NEWSLINK: “Fear and Loathing; Three new books embody our tendency to misinterpret Russia” – Book Forum/Sean Guillory

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

“THE LONG-STANDING ANIMOSITY and suspicion between Russia and the United States have reached such a frenzied pitch of late that the very idea of good relations has begun to feel impossible, almost ahistorical. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russia-gate’s Unasked Questions; Comey’s testimony settles nothing” – The American Conservative/Philip Geraldi

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… If the #FBI began its investigation of team #Trump in late July – after the nomination process but before the election – and the Trump campaign office was located in Trump Tower, doesn’t that confirm that Donald Trump is right when he insists that his office was ‘wiretapped’ during the summer even if his word choice was not apt? […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH/Gazeta.ru: “Live longer! Putin calls for improving life expectancy. Russia’s leader hopes that by 2025 average life expectancy will reach 76 years. To achieve this target, authorities must combat not only alcoholism and drug addiction, but also reduce the number of road accident deaths.”

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

“Russia’s leader hopes that by 2025 average life expectancy will reach 76 years. To achieve this target, authorities must combat not only alcoholism and drug addiction, but also reduce the number of road accident deaths. …”

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Russian-US experiment to simulate outer space mission named SIRIUS”

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

“A series of joint experiments by NASA and the Moscow-based Institute of Medical and Biological Problems (IMBP) to simulate a flight to the outer space was named SIRIUS, an acronym for Scientific International Research In Unique Terrestrial Station. …”

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NEWSLINK: “PUTIN’S ECONOMY IS SO BAD, MANY RUSSIANS CAN’T AFFORD NEW SHOES” – Newsweek

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“To see the state of Vladimir Putin’s economy, look down at Russians’ feet. The weakening ruble is making Russians more cautious about their purchases, and annual shoe sales across the country have dropped in recent months as Russians wait for their footwear to completely wear out before buying new ones ….”

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NEWSLINK: “The paranoid attempts to tie Trump to Russia are distracting US liberals from their real problems” – Quartz: James Carden

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sergei Lavrov, Seated With Flags

“… Rather than being driven by a wave of popular sentiment, today’s hysteria is a product of elite resentment, suspicion, and anger over Clinton’s loss to the populist Trump. Then, of course, there is the added element of blame shifting. Democrats are clearly seeking to blame Clinton’s loss on Russia, and the Kremlin offers a convenient foreign target. But is […]

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NEWSLINK: “What Does Vladimir Putin Want? [interview with Alexander Vershbow]” – New York Magazine

Alexander Vershbow file photo

“… Q: Assuming all the intelligence agencies are right that Russia meddled in the election, why do you think they would do so? It reflects a broader kind of hostility on the Russians’ part towards the West. It was brewing for some time, and I think it burst into full flower after Putin came back into the presidency in 2012. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Unquiet American; Putin is unlikely to be brought in from the cold, says former U.S. envoy to Moscow Michael McFaul” – Politico.eu

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“… How does the #Putin era end? ‘When Putin is no longer in power,’ responds #McFaul. ‘And I think he’ll stay in power for as long as he can.’ A natural end to Putin’s presidency is ‘unlikely,’ he says, ‘given the kind of system he’s built around himself, that really relies on one charismatic individual at its core.’ The #Russians […]

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NEWSLINK: “First Encounter Between Trump, Putin Likely To Come At G-20” – Forbes/Kenneth Rapoza

“The much anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart may take place in Germany during the G-20, according to press reports …. The meeting is key for setting the direction of Russia-U.S. ties, which have been severed over the last two years of the Obama Administration. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Yatsenyuk on BBC Hardtalk: ‘Ukraine has lots of lunatics in politics'” – Kyiv Post/Denys Krasnikov

Arseniy Yatsenyuk file photo

“Ukraine’s ex-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has made an appearance on the BBC Hardtalk show hosted by Stephen Sackur. Yatsenyuk, who left the prime minister office nearly a year ago in April 2016 and was replaced by Volodymyr Groysman, followed other top Ukrainian politicians who appeared on Hardtalk in recent years, namely President Petro Poroshenko, ex-Odesa governor Mikheil Saakashvili and Kyiv […]

