JRL NEWSWATCH: “Chat Group Becomes Target of Moscow’s Wrath as Security Crackdown Widens” – New York Times/ Andrew Higgins

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

“The group started out as an online discussion of hobbies, schoolwork and sometimes politics. But then it was infiltrated by an informer for Russia’s all-powerful security services.” “… [T]he chat group … was joined by a new member who promoted unusually strident views … and pushed to turn the online chatter into a political movement …. [He] gave his name […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Warns It Will See Any Incoming Missile as Nuclear” – AP

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Russia will perceive any ballistic missile launched at its territory as a nuclear attack that warrants a nuclear retaliation, the military warned …. in … official military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) … [a warning] directed at the United States, which has worked to develop long-range non-nuclear weapons. [I]n June [Russia published its] … nuclear deterrent policy … envisag[ing] … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. Is Close to Killing Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline; But it’s a race between slow construction and slower sanctions” – Foreign Policy/ Amy Mackinnon

Gas Flame file photo

“Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is close to the finish line – but might be closer to finished as a viable project, after one of the companies involved in laying the pipe on the Baltic seafloor said … it would withdraw …. For years, the United States has tried to kill off Russia’s latest effort to strengthen its […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Lukashenko rhetoric shows fallout between Minsk and Moscow”- Financial Times/ Max Seddon, James Shotter

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“Arrest of 33 Russians comes as Belarusian president’s strategy of playing Russia and the west off each other founders.” “… Belarus authorities arrested the [Russian] men [checking into a sanatorium outside Minsk as would-be tourists] and another Russian, claiming they were mercenaries plotting to ‘destabilise the situation’ ahead of Sunday’s [historically contentious] elections [in Belarus] …. [The arrests and surrounding […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s electoral testing ground; Welcome to Novosibirsk, where multiple opposition parties are battling for real power and setting the stage for Russia’s nationwide elections” – Meduza

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

“In … Novosibirsk[,] … not one but two opposition groups are building … a serious challenge to the ruling party. … [T]he Communist Party (KPRF) … part of … the systemic opposition … recognized by the Russian government and permitted to hold elected seats across the country. … currently controls Novosibirsk City Hall[;] Communist Mayor Anatoly Lokot … push[ing] for […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Lawmakers Offer Bill to Boost Aid for Ukraine Military” – Reuters

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

“… [S]enators [from both parties] introduced legislation to back Ukraine with $300 million of annual military financing …. The bill also authorizes up to $4 million to train Ukrainian military officers, requires a [DOD] … and State Department report on the requirements of Ukraine’s armed forces and a plan to supply security assistance and requires the appointment of a special […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What just happened and what’s next in Belarus?” – Meduza

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“A rundown of the contentious presidential race, Lukashenko’s surprising struggles, and the likely post-election scenario.” “… August 9, Belarus will conclude its most contentious, openly dirtiest, and toughest presidential campaign …. [O]ne candidate has been imprisoned (as well as two campaign chiefs of staff) … another fled the country …. [P]olitical prisoners in Belarus spiked from one to 24 … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Sets Mass Vaccination for October After Shortened Trial” – New York Times/ Andrew E. Kramer

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

“The announcement raised concerns that Russia would begin inoculations and declare victory in the race for a coronavirus vaccine without fully testing its product.” “Russia plans to launch a … vaccination campaign in October … [for] coronavirus … yet to complete clinical trials, raising international concern about the methods the country is using to compete in the global race to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow’s Watcom shopping index almost back to normal as shoppers return to Moscow’s malls” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Cash Register with Drawer Open and Hands of Cashier

“Moscow’s Watcom shopping index has regained almost all the ground lost from a lockdown on the capital earlier this year” “[The] Watcom shopping index [tracking foot traffic at Moscow’s leading malls] has recovered almost all … ground lost during the [spring] lockdown …. [Moscow’s] infection rate … has fallen …. [T]he epidemic is far from over in Russia …. A […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Lukashenko cancels state of the nation speech as health fails” – bne Intellinews

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

“… Lukashenko cancelled his annual state of the nation speech … admitt[ing] … having the [COVID-19] coronavirus. … ‘Today you are meeting a man who managed to survive the coronavirus on his feet. … Asymptomatic. … No-one will die from coronavirus in our country[,] … my firm conviction judging by analysis not only of previous years. … Almost 97% of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “[U.S.] Election Spotlight: Russia [– Trump vs. Biden]” – Council on Foreign Relations

