VIDEO: JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Palace. History of World’s Largest Bribe” – Navalny.com

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

“… one place where you can understand everything about … Putin. … the most guarded place in Russia … a state within a state, … Putin’s biggest secret. … protected by hundreds, even thousands of people – from unknown guards, gardeners and builders to the richest and most famous people in Russia. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian opposition activist Navalny calls for supporters to take to the streets this weekend” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

“Jailed anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny has called on Russians across the country to take to the streets this weekend …. Navalny appears to be hoping for a repeat of the 2013 demonstrations where thousands … gathered outside the Kremlin … to protest against his arrest at that time. … [T]he Kremlin backed down and released him, but […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Prepares Earliest-Ever Arctic LNG Shipment to Asia” – Bloomberg/ Irina Reznik, Anna Shiryaevskaya, Dina Khrennikova, Olga Tanas

Arctic Map

“Russia is preparing to make the earliest-ever shipment of liquefied natural gas to Asia, taking advantage of thinning ice in the Arctic … paving the way for a record-long navigation season …. [S]uper-chilled cargo from Novatek PJSC’s Yamal LNG facility in early May will beat last year’s record for the start of eastbound voyages through the Northern Sea Route … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia ready for quick extension of last arms pact with U.S.” – AP

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

“… Lavrov said … Moscow is ready to move quickly to keep the pact alive. … New START envisages the possibility of its extension for another five years … [The Russian government] has said … Moscow is ready to do so without … conditions. … [or] to prolong the pact for a shorter term …. [T]alks … have been clouded […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Justice Department knew there was no Russia collusion by spring of 2017” – Washington Times/ Rowan Scarborough

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“The top [DOJ] official in early 2017 overseeing the FBI‘s Russia probe, Dana J. Boente,] testified he was briefed as many as six times on its status and was told there was no evidence of Trump campaign collusion, a newly released transcript shows. … [Instead,] during this time the FBI took major steps to expand the probe. … Trump in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Armenia, Azerbaijan Agree to Develop War-Ravaged Nagorno-Karabakh” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“A Russian-brokered peace deal appears to be holding but challenges over POWs and displaced people have yet to be resolved.” “… Deep-seated hostilities [reportedly] will make it tough for Armenians and Azeris to live side by side, at least in the short term …. [T]he region[] [has a] history of ethnic animosity between … largely Christian Armenians and mostly Muslim, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “It’s Trump’s Last Chance to Declassify These Secrets of the Russia Collusion Dud” – Real Clear Investigations/Aaron Maté

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… [V]oluminous public records – including investigative reports from … Mueller, Congress and … [DOJ’s] inspector general – have established that Trump and his associates were targeted with a baseless Russian collusion allegation. … fraudulent claim[s] originat[ing] with the Hillary Clinton campaign … fueled by … false or deceptive intelligence leaks … improperly investigated by the FBI, potentially to the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Armenian, Azerbaijani leaders in Russia for talks” – AP

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“… Putin … hosted … counterparts from Armenia and Azerbaijan[] [for] their first meeting since a … Nov. 10 peace deal end[ing] 44 days of hostilities in which … Azerbaijani [forces] routed Armenian forces … reclaim[ing] control over large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas. Nagorno-Karabakh … within Azerbaijan … had been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putting Putin in his place: U.S. Navy eyes ‘freedom of navigation’ patrols off Russia’s Arctic coast” – Washington Times/ Ben Wolfgang

“The Navy is eyeing a tougher posture in the Arctic to push back against Moscow … [T]op Pentagon officials said … the U.S. could launch ‘freedom of navigation’ operations near Russia’s Arctic coastline. Such operations would resemble Navy exercises in the South China Sea, an area in which American ships regularly contest growing Chinese territorial claims. Officials believe similar movements […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Gamaleya’s Vaccine Works” – New York Times/ Jonathan Corum, Carl Zimmer

File Photo of Blue-Gloved Hand Holding Syringe and Injecting Arm, adapted from image at nih.gov

“The Gamaleya Research Institute, part of Russia’s Ministry of Health, developed a coronavirus vaccine known as Sputnik V or Gam-Covid-Vac. Gamaleya announced in December that the vaccine had an efficacy of 91.4 percent. Russia is using it in a mass vaccination campaign, and it is now being distributed in Argentina, Belarus and other countries ….” Click here for: “How Gamaleya’s […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Angela Merkel mulls Russian answer to EU coronavirus vaccine bottleneck” – The Times (UK)/ Oliver Moody