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NEWSLINK: “U.S. Officials Won’t Say if a New Anti–Russia Propaganda Project Is Targeting Americans The newly created Global Engagement Center’s “focus and intent” is foreign audiences, but officials won’t rule out propagandizing Americans and funding American journalists.” – The Nation/Adam H. Johnson

Satellite Dishes

“On the day before Christmas Eve last year, President Obama signed the annual National Defense Authorization Act that included, in part, a $160 million revamping of the “Global Engagement Center” to combat what officials claimed was a uptick in Russian propaganda. Originally created in March of last year for anti-ISIL messaging, the Global Engagement Center distributes ‘counter’ propaganda, social media messaging and original journalistic […]

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NEWSLINK: “Angels and Demons in the Cold War and Today” – New York Times/Stephen Boykewich

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags with Number 200, 1807-2007

“… Today, the American commentariat is again trapped in a narrative of angels and demons, with … Putin our latest Mephistopheles. Efforts to depict a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence – thus far without evidence – have reached a such a pitch that even implacable Putin critics like the journalist Masha Gessen and the former American ambassador […]

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NEWSLINK: “From Russia, with Panic; Cozy bears, unsourced hacks-and a Silicon Valley shakedown” – The Baffler/Yasha Levine

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… It seemed like a plotline from a vintage James Bond film. From his Moscow lair, Vladimir Putin struck up an alliance with Julian Assange to mount a massive cyber-offensive to discredit Hillary Clinton and her retinue of loyal Democratic Party operatives in the eyes of the American public. The plot was full of twists and turns and hair-raising tangents, […]

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NEWSLINK: “From Russia with love – lessons for today from a revolution 100 years ago” – Ottawa Citizen/Paul Robinson

File photo of Czar Nicholas II in Military Uniform Outdoors with Soldiers in Background, adapted from image at defense.gov

“One hundred years ago this week, a protest about food shortages in the Russian capital, Petrograd, turned into the violent revolution that overthrew Czar Nicholas II and brought the Romanov dynasty to an end. The liberal-minded provisional government that assumed power did not last long, succumbing to another revolution eight months later, which inaugurated 70 years of Communist rule. It […]

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NEWSLINK: “Boris Johnson is about to perform a policy U-turn as he becomes the first foreign secretary to visit Russia in five years.” – The Independent (UK)/Mary Dejevsky

Boris Johnson file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

“… first … it amounts to an enormous foreign policy U-turn, one of the most definitive by any UK government in many years. Second … it is that rare creature in the currently grim world of diplomacy: a move in the right direction that could play a small part in the making of a better world. This is not, of […]

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NEWSLINK: “Chrystia Freeland and the complexities of history [re: Ukraine]

“On March 8, the Globe and Mail reported that ‘Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has known for more than two decades that her maternal Ukrainian grandfather was the chief editor of a Nazi newspaper in Nazi-occupied Poland.’ … Her grandfather, Michael Chomiak, was a Nazi propagandist for Krakivski Visti (Crakow News), supervised by German intelligence officer Emil Gassert. Its printing […]

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NEWSLINK: “Fareed Zakaria on the most powerful man in the world” – CNN

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

“… Zakaria’s documentary on … Putin, ‘The Most Powerful Man in the World,’ [airs] … Monday at 9 p.m. ET. … CNN Politics sat down to talk with Zakaria about that enmity and other aspects of Putin’s worldview. An edited version of the conversation follows. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russian inflation falls below 5% for the first time since Soviet days” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia’s consumer price inflation … dropped below 5% for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union more than a quarter of a century ago. Inflation was 4.6% y/y in February, according to Rosstat, down from 5% in January and in line with the Bloomberg consensus for the month. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “CHARISMATIC LEGITIMACY” – Irrussianality/Paul Robinson

File photo of Czar Nicholas II in Military Uniform Outdoors with Soldiers in Background, adapted from image at defense.gov

