NEWSLINK: “Russia likely targeted all 50 states in 2016, but has yet to try again, DHS cyber chief says” – ABC News/Mike Levine

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“… even with the campaign season underway the U.S. government has yet to detect any new cyber activity from Russia targeting election systems … Nevertheless … it’s likely every single U.S. state was targeted by Russian hackers during the 2016 presidential election – far more states potentially impacted than the public may have realized. …”

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[SATIRE] NEWSLINK: “Bezos Says That When Pee Tape Is Released It Will Be Free for All Amazon Prime Members” – The New Yorker/Andy Borowitz

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

“Satire from The Borowitz Report: … Bezos’s offer drew a mixed response from Prime members, with some begging Amazon not to offer the … tape to them. …”

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NEWSLINK: “The Beginning of the End of the Russia Hoax” – Rush Limbaugh

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“… my answer was, ‘Before I get into that, Chris, I just want to tell you, this whole idea that the Russians had anything to do with the outcome of the presidential election is absurd. The idea that they colluded or tampered or worked with Donald Trump to do it is doubly absurd. There is nothing to it.’ …”

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NEWSLINK: “Permanent Stagnation: Putin’s Invisible Fourth-Term Agenda; The symbolic and real dimensions of Russian politics are in radical contradiction of each other” – Carnegie Moscow/Andrei Kolesnikov

Putin Descending a Staircase

“… Putin’s hopes for a brief honeymoon after Russia’s utterly predictable and boring presidential election were quickly dispelled. While Western observers are captivated by the fallout from the lurid poisoning of a former Russian double agent in the UK, a sweeping wave of new U.S. sanctions, and the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own people, Russians have […]

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NEWSLINK: “Regaining by force or abandoning Donbas: Experts name four scenarios for east Ukraine developments” – UNIAN (Kyiv)

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

“According to experts, the current situation being preserved until 2020 would be the most sustainable scenario. Neither war nor peace; return by peaceful means; return by force; and the abandonment of the occupied territories – these are the key options for Donbas developments for the coming years. Experts of the Ukrainian Institute for the Future (UIF) have been studying the […]

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NEWSLINK: Doctors ordered at gunpoint to deny Syria chemical attack or else their children will be killed; ‘Unless you give a testimony, doctor, that there wasn’t a gas attack, we’ll be killing your children'” – The Mirror (UK)/Andrew Gregory

Syria Map

“Unless you give a testimony, doctor, that there wasn’t a gas attack, we’ll be killing your children”

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NEWSLINK: “When did Trump and Putin talk about ‘hookers’?” – Washington Post/Philip Bump

James Comey file photo, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“By the top of the second page of the first memo former FBI director James B. Comey wrote to memorialize his conversations with President Trump, prostitutes are mentioned. Sex workers are a running theme in the seven memos released on Thursday evening, a function of their prominent role in the dossier of unproven allegations involving the president’s 2016 campaign and […]

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NEWSLINK: “Trump, a reluctant hawk, has battled his top aides on Russia and lost” – Washington Post/Greg Jaffe, John Hudson, Philip Rucker

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“‘If you’re getting briefed by the CIA director on all this stuff, there’s a point where, even if you’re Donald J. Trump, you think, “Hmm [Putin’s] a really bad guy,”‘ said former House speaker Newt Gingrich, an informal Trump adviser.”

