NEWSLINK: “These Two Former Intelligence Chiefs Differ Sharply on Russia and Trump. America needs more Robert Gates and less James Clapper.” – The National Interest/ Paul Saunders

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

“… Former secretary of defense and CIA director Robert Gates took a very different approach … Gates — whom no one could accuse of sympathy for Moscow — put Russia’s election interference into historical context, expressed considerable skepticism that Russian officials could have blackmailed Flynn, and, while describing Comey’s firing as ‘not terribly well done,’ was subtly critical of the former […]

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NEWSLINK: “Dimwitted and dangerous” – Paul Robinson/ Irrussianality

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… in seeking to destroy Trump in this way, his opponents are threatening the internal order of their own country. Perhaps one other explanation for the obsession with Russia is that the ‘Never Trumpists’ aren’t seeking electoral advantage so much as some form of ‘soft coup’ or palace revolution. The hope isn’t to harm Trump’s electoral prospects in 2020, but to […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Fall of Dmitry Medvedev” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/ Gordon Hahn

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

“Opposition leader Alexei Navalnyi’s recent corruption allegations against Russian Prime Minister and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev poses a grave threat to Medvedev’s political survival in that position. The timing of the allegations is crucial, coming as the presidential campaign approaches as does Putin’s impending decision whether or not to retain Medvedev in the PM’s post. Putin is not left […]

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RUSSIALINK: “A CHINESE SILK NOOSE” – Valdai Club/ Georgy Toloraya

Asia Map

“… In response to the Chinese initiative, Russia advanced an even more ambitious project of a Greater Eurasian Partnership … incorporate[ing] the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and even the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). … However, Russia lacks the resources and integration ties with the numerous countries of the Euro-Pacific space for implementing this ambitious […]

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Today’s Washington Post headlines and links to Russia

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Here’s how the Russians might have snuck a recording device into the Oval Office https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/05/11/heres-how-the-russians-might-have-snuck-a-recording-device-into-the-oval-office/?utm_term=.fa1eacd431ad Don’t forget those smiling images of Trump and the Russians The Russians are comfortable with the president’s greed, his dishonesty and his cynicism about the rights of others. Anne Applebaum https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/dont-forget-those-smiling-images-of-trump-and-the-russians/2017/05/11/ea26a204-3651-11e7-b4ee-434b6d506b37_story.html?utm_term=.3976431f4593 Trump is at war with the nation he is supposed to lead He seems […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia Gambles in Afghanistan – Again Moscow’s overtures with the Taliban risk destabilizing the region and antagonizing military superpowers” – Moscow Times/ Artemy Kalinovsky

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“… In recent weeks, senior U.S. military officials have accused the Russian government of providing support to the Taliban, the militant group still waging a bloody insurgency against the government in Afghanistan. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Dirty Jobs: Being a Governor in Russia is Proving Tough” – BearMarketBrief/ Fabrice Deprez

Russia Regions Map

“It’s a rough time to be a regional governor in Russia. Since last year, arrests and resignations of local leaders have piled up and accelerated in the last few weeks, with five governors gone since February. Described by some as a way for the Kremlin to prepare the presidential elections, whether by pumping ‘new blood’ into Russia’s political system or […]

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NEWSLINK: “FBI’s Comey: Russia is ‘greatest threat of any nation on Earth’ to U.S. democratic process” – CNBC/ Jacob Pramuk

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“#FBI Director James #Comey told senators Wednesday that #Russia remains involved in American politics, saying he thinks the country poses the ‘greatest threat’ to the U.S. political process of any in the world. During a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham – a foreign policy hawk – asked Comey ‘what kind of threat’ Russia presents ‘to the […]

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NEWSLINK: “ExxonMobil Just Challenged Trump to Get Serious With Russia Policy” – Fortune/ Richard Nephew, Colin Rowat

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

“Earlier this month, news leaked that ExxonMobil was pushing the Treasury Department to grant it a sanctions waiver, which would allow the company to resume its joint venture Black Sea drilling operations with Russian oil giant Rosneft. The Treasury Department has since denied the waiver application, as waivers are granted for humanitarian and policy reasons, not for business reasons—which was […]

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NEWSLINK: “Stanford professor analyzes Russian Empire’s history in new book; Stanford history professor Nancy Kollmann discusses the establishment of the Russian Empire and how Russia’s past shapes its present” – Stanford News/ ALEX SHASHKEVICH

