Sharon Tennison: “Russia: Travel with a Purpose”

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

“… Never has up-to-date data about Russia been more crucial. … Join a delegation of 100 Americans … who will question Russian VIPs in Moscow, travel in two or three-person mini-groups to 30 Russian cities across 11 time zones …. as ‘citizen diplomats’ listening, learning, collecting impressions to bring back to city/state officials and to the U.S. Congress. ….”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump, Russia seek to use end of Mueller investigation as pivot point in relationship; Putin calls Mueller investigation ‘objective'” – Washington Post/ Anne Gearan, Anton Troianovski

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… the special counsel investigation of Russian election interference now complete, the Trump administration cautiously offered a fresh start with Russia … as the two countries find their interests colliding on a range of international issues. … Trump dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with … Putin, bearing a message that the United States is ready to renew […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia; Assessing the Impact of Cost-Imposing Options” – RAND

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

“This brief summarizes a report that comprehensively examines nonviolent, cost-imposing options that the United States and its allies could pursue across economic, political, and military areas to stress – overextend and unbalance – Russia’s economy and armed forces and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad. …”

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Ukraine and NATO: Disconnect Between State Policy and Public Opinion Is Less Dangerous Than Russia

NATO Meeting File Photo

“… Zelenskiy has repeatedly reaffirmed his predecessor’s policy of bringing Ukraine ever closer to Europe and has said that, as a citizen, he supports … accession to NATO. However, unlike … Poroshenko, Zelenskiy insists the question of joining the Western military alliance should be decided by a popular referendum. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin and Trump’s Ominous Nostalgia for the Second World War” –  The New Yorker/ Masha Gessen

“… Victory Day is undoubtedly Russia’s most important, most grandly celebrated, and most political holiday. … not observed … immediately following the Second World War, in which the Soviet Union lost an estimated twenty-seven million people; it became a holiday a generation later … gain[ing] in prominence as the U.S.S.R. unleashed less righteous battles abroad …. After the Soviet Union […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Comey says it’s possible the Russians have something compromising on Trump” – CNN/ Kate Sullivan

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

[first portion of CNN post:] “Former FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that it is possible the Russians have leverage over President Donald Trump. CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Comey at a town hall in Washington, ‘Do you think the Russians have leverage over President Trump?’ ‘I don’t know the answer to that,’ Comey responded. ‘Think it’s possible?’ Cooper asked. ‘Yes,’ […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH “Russia ramps up bond sales ahead of possible U.S. sanctions; Moscow’s $1.1bn issuance comes after April fundraising smashed records” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon, Nikou Asgari

File Photo of Facade of Russian Finance Ministry

“… [Russia’s] finance ministry sold Rbs73bn ($1.1bn) in rouble-denominated bonds … Wednesday[,] … part of a plan to raise Rbs600bn in domestic debt this quarter. … [after] a record Rbs400bn in April – four times [Russia’s] monthly average – feeding strong investor appetite for high-yielding emerging market debt. … [Analysts regard the efforts] as a pre-emptive stockpiling … [against] the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Venezuela motives: It’s about the U.S., not Maduro.” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

Venezuela Map, adapted from image at cia.gov

“Historically, when Washington and Moscow have butted heads over a power struggle in a third-party nation, it’s been in a Cold War context. But the core issue over their divide on Venezuela today is simpler: staking out turf.” “… Russian affinity for former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez’ Bolivarian Socialism has no part in it. … The U.S. demands that Russia […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Inside the West’s Plans for Arctic War Against Russia” – DailyBeast/ Nico Hines

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“Moscow is growing belligerent in its quest to pry open the icy route to the Atlantic. The U.S. and Britain are racing to catch up, but is it too late?” “… deep in the Arctic Circle, some of the world’s best-trained commandos … struggl[e] to complete an ambush exercise knee-deep in … snow. Britain’s Royal Marines make painfully slow progress […]

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Have Sanctions on Russia Changed Putin’s Calculus?