“In pre-revolutionary China, the Emperor’s legitimacy was said to derive from the ‘mandate of heaven’. On the one hand, proof that an Emperor had such a mandate came from his success. On the other hand, if the Emperor was unsuccessful, that was evidence that he did not have a mandate from heaven, in which case rebellion against him was justifiable. … […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian corporate governance comes in from the ‘Caveman era'” – bne Intellinews/Jason Corcoran

“Russia’s new corporate governance code … in place for two years, is being increasingly adhered to, according to market participants. Other reforms undertaken by the Moscow Exchange – as well as an increase in domestic liquidity – is accelerating the trend for more companies to list in the Russian capital rather than in London. …” [featured image is file photo, […]

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NEWSLINK: “THE DIRTY SECRET BEHIND THE JEFF SESSIONS MESS; It may not be as sinister as it seems” – Vanity Fair/T.A. FRANK

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“… With most Russia-related stories these days, especially ones in The New York Times and The Washington Post, the best initial reaction is heavy skepticism. That way you aren’t surprised when embarrassing editorial disclaimers appear above stories that Russia hacked a Vermont utility or spread ‘fake news’ via dozens of U.S. websites from Drudge to Truthdig … “

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NEWSLINK: “The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation” – Michael Tracy/Medium

Satellite Dishes

“The basic formula for every breaking Trump/Russia story is essentially as follows: 1. The New York Times or Washington Post releases an article that at first blush appears extremely damning. 2. Anti-Trump pundits and Democrats react reflexively to the news, express shrieking outrage, and proclaim that this finally proves untoward collusion between Trump and Russia-a smoking gun, at last. 3. […]

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NEWSLINK: “How the News is Reported in Russia” – The School of Russian and Eurasian Studies/Andrei Nesterov

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

“According to a 2016 poll by the independent Levada Center, 80% of Russians view television as their primary source of news. The same Levada poll, however, shows that only 41% trust the news as an objective source of information. The broadcasts sampled here are from Russia’s most-watched channels: First Channel and Russia Channel. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Red Scare” [re: New Yorker story] – Economic Principles/David Warsh

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

“… a 13,000-word article in The New Yorker…. exemplified all the preconceptions typical of what I have come to think of as reporters of the Generation of ’91. Nothing in the article – Active Measures: What lay behind Russia’s interference in the 2016 election – and what lies ahead? – was quite as punchy as the art that accompanied it. […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Will Russia rejoice if the EU falls apart? Unlikely”

EU Map

“The European Union’s persistent instability during the last two years has been exacerbated by the big unknown by the name of Trump. Today, there are five official scenarios for the EU’s future. With the EU reform effort in serious doubt, does Moscow have an opportunity, or challenge?”

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NEWSLINK: “Stealth Wars: US-Russian Cyber Wars and the Future of International Security” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/Gordon M. Hahn

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“It increasingly appears that we have an unraveling of the hasty view put forward by the waning Washington consensus in media, academia and pre-Trump government circles regarding the exceptionalism of Russian cyber warfare and its alleged hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hilllary Clinton’s and John Podesta’s email servers. First, the U.S. intelligence reports on these alleged Russian […]

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NEWSLINK: “Our democracy and Trump, as seen through Russian eyes” – Arizona Daily Star/Rachel Wilson

United States Map, adapted from image at epa.gov

“The Russian law professors were excited to meet me. The vice-chair plied me with chocolates while pouring healthy glugs of cognac into the two glasses on his desk. ‘Welcome! We look forward to learning about the American legal system,’ ….”

