Five Rules for Living Through and Looking Beyond the Putin Stagnation

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 20, 2016) Those who lived through the Brezhnev stagnation, commentator Dmitry Gubin says, know that “when the chances for change for the better don’t exist, one must particularly carefully filter information and choose one’s strategy of behavior.” Now, Russia is in another such period, and to help them, he offers five […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with heads of international news agencies

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

(Kremlin.ru – June 17, 2016) Vladimir Putin had a meeting with heads of leading international news agencies. The meeting was attended by representatives of news agencies from France, Spain, the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Germany, China, Japan, India and Italy. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, I have delivered so many speeches today that I […]

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Russia ranks among top 30 countries worldwide in terms of soft power

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A British agency has given Russia high marks for its engagement in the resolution of global problems, its culture and influence in the media. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – OLEG YEGOROV, RBTH – June 15, 2016) Russia has made its debut on the ranking of the world’s 30 most influential countries in terms of soft power, as compiled […]

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RBTH: How Finland became a battleground in the Russia-NATO information war

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

From internet ‘trolls’ to strategic communication: RBTH investigates how competing narratives from Russia and NATO are manipulating the information space and public debate in Finland to influence the country’s policy of neutrality. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NIKOLAI SHEVCHENKO, RBTH – June 10, 2016) As mounting tensions over Ukraine continue to divide Europe into two camps, Russia and […]

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Life after facts: how Russian state media defines itself through negation

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The image of “Russian propaganda” as a powerful machine where all cogs and wheels work in harmony is not entirely accurate – and here’s why. (opendemocracy.net – Alexey Kovalev – June 13, 2016) Alexey Kovalev is a journalist and translator. He has previously worked for many Russian and foreign media, including as correspondent for Snob. He was the editor-in-chief at […]

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How the reporting of the British media changed during the Marseille cashes

Rotating Soccer Ball

Subject: How the reporting of the British media changed during the Marseille cashes Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2016 ) From: Antony Penaud <antonypenaud@yahoo.fr> Being French, having lived in England for half of my life, and being Russophile, I followed the Marseille streetfight events and the way they were reported in the British press with a special interest. In the France […]

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Jailed for a repost: The definition of extremism in Russia gets ever looser

Kremlin and River

Russia has seen a dramatic rise in criminal prosecutions on charges of internet extremism over the last few months. Yet most of these cases concern not the creation of extremist content but retweeting, liking or reposting it. RBTH found out more. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA SINELSCHIKOVA, RBTH – June 7, 2016) On Feb. 20, Yekaterina Vologzhenova, […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Visit to Rossiya Segodnya

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

(Kremlin.ru – June 7, 2016) Vladimir Putin visited the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency to congratulate journalists on the agency’s 75th anniversary and speak at the New Era of Journalism: Farewell to Mainstream international media forum. The President also attended the presentation of German journalist Hubert Seipel’s book, Putin. Inside View of Power, at Rossiya Segodnya and spoke with the […]

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Moscow Times: Putin Urges Global Authorities to Ensure Freedom Of Information

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – June 8, 2016) Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged governments around the world to protect the freedom of the press, the TASS news agency reported Tuesday. “There can’t be a situation where some governments talk about freedom information when they like what they are hearing, yet immediately decry information they don’t like […]

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Boycott Russia Today facebook page: “BRT reading list of critical online articles about RT, 2010-2016”

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(Facebook – Boycott Russia Today facebook page – reused with permission) Bullough, Oliver (2013) Inside Russia Today: counterweight to the mainstream media, or Putin’s mouthpiece?: http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/world-affairs/2013/05/inside-russia-today-counterweight-mainstream-media-or-putins-mou Fitzpatrick, Catherine (2010) More Moral Equivalency from Vadim Nikitin: http://3dblogger.typepad.com/minding_russia/2010/04/more-moral-equivalency-from-vadim-nikitin.html Gray, Rosie (2014) How The Truth Is Made At Russia Today: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/how-the-truth-is-made-at-russia-today Ioffe, Julia (2010) What Is Russia Today? http://www.cjr.org/feature/what_is_russia_today.php?page=all Kincaid, Cliff (2011) Russian […]

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Critical thinking at (the) stake: Ukraine’s witch hunt against journalism

