Who’s On The List? Russia’s Elite Nervous About New U.S. Sanctions

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

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – WASHINGTON – January 15, 2018 – also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-sanctions-list-putin-circle-elite-nervous/28976991.html) There’s a chill settling in over Moscow, and it’s not just the arctic temperatures that typically smother the Russian capital in January. As U.S. officials put the finishing touches on new financial and travel sanctions against Russia, […]

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U.S. not prepared for contacts with Russia in format of meetings between foreign policy, defense chiefs – ambassador

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil

MOSCOW. Jan 16 (Interfax) – The United States is currently not prepared to discuss the resumption of contacts with Russia in the 2+2 format – meetings between the heads of the two countries’ foreign-policy and defense agencies – even though the countries are trying to intensify bilateral dialogue on key issues, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said in reply […]

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Alexander R. Vershbow: “Re: 2018-#8-Johnson’s Russia List [re Russia and NATO expansion]”

Alexander Vershbow file photo

Subject: Re: 2018-#8-Johnson’s Russia List [re Russia and NATO expansion] Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2018 23:24:42 -0500 From: Alexander R. Vershbow <arvershbow@gmail.com> David: Re: JRL No. 8 item 19: Happy New Year. Steve Cohen and others, in accusing the West of “deceiving” Gorbachev and breaking an alleged “promise” not to enlarge NATO, forget that Gorbachev himself refuted this in an […]

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NEWSLINK: “From Siberia to Crimea: The Revenge of History in U.S.-Russian Relations; One is tempted to conclude that the Washington foreign-policy establishment has learned little over the past century” – The National Interest/ Lyle J. Goldstein

Balaklava harbour, the cattle pier, Crimea, Ukraine, 1855; adapted from image at loc.gov; Fenton, Roger, 1819-1869, photographer;

“… What were more than 7,000 ‘doughboys’ doing in Siberia at the end of the First World War? To make a long and complex story-explored in detail by such luminaries as George Kennan-a bit shorter, the intervention by a large group of allied powers was not simply anti-Bolshevik, but was premised at the outset as a wartime operation to prevent […]

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Interfax: New U.S. nuclear doctrine is next step to build infrastructure enabling global strike on Russia – MP Slutsky

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) – The United States’ new nuclear doctrine is aimed at protecting the infrastructure which is being created in Europe to enable a strike on Russia, the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Leonid Slutsky said on Facebook. “It’s hardly a revelation that the U.S. is building comprehensive infrastructure to support Prompt Global Strike. Under the pretext […]

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NEWSLINK: “The DNC: Swimming In Malware But Never Once Targeted” – Medium/ Jeffrey Carr

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

  “… As I and other cybersecurity researchers have pointed out, malware is shared. The concept of ‘exclusive use’ is an unsubstantiated myth. The differences in how the DNC and Joint Staff networks were breached versus the White House and State Department suggest an alternative theory that makes more sense; i.e., that malware developed by Russian-speaking hackers for use by […]

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Putin: We’re not going to interfere with U.S. affairs, but it should be ready to meet challenges it prompts

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

MOSCOW. Jan 11 (Interfax) – Russia is not going to interfere with affairs of the United States, but Washington should be ready to meet the challenges provoked by the U.S. itself, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “If they stick their nose into everything, they should be ready, they should be capable of meeting certain challenges, which they, as a matter […]

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U.S. Urges Travelers To Reconsider Visiting Russia

State Department Building and U.S. Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 11, 2018) The U.S. State Department listed Russia as one of the most dangerous countries to visit in a new travel advisory system released Wednesday, together with states including Sudan, Pakistan and Niger. The new four-tier advisory replaces the State Department’s travel warnings and alerts system and is based on seven risk factors including […]

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U.S. Orders Sputnik News Agency to Register as ‘Foreign Agent’

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 10, 2018) The United States has ordered the Russian government-funded Sputnik news agency to register as a “foreign agent” – the latest episode in a media war that has unfolded between the two countries in the past year. U.S. intelligence agencies have accused Russian media organizations of participating in a propaganda campaign to influence […]

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NEWSLINK: “Trump’s Russia Ambassador: U.S.-Russia Relations ‘Done’ if Kremlin Meddles in 2018 Elections; Jon Huntsman tells a room full of lawmakers that Russia is very much on course to play a disruptive role again” – DailyBeast/ Andrew Desiderio