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NEWSLINK: “Russian real disposable income up for first time since 2014 on pension payout” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Rosstat recorded the first rise in Russian real disposable income in January since October 2014. However, Rosstat went on to say that the bump was caused by a one-time payment to pensioners of RUB5000 (€81.69) in lieu of indexing their pensions at above the rate of inflation. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Could Russia have avoided revolution in 1917? A century on from Nicholas II’s abdication, Dominic Lieven asks whether democracy was ever likely to take root.” – Financial Times

Romanov Family Photo

“When I began my academic career in the 1970s, the shadow of the 1917 Revolution loomed over the whole of Russian history. Historians of late imperial and early Soviet Russia, in particular, worked at the epicentre of the ideological conflict between democratic capitalism and communism that raged in the cold war era. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russian IPO wave on the way” – bne/Intellinews

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“A wave of Russian IPO could be gathering momentum out to sea after iconic toy store Detsky Mir placed its €333mn IPO earlier this month. Russia’s equity market has come back to life with about $1.9bn worth of securities issued in just the last three months. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Lost in Translation” – Sarah Lindemann-Komarov/Portland Press Herald (Maine)/Medium

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“Throughout the 25 years I have lived in Siberia people have turned to me as a translator, not of English, but of America. Never more so than now, from my University students to the Kazakh fast food cashier at the mall, “Trump?”. I know they ask hoping I can provide a translation of the meaning of Trump that will reinforce […]

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NEWSLINK: “The ‘Russia Scare’ Coalition: ISIL’s ‘Useful Idiots’? Victory by the ‘Russia scare’ coalition will limit America’s ability to fight ISIL, complicate efforts to win UNSC support for tough enforcement of the Iran nuclear deal and give China more leverage over both Moscow and Washington.” – The National Interest editorial

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“The turmoil surrounding Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation and wider allegations of links between President Donald Trump, his campaign and Russia seems to have made a strong impression in Moscow. Many there had already calibrated initially unrealistic expectations after Mr. Trump’s initial weeks in office; recent events have tempered even these more limited ambitions. Hopes have long faded that Washington […]

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NEWSLINK: “BOOK REVIEW: SHOULD WE FEAR RUSSIA? [re: Dmitri Trenin]” – Paul Robinson/Irrussianality

Kremlin and River

“… Trenin’s answer to the question posed by his book is a bit of a ‘no’ and a bit of a ‘yes’. Russia isn’t a ‘threat’, he says, but its policies do pose a ‘challenge’ to the West, and are likely to keep doing so for the foreseeable future. ‘While most fears need to be put to rest’, he concludes, […]

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RUSSIALINK Russia Direct/Ivan Tsvetkov: “After Flynn’s dismissal, Russia starts to doubt Trump. After National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s scandalous resignation and Donald Trump’s tough new rhetoric toward the Kremlin, Russia has started to back away from the U.S. president. That could be dangerous.”

Kremlin and River

“This week has not been easy for U.S.-Russia relations, especially with the scandalous resignation of President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Russia is now back on the agenda of the U.S. media after a brief period in which U.S. President Donald Trump’s early presidential moves overshadowed any talk of foreign policy. The image of Flynn is controversial in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Survey: U.S. Vital Interests Vis-à-Vis #Russia” – Russia Matters/Thomas Graham, Stephen Kinzer, Jack Matlock, Matthew Rojansky, Paul Saunders

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“Every new U.S. president assumes office with a firm intention to pursue polices based on national interests, but not every one of them publicly formulates what exactly these interests are. We have asked a handful of top experts on #Russia three related questions: (a) What are America’s top five vital national interests; (b) which of them can Russia significantly impact […]

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NEWSLINK: “It’s the Russians! … or Is it? Cold War Rhetoric in the Digital Age” – ICIT/James Scott

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“…. Western systems lack the security and resiliency to withstand foreign compromise. Moreover, Incident Response techniques and processes are not comprehensive or holistic enough to definitively attribute an incident to a specific threat actor from the multitude of script kiddies, hacktivists, lone-wolf threat actors, cyber-criminals, cyber-jihadists, hail-mary threats, and nation-state sponsored advanced persistent threats (APTs), who all possess the means, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Kiev Is Fueling the War in Eastern Ukraine, Too; A muted White House isn’t just emboldening the Kremlin — it’s inciting the politics of war throughout Ukraine.” – Foreign Policy Magazine/ISAAC WEBB