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NEWSLINK: “Trump Scraps New Sanctions Against Russia, Overruling Advisers” – New York Times/Peter Baker

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Trump rejected, for now at least, a fresh round of sanctions set to be imposed against Russia on Monday, a course change that underscored the schism between the president and his national security team. …”

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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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NEWSLINK: “Russia Trained ‘Special Units’ on Door Handle Poisonings, U.K. Says” – New York Times/Ellen Barry

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“Russia has been researching the application of chemical agents to door handles as a way to assassinate its enemies, and has been training personnel ‘from special units’ to carry out such attacks, said Mark Sedwill, Britain’s national security adviser … in a letter to the secretary general of NATO. … Sedwill’s letter, the most detailed account of British intelligence on […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Arctic as the next battleground? Don’t count on it” – Asia Times/Richard A. Bitzinger

Arctic Map

“… as tensions between Russia and the West also grow, where might conflict between these two camps break out? … Global warming … raises the specter that the Arctic might become a new zone for conflict, as the polar icecap recedes and the area becomes more accessible. In the first place, competition for natural resources in the region is increasing. […]

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NEWSLINK: “In Memoriam: Karen Dawisha” – Miami University, Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies

Lit Candle with Reflection and Dark Background

“Karen Dawisha, the former Walter E. Havighurst Professor of Political Science and director of Miami University’s Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies, died Wednesday, April 11, after a long illness. She was 68. Dawisha joined the Miami faculty in 2000, becoming the first Walter E. Havighurst Professor of Political Science and the founding director of the Havighurst Center for […]

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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

Syria Map

“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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NEWSLINK: “Taking on Russia’s ‘oligarchs’; Meduza looks at the businessmen, state officials, and companies targeted in the latest U.S. sanctions” – Meduza

“On Friday, the world got a look at the latest U.S. sanctions against Russia. The U.S. Treasury Department’s new “designations” target seven Russian ‘oligarchs’ and 12 companies they own or control, 17 senior Russian government officials, and a state-owned Russian weapons trading company and its subsidiary, a Russian bank. Washington says the measures are a response to “a range of […]

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NEWSLINK: “BOOK REVIEW: EVERYDAY LAW IN RUSSIA” – Irrussianality/Paul Robinson

File Photo of Judge and Clerk in Russian Court, with Russian Flag Behind Bench

“A while ago I met a businessman working for a large multinational corporation in Russia. Apparently, Russian tax officials are paid according to how many tax violations they report, creating an incentive to accuse companies of violating the tax code even when they haven’t. As a result, the Russian tax authorities regularly accuse this businessman’s company of breaking the law. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Expelled from Russia, U.S. diplomats bid a wistful farewell (video)” – Washington Post/Amie Ferris-Rotman

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

“… Set to the tunes of a country music band from North Carolina, the video features eight of the 60 Americans kicked out of Russia in the latest tit for tat between Moscow and the West. The escalation began last month when a former Russian double agent and his daughter were poisoned on British soil with a Soviet-designed nerve agent. Britain […]

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NEWSLINK: “Is Putin a C.I.A. Agent?” – Thomas L. Friedman/New York Times

New York Times Masthead from 1913 adapted from image at loc.gov

“… Because Putin has undertaken so many actions in recent years that contributed to the weakening of Russia’s economy and human capital base that you have to wonder whether he’s secretly on the C.I.A.’s payroll. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Who’s Responsible For The New Cold War? An Interview With Renowned Russia Expert Stephen Cohen” – JewishPress/Elliot Resnick

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

“Many in the United States believe Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential elections and that its president, Vladimir Putin, is a cold-blooded killer. … In a recent interview with The Jewish Press, Cohen said he has seen no evidence to support these claims. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Was nerve agent spy poisoned by his breakfast? Police quiz daughter’s friend who brought £1 bag of cereal from Russia as a gift” – The Daily Mail (UK)

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“Police quiz daughter’s friend who brought £1 bag of cereal from Russia as a gift; Yulia, 33, was asked by Sergei Skripal to bring home his favourite porridge; She forgot and instead asked a friend who was travelling later to buy it instead; Metropolitan Police have questioned the unnamed woman over buckwheat …”

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NEWSLINK: “Direct mayoral elections are abolished in Yekaterinburg” – Meduza

