NEWSWATCH: “Russia wants U.S. military out of Syria. But it still needs U.S. to help bring peace.” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Syria Map

“… Analysts say that Moscow was serious when it hinted that it would strike back against U.S. warships in the Mediterranean or other launch platforms if any Russian lives were endangered by U.S. missiles. But … they say that the exchange of explosive declarations last week turned out to be mostly theater. Kremlin-connected analysts say that US and Russian military […]

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NEWSWATCH: “In Syria and Beyond, a Dangerous New Era Dawns; The U.S. simultaneously confronts an aggrieved Russia and an aggressive rising power in China, a situation that calls for dexterous diplomacy” – Wall Street Journal/Gerald F. Seib

File Photo of F-22 Fighter and Ground Crew

“… John Sawers, a career British diplomat and former head of the MI6 intelligence service, delivered a sober warning: For the first time in living memory, there is a realistic prospect of a superpower conflict. … The U.S., a mature power, simultaneously confronts an aggrieved and newly assertive Russia as well as an aggressive rising power in China. … the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Syria: bottom line questions” – Graham E. Fuller

Syria Map

“… What sense can we make out of all these strategic events in Syria? We encounter a baffling array of players: Syrian troops, Syrian insurgents, jihadis of varying ideologies, Iranians, Russians, Americans, Israelis, Turks, Saudis, Qataris, Emiratis, Shi’ite militias, Iraqis, Kurds, Hizballah-all locked in a deadly dance. But as complex as it may be, this seven-year bloody conflict still continues […]

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NEWSWATCH: “A few cruise missiles from Trump won’t stop Syria’s war crimes” – Washington Post Editorial

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“Having declared that Syria will pay a ‘big price’ for its latest use of chemical weapons … Trump will deal another blow to U.S. global leadership if he does not follow through. But a few cruise missiles won’t change anything in Syria. What’s really needed is a concerted strategy …. the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian allies are […]

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NEWSLINKS: “Kremlin backers warn of threat of war with U.S. as Syria tensions rise” – Washington Post/Anton Troianovski

File Photo of Bashar al-Assad and Sergei Lavrov

“… The United States is considering strikes on Russian ally Bashar al-Assad in Syria, prompting ominous speculation among people close to the Kremlin that such a move could touch off a wider conflict. One scholar who advises the Russian Defense Ministry even raised the specter of ‘World War III.’ … U.S. sanctions against top Russian business executives wiped billions of […]

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NEWSLINK: “In Syria, Trump Faces the Limits of Bluster” – New York Times Editorial

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“A world grown numb to the slaughter of civilians in Syria has been roused in the last 48 hours by photographs on social media of lifeless men, women and children in the rebel-held town of Douma, many with white foam coming from their mouths and nostrils, victims of chemical weapons. Outraged Western nations blame President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and demand […]

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NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “Putin’s Next Act” – Brookings/ Julia Ioffe, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Angela Stent, Strobe Talbott, Alina Polyakova

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

(Brookings event – April 4, 2018) “… Putin’s third term as Russia’s president was defined by a return to aggressive foreign policy … military interventions in Ukraine and Syria, interference in elections in the United States and Europe … a crackdown on domestic dissent. … as Russia’s economic model and political system seem[] increasingly stagnant …. What might Putin’s fourth […]

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Unsustainable Status Quo or a Costly Stability? The Increasing Risks of the Unresolved Conflict in Donbas.

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

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Tetyana Malyarenko, Stefan Wolff – April 3, 2018) Dr. Tetyana Malyarenko is a Professor of International Security and Jean Monnet Professor of European Security at the National University Odesa Law Academy, Ukraine, and Non-resident Fellow at the Uppsala Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Sweden. Stefan Wolff is professor of International Security at the University […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Turkey visit brings S-400 missile and nuclear plant headway” – bne Intellinews

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

“… Erdogan received … Putin in Ankara … with a crowded agenda … including … Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defence system and progress with the TurkStream natural gas pipeline …. even more challenging … with the scheduled arrival of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and … the complicated task of finding an end-game […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian officials accuse West of fomenting new Cold War” – AP