Kremlin and River

“The spotlight on United States-Russia relations has intensified over the past year to levels not seen since the Cold War, according to experts.  To understand Russia, it’s important to understand the course of its history.  Stanford history professor Nancy Kollmann provides insight into the rise of the Russian Empire in her recently published book, The Russian Empire 1450-1801. Stanford News […]

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NEWSLINK: “How the Russia Spin Got So Much Torque” – Common Dreams/ Norman Solomon

“… Soon after #Clinton’s defeat, top strategists decided where to place the blame. ‘Within 24 hours of her concession speech,’ the authors report, campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chair John Podesta ‘assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Informal economy in Russia grows to record levels. The informal economy is being helped by economic decline, on the one hand, and the growth of technologies and Internet-markets for work and part-time work, on the other.”

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

“In 2016, employment in the informal sector of Russia’s economy set a record level for the last 10 years, reports Rosstat, the Russian Statistics Agency (the information was published (in Russian) by the RBC business daily in mid-April).  Rosstat believes that the informal employment category consists of those people who work in enterprises that are not registered as a legal entity, that […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Kremlin turns its electoral meddling to Western Europe; Russia’s next targets are moderates in France and Germany” – Washington Post editorial

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

“… it should be clear that the new normal of Russian conduct on the international stage includes tampering with elections in Western democracies to boost candidates the Kremlin believes likely to do its bidding and to harass those who won’t …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russia and the “Resource Curse”: When the Kremlin’s Policy is Counterproductive for the Economy” – Carnegie Moscow Center/Forbes.ru/ ANDREY MOVCHAN, PAVEL KOSHKIN)

Oil Well file photo

“How can Russia overcome the “resource curse”? What countries should be an example for Moscow? What consequences can the Russian flawed economic policy lead to? Why could the authorities’ attempts to save their power by any means be dangerous for economic growth? Andrey Movchan, the director of the Economic Policy Pogram at the Carnegie Moscow Center, sheds light on these […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia and the “Resource Curse”: When the Kremlin’s Policy is Counterproductive for the Economy” – Carnegie Moscow Center/ Forbes.ru/ ANDREY MOVCHAN, PAVEL KOSHKIN)

Oil Well file photo

“How can Russia overcome the ‘resource curse’? What countries should be an example for Moscow? What consequences can the Russian flawed economic policy lead to? Why could the authorities’ attempts to save their power by any means be dangerous for economic growth? Andrey Movchan, the director of the Economic Policy Pogram at the Carnegie Moscow Center, sheds light on these […]

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RUSSIALINK Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov’s interview with Kommersant newspaper, published 19 April 2017”

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

“Question: Do you know when and where President of Russia Vladimir Putin will meet with US President Donald Trump? Sergey Ryabkov: We have reaffirmed our readiness for such a meeting several times. We understand that contacts at the highest level are crucial for adjusting the agenda, areas of focus and the direction we are moving in. We confirmed our willingness […]

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NEWSLINK: “Unequal Russia: is anger stirring in the global capital of inequality?” – The Guardian (UK)  

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“With the richest 10% owning 87% of all the country’s wealth, Russia is rated the most unequal of the world’s major economies. Amid falling oil prices and a wave of protests, Shaun Walker asks how Russians really feel about life’s inequalities. …”

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Why does ExxonMobil need Russia’s Arctic region? Even though the price of extracting oil in the Arctic is very expensive, ExxonMobil still wants to strengthen its position in the Russian market.”

Arctic Map

“The U.S. Government will not give the green light to oil major ExxonMobil Corporation and other American companies that seek to drill in areas covered by U.S. sanctions against Russia, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on April 21. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Kremlin Stringing Kadyrov Along on Oil” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/Gordon Hahn

Ramzan Kadyrov file photo

“Chechen President and strongman Ramzan Kadyrov recently may have finally won long-sought concessions from Moscow in oil related industries, something he has been fighting to attain from RosNeft since he came to power in the once war-torn North Caucasus republic in early 2008. In November 2009, Kadyrov and Sergei Bogdanchikov, then head of RosNeft, Russia’s state oil giant, wrested from oligarch […]

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Putin’s spokesman dismisses rumors about plans to appoint Kudrin as prime minister”

