VIDEO & LINKS: House Committee on Foreign Affairs: “Exposing and Demanding Accountability for Kremlin Crimes Abroad”

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

Exposing and Demanding Accountability for Kremlin Crimes Abroad […]

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How Improved U.S.-Russian Relations Could Weaken Putin’s Case for Remaining in Kremlin Until 2036

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Paul Saunders – July 8, 2020) Paul Saunders is a senior fellow in U.S. foreign policy at the Center for the National Interest. Considering Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stated preferences and Moscow’s reputation for “managing” Russia’s voting, it hardly seems surprising that the Central Election Commission (CEC) claimed an overwhelming level of public support for constitutional […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “British court rules against Christopher Steele, orders damages paid to businessmen named in dossier” – JustTheNews/ John Solomon

File Photos of Law Books and Gavel, adapted from image at fjc.gov

“Court rules Steele’s firm violated Britain’s data privacy law by failing to aggressively check allegations in his dossier.” “A British judge ruled … that Christopher Steele violated a data privacy law by failing to check the accuracy of information in his infamous dossier, ordering the former spy’s firm[,] … Orbis Business Intelligence, to pay … [the equivalent of] about $22,596 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Famous ex-defence reporter arrested, accused of treason” – bne Intellinews

FSB Building file photo

“In what appears to be an escalating crackdown on Russian journalists by the Federal Security Service (FSB), famous defence reporter Ivan Safronov was arrested … and charged with treason. He faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted. The arrest is only the latest of a series of arrests and cases brought against leading Russian journalists who have simply […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Economic crisis likely not to be protracted; not all risks from coronavirus removed yet – Manturov” – Interfax

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. July 7 (Interfax) – The current signs of recovery suggest that the economy will not become bogged down in a protracted phase of the crisis, Industry and Trade Minister, Denis Manturov, said on Tuesday during the online international industrial marathon, Innoprom, which is a platform uniting exhibition events, online sessions and congresses, as well as educational workshops. “Of course, […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#122 :: Wednesday, 8 July 2020

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2020-#122 :: Wednesday, 8 July 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Here’s why statisticians are calling Putin’s constitutional plebiscite the most fraudulent vote in Russia’s recent history” – Meduza

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

“Researchers who study Russia’s electoral statistics believe … the recent nationwide plebiscite on constitutional amendments is the most dishonest vote the country has seen since the year 2000. … [F]rom a statistical point of view, … official results in many precincts can’t be attributed to fair voting processes. … According to official data from Russia’s Central Election Commission, a little […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Putin Views the Iranian Role in Syria: Insights from Bolton’s Memoir” – Mark N. Katz

Syria Map

“[According to Bolton’s new book] … Putin … told Bolton to convey … to Trump [that –] … Moscow did not need Iranian forces … in Syria… [and gained] no advantage [from it] …. Iran’s policy agenda … regard[ing] … Lebanon and the Shi’a were not [Russia’s] … [and] Iranian policy was causing problems …. Russia [wanted] … an Iranian […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why we need a little skepticism, and more evidence, on Russian bounties” – The Hill/ David B. Rivkin, Jr., George S. Beebe

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“… [1][H]ow credible are the sources? … not very. … militants and criminals captured and interrogated by Afghanistan’s government. … Captured militants frequently tell … interrogators things they hope … [bring] lenient treatment. Others relate … little more than hearsay. … [2][W]hat other information might support or disconfirm the allegations? …. [I]f the Times report of large financial transfers … […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#121 :: Tuesday, 7 July 2020

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2020-#121 :: Tuesday, 7 July 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Kremlin’s View of U.S.’s War in Afghanistan Has Shifted” – Wall Street Journal/ Alan Cullison

File Photo of U.S. NATO Troops Atop Ridge in Afghanistan

“Deteriorating U.S.-Russian ties adversely affect a once-shared goal, leading to a U.S. intelligence assessment of bounties paid to Taliban.” “For years … the U.S. and Russia shared a goal of deposing the Taliban government and hunting down its remnants …. [T]hat … crumbled … amid mutual suspicion and U.S. plans to leave Afghanistan with the Taliban undefeated. Today… [there is] […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#120 :: Monday, 6 July 2020

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2020-#120 :: Monday, 6 July 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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The Map of Political Forces in Today’s Ukraine