Sergei Shoigu file photo

“Top Russian defense and security officials on Wednesday launched diatribes at the West, accusing it of fomenting a new Cold War in a bid to retain waning influence in global affairs. Moscow used an annual security conference attended by top defense officials from Asia, Africa and Latin America to harshly criticize the U.S. and its allies …. Russia-West relations have […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia and NATO: Talking Their Way Out of Another Cold War” – Bloomberg/James Stavridis

NATO Meeting file photo

“… Tactically, the two generals need to create an effective regime to avoid unintended confrontations between NATO and the Russians. … aircraft and ships have been on collision courses …. there have probably also been close … interactions under the ice in the Arctic. The two leaders should see that their staffs confer on ways to reduce the potential for […]

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NEWSLINK: “Stumbling into a War with Russia; A panel of experts discussed U.S.-Russian relations today at the Center for the National Interest” – The National Interest

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

“Given the poisonous relationship between Washington and Moscow, chances that the two great powers might face off in a military confrontation are growing. In recent days, the United States has expelled dozens of Russian diplomats-who are alleged to be undercover intelligence officers-in retaliation for Moscow’s alleged attack on GRU defector Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the United Kingdom. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Life in Vladimir Putin’s Russia explained in 10 charts” – BBC/ Alex Murray, Tom Housden, Anastasia Napalkova, Sandra Rodriguez Chillida, Joy Roxas, Zoe Bartholomew

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

“1. Fewer people are poor … 2. But wage growth has stalled recently … 3. More people have a car, and there are more microwaves than households … 4. Russians fell in love with Ikea … 5. And champagne … There’s some dispute over how much Russians drink. … 6. … the internet took off … 7. But circuses are […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Putin Takes His Campaign to Leading Industrial Town” – AP

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

“… Putin … took his campaign to one of Russia’s leading industrial companies, vowing to bolster high-tech industries and improve living standards. … travel[ing] to … the Urals to visit Uralvagonzavod, a huge factory producing … battle tanks … and railroad cars. … seek[ing] to shore up his support base before the March 18 presidential election. * * * The Uralvagonzavod […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Igor Ivanov: Russia Is Offering an Olive Branch, Not Nuclear War; The path to international security is complex, but Russia has proven it is prepared to lead the way” – Moscow Times/Igor Ivanov

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… Putin’s recent address to the Federal Assembly made quite a splash in the international community. Unsurprisingly, particular attention was paid to the sections of the address in which the president spoke in detail about boosting Russia’s defense capabilities, creating new weapons systems ….”

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NEWSLINK: “He’s trying to say: Take us seriously. We’re not joking anymore’ Russian political and security experts interpret Putin’s state-of-the-nation speech” – Meduza

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… Putin addressed the Federal Assembly, devoting a significant part of his speech to a presentation of Russia’s latest weapons, including nuclear missiles, and calling on NATO to cease its eastward expansion. … Meduza asked several political and security experts to explain why Putin demonstrated all these weapons and what the speech means for his next presidential term. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “‘Russia’s Arctic military construction bigger than other countries’ – Shoigu” – Interfax-AVN

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

With regard to Russian military construction in the Arctic: “[Says] Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu … ‘Since 2013, we have built 545 installations on over 710,000 square meters under Far North conditions. No other country in the world has carried out such massive construction on the Arctic latitudes’” Apparently with regard to broader Russian military infrastructure: “‘The geography of construction […]

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73% of Russians Believe Military Has Achieved Syria Goals

Syria Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 27, 2018) A state-run poll has shown that nearly three-quarters of surveyed Russians believe their military has achieved its stated goals in Syria. Russian warplanes have been engaged in air raids in support of the Syrian government against rebels since October 2015. Late last year, President Vladimir Putin declared victory and ordered Russian troops […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Averting the U.S.-Russia Warpath; Even as U.S.-Russian tensions have risen, fundamental shifts in the military-technological environment threaten to erode strategic stability between the two nations.” – The National Interest/ James N. Miller, Richard Fontaine, Alexander Velez-Green

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“For nearly twenty years following the end of the Cold War, military confrontation between the United States and the Russian Federation seemed implausible. … Before the first decade of the new century had passed, however, Russian officials were accusing the United States of working to isolate Russia. Such apprehensions have mounted steadily in Russia …. Russian behavior, including interventions in […]

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NEWSLINK: “BOOK REVIEW: THE LONG HANGOVER” – Irrussianality/Paul Robinson