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

“In the wake of Western efforts to develop a cooperative post–Cold War relationship with Russia, the country has reemerged as a top U.S. rival and an object of mistrust and suspicion. … * * * Donald J. Trump (R – Incumbent) Trump has cultivated cordial relations with … Putin and dismissed accusations that his campaign cooperated with Moscow’s interference in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian COVID-19 Vaccine Approval Imminent, Source Says” – Reuters

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

“Russia’s first potential COVID-19 vaccine [reportedly] will win local regulatory approval in the first half of August and be administered to frontline health workers soon afterwards …. [Moscow] state research facility … Gamaleya Institute [] completed early human trials of the adenovirus-based vaccine this month and expects to begin large-scale trials in August. … The speed at which Russia is […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia and China in Talks About Building a Joint Moon Research Base” – CNS/ Dimitri Simes

File Photo of Surface of Moon with Earth in Distance, adapted from NASA image

“Looking to strengthen … space cooperation with China amid heightened geopolitical tensions with the United States, Russia is in talks with Beijing about the possibility of building a joint lunar research base. Dmitry Rogozin … head of … Roscosmos, held talks recently with … China National Space Administration[] director Zhang Kejian. He … [stated in an state television interview] that […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Siberia’s ‘gateway to the underworld’ grows as record heat wave thaws permafrost” – Science Magazine/ Richard Stone

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“… Known to locals as the ‘gateway to the underworld,’ Batagay is … [earth’s] largest thaw slump …. Once just a gully … the scar has expanded … as … permafrost thaws and meltwater carries off … sediment. Now more than 900 meters wide, it epitomizes the vulnerability of permafrost in the Arctic …. Outbursts of pent-up methane gas in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Intelligence Agencies Push Disinformation on Pandemic” – New York Times/ Julian E. Barnes, David E. Sanger

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

“Declassified U.S. intelligence accuses Moscow of pushing propaganda through alternative websites as Russia refines techniques used in 2016.” “… Russian military intelligence, … the G.R.U., has used … ties with … Russian government information center[] InfoRos[] and other websites to push out English-language disinformation and propaganda about the pandemic, such as amplifying false Chinese arguments that the virus was created […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine Cease-Fire Begins in Tense Climate” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove

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

A cease-fire between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists … offer[s] the prospect of an end to a slow-burning conflict … claim[ing] thousands of lives in Eastern Ukraine … [Remaining] [p]oints of friction … includ[e] Russia’s control of … Crimea and Kyiv’s resistance to holding elections in separatist strongholds […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Joe Biden May Want to Forget About the Russia Investigation” – Wall Street Journal/ Gerard Baker

File Photo of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in front of U.S. Flag and Russian Flag, adapted from image from RIA Novosti

The candidate struggles to field softballs from friendly media. … It’s well past time … Biden was asked … what he knew about … serious malfeasance by [Obama administration] officials [in the Russiagate investigation targeting the Trump campaign]. … We know … Biden was kept abreast of … the investigation […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia Hold Talks on Space Security” – Wall Street Journal/ Michael R. Gordon

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

“Two space powers are at odds over goals, with U.S. seeking voluntary norms, Russia aiming for a treaty” “The U.S. and Russia … [are holding] their first space-security talks since 2013 … [addressing] how to guard against the increasing militarization of space. [The] Trump administration … hoped … the [Vienna] meeting … would lead to … voluntary norms … and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “An oil spill in Russia’s Arctic exposes risks for Moscow’s Far North plans” – Washington Post/ Isabelle Khurshudyan, Andrew Freedman

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“Thawing permafrost in the rapidly warming region leaves Moscow’s ambitious Arctic expansion proposals literally on shaky ground.” “… [S]urg[ing] … climate change in interior Russia – more than three times the global average – is throwing new risks in the way of … Putin’s Far North agenda, among his top domestic initiatives. A key danger is … more infrastructure atop […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Russia’s Far East, a New Face of Resistance to Putin’s Reign” – New York Times/ Anton Troianovski

