Is There A Non-West for Russia to Lead?

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(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Keith Darden – January 28, 2016 – ponarseurasia.org/memo/non-west-for-russia-to-lead) Keith Darden is Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. (PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Recently, Russian policymakers and strategists have articulated a vision of a vibrant non-Western world, one in which the United States and European leaders are increasingly marginal and where Russia […]

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Kudrin: Sanctions against Russia could start to ease late 2016-early 2017

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Interfax – January 22, 2016) Relations between Russia and the West are normalizing and sanctions will be lifted, Alexei Kudrin, a former Russian finance minister, said. “I’m sure the sanctions will start to soften at the end of this year or start of next year. Nobody in Russia wants to keep up confrontation. I think the Minsk accords will be […]

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2015: The Year Putin Bounced Back

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

(RFE/RL – Carl Schreck – December 29, 2015) In December 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama fielded a question about Russia while addressing a group of American business leaders in Washington. President Vladimir Putin’s incursion into Ukraine and “backward-looking” policies, Obama said, are “isolating Russia completely internationally.” If it was Russian expansionism last year that triggered this isolation, it was Putin’s […]

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How much are Western sanctions hurting Russia’s economy?

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

The difficult economic conditions have forced Russian businesses to reassess, which could be a good thing in the long run. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Ben Aris – December 21, 2015) Sanctions imposed by Western nations on Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine crisis and absorption of Crimea have hurt the country’s economy, but not mortally wounded […]

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Interfax: Russian calls not to impose values on others ignored by West – Putin

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

(Interfax – December 20, 2015) Moscow, 20 December: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he has always warned Western partners against “automatically, mechanically” spreading their ideas about democracy to other countries and nations. “I have spoken to many leaders, both European and American, over many years. And when it came to various operations, in Afghanistan, or in Iraq, or […]

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Russians Want Better Ties With West, But No Change in Policy – Poll

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog – December 3, 2015) Amid a standoff over the crisis in Ukraine and ongoing conflict in Syria, most Russians want their country to mend ties with its nemeses even while maintaining its political course, the independent Levada Center pollster said Wednesday. Seventy-five percent of those questioned in a new poll said Russia should […]

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Got a Diplomatic Dilemma? Send in the Clowns

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Justin Lifflander – December 2, 2015) While some potential visitors have crossed Russia off their list, a group of humanitarian clowns still regards the country as an ideal destination. The 22nd annual clown tour of Russia, which ended last week, brought more than 40 garishly dressed volunteers from 12 countries, including those with problematic relations […]

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Three-quarters of Russians stand for normalizing relations with West

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(Interfax – December 2, 2015) Most Russians (75 percent) think that Russia should normalize relations with the United States and other Western nations, and 16 percent argue the opposite, Levada Center has told Interfax. Ten percent of 1,600 respondents interviewed in 137 populated localities in 48 regions on November 20-23 were undecided. In the opinion of 51 percent of the […]

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Kyiv Must Seek Collapse of Putin Regime, Not ‘Restoration of Ukraine’s Territorial Integrity at Any Price,’ Portnikov Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 20, 2015) Ukrainian commentator Vitaly Portnikov argues that the goal of the Ukrainian government should not be “the restoration of territorial integrity at any price but rather the undermining of the economy of the aggressor country and the collapse of Putin’s political regime” (rus.newsru.ua/columnists/19nov2015/voprossroka.html). Western media say that the EU and […]

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The Beginning of the End of Russia’s Estrangement from the West

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(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov – November 17, 2015) Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Fellow at the Kennan Institute and the Editor-at-Large of Vedomosti, an independent Russian daily. Mr. Trudolyubov was the editorial page editor of Vedomosti between 2003 and 2015. He has been a contributing opinion writer for The International New York Times since the fall of […]

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Russia to Cooperate With West and Syrian Opposition Groups – Putin

Syria Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 17, 2015) Following the G20 summit in Turkey, there has been a decline in tension between Russia and the West in the face of new international threats and challenges, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the final G20 press conference, Interfax agency reported Monday. “Life goes forward, things are changing, there are new challenges, […]

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Kremlin’s Campaign against Russophobia Threatens both Russia and the West, Polish Experts Say