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

“Shaun Walker, the Moscow correspondent on The Guardian, has a new book out, entitled The Long Hangover: Putin’s New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past. It advances the thesis that … and this is where I run into a problem because he never explicitly says what his thesis is. But it’s sort of something like this: in an effort […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. policy doc hints at ‘limited’ nuclear arms use, alarming Russians” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

“Russians read a new Pentagon policy document as allowing the use of nuclear weapons outside the bounds of ‘mutually assured destruction’ … The new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) released by the Pentagon … has been received [in Moscow] with shock, and even a touch of fear, because for the first time in almost three decades it appears to talk about […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why Putin’s foreign policy adventures will backfire” – Aspen Institute (Italy)/Ivan Nechepurenko

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

“… Russia’s inflated presence on the world arena feeds the internal propaganda machine. … Putin is … now facing a dilemma: his bullish foreign policy coups made him even more popular among the Russians. However, these coups have created an appetite for more foreign adventures. This fixation on foreign policy will become increasingly difficult to afford ….”

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NEWSWATCH: “Starving Wolf No Longer: Can Russia Sustain Its Military? Russia is having to balance its demand for more advanced weapons with a slew of other priorities” – Moscow Times/Michael Kofman

Russian Soldiers Marching

“… the military … will probably continue operations [in Syria]. … [and] continue to fuel its other major conflict, Ukraine … supporting proxy forces in breakaway republics in the … east. But … Russia’s … Armed Forces are at a crossroads. Divergent spending priorities, resource constraints and myriad dilemmas loom …. * * * The Armed Forces may expand, but … […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia Say They Have Met Nuclear-Reduction Targets Under Treaty; Nations meet Monday deadline, but face task of renewing pact in three years amid dispute over another weapons agreement” – Wall Street Journal/Felicia Schwartz, Michael R. Gordon, James Marson

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“The U.S. and Russia said they have fulfilled obligations under a 2010 treaty to reduce … strategic nuclear warheads … by a Monday deadline. … [they] still face the task of renewing the pact when it expires in three years amid a dispute over another weapons agreement. … the U.S. alleges Moscow is violating a separate 1987 accord banning American […]

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In Ukraine, Ultranationalist Militia Strikes Fear In Some Quarters

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, January 30, 2018) [Text with links https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-azov-right-wing-militia-to-patrol-kyiv/29008036.html] The gathering was large and formidable, with hundreds of mostly young men in fatigues keeping tight ranks on Kyiv’s central Independence Square before marching in formation to a torch-lit fortress on a hillside in the Ukrainian capital. There, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Outlines Plan on Nuclear-Weapons Use; Policy says arsenal might be option in response to major nonnuclear attack” – Wall Street Journal/Michael R. Gordon

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

“… a new … [U.S.] Nuclear Posture Review [declares that t]he U.S. … would consider using nuclear weapons only in ‘extreme circumstances’ to defend itself and its allies, including against ‘significant non-nuclear strategic attacks. … includ[ing] but … not limited to, attacks on the U.S., allied, or partner civilian population or infrastructure … nuclear forces, their command and control, or […]

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NEWSLINK: “Pentagon Says Russia Is Building Nuclear Torpedo Described as “Doomsday” Weapon” – Slate/Daniel Politi

Russian Nuclear Submarine

“[A] Pentagon document * * * publicly acknowledge[s] for the first time that Russia is ‘developing … a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo.’ Known as a ‘Status-6 Oceanic Multipurpose System’ many analysts have described it as a ‘doomsday’ weapon … theoretically … [with] the capacity to destroy an entire coastal city. … ‘essentially a drone-type device fired underwater […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. will send antitank weaponry to Ukraine. Here are 4 big questions” – Washington Post/Andrew S. Bowen

File Photo of Soldier Firing Javelin Shoulder-Mounted Anti-Tank Missile

“The Trump administration last week announced updated sanctions on Russian individuals and companies …. Since 2015, the conflict in eastern Ukraine has continued to simmer, with no apparent political solution on the horizon. The seizure of territory has largely ended, leaving both sides vexed at their failure to achieve their objectives. The U.S. decision in late 2017 to provide the […]

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U.S. Envoy: Lack Of Political Will In Moscow Thwarting Ukraine Peace