Yekaterinburg file photo

“A day after a protest in the capital, legislators in the Sverdlovsk regional parliament adopted a third and final reading of a law that abolishes the direct election of Yekaterinburg’s mayor. … Instead of the popular vote, Yekaterinburg’s mayor will now be selected by city deputies from a list of candidates determined by a ‘competition committee.’ …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russian Professor Warns of Putin Hit list: ‘It’s Very Cold Warrish'” – Nina Khrushcheva

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

“Russian-American professor Nina Khrushcheva talked about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s retaliatory strategy against state enemies and warned that his hit list and weapons development program is reminiscent of Cold War tensions. …”  

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NEWSLINK: “All 60 Russians kicked out of U.S. are ‘undeclared spies’ pretending to be diplomats, U.S. official says” – Fox News

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

“All of the 60 Russians expelled by the United States this week were undeclared ‘spies’ pretending to be diplomats, a senior administration official told reporters … saying the Russians were unwelcome — ‘persona non grata.’ ‘These are not diplomats that we expelled. These were intelligence officers that were engaging in activities that were not commensurate with their diplomatic roles and […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Will Trump Punish Russia Next? When it comes to sending messages to bad actors, presidents have a standard bag of tricks to choose from.” – Politico/Samantha Vinograd

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

“… I spent a lot of time in the situation room debating how to respond to naughty global players ….”

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NEWSLINK: “It’s wishful thinking to blame Clinton’s loss on Cambridge Analytica; Cambridge Analytica has now joined Russia at the top of a list of conspirators who may have helped Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016, leaving the real reasons unexamined” – The Independent (UK)/Patrick Cockburn

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sergei Lavrov, Seated With Flags

“… Cambridge Analytica has now joined Russia at the top of a list of conspirators who may have helped Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. This is satisfactory for Democrats as it shows that they ought to have won, and delegitimises Trump’s mandate. In the Russian and Cambridge Analytica scandals, dodgy characters abound who claim to have a direct line […]

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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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“Gangster’s paradise: how organised crime took over Russia; Under Vladimir Putin, gangsterism on the streets has given way to kleptocracy in the state” – The Guardian (UK)/Mark Galeotti

“… The challenge posed by Russian organised crime is a formidable one – and not just at home. Across the world, it trafficks drugs and people, arms insurgents and gangsters, and peddles every type of criminal service, from money laundering to computer hacking. For all that, much of the rest of the world remains willing – indeed, often delighted – […]

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RUSSIALINK: “A Mandate for Stagnation: After Russia’s Presidential Election” – Carnegie Moscow

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

“… Putin is beginning his fourth term as president of Russia. Andrei Kolesnikov, the head of the Domestic Politics and Political Institutions program at the Carnegie Moscow Center, discusses the elections results, some surprises in the presidential race and what comes next ….”

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin’s Hawks Got the Confirmation They Wanted; The Russian president defeated his strongest opponent — voter apathy” – Bloomberg/Leonid Bershidsky

Kremlin and River

“… The election was fake because Putin’s most vocal and most politically talented rival, Alexei Navalny, wasn’t allowed to run because of a trumped-up criminal conviction. It was fake because the “opposing candidates” were hand-picked by the Kremlin and because the majority of Russian media are under direct or indirect Kremlin control. It was also fake because of a fierce […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why did Russia poison one of its ex-spies in Britain?” – Washington Post.Maria Snegovaya

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“With Putin returning to office after this election, Moscow appears poised to continue disrupting world politics for years to come.”

