JRL NEWSWATCH: “With unrest on all sides, Russia’s regional muscle is being tested” – Washington Post/ Isabelle Khurshudyan

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“… As Russia’s interests abroad have focused on building the country’s standing as a player on the global stage – including malicious operations such as trying to influence U.S. presidential elections – the Kremlin’s grip has weakened closer to home. Competition from Turkey, China and the West is increasingly challenging Moscow’s onetime dominance in the former Soviet space. … [and] could pose other jitters for … Putin and the promise of stability he often touts to Russians. … [S]treet protests and political upheavals in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan, in particular, could rattle the Kremlin, analysts say. The worry is that they could embolden Russia’s anti-Putin factions … already angered over the nerve-agent poisoning of opposition leader … Navalny ….”

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