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

In the two years since Ukraine’s Maidan protests, Ukrainian society has become increasingly politically active – with unintended consequences. (opendemocracy.net – Oles Petik and Halyna Herasym – June 3, 2016) Oles Petik is an anarchist volunteering as an editor and translator at a Kyiv-based grassroots publishing cooperative. Halyna Herasym holds an MA in media and communications at Ukrainian Catholic University […]

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Boycott Russia Today: “BRT reading list of critical online articles about RT, 2010-2016”

Satellite Dishes

The facebook page “Boycott Russia Today” has compiled an updated BRT reading list of critical online articles about RT, 2010-2016 at https://www.facebook.com/notes/boycott-russia-today/brt-reading-list-of-critical-online-articles-about-rt-2010-2016-updated-4-june-2/815909395145453 [featured image is file photo]

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Why does Russia want to ban officials from using WhatsApp and Skype?

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Russian legislators are even worried about encrypted communication systems, since IT security experts believe they may contain backdoors to which secret services may have access. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA SINELSCHIKOVA, RBTH – June 6, 2016) Russian deputies, ministers and members of the armed forces may soon find they are unable to use popular instant messaging services […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine Declares War on Journalism” – New York Times/IAN BATESON

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

…. We were collectively labeled “terrorist collaborators” for gaining accreditation from the separatists. The list’s publishers claimed not to know what the consequences would be of releasing this information, but it seemed clear that the intent was to encourage people to take action against the journalists on their own. * * * trying to encourage ‘patriotic’ journalism, in which the […]

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In Estonia, we should be careful not to overstate the impact of the information war

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

The Baltic States are now seen as the next frontline in Russia’s hybrid war. But the political preferences of ethnic Russian communities are more complicated than meets the eye. (opendemocracy.net – Vassilis Petsinis – May 30, 2016) Vassilis Petsinis is a political analyst at the European Commission’s representation in Greece. His specialisation is european politics and ethnopolitics with a regional […]

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Russian liberal radio station sees off “censorship” move

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Interfax – May 27, 2016) A dispute about freedom of speech at the Ekho Moskvy radio station in Moscow seems to be resolved to the satisfaction of the journalists and with the editor-in-chief’s authority enhanced. New contract and “censorship” The argument began when talk show presenter Yevgenia Albats refused to sign a new contract that she said amounted to censorship. […]

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RBTH: Medvedev: Global community must work together to regulate internet; The Russian prime minister has urged the international community to act together in addressing global challenges.

File Photo Dmitry Medvedev at Desk with Laptop Computer

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEI LOSSAN, RBTH – May 23, 2016) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has emphasized the importance of international cooperation on addressing new global challenges, including regulation of the internet, while admitting that the country has been feeling the pressure of Western sanctions. “Our companies and citizens have been subjected to pressure for two […]

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The West Shouldn’t Fear Russia’s ‘Hybrid Warfare’

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – May 18, 2016) In the two years that have passed since Russia annexed Crimea, the expression “Russian hybrid warfare” has become a fixture in the Western political, media and academic lexicon. It’s a catch-all for Russian hostility — and a perfect mirror image of the Kremlin’s own paranoia about the West. The Atlantic […]

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Could a union do anything to protect Russian journalists?

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Physical attacks and management interference have put Russian journalists’ safety – and their ability to work freely – back on the table. A new union will have to survive in an increasingly hostile environment. (opendemocracy.net – Nataliya Rostova – May 16, 2016) Nataliya Rostova is a visiting scholar at the Kennan Institute, senior correspondent for current affairs portal Slon.ru and […]

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Ukrainian blogger gets long sentence for expressing contentious views

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Human Rights in Ukraine – khpg.org – Halya Coynash – May 13, 2016) Ruslan Kotsaba, a controversial Ivano-Frankivsk journalist and blogger, has been sentenced to three and a half years’ imprisonment. The Ivano-Frankivsk City Court found the journalist, who has been in detention for 14 months guilty of obstructing the legitimate activities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces over a video […]

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Media Coverage of Governors More about Their Management of the Media than about Anything Else, New Study Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 12, 2016) Those who follow the media in Russia’s regions know that some governors are routinely attacked by media in their federal subjects while others are never criticized, and they often conclude that this is an important indicator of how well the governors are doing in running their oblasts, krays or […]

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Turning our backs on Ukraine

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

Two years after the tumultuous events of 2014, Ukraine is falling out of international media – with consequences for Ukraine’s democracy. (opendemocracy.org – Ian Bateson – May 11, 2016) Ian Bateson is a foreign correspondent living in Kiev, Ukraine. He has written for Reuters, the Guardian, the Daily Beast and AL Jazeera. He tweets as @ianbateson. Over the past year, […]

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Why are Russia’s journalists so prone to conspiracy theory?