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

Since Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, Western powers have hit Moscow with economic sanctions, hoping to put a stop to President Vladimir Putin’s aggression. Have they worked? (Council on Foreign Relations – Andrew Chatzky – May 2, 2019 – cfr.org/article/have-sanctions-russia-changed-putins-calculus – Andrew Chatzky covers economics, energy, and geopolitics, and helps edit the Daily News Brief.) The United States and the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How the US could push Russia’s defense spending to the brink” – Stars and Stripes/ William Howard

Russian Jet Buzzing U.S. Navy Destroyer, adapted from U.S. Navy photo

“The United States should … drive Russia to spend money in a tit-for-tat power game that its smaller economy can’t support [a RAND study] said …. The West can exploit factors … making Russia more vulnerable, such as economic sanctions, fuel prices falling below peak levels, an aging population and increasing authoritarianism under … Putin … [but the study] also […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Russia Investigation Will Continue; Counterintelligence agencies must find it hard to believe the cupboard is already bare” – The Atlantic/ John Sipher

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Mueller’s Russia probe is over, and … Trump on Friday again described the probe as a ‘Witch Hunt,’ [yet] the FBI is almost certain to continue its counterintelligence investigation into Russian espionage efforts related to the 2016 election. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Herzog Says Gorbachev Documentary Has a ‘Subversive Message'” – AP

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

“Werner Herzog says there’s a ‘subversive message’ to his new documentary ‘Meeting Gorbachev’: Talk to your geopolitical enemies. Herzog interviewed former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev three times in a six-month span to make the new film. He highlights … the reunification of Herzog’s native Germany as well as the groundbreaking 1986 arms control summit with U.S. President Ronald Reagan. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “The Russia story cannot die — CNN, the Democratic Party, others have too much invested in it” – Fox/ Tucker Carlson

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“… Barr first served as Attorney General in the George H.W. Bush administration. That was 1991. … Then this February, purely by process of elimination, basically as he was the one guy could get confirmed, Barr became Attorney General of the United States once again. The Mueller investigation was nearly over when he got the job. Barr probably didn’t expect […]

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Getting Somewhere With Russia: A Q&A With Angela Stent

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – May 1, 2019 – russiamatters.org/analysis/getting-somewhere-russia-qa-angela-stent) Georgetown University professor Angela Stent is one of the West’s foremost Russia experts, with an impressive career in both academia and government service. She currently directs the university’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and also teaches in the department of government, which she joined […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. rolls ‘100K tons of international diplomacy’ into the Med. Will Russia get the message?” – Defense News/ Matthew Bodner

File Photo of Poritions of U.S. Navy Carrier Groups Lincoln and Stennis in Mediterranean, adapted from defense.gov image relating to defense.gov video

“…. ‘Each of the carriers operating in the Mediterranean as this time represent 100,000 tons of international diplomacy,’ Huntsman said …. ‘Diplomatic communication and dialogue, coupled with the strong defenses these ships provide, demonstrate to Russia that if it truly seeks better relations with the United states, it must cease its destabilizing activities around the world.’ …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How the Obama White House engaged Ukraine to give Russia collusion narrative an early boost” – The Hill/ John Solomon

File Photo of Susan Rice and Barack Hussein Obama in St. Petersburg Russia, with Mural of St. Petersburg Scene in Background, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“As … Trump began his meteoric rise … the Obama White House summoned Ukrainian authorities to Washington …. Ukrainian participants said it didn’t take long … to realize the Americans’ objectives included two politically hot investigations: one that touched … Biden’s family and one that involved a lobbying firm linked closely to then-candidate Trump. … [O]ne of the earliest documented […]

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‘Track 2’ Talks Take U.S.-Russian Relations Where Official Channels Won’t

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… With relations between Moscow and the alliance all but frozen, ‘Track 2’ discussions between the U.S. and Russia have become especially important. ….”

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Sarah Lindemann-Komarova: “Russiagate, There are No Winners”

American Solider Meets Russian Soliders in Berlin in 1945, adapted from image at army.mil

Subject: Russiagate, There are No Winners Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2019 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Russiagate, There are No Winners Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has been a community development activist in Siberia since 1992. Currently she is focusing on research and writing about civil society in Russia.] medium.com/@ECHOSiberia/russiagate-there-are-no-winners-4de2dd97acbc Baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z, we are now into the […]

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With North Korea, Russia Knows It Can Only Play Second Fiddle to China and US

North Korea Map and Flag, adapted from .gov image

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Simon Saradzhyan – April 25, 2019 – russiamatters.org/blog/north-korea-russia-knows-it-can-only-play-second-fiddle-china-and-us) This week’s summit between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un—the first between the Russian and North Korean leaders—has proved to be as underwhelming as expected. While the two spent twice as much time talking face-to-face as had been planned, they neither announced any major agreements nor appeared […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “It’s Time to Rethink Russia’s Foreign Policy Strategy” – Carnegie Moscow/ Dmitri Trenin