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil » Read more

NEWSLINK: “Now Shaking Up Russia: The Bernie Bro Taking on Putin on His Home Turf; The strategist for a socialite candidate running what’s seemed a quixotic campaign against Putin for the presidency already has handed the Kremlin some surprises” – DailyBeast/ Anna Nemtsova

Kremlin and River » Read more

NEWSWATCH: “Russia has been meddling in foreign elections for decades. Has it made a difference?” – Washington Post/ Lucan Ahmad Way, Adam Casey

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

“… Russia has been intervening in foreign elections for decades. Has it been effective? …. we put together and examined a data set of all 27 Russian electoral interventions since 1991. …  First wave: In the former Soviet states, 1991 to 2014 … Second wave: in Western democracies, 2014 to now …. It’s true that Russia has been increasingly trying to […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Steele boasted to friends of his ‘professional’ work on Russia-Trump dossier” – Washington Times/ Rowan Scarborough

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… On Friday, two Republican senators made a criminal referral to the Justice Department. An investigation revealed that … Steele misled the FBI, said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. The FBI told lawmakers that the bureau had not confirmed the dossier’s core collusion charges since … Steele’s first briefing in […]

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NEWSLINK: “RT’s editor-in-chief on election meddling, being labeled Russian propaganda; ‘There’s nothing illegal that we did … nothing murky,’ says Margarita Simonyan, who dismisses the U.S. intelligence report that says the Russian news network she heads meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election” – CBS News

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

NEWSLINK: “A RESPONSE TO JOSEPH BIDEN, JR. AND MICHAEL CARPENTER’S ARTICLE IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MAGAZINE, PART I” – Hal Freeman/ Between Two Worlds; The “Art” of an American Surviving in Small Town Russia

File Photo of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in front of U.S. Flag and Russian Flag

“The first week in December I received an e-mail from Foreign Affairs magazine with a featured article attached, ‘How to Stand Up to the Kremlin,’ by Joseph Biden, Jr., and Michael Carpenter. ‘The Team’ at Foreign Affairs [FA] told me to enjoy it and please share it. I began reading it, but pretty soon it looked a lot like a […]

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NEWSLINK: “A RESPONSE TO JOSEPH BIDEN, JR. AND MICHAEL CARPENTER’S ARTICLE IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MAGAZINE, PART II” – Hal Freeman/ Between Two Worlds; The “Art” of an American Surviving in Small Town Russia

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“I discussed the background of Russian-American election interference in part 1 of this section of my blog. Apparently wanting to appeal to the casual reader, the authors give the distinct impression that NATO, the EU, and, of course, the United States (although not specifically mentioned) wanted to help along our Eastern European neighbors …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Gazprom gas exports to Europe rise 8% to new record” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

Gas Flame file photo

“Russia’s gas exports to Europe rose 8.1 per cent last year to a record level of 193.9bn cubic metres (bcm), the company’s head said … as the world’s largest gas producer continued to increase sales despite rising competition from LNG and other sources. Gazprom … has a monopoly over Russia’s gas pipelines to Europe [and] has been forced to reduce […]

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NEWSLINK: “The KGB Playbook for Turning Russians Worldwide Into Agents; A KGB manual showed how valuable-and how treacherous-Russian émigrés could be. Did KGB veteran Vladimir Putin learn those lessons?” – Daily Beast/ Michael Weiss

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

“This is the third and last article in a series based on never-before-published training manuals for the KGB, the Soviet intelligence organization that Vladimir Putin served as an operative, and that shaped his view of the world.”

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NEWSLINK: “A Christmas Encounter With the ‘Russian Soul’; The man who found my wallet demanded an ‘honorarium.’ He learned a lesson when I stood firm.” – Wall Street Journal/ David Satter

Snowy Night on Red Square with Old St. Basil's Lit Up

“As tension with Russia deepens, it may seem as if Americans have little in common with those living under Vladimir Putin’s dictatorship. But I have witnessed the triumph of good over evil in Russia many times, including on one striking occasion 25 years ago this month, when an expression of the ‘Russian soul’ defused a dangerous situation and gave me […]

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U.S. Policy Toward Russia Toughens, Despite Trump Talk