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

“… Beginning Jan. 29, rockets rained down on residential and military positions along the front line, killing civilians and soldiers alike. One 60-year-old woman was killed in separatist shelling as she walked from her home to a nearby market; a 24-year-old medic was killed when a shell exploded next to the ambulance she was driving. The fighting decimated local water […]

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NEWSLINK: “German intelligence finds no evidence of Russian meddling; But authorities warned Russia has been on a ‘confrontational path’ since 2014 and its media is ‘hostile.'” – PoliticoEU/ESTHER KING

Map of Germany

“A year-long investigation into potential Russian interference with German politics has failed to uncover evidence of Kremlin-backed meddling, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported Monday. German intelligence authorities found no concrete proof of disinformation campaigns targeting the government and have decided against publishing the 50-page report to avoid further straining relations with Moscow, according to SZ. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Losing everything in Avdiivka; As violence escalates in Eastern Ukraine front, one family copes with losing their livelihood in the shelling.” – Al Jazeera/Christian Borys

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

“… Somewhere in that direction is the heavy gun that fired the shell which destroyed everything for which he had worked. The sounds of the intense fighting in that direction are still audible …. ‘That poor old man,’ says his 71-year-old wife …. ‘He worked his whole life for his family, and now it’s all gone.’ …. * * * […]

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NEWSLINK: “U.S. Preps for Infowar on Russia” – DailyBeast/Tim Mak

Satellite Dishes

“While President Trump is still defending Vladimir Putin in public, American policymakers have finally awoken to Russian intervention in the U.S. democratic process-and are pumping tens of millions into a counter-propaganda initiative”

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RUSSIALINK Russia Direct/Michael McFaul: “Steve Bannon, the Grey Cardinal in the White House: Good or bad for Russia?”

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“Michael McFaul is a former ambassador to Russia and the Director of Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. This article is revised and updated version of a blogpost that originally appeared on the Echo of Moscow website in Russian. Russia Direct republishes the article with the permission of Michael McFaul and Echo of Moscow.”

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NEWSLINK: “TODAY’S FEAR-MONGERING” – Irrussianality/Paul Robinson

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“Doug Saunders of the Globe and Mail newspaper writes some good op-eds. But like a lot of commentators he seems to go completely off the rails when the subject of Russia comes up. His latest piece entitled ‘Is Putin scoring political goals on an empty net?’ had me spluttering over my breakfast cereal this morning, and merits a detailed response.”

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Russia ready to take its part of road towards restoration of relations with US”

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

“Moscow is ready to take its part of the road towards restoration of relations with Washington, which suffered major damage at the previous head of the U.S. administration Barack Obama, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with Austria’s Profil weekly. Moscow is watching closely statements made by President Donald Trump about Russia, he said.”

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NEWSLINK: “A Grand Bargain: What Russia wants from the West” – Matthew Dal Santon/Medium

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

“The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States of America has elicited thousands of lines of newsprint as academics, journalists and the wider public seek to make sense of its implications. It has occasioned no less speculation in Russia, much of it shot through with a strong sense of Russia’s unexpected good luck. …”

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RUSSIALINK Russian International Affairs Council: “President Trump and US Policy Challenges. Flash interview of RIAC members and experts.”

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“On 20 January 2017, Donald Trump took the office as 45th U.S. president. RIAC members and experts comment on the vital domestic and foreign policy issues the U.S.A. is going to face in the next four years.”

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NEWSLINK: “What Evangelicals Living Under Putin Think of Trump. Protestants and #Orthodox alike are mostly hopeful about America’s new president.” -Christianity Today/Kate Shellnutt

File Photo of Donald Trump Waving Before Large Crowd with Trump Signs, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“‘The hope for a new understanding between Russia and the USA is very strong, especially for evangelicals,’ said Wiliam Yoder, spokesman for the Russia Evangelical Alliance. Russia’s evangelical minority, roughly 1 percent of its population of 143 million, finds itself living and serving in the East-West tension between its nationalistic government and the outside evangelical groups that support its gospel […]

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