Far Eastern Russia and Environs, with Khabarovsk Pinpointed, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“As the protests swell in the city of Khabarovsk, 4,000 miles from Moscow, residents who had never before found a public outlet for anger are becoming activists.” “… [P]rotests in Khabarovsk reached well into the tens of thousands … establishing this distant city – some 4,000 miles from Moscow – as the site of the biggest popular challenge to … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘This is a turning point in Belarusian history’ Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on how her presidential campaign is taking on Lukashenko” – Meduza

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“… Belarus[‘s] … presidential elections [are] on August 9, [with] the 2020 race … already … deemed the dirtiest in the country’s history … [A]uthorities arrested alternative candidate Viktor Babariko and opposition leader Sergey Tikhanovsky … [A]nother would-be candidate, veteran politician Valery Tsepkalo … fled to Russia with his children. … [T]he Belarusian opposition [then] united around Svetlana Tikhanovskaya … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Man of steel; ‘Novaya Gazeta’ reports on the backroom business schemes that maybe ruined a Russian governor” – Meduza

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… [T]here’s a convoluted story of cutthroat competition for a steelworks. … Sergey Furgal, until recently … duly elected governor of Khabarovsk, is now suspected of involvement in four murders committed in 2004 and 2005. While many observers have assumed openly that the allegations are plausible, given the rough and tumble of the Far East’s business world at the time, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. urged to exploit cracks in Russia-China relationship; Ties between Beijing and Moscow are not as strong as Xi and Putin portray” – Financial Times/ Kathrin Hille, Katrina Manson, Henry Foy, Christian Shepherd

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“… Steve Biegun, deputy U.S. secretary of state, told the Financial Times … he was confident the U.S. could be more agile and find ‘the seam’ in the relationship between Russia and China. … [a] seam … held together solely by a ‘mutual determination to challenge the United States.’ … The two are far from an alliance in the western […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Russian imperialism could bring down Putin” – The Hill/ Janusz Bugajski

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

“… Putin has based his domestic support on economic growth and restoring the ‘Russian World.’ With the Russian economy in a nosedive, the Kremlin looks increasingly likely to attack a former Soviet neighbor to revive its imperial credentials. … Russia invaded Georgia to divert public attention from the 2008 financial crisis, and … invaded Ukraine to help quash growing protests […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s disinformation campaigns are targeting African Americans” – Washington Post/ Zilvinas Svedkauskas, Chonlawit Sirikupt, Michel Salzer

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

“Russia is masking its involvement by outsourcing its disinformation operations to West Africa.” “… The Kremlin’s previous attempts to hijack movements such as Occupy Wall Street and the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access pipeline indicate that the Kremlin can skillfully reframe social protests to increase mistrust between U.S. citizens and their government. If African Americans continue to be […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “There Is No Arctic Axis; Russia and China’s partnership in the north is primarily driven by business, not politics.” – Foreign Policy/ Elizabeth Buchanan

Arctic Map

“… [C]ommercial realpolitik is at the heart of [Russia and China’s Arctic] engagement. … [even as it] navigates existing fault lines, such as Beijing’s failure to acknowledge Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s nonalignment in the … India-China conflict. … [R]egional cooperation is due to … shared interest[s] in maintaining domestic stability. Long-term economic development ventures and the viability of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “New FBI Notes Re-Debunk Major NYT Story, Highlight Media Collusion To Produce Russia Hoax” – The Federalist/ Mollie Hemingway

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“The New York Times in 2017 falsely reported that the Trump campaign had ‘repeated’ contacts with Russian intelligence officials during the 2016 campaign, and instead of being held accountable for publishing lies, the story’s authors received Pulitzer prizes.” “The FBI official who ran the investigation into whether the … Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin plans to make the West destroy itself; Chaos and division is the real goal for Russia” – The Spectator (UK)/ Owen Matthews

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“… only one person [will] be genuinely pleased with the Intelligence and Security Committee’s Russia report … and that’s … Putin. Russia emerges as an amorphous and formidable enemy – all the more so because the inconclusive and much-redacted report contains next to no substantiated allegations. Instead Russia appears as a phantom, unknowable menace, and this will spawn a thousand […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Nine photos; Russia put a historian on trial twice for supposedly abusing his foster daughter sexually. Here’s how Yuri Dmitriev became a ‘political prisoner.'” – Meduza

