NEWSLINK: “Only You Can Defeat Vladimir Putin; Russian Interference With America Is Profound and Systematic, So the Best Self-Defense Is We, the People” – ZocaloPublicSquare/ Reed Johnson

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“… By tampering with elections, hijacking social media platforms, and cranking out reams of bogus conspiracy theories and divisive propaganda, the Russian president and his intelligence operatives have been working overtime to destabilize rival governments and rile up their citizens against one another. With the midterm elections fast approaching, and the American public seething with partisan anger, a Zócalo/Japanese American […]

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Nuclear Near Miss: Remembering the ‘Man Who Saved the World’

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – September 21, 2018 – russiamatters.org/blog/nuclear-near-miss-remembering-man-who-saved-world) Next week marks 35 years since America and Russia narrowly avoided fighting a nuclear war—the kind that “cannot be won and must never be fought,” in the words of Ronald Reagan. It wasn’t the first time the two nations lived through such a close call, and stories […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “[Re: Sanctions]”- Andrew Kuchins

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

(Andrew Kuchins, Senior Fellow, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (CERES), Georgetown University – Facebook – September 21, 2018) [embedded live feed of post should load below; text and link also posted further down in case loading is delayed] “There are so many things wrong about sanctions, and Doug Bandow captures many here. The biggest problem is their […]

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More U.S. Sanctions On Russia Would Be Counter Productive

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(Oilprice.com – Nicholas Trickett – September 20, 2018 – oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/More-US-Sanctions-On-Russia-Would-Be-Counter-Productive.html) Hoping to push back against Russia and prevent president Trump from changing current policy, the Senate has produced two new sanctions bills: the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act and the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKAA). Both would create a new set of harsh […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Air Has Seeped Out of the Russia/Collusion Balloon” – Washington Examiner/Michael Barone

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“‘I did not, and of course I looked for it, looked for it hard.’ That was Bob Woodward … replying to … Hugh Hewitt’s question, ‘Did you, Bob Woodward, hear anything in your research, in your interviews, that sounded like espionage or collusion?’…. [And] none of Mueller’s indictments and guilty pleas point toward confirmation …. [I]t appears that, beyond a […]

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NEWSLINK: “A Timeline Showing the Full Scale of Russia’s Unprecedented Interference in the 2016 Election, and Its Aftermath” – New York Times/KAREN YOURISH, LARRY BUCHANAN, DEREK WATKINS

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

“It’s easy to lose the larger narrative of the Trump-Russia story …”

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NEWSLINK: “The Plot to Subvert an Election; Unraveling the Russia Story So Far” – New York Times/SCOTT SHANE, MARK MAZZETTI

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

“For two years, Americans have tried to absorb the details of the 2016 attack -hacked emails, social media fraud, suspected spies – and President Trump’s claims that it’s all a hoax. The Times explores what we know and what it means.”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Former Bush adviser has three steps to rebuild U.S.-Russia relationship” – CBS News

File Photo of Stephen Hadley At Table Leaning Forward, with USAID Logo Partially Obscured in Background, adapted from image at usaid.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

“… according to Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to … George W. Bush … three crucial factors need to be addressed before rebuilding the [U.S.-Russian] relationship can begin. … [1] ‘One, we get through our election in November and it is clear that the Russians have not tried to manipulate that election in 2018 the way they did in […]

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The U.S. Calls On Russia To Cap Soaring Oil Prices

Offshore Oil Rig file photo

(Oilprice.com – Tim Daiss – September 15, 2018 – oilprice.com/Geopolitics/International/The-US-Calls-On-Russia-To-Cap-Soaring-Oil-Prices.html) As crucial mid-term congressional elections in November draw near, the Trump administration is feeling the heat over higher oil prices. London-traded global oil benchmark Brent breached the $80 per barrel price point on Wednesday, its highest level since May 2. NYMEX-traded U.S. oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate Crude (WTI) reached […]

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NEWSLINK: “Britain may have MISSED real Novichok ‘assassins’ with CCTV suspects acting as ‘watchers’, ex-spy claims” – The Mirror (UK)/Will Stewart, Abigail O’Leary

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

“The retired agent has doubted that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Bochirov are plausible as killers after they were spotted numerous times on CCTV … The pair, who are suspected of poisoning the Skripals, were spotted numerous times on CCTV and entered the country on Russian passports. Choosing to remain anonymous, the ex-spy said the two men, who claimed to be […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Woodward: No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion, I Searched For Two Years” -RealClearPolitics/ Ian Schwartz