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – KYIV, January 24, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/ukraine-volker-russia-willingness-end-conflict/28994196.html) The U.S. special envoy for Ukraine said the country’s new law on reintegrating its conflict-torn regions has “regularized” the country’s military operation against Russia-backed separatists, but doesn’t change anything on the ground. In an interview on January 24 with RFE/RL’s Ukrainian […]

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Interfax: OSCE concerned by rise in Donbas shelling after New Year lull

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

DONETSK. Jan 23 (Interfax) – The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has recorded an increase in ceasefire violations in Donbas after some lull over the New Year holiday period, Alexander Hug, Alexander Hug, first deputy head of the OSCe Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (OSCE SMM), said. During the holiday period, the OSCE registered a minor decrease […]

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NEWSLINK: “Was This Russian General Murdered Over the Steele Dossier? The notorious dossier on Trump that Republicans want to discredit may well have been credible enough in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s eyes to get at least one person killed” – Daily Beast/Amy Knight

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NEWSWATCH: “Pentagon: China, Russia Outpace Terrorism Threat” – AP

Aerial Photo of Pentagon and Environs

“Countering China’s rapidly expanding military and an increasingly aggressive Russia are now the U.S. military’s top national security priorities, outpacing the threat of terrorism, the Pentagon said …. A new national defense strategy says that competition with China and Russia has threatened America’s military advantage around the world. … require[ing] increased investment to make U.S. forces more lethal, agile and […]

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Kyiv Rebrands Its War In The East

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV, January 19, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/ukraine-russia-fighting-donbas-rebranding-ato-/28985423.html) Ukraine’s “antiterrorist operation” is officially over. But since the fight against Russia-backed separatists that most Ukrainians know as the “ATO” grinds on, what is still up for debate is: under what name? With the passage of a contentious […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine passes bill to get occupied regions back from Russia” – AP

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

“Ukraine’s parliament … passed a bill to reintegrate the country’s eastern territories … currently controlled by Russia-backed separatists … supporting taking them back by military force if necessary.  The bill describes the areas in Ukraine’s … Donetsk and Luhansk regions as ‘temporarily occupied’ by ‘aggressor country’ Russia. … Poroshenko welcomed the new bill, saying it would help restore control of […]

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Interfax: Ukrainian bill on Donbas reintegration puts an end to Minsk Agreements – Kosachyov

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW. Jan 18 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian bill on the reintegration of Donbas puts an end to the Minsk Agreements, and Germany and France should evaluate the act accordingly, Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee head Konstantin Kosachyov said on Thursday. “By adopting the odious bill on Donbas reintegration, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada essentially put an end to the Minsk Agreements [the […]

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U.S. not prepared for contacts with Russia in format of meetings between foreign policy, defense chiefs – ambassador

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil

MOSCOW. Jan 16 (Interfax) – The United States is currently not prepared to discuss the resumption of contacts with Russia in the 2+2 format – meetings between the heads of the two countries’ foreign-policy and defense agencies – even though the countries are trying to intensify bilateral dialogue on key issues, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said in reply […]

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Interfax: New U.S. nuclear doctrine is next step to build infrastructure enabling global strike on Russia – MP Slutsky

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) – The United States’ new nuclear doctrine is aimed at protecting the infrastructure which is being created in Europe to enable a strike on Russia, the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Leonid Slutsky said on Facebook. “It’s hardly a revelation that the U.S. is building comprehensive infrastructure to support Prompt Global Strike. Under the pretext […]

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Two-thirds of citizens believe Russia has enemies

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

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax) – The share of Russians who believe that their country has enemies has declined from 80% in September 2015 to 66%, the Levada Analytical Center told Interfax. Those enemies include the United States (68%), Ukraine (29%), EU countries (14%), former Soviet republics (10%), and Poland (8%), Levada said. Twenty-one percent of Russians polled said the country […]

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Drones that attacked Russian military bases in Syria could have been shipped only from U.S. – Russian senator

Syria Map

MOSCOW. Jan 9 (Interfax) – The drones that attacked Russia’s military bases in Syria could have been shipped to the country only from the United States, Russian Federation Council Defense and Security Committee head Viktor Bondarev said. “I think it’s clear to everyone who stands behind the militants. Only a technologically powerful state could have supplied the drones that bombarded […]