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NEWSLINK: “‘Russia is attempting something that nobody but America has tried in 30 years’ Why is Moscow’s foreign policy what it is? Meduza asks the experts” – Meduza

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“In recent years – thanks to the annexation of Crimea, the intervention in eastern Ukraine, and the war in Syria – foreign policy has come to influence the everyday lives of ordinary Russians both directly and indirectly. At the same time, however, state officials have often failed to explain the full logic behind these momentous decisions. To learn more about […]

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NEWSLINK: “It’s the Series Finale for “That Putin Show;” Today’s election in Russia will bring another empty political spectacle to a close. But the contest over the country’s future will just be getting started.” – Jacobin/SEAN GUILLORY

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

“… Putinism is increasingly exhausting itself as its internal contradictions become more visible. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russia Wormed Its Way Into Access at Power Plants, U.S. Says; Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says” – New York Times

Electrical Yard file photo

“The Trump administration accused Russia … of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will. United States officials and private security firms saw the attacks as a signal by Moscow that it could disrupt the West’s critical facilities in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s been waging war on the West for years. We just haven’t noticed. It’s way past time for the United States and its allies to get serious about Putin’s aggression.” – Washington Post/Max Boot

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

“… The war arguably began in 2008 when Russia invaded Georgia, a pro-Western country that sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan and was anxious to join NATO. Rather than punishing Vladimir Putin for his aggression, the Obama administration later responded with a “reset” of relations. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Q&A: Tillerson Out, Pompeo In. What Does It Mean for Russia and Ukraine?” – Atlantic Council/Melinda Haring/ Anders Åslund/ Michael Carpenter/ Ariel Cohen/ Jeffrey Gedmin/ John Herbst/ Adrian Karatnycky/ Alina Polyakova/ Alexander Vershbow

File Photo of Mike Pompeo Seat at Table During Congressional Testimony, with Specators in the Background

“… Tillerson was sacked. … Trump plans to replace him with former CIA director Mike Pompeo. UkraineAlert ask[s] … What does Pompeo think about … Putin and his aggressive foreign policy? What does the leadership change mean for US policy toward Ukraine and Russia? Do you expect any changes? Will he support US Special Representative for Ukraine Ambassador Kurt Volker’s […]

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NEWSLINK: “If we don’t boycott the World Cup, England fans will almost certainly die in Russia; Here are 13 very good reasons to stay at home” – The Daily Mirror (UK)/Fleet Street Fox

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

“… The Russian state is suspected of involvement in the murder of 14 people in Britain. … more than the Yorkshire Ripper ….  Russian football hooligans are the most organised and ruthless in the world. They injured 130 in Marseille after Euro 2016, including 2 left in comas with life-changing injuries and others who had their Achilles tendons sliced in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin on U.S. election interference: ‘I couldn’t care less'” – NBC News

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

“… Putin has told NBC News that he ‘couldn’t care less’ if Russian citizens tried to interfere in the 2016 American presidential election because, he claims, they were not connected to the Kremlin. In an exclusive and at-times combative interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, Putin again denied the charge by U.S. intelligence services that he ordered meddling in the November […]

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NEWSLINK: “Vladimir Putin Blames U.S. Election Interference On ‘Jews,’ Ukrainians” – Huffington Post

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any accusations that he meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election during an interview with NBC News’ Megyn Kelly. During the tense interview, Putin appeared defensive and even suggested Jewish people were to blame for the United States’ election breach. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Stanford suspends all undergraduate programs in Russia” – The Stanford Daily/Nicholas Midler

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

“Stanford suspended all undergraduate study abroad programs to Russia, including a summer internship at the Carnegie Moscow Center, after the Department of State issued a Level Three travel advisory for the country. … the University prohibits undergraduates from participating in Stanford-sponsored or Stanford-organized trips to regions that have been issued an official travel advisory of Level Three or Level Four, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Vladimir Putin’s Re-Election Strategy: Nukes and Assassins” – Daily Beast/Amy Knight

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

“Emboldened by Trump’s weak response, Putin and his cronies are saying: ‘You know we did it, and you know and we know you’re not going to do anything about it.’”

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NEWSLINK: “Spy chiefs ‘suspect Russia targeted ex-double agent with poison so rare military scientists still don’t know what it is'” – The Mirror (UK)

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“A secret military lab in Porton Down has been unable to ‘definitively’ identify the substance – raising fears it could be the heavy metallic chemical Thallium”

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