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

“A broad public discussion on Moscow’s foreign policy goals and objectives is long overdue. International issues are affecting the interests of Russian society as a whole more and more, making it necessary for private citizens to take a greater interest in their country’s conduct abroad, especially in the single continental space that is Greater Eurasia.” “It has been just over […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Memes Didn’t Steal the Election; Being influenced by foreign propaganda doesn’t cost a citizen his right to vote” – Wall Street Journal/ Crispin Sartwell

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

“… It’s worth pondering what really would throw an election’s legitimacy into question. Directly compromising the vote by hacking voting machines or disposing of absentee ballots does the job – the latter triggered the invalidation of a North Carolina House race …. So does jailing opponents, banning political parties, or threatening or bribing voters. But a social-media campaign, even coordinated […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Helping Ukraine to Help Ourselves; Russia and the international community should take advantage of this window of opportunity.” – Moscow Times/ Igor Ivanov

File Photo of Igor Ivanov, adapted from image at defense.gov by Steven C. Welsh, www.stevencwelsh.info and www.stevencwelsh.com

“It is common knowledge that Russia and the leading Western states have wildly different assessments of the Ukrainian crisis with regard to its causes, nature and driving forces. Some of these differences will be very hard to overcome, particularly in the short term. … notwithstanding, it is absolutely clear that both Russia and the West should be extremely interested in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What the Mueller Report Tells Us About How Russia Works; Please, put away those onion-dome-on-the-White-House graphics and abandon those excitable claims of Trump as a Russian agent.” – Moscow Times/ Mark Galeotti

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Putin’s Russia is … an ‘adhocracy’ … in which the true elite is defined by service to the needs of the Kremlin rather than any specific institutional or social identity. They may be spies, or diplomats, journalists, politicians, or millionaires; essentially they are all ‘political entrepreneurs’ who both seek to serve the Kremlin or are required to do so, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH AUDIO: “Former U.S. Ambassador To Russia Discusses Findings Of Mueller Report”- NPR/ Michael McFaul

File Photo of Michael McFaul Standing and Barack Hussein Obama Sitting at Desk, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“MCFAUL: … I’ve actually been dealing with Russian trolls and Russian real people on social media since I was ambassador in 2012, and I think it just underscores how sophisticated this operation was by Russia. I still fear that a lot of Americans have underestimated both their capacity to interfere in our elections and their will to do it. And […]

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Trump and Russia: ‘Quid Pro Quo’ or Quid Pro Talk?

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – April 18, 2019 – russiamatters.org/blog/trump-and-russia-quid-pro-quo-or-quid-pro-talk) A few weeks before today’s release of the voluminous Mueller report, a former New York Times executive editor, Max Frankel, argued in an op-ed that the Trump campaign and “Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy” had reached an “obvious bargain” in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election: The “overarching […]

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Sergey Rogov: “Russian-American Conference on Arms Control”

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

Subject: Russian-American Conference on Arms Control Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2019 From: Sergey Rogov <sergeyrogov@hotmail.com> To: davidjohnson@starpower.net I think you might be interested in this information: On April 9-10 the Institute of USA and Canada Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences organized in Moscow a Russian-American workshop on nuclear arms control with participation of many well known experts from […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Former ambassador: U.S. should stop trying to make friends with Russia” – Missoula Current (Montana)/ Laura Lundquist

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“… Putin, suspecting the U.S. of trying to overthrow him, targeted McFaul for … two years. Russian state media discredited McFaul using propaganda and political harassment. … Obama pulled McFaul out. … [I]s Putin, the man who controls … Russian government and media, really so popular? McFaul isn’t so sure. … Russia is the most highly surveilled country in the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Military Drills in Arctic Aim to Counter Russia, but the First Mission Is to Battle the Cold” – New York Times/ Helene Cooper

Arctic Map

“… the melting polar ice cap has opened up the Arctic, disappearing what used to be an impenetrable barrier between North America and Russia. … NATO is rushing to try to catch up. … ‘Russia is increasing its military presence in the Arctic,’ said … a [NATO] spokesman … [NATO is] ‘monitoring Russia’s Arctic buildup carefully.’ In fact, Russia has […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Calvey to stay under house arrest till mid-summer” – Interfax