Europe Map

(Paul Goble – Staunton, November 11, 2015) The Kremlin’s revival of a campaign against what it calls “Russophobia” constitutes a threat not only to Western countries but to Russia’s future as well, according to two Polish experts. As such, they argue, it can properly be described as “a weapon of mass destruction.” In a new study, “Russophobia in the Kremlin’s […]

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Interfax: Foreign Ministry: Russian sub rumors are part of information campaign

Russian Nuclear Submarine

(Interfax – October 27, 2015) Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has described a number of Western military officials’ latest remarks as elements of an information campaign being waged against Russia. “We have encountered a very large-scale, well-orchestrated and strategically structured information campaign aimed at shaping public opinions. The main goal of this campaign is to create an enemy image. […]

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Foreign Investors Complain About Russia’s Unpredictable Laws

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – October 20, 2015) Unpredictable lawmaking is undermining Russia’s ability to attract foreign investors, the Foreign Investment Advisory Council (FIAC) – a group of the biggest foreign companies working in Russia – told Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday. A report by financial services group and FIAC member EY (Ernst & Young) into […]

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75% of Russians see Western countries as adversaries

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(Interfax – October 14, 2015) Russian citizens negatively assess the U.S. role in the world and feel critical about the level of Russian-U.S. relations, Levada Center told Interfax on Oct. 14. In the opinion of 71 percent of the respondents, the United States is generally playing a negative role in the contemporary world (50 percent in September 2013). Only 4 […]

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Putin looks back to West as China swing chokes

Eurasia Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Jason Corcoran in Moscow – October 14, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin is abandoning his much-vaunted pivot to Asian sources of finance, judging by the prominence given to Anglo-American investors during his question & answer session at the VTB Capital conference in Moscow on October 13. A year ago, Western investors were largely absent […]

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It’s Time to Recall Kennan’s Long Telegram and Forget His Later Optimism about Change in Russia

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(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – August 6, 2015) Staunton, October 3 – George Kennan’s famous “long telegram” of February 1946 was written to explain to Western leaders something they found difficult to understand: how Moscow could turn from being a wartime ally into an implacable enemy, a problem that some Western leaders are again finding it difficult to […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: “At UN, Putin talks tough against IS. Will the West work with him? The Russian president bluntly blamed the US for the chaos in the Middle East. But his plan for an alliance against IS may still find some listeners in the West.”

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Interfax: Russia ready to resume constructive dialogue with NATO – envoy Grushko

NATO Meeting File Photo

(Interfax – September 17, 2015) It is NATO that ought to take the first step towards resuming constructive dialogue between military officials of Russia and the alliance, Moscow’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko has said. “Signals have recently been heard from different ‘corners’ in NATO that it would be a good idea to revive Russia-NATO contacts at the military […]

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NEWSWATCH Ottawa Citizen: “The coming war with Russia”

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

The Ottawa Citizen reports on concerns over the prospects for open military conflict between NATO and Russia. A couple of months before he retired in July, the head of Canada’s air force provided a blunt assessment of what might emerge from the current military mission to Ukraine. “We pray that our ongoing NATO mission isn’t accompanied by the escalation of […]

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Kyiv Must Work to Isolate Moscow Rather than Negotiate with It, Yeremenko Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 11, 2015) Up to now, Ukraine has made “a serious error” by trying to negotiate with Russia about the Donbas, Bogdan Yeremenko says. What it should be doing is devoting all its efforts to isolating Russia internationally.  That will have far more impact on Moscow’s behavior than any talks Ukraine might […]

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Western Experts Cry Foul Over Russian Books Published in Their Names

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – August 10, 2015) Prominent Western experts and journalists accused a Russian publishing house Sunday of pirating their work and printing books using their names without their permission or prior knowledge. Journalists Luke Harding and Edward Lucas and U.S.-based Russia expert Donald Jensen confirmed to The Moscow Times that they did not know […]

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Russia Takes On Louvre, Guggenheim as Putin Fights Pariah Status

Hermitage Museum

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – August 9, 2015) Since it opened in March, the Russian Museum in Malaga, the southern Spanish coastal resort, has been thronged by visitors who line up to see centuries-old icons and works by 20th century avant-garde artists Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and Marc Chagall. The St. Petersburg landmark’s only foreign branch is part […]