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Bob Woodward said that in his two years of investigating for his new book, ‘Fear,’ he found no evidence of collusion or espionage between Trump and Russia. Woodward said he looked for it ‘hard’ and yet turned up nothing. ‘…. Did you, Bob Woodward, hear anything in your research in your interviews that sounded like espionage or collusion?’ Hugh […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia is gearing up to misinform the U.S. public about Syria. Here’s our cheat sheet to identify Twitter trolls” – Washington Post/Jack Nassetta, Ethan Fecht

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“Russia has begun laying the groundwork for an online influence operation …. How would this Twitter campaign unfold? Here’s what we learned from our recent analysis of a database of over 850,000 tweets collected following the April 2018 chemical attack in Douma, Syria. We uncovered a major increase — approximately 300 percent — in the creation of new Twitter accounts […]

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The Hole Truth: U.S.-Russia Space Dustup Threatens Rare Frontier Of Cooperation

International Space Station file photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Matthew Luxmoore – MOSCOW – Sept. 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/the-hole-truth-u-s–russia-space-dustup-threatens-rare-frontier-of-cooperation/29489976.html) On August 29, disturbing data from a Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft docked at the International Space Station (ISS) reached the mission control centers in Houston and Moscow. The shuttle was losing oxygen, flight operators noted, and pressure inside […]

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[Re:] American Intelligence [… Trump, Ukraine, Russia … “Fear: Trump in the White House/Woodward” … Politico ]

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Fear: Trump in the White House Bob Woodward – p.230 “McMaster (National Security Adviser) said that, at 6:03 a.m., Trump had tweeted:

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‘Above All, Avoid Zeal’: EastWest’s Cameron Munter on Russia’s Relations With the West

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – Sept. 7, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/above-all-avoid-zeal-eastwests-cameron-munter-russias-relations-west) Ambassador Cameron Munter is president and CEO of the EastWest Institute, a prominent NGO focused on conflict prevention and resolution, ranging from a deeply rooted legacy in the Cold War to active engagement in the Balkans, the Middle East, South and East Asia. In this Q&A, he […]

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More Lethal Weaponry Possible For Ukraine, U.S. Envoy Tells RFE/RL

File Photo of Kurt Volker and W. Bruce Weinrod, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to Senior Airman Nathan Lipscomb

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – KYIV – Sept. 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/more-lethal-weaponry-possible-for-ukraine-u-s-envoy-says/29489463.html) The United States is considering sending more lethal weaponry to Kyiv to build up its naval and air defenses, Washington’s special envoy for Ukraine said, as concerns mount that Russia may be stepping up operations in coastal […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. Tells Russia it Could Avoid Novichok Sanctions in Exchange for Chemical Inspections” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 14, 2018) The United States has said Russia would be able to avoid a second, more punishing round of sanctions over the nerve-agent attack in Britain if it allows chemical weapons inspections. The U.S. sided with the U.K. last month in concluding that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent […]

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NEWSLINK: “U.S. Spies Rush to Protect Defectors After Skripal Poisoning” – New York Times/ Adam Goldman/ Julian E. Barnes/ Michael S. Schmidt/ Matt Apuzzo

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

“When a suspected hit man for Russian intelligence arrived in Florida about four years ago, F.B.I. surveillance teams were alarmed. The man approached the home of one of the C.I.A.’s most important informants, a fellow Russian, who had been secretly resettled along the sunny coast. The suspected hit man also traveled to another city where one of the informant’s relatives […]

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NEWSLINK: “‘THE AMERICANS’ TRUE GIFT? LOOKING INSIDE THE MIND OF VLADIMIR PUTIN” – Wired/Emily Dreyfuss

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

“Before he was president of Russia, Vladimir Putin was an intelligence officer in Dresden, East Germany. His job there was to recruit ‘illegals,’ USSR spies who would embed in everyday life and report back to the KGB. If you’ve ever watched the FX show The Americans, then you’re familiar with how this all worked: The focal characters of that show […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Mueller Investigation Is Sending People to Jail – but Not for Collusion; The belief that George Papadopoulos, Michael Cohen, and Paul Manafort would turn over evidence of collusion with Russia got ahead of reality” – The Nation/Aaron Maté

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Last week, Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI about the timing of his contacts with a Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud. According to Papadopoulos, Mifsud claimed to have connections to Russia and information that the Kremlin had obtained Hillary Clinton’s stolen e-mails. In May 2016, Papadopoulos relayed vague details about his conversation with […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia ready to normalize relations with U.S. but sees no reciprocal steps – Lavrov” – Interfax