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

“In contemporary Ukraine, political parties rarely survive more than one electoral cycle. The super-electoral year 2019 changed the party structure once again …. A year later, there is already palpable interest on the part of the citizenry in new parties, as people have started losing trust in the current ones […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Evidence of massive ballot stuffing emerges in Russia’s referendum on constitutional changes” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“Evidence of massive ballot stuffing emerged in a mathematician[‘s] … statistical study of … the referendum on constitutional changes that would allow … Putin to remain in office until 2036. As bne IntelliNews reported before the vote …. Russian statistician Sergey Shpilkin … made a name for himself … highlighting vote rigging in past elections in Russia … studying … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Parade’s end; A phoney referendum shows Putin’s legitimacy is fading” – The Economist

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

“A proposal to extend his rule passes, buried in a huge package of feel-good measures.” “… [Following voter-luring with offers of prizes and pressures from employers, some of the week-long voting utilized cardboard boxes and other voting was online, creating opportunities to rig the vote.] … [N]ot a proper referendum[,] [i]t had no precedent or legal basis. … did not […]

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Unplugging the Baltic States: Why Russia’s Economic Approach May Be Shifting

Map of Baltics and Environs, Including Kaliningrad

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Emily Ferris – July 1, 2020) Emily Ferris is a research fellow in the international security studies department at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). Russia’s approach to the Baltic states is occasionally framed as an imminent territorial takeover. This view has become salient since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, when other nearby countries […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin gets Russians’ mandate to reset power – expert” – Interfax

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. July 2 (Interfax) – The results of the nationwide vote on changes to the Fundamental Law reflect a high level of public trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin, the head of the Foundation for Civil Society Development with close links to the Kremlin, Konstantin Kostin, said. “Many experts are talking about total support by Russian citizens for the constitutional […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#119 :: Friday, 3 July 2020

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2020-#119 :: Friday, 3 July 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Theatrical Method in Putin’s Vote Madness” – New York Times/ Andrew Higgins

Kremlin and River

“The outcome in Russia’s constitutional ‘referendum’ is preordained, but an elaborate spectacle of public affirmation is vital to the leader’s legitimacy.’ “Russia’s seven-day national plebiscite … to keep … Putin in power until at least 2036, delivered the expected verdict …. Less clear … was why … Putin even needed voters to approve … constitutional amendments that, already ratified by […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Where Can I Travel in Russia This Summer?” – Moscow Times

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

Russia opened its domestic tourist season … as it continues to grapple with the deadly coronavirus pandemic … the world’s third-highest number of infections […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#118 :: Thursday, 2 July 2020

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2020-#118 :: Thursday, 2 July 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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What Does Russia Want In Afghanistan?

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

… Trump tweeted that the intelligence reports were not deemed credible and the Kremlin and the Taliban have rejected reports alleging that officers of the GRU – Russia’s foreign military intelligence — either paid or offered money for killing American soldiers […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Intelligence officials cast doubt on Times’ Russia-Taliban bounty scheme: report” – New York Post/ Ebony Bowden

File Photo of U.S. NATO Troops Atop Ridge in Afghanistan

“Intelligence officials say a news report about Russia paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan does not match ‘verifiable’ Taliban activity and was never presented to … Trump because it was not deemed credible. The National Security Agency reviewed the claims contained in the New York Times report but found it did ‘not match well established and verifiable […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin a Step Away From Goal as Constitutional Vote Nears End” – AP

Kremlin and River

“… Putin is just a step away from completing his main political project of the year – constitutional changes that would allow him to extend his rule until 2036. … For the first time in Russia, polls were open for a week to help reduce crowds and to bolster turnout amid the coronavirus pandemic. Putin is all but guaranteed to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Arctic sets ‘fantastical’ heat records: weather chief” – AFP

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“The Russian Arctic set record temperatures in June that sparked abnormal tundra fires … Russia’s weather service [director] said … blaming climate change for … ‘fantastical’ anomalies. Russia’s northern territories, including parts of Yakutia region which borders the Arctic ocean, have faced a heat wave … with some districts declaring a state of emergency. … He noted one record in […]

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Russians Increasingly Angry that They Live in Poverty in a Country So Rich in Natural Resources

Oil Well file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 28, 2020) The pandemic and associated economic crisis have exacerbated widespread anger among Russians that they live in poverty despite the enormous natural wealth of their country and its sale earlier abroad for more than six trillion US dollars. Had even a small part of that money gone to the people, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia reports 6,693 new Covid-19 cases, 154 deaths in past 24 hours – HQ” – Interfax