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

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – RFE/RL News Analysis: Mike Eckel – December 20, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-us-trump-putin-tough-policy-despite-talk/28929575.html) Statements from the Kremlin and the White House last weekend about thwarting a purported terrorist attack in St. Petersburg seemed to suggest that the United States and Russia were entering a new era of comity and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kennan Cable No. 29: U.S. Sanctions Law and Western Coordination on Russia Policy” – Kennan Institute/ Dominik Tolksdorf

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

“The United States and the European Union have coordinated their sanctions against Russia for more than three years. In July 2017 the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly passed additional sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea that were signed into law by President Trump on August 2. The legislation was drafted in the context of the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. […]

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Moscow does not rule out U.S.’s plans to secede from INF Treaty, pledges instant mirrored response

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

MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) – Moscow believes that the United States is looking for a pretext to quit the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and is pledging an instant mirrored response, the Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department, Mikhail Ulyanov, told Interfax in an interview on Tuesday. “The stubborn reluctance [of Washington] to support its […]

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NEWSWATCH: “They’re back! Must-read paper on ‘The Return of Global Russia,’ a new Carnegie project, is avail online and explains the Kremlin’s increasingly expansive foreign policy paradigm …” – Andrew S. Weis/ Carnegie Endowment/ Twitter

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

(Andrew S. Weiss, Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment Russia and Eurasia Program – Twitter – @andrewsweiss) “They’re back! Must-read paper on ‘The Return of Global Russia,’ a new Carnegie project, is avail online and explains the Kremlin’s increasingly expansive foreign policy paradigm http://ceip.org/2C5ksHh via @pstronski and Richard Sokolsky …” [embedded live feed of tweet should load below; tweet also […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Relations With the West One Year After the U.S. Presidential Elections” – NYU Jordan Center/PONARS Eurasia

File Photo of Manhattan and Manhattan Bridge, adapted from image at loc.gov, from photo by Carol M. Highsmith

“On Wednesday November 8th, the NYU Jordan Center and PONARS Eurasia hosted a joint conference entitled, “Russia’s Relations with the West one Year after the US Presidential Elections.” Taking place on the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president, the panel brought together scholars from a range of countries to consider the current state of U.S.-Russian/Eurasian relations and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “[Putin] Telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump” – KremlinRu

File Photo of CIA Seal on Floor

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States Donald Trump. Vladimir Putin thanked Donald Trump for the information passed on by the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that helped detain the terrorists who plotted to set off explosions at Kazan Cathedral in St Petersburg and other public places in the city. The information received from […]

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Re: Freedom of speech in rusology

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

Subject: Freedom of speech in rusology Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 From: GORDON HAHN <gordon-hahn@sbcglobal.net> The following seems to be a rather ominous development for freedom of speech in academia and journalism an attempt to discredit all dissenters from the Washington consensus on Russia. If there are people in academia willing to sign on to such a ‘brief,’ we can […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Military and NATO May Now Target Russia With Cyber Weapons, Marking Huge Policy Change” – Newsweek/ Tom O’Connor

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… NATO’s recent decision to integrate cyber warfare into its command  … represents a stark 21st-century warning to foes, especially Russia …. Capitalizing on the multinational coalition’s recognition of cyberspace as a theater of operations at last year’s Warsaw Summit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced … the creation of Cyber Operations Center as part of an overall effort to update and […]

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NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “How Putin’s emotional reactions drive Russian strategy” – PBS Newshour

Putin at Desk

(PBS Newshour –  December 13, 2017) “What motivates President Vladimir Putin, the man accused of ordering Russian interference in the 2016 American election? Special correspondent Nick Schifrin talks with Julia Ioffe, who has written a new cover story for The Atlantic about what he really wants. …” [Click here for transcript and original posting of video: pbs.org/newshour/show/how-putins-emotional-reactions-drive-russian-strategy] 

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‘Russian Lessons for Reagan’ Launch at Gorbachev Foundation Reunites Old Friends; Author Suzanne Massie meets with old friends and fellow optimists

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Justin Lifflander – December 13, 2017) Tuesday’s event at the Gorbachev Foundation was supposed to be a typically mundane book launch. But the presentation of the Russian language version of Suzanne Massie’s “Trust But Verify: Russian Lessons for Reagan” turned out to be an unofficial meeting of the multi-generational club of peace-makers and optimists. Ronald […]

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