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. April 12 (Interfax) – The Basmanny District Court in Moscow has extended the period of house arrest of Baring Vostok investment fund founder and senior partner Michael Calvey, who is charged with fraud, until July 14, an Interfax correspondent reported from the courtroom. “The court will grant the request of investigators. The court will also extend the period of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Threat of Nuclear War Is Still With Us; The U.S. must re-engage with Russia to ensure the ultimate weapon doesn’t spread and is never used” – Wall Street Journal/ George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Sam Nunn

Nuclear Mushroom Cloud

“… A bold policy shift is needed to support a strategic re-engagement with Russia …. The most difficult task facing the U.S. is also the most important – to refocus on America’s most vital interests even as we respond firmly to Russia’s aggressions. … The U.S. and other nuclear states have yet to take decisive steps toward the goal of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is Russia Safe? U.S. Adds to New Kidnapping Threat List Along With Iran, Venezuela and These Other Countries” – Newsweek/ Tom O’Connor

“The United States has named Russia in a list of nearly three dozen countries where it warned its citizens risk being kidnapped …. State Department’s travel advisories for 35 nations featured a ‘K’ that signifies ‘the risks of kidnapping and hostage taking by criminal and terrorist actors …’ The department said that the use of a new indicator … was […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Democrats’ Denial Over The Lack Of Russian Collusion Could Re-Elect Trump” – The Federalist/ Jonathan S. Tobin

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“Doubling down on accusations and demanding the un-redacted Mueller report is no substitute for collusion myths, but Democrats’ inability to let it go helps the president.” “… The Democratic Party absorbed a hard blow when … the Mueller investigation determin[ed] there was no collusion with Russia involving the president or his campaign. … Expecting members of Congress like … Adam […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “All About the U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Putin’s Russia” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer, Laurence Arnold, Olga Tanas, Tony Halpin

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

“… Since 2014, the U.S. has imposed travel bans, asset freezes and finance and trade restrictions against hundreds of Russian individuals and companies … a multinational effort …. 1. What U.S. sanctions are in place against Russia? More than 700 Russian people and companies have been targeted …. 2. Why were the sanctions imposed? … starting in 2014 after Russia […]

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Gallup Poll Shows One In Five Russians Would Migrate West If Possible

Satellite Image of Earth in Style of Mercator Map, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – April 4, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-migrate-west-gallup-poll-one-in-five/29861985.html) One in five Russians say they would leave their country if they could, according to a new poll by Gallup. The Washington-based pollster said on April 4 that since 2014, the percentage of working-age Russians who say they […]

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Kirk Bennett: “Tying Up the Loose Ends of Russiagate”

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Subject: TYING UP THE LOOSE ENDS OF RUSSIAGATE Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2019 From: Kirk Bennett <kirkbennett7@yahoo.com> TYING UP THE LOOSE ENDS OF RUSSIAGATE The unfinished business of Russiagate consists of clearing the names of innocent people; holding senior bureaucrats to account for errors of judgment and abuses of power; and restoring the tarnished image of democratic governance. By Kirk […]

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7 Pillars of Putin’s World: New Book Shows U.S. Policymakers Russia as It Is

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Nikolas K. Gvosdev – April 4, 2019 – russiamatters.org/analysis/7-pillars-putins-world-new-book-shows-us-policymakers-russia-it) Nikolas K. Gvosdev is a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.   “Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and with the Rest” By Angela Stent Twelve, February 2019 American officials who profess to have […]

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A Cyber Treaty With Russia

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

“… Opening a discussion about setting boundaries for cyber activity going forward … need not be seen as weakness or folly. It is precisely when bilateral relations are plumbing new depths, and there seems to be no hope for improvement, that our professional national security establishments must engage. …”

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RUSSIALINK: “Share of Russians Predicting Better Ties With the West Hits 5-Year High – Poll” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 1, 2019) The number of Russians forecasting improved relations between their country and the West has reached a five-year high, the independent Levada Center pollster said Monday. Public support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine has remained in the high 80s in the Levada poll since 2014, despite it leading to economic sanctions […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Ford Will Pay Out $200M to Laid-Off Russian Workers” – Moscow Times

Ford Van file photo, adapted from image at gsa.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 28, 2019) Ford will pay around $200 million in cash to workers and suppliers who lose their jobs when the company closes three of its plants in Russia in June, the company said in a statement. The U.S. automaker is closing two assembly plants and one engine factory because it says the passenger vehicle […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What Mueller Won’t Say: Did he investigate the Steele dossier? If not, he didn’t really investigate.” – Wall Street Journal/ Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