Alexei Kudrin file photo

“Rumors linking the activities of former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, Head of Russia’s Center for Strategic Research, with his possible appointment as prime minister are nothing more than political exercises, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. The Kremlin spokesman pointed out that Kudrin was a broad-range expert ‘so it is only natural that he has an opinion on a […]

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NEWSLINK: “What Does Russia Want? What Does America Need?” – The National Interest Event with Steven Pifer, Paul J. Saunders, Angela Stent, Michael Kofman, Dimitri K. Simes

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

“On April 17, the Center for the National Interest hosted a panel discussion entitled ‘What Does Russia Want? What Does America Need?” Speakers included Steven Pifer, director of the Arms Control and Nonproliferation Initiative and a senior fellow for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at the Center on the Unites States and Europe at the Brookings Institution and former U.S. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why the New Cold War Is More Dangerous Than the Preceding One; Questionable but orthodox Cold War narratives make actual war with Russia more likely than during its 40-year predecessor.” – The Nation/Stephen F. Cohen

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

“Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen and radio-show host John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. …”

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NEWSLINK: “The Syria Crisis Has Evolved into an International Power Struggle; The prospect of an accidental military confrontation with Russia and its allies have never been greater” – The National Interest/ Robert G. Rabil

Syria Map

“No doubt, as reflected by many voices in Washington, DC corridors of power and media, the recent American cruise missile strikes against Syria’s al-Shayrat Air Base in response to the Assad regime’s chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun in Idlib Province was hailed as the right thing to do. Moved by horrifying images of children losing their lives to the internationally […]

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NEWSLINK: “INTO THE UNKNOWN: U.S.-RUSSIAN RELATIONS UNHINGED” – Valdai Discussion Club/ Robert Legvold

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

“… That the Russian leadership wanted a less hostile U.S. administration and a less confrontational relationship with the United had become plain even before Trump entered the White House. But whether this was a realistic possibility simply led to the next set of unanswered questions.”

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NEWSLINK: “Pulling the U.S.-Russia Relationship Back from the Nuclear Brink; The downward spiral in U.S.-Russia relations makes the objective of reducing nuclear risk all the more urgent.” – The National Interest/ Kingston Reif and Maggie Tennis

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“This week U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the first high-level sit down between the Trump administration and Russia since President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Though the discussion is likely to be dominated by the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons last week and its aftermath, the two diplomats […]

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NEWSLINK: “An American Dream Fulfilled. While the United States government was secretly preparing to bomb Syria, I was in my Siberian university classroom” – The Nation/Sarah Lindemann-Komarova

Russia Map

While the United States government was secretly preparing to bomb Syria, I was in my Siberian university classroom. It was the first day for a new group of third-year linguistics students. … After the class all told me something about themselves, I asked the stranger where he was from, as he was clearly not Russian. His name was Ali (the shortened version […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia needs American help to seal the deal in Syria; After the air strikes, closer co-operation between Putin and Trump is more likely” – Financial Times/ Dmitri Trenin

Syria Map

“The Russian reaction to the use of force by the U.S. president was strong but measured. Moscow condemned it … but gave no order to Russian air defence units in Syria to intercept American missiles. Nor did the Kremlin cancel the forthcoming visit by secretary of state Rex Tillerson. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Syria crisis: G7 leaders couldn’t change Vladimir Putin’s mind on backing Assad – even if they wanted to. Russia now relies on Syria for its new status as a great world power – and the West knows the risks of leaving a power vacuum in the Middle East.” – The Independent (UK)/ Patrick Cockburn

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

“It is very unlikely that Russia will change its support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, despite calls to do so from foreign ministers from the G7 nations gathered in Italy in the aftermath of the use of poison gas in Syria and the US missile strikes. Russia owes its return to great power status in the eyes of much of the […]

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NEWSLINK: “How the Tumultuous ’90s Paved the Way for Putin’s Russia” [Book Review of “WHO LOST RUSSIA? How the World Entered a New Cold War”] – New York Times/ Rajon Menon

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

“… So who lost Russia? Russia’s leaders, primarily Putin, who neither built democracy nor made Russia a partner of the West? Or the West, which was never serious about respecting Russia’s interests, let alone a partnership? Conradi doesn’t provide a clear-cut answer to his question. Given the complexities he grapples with, who can blame him?”