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“… Merkel and … Putin have discussed the possibility of making a controversial Russian vaccine in the EU as bottlenecks in supply slow down [some] [European] inoculation [efforts] …. but only [after] … Sputnik V … [is] authorised by the EU medicines regulator. … [which] could take several months … [I]t is thought … the vaccine has yet to be […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “UN urges Russia to immediately withdraw forces from Crimea” – AP

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

“The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution … urging Russia to immediately withdraw all its military forces from Crimea ‘and end its temporary occupation of the territory of Ukraine without delay.’ The vote in the 193-member world body was 63-17 with 62 abstentions …. Russia sent troops into Crimea and annexed the peninsula in 2014. It has supported separatist rebels […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. officials suspect Russia in mystery ‘attacks’ on diplomats in Cuba, China” – CNBC/ Josh Lederman, Courtney Kube, Abigail Williams, Ken Dilanian

Artist's Rendition of Head and Brain, adapted from .gov image at lbl.gov

“Intelligence agencies investigating mysterious ‘attacks’ … [leading] to brain injuries in U.S. personnel in Cuba and China consider Russia … the main suspect, three U.S. officials and two others briefed on the investigation [said] …. backed up by evidence from communications intercepts, known in the spy world as signals intelligence, amassed during a lengthy and ongoing investigation involving the FBI, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Former presidential candidate Tikhanovskaya wants to be Belarusian interim president for 45 days” – Interfax

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

Former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has said that she is willing to lead the country in the transitional period […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Exits Open Skies Treaty, Moves to Discard Observation Planes” – Wall Street Journal/ Michael R. Gordon

File Photo of OC-135B Plane Painted For Open Skies Treaty Use, adapted from image at arnold.af.mil

“Without specialized aircraft and equipment, Biden administration would have difficult time re-entering post-Cold War pact.” “The Trump administration formally shut the door on the Open Skies treaty Sunday, exiting the agreement while moving to get rid of … U.S. Air Force planes … used to carry out the … accord[, had had dated to the closing of the Cold War […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Talk of an early retirement for Vladimir Putin is premature; Speculation rose after parliament passed a law granting immunity from prosecution to former presidents and their families” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

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

“The future prospects of any strongman leader often boil down to two choices: guaranteed safe passage to civilian life with legal protection, or life-long rule. … Putin, … [soon] mark[ing]  21 years in charge[,] … has engineered a situation [with] a shot of achieving either. … [T]his week … the country’s parliament rubber-stamped a law granting immunity from investigation or […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s authorities increase pressure on NGOs with plans to strengthen ‘foreign agent’ laws” – Meduza

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“… Russia’s Government Cabinet … submitted a bill to the State Duma … strengthening the Justice Ministry’s control over NGOs … [designated as] foreign agents[.] [The bill would] empower[] … authorities to dissolve these organizations or … hinder their work. … requir[ing them] to inform Russia’s Justice Ministry of all of … [planned] programs and events … [T]he Justice Ministry […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal, Russia’s Putin claims a strategic win. But risks are attached” – Washington Post / Robyn Dixon

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“… Under the cease-fire, nearly 2,000 [Russian] peacekeepers have been deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh, a separatist enclave controlled by an ethnic Armenian government within the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan. … reinforc[ing] the Kremlin’s view that its sphere of influence includes Azerbaijan and Armenia …. [and providing] another counterweight to geopolitical rival[] Turkey, a close Azerbaijan ally and key customer for […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “25,000 medical students are sent out to help Russia’s COVID-struck hospitals” – Barents Observer/ Atle Staalesen

Covid-19 Coronavirus file photo, adapted from image at cdc.gov

“The virus is putting the healthcare system on its knees. A massive number of students are now sent out to aid.” “… According to the federal healthcare chief, several regions are now running out of available hospital bed[s]. … About 270,000 additional hospital beds are now being prepared for new patients. But medical staff is increasingly … [facing a] shortage. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moldova Vote Winner Promises ‘Balanced’ Ties With West, Russia” – AFP/ France 24

Moldova Map and Flag

“Moldova’s pro-European election winner Maia Sandu … vowed balanced ties with the West and Russia as Moscow-backed incumbent Igor Dodon conceded … and asked … supporters to refrain from violence. Sandu’s election is … as a major blow to the Kremlin[,] …. [that] wanted polarized Moldova to remain in its sphere of influence …[P]olitics in Moldova[,] … [located between Ukraine […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Peace, for now; A peace deal ends a bloody war over Nagorno-Karabakh; Azerbaijan wins some land, while Turkey and Russia carve out spheres of influence” – The Economist