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Russians split over destruction of banned food imports

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

Russian is to destroy confiscated Western food products that fall under the Russian embargo at the border starting from August 6. According to the presidential decree, embargoed foods will be destroyed both at the border and after being seized from stores. However, some observers are calling on the government not to destroy the products, but give them to the needy. […]

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Idiots ‘Useful’ and Otherwise on the Rise in Russia and the West

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(Paul Goble – Staunton, July 31, 2015) Idiotism is on the rise in both Russia and the West, with its spread in Russia having transformed that country from “a land of liars to one of idiots,” according to Vitaly Portnikov, and in the West having become the latest iteration of the “useful idiots” Lenin and the Bolsheviks always viewed as […]

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Five-part blog: THE WORLD WAR IV SERIES

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Subject: Five-part blog: THE WORLD WAR IV SERIES Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:39:46 -0400 From: David Law <davidmurraylaw@gmail.com> I have recently written a five-part blog series on what I call World War IV. I think your readers may be interested in this material. At the very least, it should provoke some reflection. David Law — THE WORLD WAR IV […]

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Gorbachev Urges Renewed Ties With West

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – July 22, 2015) Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said that problems inherited from previous eras are holding Russia back and urged Western leaders to restore ties with Moscow instead of trying to “provoke” it during a book presentation Tuesday, Russian media reports said. “Many are trying to provoke Russia now,” Gorbachev said […]

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NEWSLINK Kyiv Post editorial: New arms race; The last time that the West got into an arms race with the Kremlin, the Soviet Union collapsed

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

So when we hear threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin that he will respond to the West’s improved NATO defenses on Russia’s border, our response is: Bring it on, peewee Stalin!

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NEWSLINK International New York Times/Fiona Hill, Steven Pifer: Putin’s Risky Game of Chicken

TU-95 Bear Bomber File Photo

Russian SU-24 fighter-bombers buzzed a U.S. Navy destroyer in international waters in the Black Sea late in May, just days after the Royal Air Force scrambled to intercept nuclear-capable Bear bombers near British airspace. These dangerous Russian games of chicken are now regular occurrences and come hard upon a Russian threat in March to aim nuclear missiles at Danish warships […]

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Poll: Russians Dislike West About as Much as Westerners Dislike Russia

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 11, 2015) A staggering majority of Russians view the West negatively, and the feeling is mutual, a poll conducted by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center revealed Wednesday. According to the poll, 81% of Russians have unfavorable opinions of the United States, and 80% feel similarly about NATO. The European Union fared […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: NATO and Russia aren’t talking to each other. Cold war lessons forgotten?

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

Several times during the cold war, miscommunication almost led to nuclear conflict. Now, amid tensions over Ukraine, Russia and the West are showing a new failure to communicate.

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Interfax: Russians like Belarus and China, have aversion to U.S., EU and Ukraine – poll

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(Interfax – June 8, 2015) Most Russians speak ill of the United States, the European Union and Ukraine and see Belarus, China and Kazakhstan as friends, the Levada Center has told Interfax. Seventy-three percent of 1,700 respondents polled in 134 populated localities on May 22-25 expressed negative feelings for the U.S., 15 percent said the opposite, and 12 percent were […]

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Announcement: Committee for East-West Accord

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Subject: Announcement: Committee for East-West Accord Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2015 From: James Carden <jcarden@eastwestaccord.com> Announcing the launch of the Committee for East-West Accord and its official website, Eastwestaccord.com Dear Colleagues and Friends, Today I am pleased to announce the creation of the new Committee for East-West Accord, a nonpartisan, tax-exempt educational organization of American citizens from different professions – […]

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Gorbachev Foundation: Russia, West reach dangerous line of confrontation

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(Interfax – May 28, 2015) Russia can return to a sustainable development path provided that it revives democratic institutes and political competition and rids of excessive centralization of power and dangerous confrontation with the West, says a report on perestroika values in the contemporary Russian context. The document drawn up by the Gorbachev Foundation and the Civil Initiatives Committee will […]