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Moscow does not rule out U.S.’s plans to secede from INF Treaty, pledges instant mirrored response

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

MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) – Moscow believes that the United States is looking for a pretext to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and is pledging an instant mirrored response, the Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department, Mikhail Ulyanov, told Interfax in an interview on Tuesday. “The stubborn reluctance [of Washington] to support its […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Military and NATO May Now Target Russia With Cyber Weapons, Marking Huge Policy Change” – Newsweek/ Tom O’Connor

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… NATO’s recent decision to integrate cyber warfare into its command  … represents a stark 21st-century warning to foes, especially Russia …. Capitalizing on the multinational coalition’s recognition of cyberspace as a theater of operations at last year’s Warsaw Summit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced … the creation of Cyber Operations Center as part of an overall effort to update and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin’s Plan for Syria; How Russia Wants to End the War” – Foreign Affairs/ Dmitri Trenin

Syria Map

“… Moscow … means to secure its own core interests in Syria, whatever the balance of political power in the country. Among these is a permanent air and naval presence in the country. Under the lease agreements signed in 2015 and 2016 with Damascus, both the Khmeimim air force base and the Tartus naval facility, which is being upgraded to a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Backed by Putin, Russian Military Pushes Into Foreign Policy” – Reuters

Sergei Shoigu file photo

“From Damascus to Doha … Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has been showing up in unexpected places, a sign of the military’s growing influence under … Putin. … at times wearing his desert military uniform, Shoigu has held talks with Syria’s president in Damascus, met Israel’s prime minister in Jerusalem and been received by the Emir of Qatar in Doha. The defense ministry’s […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Vladimir Putin visited Khmeimim Air Base in Syria” – KremlinRu

Syria Map

(Kremlin.ru – December 11, 2017) At the air base, Vladimir Putin was met by President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad, Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu and Commander of the Russian military group Sergei Surovikin. The Commander-in-Chief ordered the withdrawal of the Russian military group from Syria back to their permanent bases. Vladimir Putin thanked the Russian service […]

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Putin Speaks Directly To Separatist Leaders, Presses Prisoner Swap

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – November 15, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-ukraine-prisoner-swap-medvedchuk-separatists/28856131.html) Russian President Vladimir Putin has told leaders of Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk that he favors a plan for a prisoner swap with Kyiv, in a rare acknowledgement of direct contact with the separatist forces. Russian state-run […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Latest U.S.-Russian Effort on Syria: Good for Preventing Accidents, So-So for Everything Else” – Russia Matters/ Nikolas K. Gvosdev

Syria Map

“The one concrete result to emerge from … Trump and … Putin’s informal meetings on the sidelines of … APEC … has been the Nov. 11 U.S.-Russia Joint Statement on Syria. … [which] has elicited some official optimism, but what does it amount to really? … a promising step forward to end the strife in that war-torn land and ‘save tremendous numbers of lives,’ as Trump […]

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Interfax: Russia’s defense spending tops 5.3% of GDP, near $70 bln – PwC

File Photo of Close-Up of Line of Russian Soldiers in Dress Uniforms for Parade

MOSCOW. Nov 15 (Interfax) – Russia ranks seventh among the world’s major defense-industry players, with defense expenditures totaling $69.2 billion, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said in a statement regarding its second Global Defense Perspectives report. In the current rating, Russia occupies seventh place; its defense expenditures amount to 5.32% of GDP and total $69.2 billion. It has moved up one position since […]

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U.S., Russia Envoys Differ On Peace And Peacekeepers In Eastern Ukraine

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – November 14, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/volker-surkov-meeting-ukraine-u-s-russia/28853193.html) After talks on the conflict in eastern Ukraine, U.S. and Russian envoys say their countries have “different concepts for how to make peace” but will continue to work to achieve that goal. “Both sides agreed to reflect on the discussions … and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Joint U.S.-Russia statement calls for U.N.-supervised elections in Syria” – Politico/ Nancy Cook

Syria Map

“… a new joint statement on Syria between the U.S. and Russia … [says] Syria must eventually hold U.N.-supervised elections to bring new leadership to the country as part of … ending its … civil war [say] two senior State Department officials. … follow[ing] … U.N. Security Council resolution … 2254. … [the election is to] include the ballots of the Syrian diaspora, displaced from the country […]

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