RUSSIA NEWS & INFORMATION – Johnson’s Russia List contents & links :: JRL 2020-#155 :: Thursday, 27 August 2020

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Johnson’s Russia List :: JRL 2020-#155 :: Thursday, 27 August 2020
A project sponsored through the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. The contents do not necessarily represent the views of IERES or The George Washington University.
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1. Intellinews: More Russians believe country is going in the right direction
2. Putin’s approval rating soars as Russia’s Covid lockdowns are slowly lifted, but remains far below dizzying post-Crimea highs –
3. Interview with Rossiya TV channel –
4. Worst of coronavirus impact on Russia’s economy over – Putin.
5. TASS: Russian economy may see 5-6% slump, Putin says.
6. ‘She’s an adult, she simply told me’: Putin says daughter VOLUNTEERED to take part in trials of world’s 1st Covid-19 vaccine.
7. TASS: Sputnik V vaccine is supplied to medical institutions for Phase 3 of trials.
8. Paul Goble: ‘No More than 10’ Russian Regions Now Providing Accurate Coronavirus Data, Mathematical Analysis Shows
9. The Barents Observer (Norway): Security strongmen take on key role in Russian Arctic policy. The Russian Security Council is given an expanded position in the management of national interests in the Arctic.
10. TASS: Putin: Mass protests in Belarus must be taken into account.
11. Interfax: Lukashenko declares readiness for dialogue with ‘reasonable’ opposition members
12. Intellinews: Ben Aris, Putin says Russia has special security reserve ready to help Belarus’ Lukashenko. Putin: “Lukashenko asked me to form a certain reserve of law enforcement officers, and I did.”
13. Putin hopes ‘there will be no need’ to use Russian forces in Belarus, but has established standby unit at Lukashenko’s request –
14. Meduza: Putin says Ukrainian and U.S. intelligence lured Russian mercenaries to Belarus to destabilize the country ahead of elections.
15. Intellinews: Belarus is running out of cash. Belarus has some $8bn in reserves but that is only enough to pay for 2.5 months of imports, less than economists say is necessary to maintain the stability of the national currency.
16. Deutsche Welle: Belarus’ Soviet-era economy still propped up by Moscow. Belarus has one of the lowest poverty rates in Europe, but economic growth is anemic due to archaic state-run industries and the ending of Russian energy subsidies. Its biggest political crisis is even more of a threat.
17. Bradley Blankenship, Belarusian opposition leader Tikhanovskaya is cozying up to Washington, a serious strategic blunder –
18. Lithuania fears military conflict –
19. Financial Times: Belarus protests stoke sea change at state media outlets. Hundreds of journalists have gone on strike demanding fair coverage of demonstrations.
20. TASS: RBC: Strikes at Belarusian enterprises weaken amid state pressure.
21. Byline Times: Kseniya Kirillova, Lukashenko is Trying to Exploit the Fears of Moscow and the West. The Belarusian dictator has hatched a complex, contradictory plan to stay in power, reports Kseniya Kirillova
22. History Today: Andrew Wilson, Belarus Begins Again. Belarus’ history has been a series of false starts, but the recent uprisings against Alexander Lukashenko suggest a new chapter is imminent
23. US troops operating (illegally) in Syria tried to block Russian patrol despite being warned, Moscow says, after vehicles collide –
24. TASS: US tones down arms control demands, may have lost time for deal with Russia, says expert –
25. Meduza: Putin says he wants a ‘thorough and objective investigation’ of whatever happened to Alexey Navalny.
26. TASS: Russia launches preliminary inquiry into Navalny’s hospitalization.
27. Meduza: Let’s share notes, fellow colleagues. Russian doctors want to see the data German physicians used to determine that Alexey Navalny was poisoned.
28. Siberian doctors who treated Moscow protest leader Navalny issue open letter addressing critics of their efforts to save activist –
29. Reuters: Who Else but Navalny? Kremlin Critic’s Illness a Blow for Campaign to Break Putin’s Grip.
30. Moscow Times: In Wake of Suspected Poisoning, Navalny’s Allies Vow to Soldier On. But if the Kremlin critic is unable to return to health, Russia’s opposition will lose its most recognizable leader
31. Paul Goble: Khabarovsk Protesters Add Concern for Navalny to Demands Furgal’s Return and Putin’s Ouster
32. Washington Post editorial: Alexei Navalny can’t just become another name on the roll call of Putin’s victims

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