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW. Sept 13 (Interfax) – Moscow is ready to cover its half of the road towards normalizing relations with Washington but has not seen any reciprocal steps and the situation keeps degrading, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “We have been very explicit about Russian-U.S. relations. We take the statements by [U.S. President Donald] Trump about his wish to establish […]

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RUSSIALINK: “New survey from state pollster says Russians’ fears of terrorism are at a record low” – Meduza

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

“… VTsIOM says … about 45 percent of Russians say they believe they or their loved ones could be hurt in a terrorist attack. Another 11 percent of respondents say they are extremely worried about this. … asked to list the top terrorist threats facing Russians, an equal number of respondents (17 percent) named the United States and the terrorist […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S.’ reliance on sanctions reaches climax – Kosachyov” – Interfax

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. Sept 13 (Interfax) – The United States would have been dubbed as a rogue country if all countries that have experienced the U.S.’ interference in their affairs had imposed sanctions on Washington, Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachyov wrote on Facebook. “Let us not forget the fact that sanctions for foreign interference have been imposed by the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin calls for int’l security guarantees for North Korea supported with involvement of nuclear powers” – Interfax

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

VLADIVOSTOK. Sept 12 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that nuclear powers should take part in the discussion of international security guarantees for North Korea. “What kind of guarantees could that be? International. We have such a format as six-nation talks. The international community can give such guarantees, including those supported with the involvement of nuclear powers in these […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: [Re: Maria Butina] – Fred Weir via facebook

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia file photo, adapted from image at dc.uscourts.gov

(Fred Weir [Christian Science Monitor] – Facebook – September 10, 2018) [Re: Maria Butina] [embedded live feed of tweet should load below; text also repasted further down, in case loading is delayed] OK, let’s leave the now-discredited sex thing aside, and just ponder this point. Suppose a foreigner — let’s say it’s me? — gets arrested in Russia and accused […]

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Senate Testimony of Ambassador Michael McFaul;Outside Perspectives on Russian Sanctions: Current Effectiveness and Potential for Next Steps [Excerpt]

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

Testimony of Ambassador Michael McFaul [Excerpt] Director, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Professor of Political Science, and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow at Stanford University U.S. Senate Committee on Banking Outside Perspectives on Russian Sanctions: Current Effectiveness and Potential for Next Steps September 6, 2018 [PDF Full text here: https://www.banking.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/McFaul%20Testimony%209-6-18.pdf] In the last several years, the Russian government has taken […]

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Russian Officials Warn Google Not To ‘Meddle’ In Elections By Hosting Navalny Videos

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Sept. 5, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-officials-warn-google-not-meddle-in-elections-hosting-navalny-videos-youtube/29472527.html) Russian officials say they have warned U.S. Internet giant Google against “meddling” in local elections scheduled for this weekend by allowing Kremlin foe Aleksei Navalny to post videos calling for mass protests on YouTube. Representatives of Russia’s election commission, the Prosecutor-General’s Office, […]

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Russia Losing Out to U.S. in Central Asia, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 31, 2018) “The situation in Central Asia and Kazakhstan where Moscow’s position has always been considered fixed is changing before our eyes,” the editors of Moscow’s Nezavisimaya gazeta say, and “the region is being transformed into a successful American place des armes.” That reflects the success of the Five Plus One […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Offers a Carrot to Embattled Syrian Rebels; Moscow is trying to wind down a war that has cost it billions, promising some groups an end to violence in exchange for loyalty to Assad” – Wall Street Journal/Thomas Grove

Syria Map

“More than 2,000 rebels who had been fighting the Syrian army abandoned their positions … and surrendered … heavy weaponry to Russian officers in July … as [Russia] tries to wind down a brutal military campaign that has cost Russia billions and [Russia] courts donors to help reconstruct[ion]. … Russia’s bombing raids turned … the war in favor of … […]

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NEWSLINK: “Kissinger on Russia: Insights and Recommendations” – Russia Matters

Henry Kissinger File Photo, with Military Officer and Others in Background; adapted from image at defense.gov,; original image was DoD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

Originally published March 8, 2017. Periodically updated. Latest additions marked accordingly. This evolving compilation of observations and policy ideas about Russia by eminent U.S. statesman Henry Kissinger was the first in Russia Matters’ “Competing Views” series, where we share prominent American thinkers’ alternative takes on U.S.-Russian relations, Russia itself and America’s policies toward the country. Mr. Kissinger served as assistant […]