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

“On July 22, the Petrozavodsk City Court convicted historian Yuri Dmitriev of committing violent sexual acts against his underage foster daughter and sentenced him to three and a half years in prison. Because of time already served in pretrial detention, Dmitriev should go free in November 2020. This was his second trial. In April 2018, the same court acquitted him […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Unasked FBI Question: Why? G-men rightly debunked the Steele dossier. And then peddled it anyway.” – Wall Street Journal/ Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“New revelations … more emphatically underline a question nobody seems willing to ask: Why did the FBI fan a Russia collusion confabulation that it knew was unfounded, false and baseless? The obvious answer is not so much rejected as turned away from: because the FBI, and specifically … Comey, had a powerful interest in changing the subject from … Comey’s […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia races for vaccine as Covid-19 nonchalance spreads” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Vladimir Putin suggests country has weathered worst of pandemic, but virus not yet in retreat” “… Having rapidly manufactured a sense of calm to hold … Putin’s vote … grant[ing] him the right to remain in office … 12 years longer than previously[,] the Kremlin … now pin[s] … hopes on a fast-tracked coronavirus vaccine … to stop the virus […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How is Putin able to remove popularly elected governors?” – Meduza

Russia Regions Map

“… Putin and … Medvedev (… [as] president) have dismissed … 11 governors prior to Furgal. Article 19 of the federal law ‘On the general principles of organization of legislative (representative) and executive bodies of state power’ gives the head of state this right. … in particular situations … [for] inadequate performance of duties and loss of confidence. While the […]

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AUDIO: JRL NEWSWATCH: “What To Do With Toppled Statues? Russia Has A Fallen Monument Park” – NPR/ Lucian Kim

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

“… the city of Moscow designated [a] chaotic collection of statues [as] a sculpture park called Muzeon, also known as the Fallen Monument Park. In Russia, regimes have come and gone over the past century, from the overthrow of the czarist autocracy in 1917 to the collapse of the communist dictatorship in 1991. … Soviet statues abandoned in the Muzeon […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Folly; Pompeo may be in an uproar over Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but it is hardly the geopolitical masterstroke he imagines.” – Foreign Policy/ Chris Miller

Gas Flame file photo

“As the United States [adds] … pressure … against Nord Stream 2, friction with Germany, which would receive much of the pipeline’s gas, will intensify. …. Many countries in Central and Eastern Europe see the pipeline as a glaring example of German hypocrisy … Berlin lectures them about carbon neutrality and human rights while guzzling fossil fuels from one of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What does the Russia report mean for British people and politics? Luke Harding considers the implications of the report on Moscow’s meddling” – The Guardian

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“… The Russia report accuses the government of failing to investigate Russian interference in British politics, in particular during the 2016 EU referendum. The Commons intelligence and security committee[] … says Downing Street showed a ‘lack of curiosity’ over Kremlin meddling. … [not] say[ing] whether this complacency was deliberate or an omission[,] [e]ither way … a stunning rebuke of Boris […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Putin sets new 2030 goals as National Projects scaled back” – bne Intellinews

Kremlin and River

“… Putin has signed a ‘July Decree’ … outlin[ing] … national development goals up to 2030 …. risk[ing] … [failure to] fulfill[] … [his] previous economic platform due to the … COVID-19[] crisis. … [with] deadlines for [the] National Projects spending spree … being pushed from 2024 to 2030. [The new platform] outline[s] five development goals: 1) maintaining the population, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “China and Russia: Economic Unequals” – CSIS/ Jonathan E. Hillman

Asia Map

“…. Xi and Putin’s signature economic visions even appear complementary at first glance. Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has unleashed Chinese companies to build roads, railways, fiber-optic cables, and other hard infrastructure …. Putin’s Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) harmonizes customs processes to create a single market among Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. … Xi and Putin have repeatedly […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “To Secure the Election: Tame the Russian Bear in Cyberspace” – Council on Foreign Relations/ Scott Jasper

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“As the U.S. presidential election approaches, U.S. Cyber Command will have to consider tougher measures to impose costs that change Russia’s behavior in cyberspace.” “… As it weighs its options, Cyber Command will undoubtedly conduct thorough planning and risk assessments that consider the possibility of Russian retaliation and discovery or reuse of exploits that the command uses against it. That […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. must respond forcefully to Russia and the Taliban. Here’s how.” – Washington Post/ John W. Nicholson