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NEWSLINK Chatham House: A ‘New Cold War’? Abusing History, Misunderstanding Russia

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

The war in Ukraine suggests a new era of competition between the West and Russia. It has (again) revealed both fundamental differences in how European security is understood, and increasing friction in values. Together, these problems suggest an emergent ‘clash of Europes’ that pits the West’s relatively liberal vision for the region against a more conservative ‘Russian Europe’

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: Spurred by Western criticism, Russians experience something new: patriotism

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

In the past, Russia was an empire, then a communist colossus, then a ‘defeated’ power expected to adopt Western ways. But current tensions with the West are fostering what may be the birth of a distinct Russian nationalism.

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Waging Peace. Churchill requested plans for a British-American attack on Russia code-named “Operation Unthinkable.”

Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin and Crowd of Military Officers

The leaders of the Allied powers met three times during World War II, at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. The last conference stretched over 17 days in July and August 1945, longer than the first two put together. Harry Truman had replaced Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Chur  

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Museum Director at Hermitage Hopes for Thaw in Relations With West

File Photo of Hermitage Art Museum

These days, Mr. Piotrovsky, 70, has a dual mandate: Maintaining the Hermitage’s centuries-old ties with the wider world amid the chill, and making the case to the international art world that Russia is still a respectable partner. The loan of the Elgin marbles helped on both counts. He is also hoping to help resolve an impasse that has blocked all […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Signs Putin Doesn’t Think He’s Lost the Sanctions Game; any reactions?

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Secretary of State John Kerry‘s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday has revived one of Washington’s top guessing games: Is Mr. Putin impressed by Western sanctions? A well-informed Russian friend of mine told me Monday that Mr. Putin will not rethink his Ukraine strategy until he is convinced that Europe and the U.S. are able to make their […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: A Parade Hailing Russia’s WWII Dead and Marching Further From the West

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

The New York Times covers Russia’s celebration of Victory Day amidst current international tensions. … Putin has recast what he calls the country’s most important holiday to celebrate the might of the Russian state, the days are over when … Western leaders joined Mr. Putin on the bleachers …. The nationalistic fervor surrounding the parade and the tensions over Ukraine mean that the […]

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Order of Battle

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – April 30 2015) Russia will commemorate the end of World War II on May 9 with its traditional military parade through Red Square. But this year the parade will be more closely watched than normal, as it will also be a chance for Russian President Vladimir Putin […]

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Interfax: Russia ready to cooperate with West in tackling terror, regional conflicts – Sergei Ivanov

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

(Interfax – May 2, 2015) Russia will still cooperate with the United States and Europe in fighting terrorism, resolving regional conflicts and countering other modern challenges, if partners are keen on that, says Sergei Ivanov, the chief of the Russian presidential administration. “New threats and challenges emerged, for example, terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts. Russia […]

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Russia’s Media Offensive Seen by the West as Real Threat

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 30, 2015) Western governments and institutions are scrambling to devise a commensurate response to Russia’s state-run media offensive, analysts told The Moscow Times on Wednesday amid a wave of reports of Western governments seeking to beef up their own media capabilities. When the Russian authorities moved to establish in 2005 the international […]

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Putin confesses he expected radical upturn in relations with West after fall of the Communist regime

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

(Interfax – April 26, 2015) There was no point in counting on radical changes in the West’s attitude to Russia after the fall of the Communist regime, as each country has its own geopolitical interests not linked to ideology, President Vladimir Putin said in a documentary, titled “President,” released by the Russia 1 television channel. “All of us had illusions. […]

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NEWSLINK Stratfor: Russia Changes Its Tone

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Over the weekend, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin appeared to soften his line against the West, particularly the United States. Having previously stated that the United States has no allies, only vassals, Putin this time said: “We have some disagreements on several issues on the international agenda. But at the same time there is something that unites us, forces us to […]

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Western Rejection Rains on Russia’s Victory Day Parade

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 21, 2015) The Kremlin’s iconic watchtower has been renovated especially for the occasion, new military hardware will be unveiled on Red Square and the clouds will no doubt be seeded to prevent any chance of rain on the parade – but a host of world leaders have rejected invitations to Russia’s […]

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