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The popularity of conspiracy theory in Russia today isn’t about cultural mindsets. It’s about media ethics. (openedemocracy.net – Ilya Yablokov – May 9, 2016) Ilya Yablokov teaches Russian politics, history and media at the University of Leeds. His research interests include conspiracy theories, nation building and politics in post-Soviet Russia, the history of post-Soviet journalism and international broadcasting. His article […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The danger of Russian disinformation” – Washington Post/Anne Applebaum, Edward Lucas

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…authoritarian regimes, led by Russia but closely followed by China, have begun investing heavily in the production of alternatives. Because national media is often weak, it has become far easier for channels such as RT (formerly Russia Today) and Sputnik (a Russian “news” agency) to establish credibility in smaller European markets. … even in larger countries, the Russian use of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Long Arm of Russian ‘Soft’ Power” – Atlantic Council/Orysia Lutsevych

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Anxious about losing ground to Western influence in the post-Soviet space and the ousting of pro-Russia elites by popular electoral uprisings in the early 2000s, the Kremlin has developed a range of proxy groups in support of its foreign policy. This network of pro-Kremlin groups promotes the Russian World (Russkiy Mir), a flexible tool that justifies increasing Russian actions in […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Divide in the Russian opposition, the return of Alexey Kudrin, and a new controversy in Crimea. Media Roundup: Russia’s journalists covered the comeback of former finance minister Alexey Kudrin and the split within the Russian opposition ahead of the 2016 parliamentary elections.”

Alexei Kudrin file photo » Read more

“Johnson’s Russia List Want Ad” – The JRL Needs Your Support

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

Dear JRL recipient, I want and need your support. It’s obvious. Johnson’s Russia List is needed more than ever these days. No further elaboration or exhortation is required. Please do also check out the fabulous and lively JRL archive at russialist.org $50 is the normal annual contribution. Business-users should contribute more. A minimum contribution of $25 is suggested. HOW TO […]

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Interfax: Putin calls ‘media attacks’ a reaction to the consolidation of Russia

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(Interfax – April 25, 2016) Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that media attacks on Russia were the reaction to the country’s strengthening, its capability to protect own interest. “You are right, this is surely the reaction of our opponents (let’s call them this way) to the consolidation of the country. It’s just that such a player, who is independent, sovereign, […]

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BBC Accuses British, Russian Media Of Skewing MH17 Reporting

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(RFE/RL – Carl Schreck – April 25, 2016) The BBC has issued a rare defense of an upcoming documentary about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, accusing British media of distorting its report about a tragedy that killed 298 passengers and crew in July 2014. A report by Britain’s Sunday Express tabloid “misrepresented” the BBC program, […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Inside Russian top investigator’s latest manifesto against extremism. It remains to be seen whether the Kremlin will listen to the ideas of one of the country’s top law enforcement officers to impose even greater censorship and control over Russian society as part of enhanced efforts to win the ‘information war’ with the West”

Alexandr Bastrykin file photo » Read more

NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Russia: Down But Not Out.” – Foreign Affairs [issue table of contents with links]

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

Foreign Affairs foreignaffairs.com May/June 2016 issue Putin’s Russia Down But Not Out https://www.foreignaffairs.com/issues/2016/95/3 [There is limited access to free articles] Russia’s Perpetual Geopolitics Putin Returns to the Historical Pattern Stephen Kotkin Russian Politics Under Putin The System Will Outlast the Master Gleb Pavlovsky Russia’s Constrained Economy How the Kremlin Can Spur Growth Sergei Guriev The Revival of the Russian Military […]

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Fifteen Characteristics of Russian Propaganda