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

“… Russia’s alliance with the Taliban, while calibrated in the past, is designed to undermine the success of the U.S.-led peace process and to erode the will of the United States, NATO and the Afghan people. Our leaders have a moral responsibility to protect our service members who are fighting for an enduring peace in Afghanistan, to honor the sacrifices […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “White House fills top Russia job previously occupied by two impeachment witnesses” – CNN/ Zachary Cohen, Vivian Salama, Kylie Atwood

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“The White House [reportedly] has tapped Ryan Tully to be the top official on Europe and Russia at the National Security Council … the fifth person to occupy that job in … three and a half years …. Tully currently serves … as [NSC] senior adviser for arms control and deputy senior director for … [its] directorate on [WMD] …. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Still standing; How Vladimir Putin maintains his support” – Times Literary Supplement (UK)/ Stephen Kotkin

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

“… Putin forced through a plebiscite to zero out … constitutional limits on his rule. … [H]e can run again, in 2024, for two more six-year terms, until 2036, when he will turn eighty-four. …. Putin could have … move[d] Russia onto a stable path of institutional pluralism. Russia’s would-be democrats … Gorbachev and … Yeltsin, started out … popular […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Putin pushed aside the oligarchs and made Russia his own” – Washington Post/ Anders Åslund

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

In her deeply researched new book, Catherine Belton tells a dark tale of … Putin’s rise to power and … 20 years as [Russian] leader …. ‘Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West‘ […]

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New Russian Policy Toward Ukraine: Citizenship Beyond the Borders

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

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Kennan Cable No. 54 – Igor Zevelev, Global Fellow; Former Professor at George Marshall European Center for Security Studies; Former Director, MacArthur Foundation, Moscow Office – July 9, 2020) A major change in Russian policy towards Ukraine is underway. Policymakers, experts, and the media across the world have focused mostly on the conflict in eastern […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s ‘Little Green Men’ In Voting Booths” – Kennan Institute/ Sergey Parkhomenko

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

… independent research and polls show that to make sure the Kremlin could trumpet the longed-for support of 50 percent of the Russian electorate, Putin and his cronies still needed large-scale ballot manipulations during the day and astronomical fraud during the vote count at night […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Far-Reaching Consequences of Siberia’s Climate-Change-Driven Wildfires” – Smithsonian Magazine/ Theresa Machemer

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“Smoke from the blazes is now reaching the West Coast of the United States.” “… [S]moke from the fires … spans over 1,000 miles … causing hazy skies [in] the northwestern United States …. Permafrost is rich in organic material that froze before it could completely decompose. Melting permafrost releases greenhouse gases on top of the pollution released by the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Authorities Are Targeting Journalists, Historians and Activists. The Rest of Us Could Be Next” – Moscow Times/ Ilya Klishin

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

What’s going on? Nobody knows, but this time it really is scary […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Denmark Gives Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline a Path to Completion” – Wall Street Journal/ Brett Forrest

Gas Flame file photo

“U.S. officials fear the pipeline will give Moscow greater political leverage across Europe.” “Denmark granted unexpectedly swift approval for resuming construction of the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Danish waters, potentially clearing one of … [its] last hurdles …. The pipeline, once finished and certified, will deliver Russian natural gas to Germany …. U.S. lawmakers and officials fear … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Colin Powell suggests media had ‘hysterical’ reaction to Russian bounty reports” – New York Post/ Sam Dorman

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“… Colin Powell indicated … that media figures overreacted to a recent report that Russian officials placed bounties on … U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. ‘What I know is that our military commanders on the ground did not think that it was as serious a problem as the newspapers were reporting and television was reporting,’ Powell [said] … ‘It got kind […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russians Join Calls Urging Turkey Not to Revert One of Christendom’s Most Famous Churches into a Mosque” – CNS News/ Dimitri Simes

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

“Russian lawmakers adopted a resolution … calling on Turkey not to change the status of Istanbul’s famed Hagia Sophia from … museum to … mosque, warning that Russia’s … relations with Turkey could be harmed …. Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly 900 years before being turned into a mosque in the 15th century. […]

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