlin leader and his system and those who oppose […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Vladimir Putin and Fyodor Lukyanov at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club” – KremlinRu (transcript concluded)

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

(Kremlin.ru – October 19, 2017) Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary session of the 14th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club titled The World of the Future: Moving Through Conflict to Cooperation…. Fyodor Lukyanov: Rein Muellerson. Rein Muellerson: Thank you. My question is to President Putin. In your speech, you mentioned Catalonia. My observations suggest that, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “No pomp as Russia revolution centenary nears” – AFP

Kremlin and River

“… Russia strives to strike an odd balance … remembering the uprising that brought about the Soviet Union … stopping short of romanticising regime change. … 1917 saw Tsar Nicholas II abdicate in March and the Bolsheviks … seize power in October. Civil war erupted … followed by the creation in 1922 of the USSR, built on the ruins of the Russian empire. … Russia still […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Vladimir Putin and Fyodor Lukyanov at] Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – Sochi, October 19, 2017) [Video with English translation: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55882] Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary session of the 14th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club titled The World of the Future: Moving Through Conflict to Cooperation. The general topic of the Valdai Club this year is Creative Destruction: Will a New World Order Emerge […]

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Systemic Liberals and Communists Helping to Keep Putin Regime in Power, Shevtsova Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 17, 2017) It has become a commonplace to observe that “the Kremlin is losing control of the situation” and that it is using “preventive repressions” against not only its obvious opponents but even its own followers, Liliya Shevtsova. But despite regular predictions of its imminent demise, the Putin regime remains entrenched […]

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