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NEWSLINK: “Why Trump’s missiles are shaking Putin’s home front; He may be the hero of Crimea, but for the Russian leader the US strike on Syria could hardly have come at a worse moment” – The Guardian (UK)/ Mary Dejevsky

U.S. Naval Vessel Firing Tomahawk Cruise Missile at Night

“… Moscow’s generally careful and differentiated response so far suggests that Putin himself has not given up on the prospect of better relations. Nor would it make sense for him to do so. By refusing to rise to the myriad anti-Russian charges flying around Washington, the Russian president has already invested a large amount of political capital in a fresh […]

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NEWSLINK: INTERVIEW AND INTRODUCTION: “Yevgeny Yevtushenko – His Poetry Engaged and Enraged Readers at Home and Abroad [2017 reprint of 1987 Interview” – The Progressive/ Yevgeny Yevtushenko/ Katrina vanden Heuvel

Yevgeny Yevtushenko file photo, adapted from image at archives.gov

“Editor’s Note: Yevgeny Yevtushenko, internationally acclaimed Russian poet, novelist, essayist, playwright and film director died on April 1, 2017. He was 83. In honor of his tremendous work and legacy, we are sharing an interview he did with Katrina vanden Heuvel for our magazine in 1987. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s March manufacturing PMI continues its strongest expansion since 2011” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russian manufacturing continues its strongest expansion since 2011 in March with the Markit PMI score of 52.4, almost the same as the previous month’s 52.5, while positive sentiment amongst Russian manufacturers reached a 22-month high. …”

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RUSSIALINK TASS: “Funeral ceremony for famed poet Yevtushenko anticipated on April 4”

Yevgeny Yevtushenko file photo, adapted from image at archives.gov

“The funeral ceremony for poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko will take place next Tuesday at the earliest, his close friend Mikhail Morgulis told TASS on Sunday. Celebrated Soviet and Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko died in the United States aged 84 on Saturday. …”

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NEWSLINK: “The UN’s Nuclear Weapon Talks May Be The Most Important Thing Nobody’s Paying Attention To. On Monday, a quixotic and necessary conference kicked off at the United Nations” – Huffington Post/Alexander Zaitchik

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Over protests from the U.S. and other nuclear powers, more than 120 countries began work on a treaty at the United Nations this week with the aim of banishing nuclear weapons from the face and the oceans of the earth. In a sign of mounting nuclear anxiety around the globe, the conference timeline is extremely condensed by U.N. standards. As […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov answers questions from readers of the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty” – Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sergei Lavrov file photo

“Question: What happened to Vitaly Churkin? Are there any grounds for thinking that his death was not accidental? Who will be the new Russian representative to the UN? Is Russia again facing the pro-American company at the Security Council alone?”

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NEWSLINK: “Alliance with Syria tightens Russia’s ties with Iran; Continuing cooperation on Syria was high on the agenda of a meeting between Putin and Rouhani, but other agreements were made as well” – Asia Times/SERGEI BLAGOV

Middle East Map

“As Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Moscow this week, the two sides pledged to develop cooperation on Syria, as well as bilateral economic ties. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Are Russia’s oil wells truly in danger of drying up?” – Russia Beyond the Headlines/Vzglyad/OLGA SAMOFALOVA

Oil Well file photo

“Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on the energy sector. Oil and gas alone are estimated to account for 16 percent of GDP, 52 percent of the federal government’s revenue, and 70 percent of the country’s exports. Russia’s future without oil is inconceivable, and would debilitate the country tremendously. Therefore, investments in the exploration of new oil reserves are imperative, but […]

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NEWSLINK: “Where Will Russia’s Protests Lead? The anticorruption wave could give way to greater instability” – The National Interest/Alexander Lukin

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

“March 26 saw widespread protests against corruption in Moscow and several other big Russian cities. The formal cause was the absence of reaction by the authorities to the film He Is Not Dimon to You, produced and distributed online by the Foundation Against Corruption, headed by opposition activist Alexei Navalny. The film accused Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of corruption, showing […]

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NEWSLINK: “The arts thrive in Putin’s Russia – though they play a complex game of censorship; Russia’s art scene prospers in a bizarre critical climate fostered by the Kremlin. We may not know the rules, but we know our place” – The Guardian (UK)/Natalia Antonova

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

“… The Russian state’s paradoxical nature becomes especially apparent when considering the country’s thriving arts scene. It is these contradictions of governance, and their peculiar influence on the Russian art world, that aid and abet Putin’s rule, and ultimately, help generate support for the Russian president. So is there censorship? Yes, some people would argue – but it’s not clearly […]

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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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