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 18, 2016) Russian propaganda makes use of so many techniques to succeed that Moscow novelist and commentator Elizaveta Aleksandrova-Zorina performs a useful service by listing in an article in “Gazeta.ru” 15 of its favorite and, it should be said, effective methods (gazeta.ru/comments/2016/04/14_a_8178095.shtml). These include: A black and white division of the […]

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Ben Aris : JRL#71 response/Brian Whitmore

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

Subject: JRL#71 response/Brian Whitmore Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2016 From: Ben Aris <baris@bne.eu> (Ben Aris, editor-in-chief – bne IntelliNews – bne.eu) I would like to respond to item #9 in JRL #71 of April 15 “What I learned on Russian TV” by Brian Whitmore. I should do a ripose entitled “what I learned from reading this piece”, but I am […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Truth and Justice regional and local media forum

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

(Kremlin.ru – St Petersburg – April 7, 2016) Vladimir Putin took part in the third Truth and Justice regional and local media forum. The media forum is organised by the Russian Popular Front and focuses on topical issues in regional life, the development of independent Russian journalism, and international issues. The forum participants include journalists from all around Russia, bloggers, […]

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Putin calls free press enemy of frauds, bribers, not administration

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

ST. PETERSBURG. April 7 (Interfax) – The free press can be an enemy only for frauds and bribers, not the administration as such, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “The free press can only be an enemy for frauds, bribers and criminals, but there can be no such situation for the administration as such, which is serving people,” Putin said at […]

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Direct Line with Vladimir Putin will take place on April 14 at midday

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

(Kremlin.ru – April 7, 2016) The 14th annual Direct Line with Vladimir Putin will start at midday Moscow time on April 14 and will be broadcast by television channels Channel One, Rossiya 1, Rossiya 24, and radio stations Mayak, Vesti FM, and Radio Rossii. Following the same format as previously, the President will speak directly with people from around the […]

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The Soviet Adventures Of Steve Jobs

Mac Computer file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – April 1, 2016) In the summer of 1985, a young commercial attache at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow sat down with two representatives of the California computer company Apple who were visiting the heart of the Soviet empire. One was an “older guy,” the attache, Mike Merin, recalls. The other was “this lanky, […]

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News Flash! The Truth Is Heard On Russian TV

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – The Daily Vertical: Brian Whitmore – April 1, 2016) Every once in awhile, a voice of reason and truth can be heard — even on Russian state television. What? You don’t believe me? Well, look, I saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears — and I don’t think I was […]

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TRANSCRIPT EXCERPT: Remarks by the President at the 2016 Toner Prize Ceremony [excerpt re: Putin]

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(White House – March 28, 2016) The White House Office of the Press Secretary March 28, 2016 Remarks by the President at the 2016 Toner Prize Ceremony. (excerpt re Putin) THE PRESIDENT: I’ll tell you — I probably maybe shouldn’t do this, but what the heck, I’m in my last year. (Laughter.) I had an in-depth conversation with President Putin […]

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Battle in the Archives – Uncovering Russia’s Secret Past

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – March 24, 2016) The year is 1941, and hundreds of miles from Germany, Nazi armored divisions gather speed along newly-frosted soil. They are almost within striking distance of Moscow, the Soviet capital. Eventually, the charge is halted before the city by a series of bloody, desperate battles. Famously, 28 members of the […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Baltic Elves Taking on Pro-Russian Trolls; What at first looked like as a social media grudge match could be a precursor to invasion, war, and resistance in the Baltics” – TheDailyBeast.com

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

Mindaugas is an unassuming, thirtysomething advertising agency director by day … ferocious cyber-warrior by night. He started a phenomenon … in Lithuania … countering Kremlin propaganda and disinformation …. ‘We needed to call our group something. … we were fighting trolls. … I said, “Let’s be elves.”‘ There were 20 or 30 at first, when the trolls began … leaving […]

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Russia Uses More Tools Than Just its Military to Influence, Threaten Neighbors

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

(U.S. Naval Institute – Panel: news.usni.org – John Grady – March 10, 2016) Russia’s meddling in countries along its borders “has deep roots” and likely would continue after President Vladimir Putin finally leaves the Kremlin, an expert in political risk said Wednesday. Agnia Grigas, a fellow at Occidental College and author of the newly released Beyond Crimea: The New Russian […]

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