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Russia is in a Stalemate Today But Can’t Stay There for Long, Shevtsova Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 31, 2018) Russia is in a stalemate today because the Kremlin “cannot accept the sanction-backed demands of the West without losing face,” but it also cannot act as if it is indifferent to the sanctions because they are undermining Russia’s ability to remain a great power, Liliya Shevtsova says. As a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What Bruce Ohr Told Congress; He warned the FBI that Steele had credibility problems. The bureau forged ahead anyhow.” – Wall Street Journal/Kimberley A. Strassel

Department of Justice Headquarters Building file photo, adapted from image at justice.gov

“… Justice Department lawyer Bruce Ohr … [on] Tuesday confirm[ed] for Congress its worst suspicions about … [FBI] abuse of its surveillance and sourcing rules. … Over the past year, congressional investigators found out that … Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the opposition-research firm that gave its infamous dossier, funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign, to the FBI. […]

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Putin’s ‘A Solid Man’: Declassified Memos Offer Window Into Yeltsin-Clinton Relationship

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – WASHINGTON – August 30, 2018 – text with links and graphics: rferl.org/a/putin-s-a-solid-man-declassified-memos-offer-window-into-yeltsin-clinton-relationship/29462317.html) On September 8, 1999, just a few weeks after promoting the head of the country’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Bill and Boris: A Window Into a Most Important Post-Cold War Relationship” [Excerpt] – Texas National Security Review/James Goldgeier

File Photo of Boris Yeltsin, Bill Clinton Playing a Saxophone, Lloyd Bentsen and others, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

[Full text: tnsr.org/2018/08/bill-and-boris-a-window-into-a-most-important-post-cold-war-relationship/] “Against the backdrop of an enormous power differential between their two countries, Clinton and Yeltsin established a close personal rapport. … to interact effectively even when … frank in their disagreements, the most serious of which were over NATO enlargement … and the Kosovo War …   As many were decrying the lack of any formal record […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why China and Russia are obsessed with vast new war games” – Reuters/Peter Apps

Asia Map

“… Chinese troops will join their Russian counterparts for Moscow’s largest military exercises in more than three decades. … six months after Beijing’s biggest ever offshore naval drills, the joint war games are another reminder of how central military posturing now is to the world’s two most powerful authoritarian states. … neither likely desires or expects war with the United […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A thickening web; America’s escalating Russian sanctions; Despite Donald Trump, Russia is being hit harder and harder” – The Economist

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

“… In August alone, America has slapped penalties on Russian shipping firms accused of trading oil with North Korea; imposed restrictions on the arms trade in connection with the poisoning of … Skripal …; and begun congressional hearings on … legislation designed to punish Russia for its interference in elections. Further Skripal-linked measures may follow in three months’ …. Markets […]

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Andrei Liakhov: “Short comment on Weir/Galeotti (Re: 2018-#157–Johnson’s Russia List item #1)” [Re: re New York Times: “Kremlin Sources Go Quiet, Leaving C.I.A. in the Dark About Putin’s Plans for Midterms”]

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

Subject: Short comment on Weir/Galeotti (Re: 2018-#157–Johnson’s Russia List item #1) Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2018 From: Andrei Liakhov <gaffriloff@yahoo.co.uk> Short comment on Weir/Galeotti What these two gentlemen miss in their assessment of the NYT totally improbable story is this: NYT was asked to publish this totally as a diversion for the Russian counter intelligence in an attempt to divert […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: Sean Guillory: “WaPo publishes an op-ed about how McCain was a great champion for the ‘human rights community’ and uses a picture with McCain standing next to Oleh Tyahnybok … named … one of the top-ten anti-Semites in the world.”

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

(Sean Guillory – Facebook – August 29, 2018 McCain and Oleh Tyahnybok) [embedded live feed of facebook post should appear below; core text also recopied further below in case loading delayed] “This is too funny. WaPo publishes an op-ed about how McCain was a great champion for the ‘human rights community’ and uses a picture with McCain standing next to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “… Apart from … whether … U.S. intelligence … has such a cohort of well-placed spooks that it can be cavalier about their security, the willingness today especially of the NYT and WaPo to run stories based pretty much entirely on ‘some spook we can’t name us told us this’ is quite alarming. …” – Mark Galeotti

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

(Mark Galeotti – Facebook – August 28, 2018) [live feed of facebook post should load below; click here for direct link: facebook.com/markgaleottionrussia/posts/1652509411544245; core text also pasted in further below] [additional copy of core text pasted below, in case embedded loading delayed] Fred Weir is spot on here. Apart from the wider issue of whether the US intelligence community has such […]