Robert Mueller file photo, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“… the exact words of Attorney General William Barr: ‘The Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump … conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.’ How is it possible to investigate these ‘allegations’ without holding the Steele dossier, the only […]

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Steve Shabad: “Response to Matt Bivens [Re: Russiagate]”

White House

Subject: Response to Matt Bivens Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2019 From: Steve Shabad <steve.shabad@gmail.com> To: davidjohnson@starpower.net Response to Matt Bivens (JRL #50 “Russiagate: The Great Tragic Comedy of Modern Journalism”) From Steve Shabad [Bivens: blog.usejournal.com/russiagate-the-great-tragic-comedy-of-modern-journalism-fd2a451aaa25][russialist.org/jrl-newswatch-russiagate-the-great-tragic-comedy-of-modern-journalism-matt-bivens/] Matt Bivens’ essay on what he calls the “tragic comedy of modern journalism” made for provocative reading, and I agreed with some of his points. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russiagate: The Great Tragic Comedy of Modern Journalism” – Matt Bivens

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

(Matt Bivens – Medium.com – March 25, 2019 – medium.com/@mattbivens_34439/russiagate-the-great-tragic-comedy-of-modern-journalism-fd2a451aaa25) “Russiagate: The Great Tragic Comedy of Modern Journalism” By Matt Bivens Former editor, Moscow Times “In its Russiagate coverage, The New York Times has repeatedly offered a graphic accusing the President’s retinue of “more than 100 contacts with Russian nationals.” This decision to question the loyalty of people who have […]

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Mueller Investigation Result Opens Way for a Putin Visit to Washington This Year, Frolov Says

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Paul Goble – Window on Euarasia – Staunton, March 26, 2019) Many Russian commentators have suggested that the findings of the Mueller investigation may be good news for Donald Trump but will do little to affect US-Russian relations. But Vladimir Frolov, who is well-connected with the regime, says that Mueller’s findings open the way for Vladimir Putin to visit the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole; The Mueller Report won’t soothe a paranoid frenzy to undo the 2016 election” – City Journal (New York)/ Paul Starobin

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

“The idea of irascible Donald Trump as a compliant tool of the Kremlin in Moscow – some sort of clandestine agent or asset … has always seemed off-center. Who has ever been able to control him … Does Trump seem capable of keeping secrets, following orders, or maintaining the strict discipline required of a double agent? … to sober minds, […]

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Butina incarcerated in U.S. losing weight due to prison food, long period of stress – newspaper

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

MOSCOW. March 27 (Interfax) – Russian citizen Maria Butina, who is incarcerated in the United States, has been losing weight because of the long period of stress and unhealthy food, yet her father Valery Butin hopes that Maria will be sentenced before April 15 and deported to Russia, the newspaper Izvestia said on Wednesday. “On the whole, Masha is alright, […]

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AUDIO: JRL NEWSWATCH: “What does the end of the Mueller investigation mean for US-Russian relations? [interview with Michael McFaul]” – PRI/ The World staff

File Photo of Michael McFaul Standing and Barack Hussein Obama Sitting at Desk, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… Mueller found no evidence of collusion between … Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election, but left unresolved the issue of whether Trump obstructed justice by undermining the investigations …. The Kremlin said … Putin was ready to improve ties …. Peskov repeated Moscow’s denial of any interference in U.S. elections and internal affairs …. But Michael McFaul […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH [SATIRE]: “Shocked Vladimir Putin Slowly Realizing He Didn’t Conspire With Trump Campaign; ‘Who The H[–]l Was I Working With Then?’ Asks Russian President” – The Onion

Putin at Desk

“Saying that he had been ‘totally blindsided’ by the revelations from the recently released findings of the Mueller investigation, a shocked Vladimir Putin reportedly came to the realization Tuesday that he didn’t conspire with Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign after all. ‘What the hell? I worked so hard on this – if I wasn’t colluding with the Trump campaign, who […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “With Mueller gone, can Trump pursue his dream of a Russian reset?” – Washington Post/ Paul Sonne, Anton Troianovski, John Hudson

“… Trump came into office signaling a desire to improve relations with Moscow, pledging on the campaign trail to ‘get along great’ with … Putin and win his respect. With the conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, the president has won more freedom to pursue that goal. But experts say the sand has shifted significantly in Washington […]

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