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

MOSCOW. June 30 (Interfax) – Russia has recorded 6,693 new Covid-19 cases and 154 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, the coronavirus response headquarters said in a statement on Tuesday. “Over the past day, 6,693 cases of the Covid-19 novel coronavirus infection were confirmed in 84 regions of Russia, including 2,019 active asymptomatic cases (30.2%),” the headquarters said. The […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Q&A: What Does the Russia Vote Mean for Putin?” – Wall Street Journal/ Georgi Kantchev

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“The result of [the] vote isn’t in much doubt, but the outcome could mean far-reaching changes for Russia as he lays plans to prolong his reign.” “Russians are casting … ballots in a [referendum] vote … expected to pave the way for … Putin … to remain … until 2036. … [T]he parliament and … highest court have already approved […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why the World Worries About Russia’s Natural Gas Pipeline” – Bloomberg/ Anna Shiryaevskaya, Dina Khrennikova

Gas Flame file photo

“A … natural gas pipeline being built under the Baltic Sea from Russia … to the German coast is shaking up geopolitics. Nord Stream 2 … worries … bypassed countries in Eastern Europe … fear[ing the loss of] transit fees … [while also] adding to friction with the U.S., which argues the link would give the Kremlin new leverage over […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Coronavirus Crisis Strains Russia’s Soviet-Era Regional Health System” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“Doctors, equipment and basic supplies run short as cases climb; some facilities lack running water.” “… The episode at Karabanovo hospital offers a glimpse into the dysfunction and inefficiency that plagues Russia’s health-care system as the country fights the new coronavirus … the world’s third-highest caseload after the U.S. and Brazil. Many front-line medical workers in Russia say their safety […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Return to Kabul? Russian Policy in Afghanistan” – David G. Lewis/ George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

Soviet Era Afghan Soldiers with Flag

“… Moscow has publicly supported the current U.S.-Taliban peace talks … [yet] has a very different perspective from the U.S. … influenced by geography and history. Russia’s current strategic posture is informed by a long history of relations with Afghanistan and above all … the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979, a strategic and military failure … still fresh in […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#117 :: Tuesday, 30 June 2020

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2020-#117 :: Tuesday, 30 June 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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Putin Driving Russia to Where the USSR was in 1991, Zyuganov Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 22, 2020) Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the KPRF which is the only parliamentary party that has come out against approving the constitutional amendments by referendum, says that Vladimir Putin’s recent actions have been “not simply disappointing but depressing.” In the course of a wide-ranging 3,000-word interview with Anastaya Melnikova of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Coronavirus Cases Surpass 640K” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 29, 2020) Russia confirmed 6,719 new coronavirus infections Monday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 641,156. The country’s one-day increases in new cases have fallen to their lowest levels since April. Over the past 24 hours 93 people have died, bringing the total toll to 9,166 – a rate considerably lower than […]

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Russia and the West

Satellite

From: David C. Speedie <davidcspeedie@gmail.com> Date: Sun, Jun 28, 2020 Subject: Russia and the West To: <letters.editor@ft.com> (Financial Times) Philip Stephens [“Russia cannot afford a war with the west”, 26 June] contains some home truths about Russia under Vladimir Putin, but comes significantly short of the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. To focus on but a few illustrations: […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE – Johnson’s Russia List table of contents & links :: JRL 2020-#116 :: Monday, 29 June 2020

St. Basil's Domes

To inquire about a subscription to the full Johnson’s Russia List e-mail newsletter, e-mail David Johnson at davidjohnson@starpower.net Support the JRL: russialist.org/funding.php Donate Online: click here for direct link at GWU [check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2020-#116 :: Monday, 29 June 2020 A project sponsored through […]

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Overall Turnout At 9.2 Percent On First Day Of Russia’s Weeklong Constitutional Vote

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

Russia’s Central Electoral Commision … says overall turnout was about 9 percent on the first day of a weeklong vote for constitutional amendments that could pave the way for an extension of … Putin’s rule by 12 years. … [J]ournalists and opposition figures already are complaining about irregularities […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Criminal Group Finds New Target: Americans Working at Home” – New York Times/ David E. Sanger, Nicole Perlroth

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

A hacking group calling itself Evil Corp., indicted in December, has shown up in corporate networks with sophisticated ransomware. American officials worry election infrastructure could be next […]

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