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NEWSLINK: “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire; Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton” – Politico/Kenneth P. Vogel, David Stern

“… Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Maria Butina: Private Messages Reveal Accused Russian Spy’s True Ties to D.C. Wise Man” – Daily Beast/Betsy Woodruff

File Photo of Washington, D.C., Monuments and Environs at Twilight with Moon, Looking Across Potomac, adapted from image at nasa.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

“…. The executive director of the organization, the Center for the National Interest, insisted that its interaction with Butina was ‘very limited.’ But previously unreported emails and direct messages between Butina and officials at the Center show her relationship with the think tank’s president – former Richard Nixon adviser Dimitri Simes – was closer than previously understood ….” Click here […]

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NEWSLINK: “Election security can’t wait. Someone should convince the White House.” – Washington Post Editorial

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

“… The bill might be more palatable to state elections officials wary of federal interference if it came with money for states to institute its mandates. But congressional Republicans have so far balked at the idea of ponying up any cash beyond the $380 million Congress already set aside for state election systems. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Dossier Debunking; His lawyer says the Steele claims about Michael Cohen are false” – Wall Street Journal Editorial

Maps of Czech Republic and Environs, adapted from images at CIA.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: stevencwelsh.com :: stevencwelsh.info

“Michael Cohen’s accusations have replaced Russian collusion as Washington’s reason-du-jour to impeach Donald Trump …. Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, confirmed last week that Cohen has never been to Prague in the Czech Republic. … the Steele dossier … commissioned by oppo-research firm Fusion GPS, paid for by the Clinton campaign and used by the FBI in its Trump investigation. … […]

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NEWSLINK: “China – Not Russia – Elected Trump; China’s economic attack on America caused U.S. voters to turn to Trump” – The National Interest/James Walker

Asia Map

“… attention should be sharply focused instead on the role of China in electing Trump. It is that concern that should inform American action today. China’s long-standing predatory trading policies have eaten America’s lunch, impacting most severely those who carry lunch buckets to work in America’s heartland. …”    

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RUSSIALINK: “Three fourths of Ukrainians believe military conflict in Donbas most urgent problem for country” – Interfax-Ukraine

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

“… 77 percent of respondents polled by Seetarget believe that the most urgent problem for Ukraine is the military conflict in the eastern part of the country. … half of the respondents believe that corruption and bribes are the main problem facing the country, one third … pointed to the unemployment rate, 19 percent – low salaries and pensions, and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia, the victim? Opposite NATO’s eastern flank, it’s an expansionist West causing anxiety” – Defense News/Matthew Bodner

NATO Meeting file photo

“… NATO has long been Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorite foreign boogeyman and, as far as political footballs go, this one has been easy and fruitful to kick around at home. … NATO troops and hardware are being forward deployed to former Soviet satellites in eastern Europe; in June, the alliance unveiled a new initiative – dubbed the ‘Four 30s’ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moody’s says effect of recent sanctions will be limited” – Bear Market Brief BMB Russia

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“A new Moody’s report says … U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia … in response to the Skripal poisoning will have little effect [on] the economy. New sanctions to come in the fall, however, could aggravate the structural limitations of Russian growth and lead to problems with bank financing. … Loose monetary policy will likely to be the first casualty, with […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Busting Nord Stream 2 myths” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

Gas Flame file photo

“The proposed expansion of the capacity of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in Europe’s north, running from Russia’s Yamal gas fields to the German coast, has split Europe …. detractors claim it will make Europe more dependent on Russian gas and give the Kremlin a bigger club … to bully the rest of Europe. … supporters say it will diversify […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin’s wedding trip seals marriage of convenience with Merkel; Meeting in Berlin could signal a switch in strategy for Germany when it comes to the US dollar and energy security” – Asia Times/Pepe Escobar

Map of Germany

“… Berlin is now engaged in a wobbly ‘bend-not-break’ strategy. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Fred Weir: ‘This is amazing, astounding, really …’ [Re:] New York Times: “Kremlin Sources Go Quiet, Leaving C.I.A. in the Dark About Putin’s Plans for Midterms'” – Fred Weir/Facebook/New York Times

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

(Fred Weir – facebook – August 25, 2018 – facebook.com/fred.weir/posts/10216143412434220) [live embedded feed of facebook post should load below; click here for direct link: facebook.com/fred.weir/posts/10216143412434220; text and link also recopied further below as back-up]   “This is amazing, astounding, really. All these stories, including this one, splashed over front pages, are purporting to tell us something about the most sensitive […]

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