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“Brokered by Russia and Turkey …. [t]he peace deal marks one of the biggest shake-ups in a turbulent region at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East since the collapse of the Soviet empire, which also began in Nagorno-Karabakh. … [A]fter 25 years of waiting for the return of its territory, Azerbaijan went back to war. … aided […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Caucasus ceasefire cements Turkey as a power in Russia’s backyard; Azerbaijan-Armenia truce underlines new regional balance between Moscow and Ankara” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy, Laura Pitel

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“… a six-week-long conflict with Armenia over … Nagorno-Karabakh … resulted in major gains for Azerbaijan and its Turkish-backed military …. A truce … freezes the conflict … includ[ing] agreements that [Russian ally] Armenia … must hand over additional land …. While the truce was brokered by Moscow — which has deployed [nearly 2,000] peacekeepers — … Azerbaijan’s success with […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Reshuffle: Political Analysis” – BMB Russia

Kremlin and River

“The Russian government underwent a mini-reshuffle … [with] new leaders for five of its 21 ministries. … [The reshuffle] test[ed] the new procedure for appointing cabinet officials. According to … constitutional changes, cabinet officials nominated by the PM are now … approved or rejected by the Duma before going to the president. … Mishustin is solidifying his position within the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Tikhanovskaya’s People’s Ultimatum deadline expires, general strike due to start” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

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

“Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya set a deadline of October 25 for Lukashenko to leave office or face a general strike that will bring the country to its knees. Lukashenko has not quit.” “The [Sunday] deadline … expired … set by … nominal victor in Belarus’ presidential election Svetlana Tikhanovskaya as part of the ‘People’s Ultimatum.’ … demand[ing] … self-appointed President […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “FBI in possession of Hunter Biden’s purported laptop, sources say” – Fox/ Jake Gibson, Brooke Singman

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

“The FBI and Justice Department concur with DNI Ratcliffe that the laptop is not part of a Russian disinformation campaign.” “The FBI … possess[es] … [Hunter Biden’s purported] laptop … contain[ing] emails revealing … foreign business dealings, including … in Ukraine and China [according to senior administration officials] …. emails … first obtained by the New York Post … reveal[ing] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Khabarovsk [Protests]” – BMB Russia

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

“… [Khabarovsk] protests … against the arrest of former local governor Sergei Furgal have … been ongoing for … 100 consecutive days … remarkable … [for] Putin era protests. … [On] October 10 … for the first time[] [there was] … a crackdown by riot troops and the arrest of about 30 …. [T]he numbers … have significantly dwindled … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin: Russia-China military alliance can’t be ruled out” – AP

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

“… Putin said … there is no need for a Russia-China military alliance now, but noted it could be forged in the future. … signal[ing] deepening ties between Moscow and Beijing amid growing tensions … with the United States. … [Putin] also made a strong call for extending … [the New START Treaty]. … The U.S. recently … proposed a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Broadens Sanctions to Thwart Completion of Russian Gas Pipeline” – Wall Street Journal/ Brett Forrest

State Department Building and U.S. Flag

“New measures target companies that would provide services or funding for vessels working on Nord Stream 2” “… [2019] U.S. Sanctions … focused on pipe-laying vessels for Nord Stream 2 and halted the $10.5 billion [natural gas] pipeline[,] … designed to transmit Russian gas to Germany, 100 miles short … beneath the Baltic Sea. … [A] State Department [web announcement] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Kyrgyzstan Sets New Polls as New PM Reassures Russia” – AFP

Bishkek file image, adapted from image at state.gov

“Kyrgyzstan’s electoral authorities said … parliamentary polls … would be repeated [Dec. 20] …. [A]cting leader Sadyr Japarov moved to assure Russia of the two countries’ strategic partnership. … [The] previous [Kyrgyzstan] vote was annulled over political chaos that unseated a president and rattled Russia. … Allegations of vote-buying … raised by international monitors and losing parties sparked a protest […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Battle for borshch: Ukraine lays claim to soup dish amid identity war with Russia” – Atlantic Council/ Mark Raczkiewycz

Borscht file photo adapted from image featured by peacecorps.gov

“Borshch has long been a staple of Ukrainian cuisine and Kyiv officials now hope to … secur[e] UNESCO recognition of the soup’s Ukrainian roots. … In early October, the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture moved to add the hearty soup to its list of intangible elements of Ukrainian cultural heritage. Ultimately, Ukraine hopes to secure international recognition as the historic home […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why Russia – and Putin – might be worried about a Biden presidency” – CNBC/ Holly Ellyatt

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

“At the very least, analysts expect that a victory for Biden would increase tensions between Washington and Moscow, and would raise the probability of new sanctions on Russia. The country is already operating under international sanctions on some key sectors and Russian officials close to Putin, for actions including its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, interference in the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Call Putin’s Bluff on Election Interference; The United States Should Take Russia Up on Its Offer to Sign a Pledge” – Foreign Affairs/ Anna Arutunyan

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

“The Kremlin has … pushed proposals for the United States and Russia to work together to protect elections against hacking …. Putin expanded the proposal into a package deal: the two countries would pledge not to interfere in each other’s internal political processes, and they would also restore dialogue, devise a mechanism to prevent cyberattacks, and share information on cybersecurity. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Is a Bad Omen” – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace/ Paul Stronski

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“With the United States shrugging off its erstwhile role as the world’s policeman, can anyone stop the fierce fighting now raging between Armenia and Azerbaijan?” “… The long-running Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, … dat[ing] to the waning days of the Soviet Union, is not going to trigger a global war[] [n]or … affect … [great power] vital interests […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s population will decline by 352,500 people this year – 11 times more than in 2019” – Meduza

File Photo of Crowd in Russia Including Person Waving Russian Flag with Eagle

“Russia’s population is expected to decline by 325,500 people this year – 11 times more than in 2019 (when the number of Russians fell by just 32,100 people) – according to the latest government projections, first leaked by the Telegram channel Maisky Ukaz and later confirmed by sources who spoke to the news outlet RBC. The estimated population loss in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Alexander Lukashenko changes tack in Belarus stand-off” – Financial Times/ James Shotter, Max Seddon

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

“Meeting imprisoned opposition leaders is departure from previous hardline approach” “After … weeks in the Belarusian KGB prison, tech executive Dmitry Rabtsevich and a dozen opposition activists … [were visited by] embattled strongman … Lukashenko … [in] an unannounced roundtable with his jailed opponents. The jail then quickly released … Rabtsevich …. The bizarre four-and-a-half-hour jail meeting … was … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Dismisses Trump Hope of Nuclear Deal Before U.S. Vote” – Bloomberg/ Ilya Arkhipov, Henry Meyer, Vladimir Kuznetsov

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Russia dashed hopes of a [nuclear weapons] deal … before next month’s [U.S.] presidential election …. The U.S. proposal for a nuclear freeze … also cover[ing] tactical weapons ‘has long been known to us’ and is rejected by Russia because ‘we need to deal with their new strategic-range’ conventional arms too, including in space and missile defense, said [Russian Deputy […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Reported death toll in Armenia-Azerbaijan clashes about 600” – AP

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

“The reported death toll in clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over … Nagorno-Karabakh has reached about 600 … [F]ighting continues despite a cease-fire …. More than two weeks of deadly clashes marked the biggest escalation of a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh … in Azerbaijan but … under control of ethnic Armenian[s] … backed by Armenia since the end of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Knives come out in the battle of borscht” – The Times (UK)/ Marc Bennetts

Borscht file photo adapted from image featured by peacecorps.gov

“A simmering dispute between Russia and Ukraine over the origins of bortsch could … boil over as Kiev prepares to apply for international recognition of its bragging rights to the warming beetroot soup. The Ukrainian culture ministry wants Unesco cultural heritage status for the dish in an attempt to settle the ‘bortsch war,’ started last year …  with some Ukrainians […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Nobody wants to kill business’; Moscow is experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases, but there’s no lockdown in sight” – Meduza

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Moscow is experiencing a sharp increase in new coronavirus cases[,] [a]s of Friday, September 25, …record[ing] 1,560 new cases in the last day – 510 more than the day before … nearly twice as many as last week. … the highest daily increase … since June 12. … Also on September 25, Russia recorded more than 7,000 new coronavirus cases […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Tricky data; ‘Sputnik V’ developers respond to Western critics, but the debate might overlook the vaccine’s biggest problem” – Meduza

File Photo of Blue-Gloved Hand Holding Syringe and Injecting Arm, adapted from image at nih.gov

“… [In response to concerns about their Lancet-published data, Russian vaccine] developers say … the methods … give only rough values …. [a] problem [that] would not have arisen … if their sample size had been larger. … [But they] do not explain … why they limited their trials to so few people. … [S]pecialists say … Gamaleya Center[] research […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A dozen countries refuse to recognise Lukashenko’s inauguration; Spontaneous protests broke out in the evening following Alexander Lukashenko’s secret inauguration for a sixth term” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“A dozen countries refused to recognise … Lukashenko as … legitimate president of Belarus after he secretly inaugurated himself … September 23. Tensions were high in Minsk after the news broke, with protesters in Minsk flooding the streets and clashing with police trying to disperse them. The only leader that sent a message to congratulate Lukashenko was Turkmen President Gurbanguly […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Four Myths about Russian Grand Strategy” – Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)/ Robert Person

Satellite

“Myth #1: Russia’s grand strategy is driven by ideology …. Myth #2: Russia seeks to reconstruct the Soviet Union or Russian Empire. … Instead of a formal territorial empire … Russia endeavors to establish a privileged and exclusive sphere of influence across former Soviet territory. … [with] a seat at the table in the capital of every post-Soviet country. … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Lukashenko inaugurates himself in secret” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“Fearing mass protests, Belarus’ self-appointed President Alexander Lukashenko held an inauguration for himself in secret to complete the legal process of winning the disputed August 9 presidential election. … [T]he entire perimeter surrounding the presidential palace … was closed to traffic. Some companies told their employees not to come in, as … roads were closed. Police trucks and army vehicles […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why Russia’s alliance with China is improbable, but not impossible” – Fondation pour la recherche stratégique/ Simon Saradzhyan

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

“Abstract: [A]re Russia and China already in a de facto military alliance (against the U.S.), or may they soon enter one? … [This article] reviews … academic literature on alignments … and alliances … infers criteria … [and] sets out to … [assess that] relationship …. Introduction[:]  The [Russia-China] relationship … is getting stronger …. Xi Jinping[] and … Putin[] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Spinning good news on arms control” – The Hill/ Steven Pifer

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… A speedy conclusion could be possible on extending New START, which would be in the U.S. interest. Putin has said Moscow would extend without conditions. … [C]hief [U.S.] arms control envoy[] Marshall Billingslea[] has called New START ‘deeply flawed.’ … Billingslea backed away from the demand that China [get involved] … [yet] continued to insist … Russia agree to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia says Belarus leader plans to change constitution; President Lukashenko began raising the question of changing Belarus’s constitution several years ago.” – Al Jazeera

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“Russia said … Lukashenko … confirmed … plans to change the constitution as the two leaders held talks in Sochi …. Lukashenko faces mass protests at home …. Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years … previously changed the constitution to increase his presidential powers. The opposition wants to change the constitution back to its original form … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Crumbling Power Vertical: Decreasing Disposable Income Drives Discontentment” – PONARS Eurasia

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Accumulating evidence points at prospects of growing destabilization at the regional level in Russia. In 2019, five consecutive years of economic stagnation ignited a wave of protests across the country. In 2020, as Russia’s economic situation worsened dramatically due to a pandemic-driven halt to economic activity combined with a fall in oil prices, support for Kremlin appointees might start crumbling […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “After Weeks of Pressure in Belarus, Protesters and Lukashenko Locked in Dangerous Stalemate” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove

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

“More than 100,000 people protest; country’s longtime leader set to meet Putin on Monday.” “More than 100,000 … poured into the streets of … Minsk [Sunday], sparking a show of force and mass detentions by riot police[,] … one of the largest in a string of demonstrations aimed at keeping pressure on … Lukashenko[] [i]n the month since [an election] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Backs Lukashenko as Belarus Leader Vows Closer Ties” – AFP

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“… Putin on Monday backed embattled … Lukashenko[,] …. [who] thanked Putin for his support and vowed to stick closer to ‘elder brother’ Moscow during … talks at … [Putin’s Sochi] residence …. [Lukashenko’s] first foreign trip since his disputed [election] win … prompted mass protests against [Lukashenko’s] rule …. Putin appeared to endorse Lukashenko’s political future, praising … plans […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Belarusian leader set to visit Russia as protests continue” – AP

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

“… Protesters in Belarus have spent a month denouncing the results of the country’s Aug. 9 presidential election as rigged and demanding the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko from the sixth term he won. Facing criticism from the West, Lukashenko has worked to cement ties with his main ally and sponsor, Russia. … set to head to Russia … Monday […]

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