JRL NEWSWATCH: “After Momentous 2020, Russia’s Putin Enters New Year as Powerful as Ever; Kremlin leader takes action to cement his rule, repel challenges and spread Russia’s influence in moves that signal what’s likely to come next year” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

Kremlin and River

“… [In] 2020 … Putin took bold moves to cement … power at home and extend … nearly two decades in power, a likely bellwether for [2021], when … [he] could squelch remaining domestic opposition and reinforce … influence abroad. … [D]issent has simmered. Massive protests in the Far East … over the arrest of a popular regional governor quickly morphed into an expression of growing dissatisfaction over declining incomes, shoddy public services, including health care … and … Putin’s rule. … [T]otal nationwide [Covid-19] infections … [amount to] the world’s fourth-largest caseload after the U.S., India and Brazil. … Navalny fell ill [reportedly] after … exposure to … nerve agent Novichok … [which] only state actors … have … access to …. Navalny and … supporters believe the Kremlin directed the failed plot to assassinate him[,] [which] Moscow has denied …. The [EU] imposed sanctions … in response. Russia responded in kind. …”

Click here for: “After Momentous 2020, Russia’s Putin Enters New Year as Powerful as Ever; Kremlin leader takes action to cement his rule, repel challenges and spread Russia’s influence in moves that signal what’s likely to come next year” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons