RUSSIALINK: “IMEMO, Interfax launch new online analytical project Russia and the World: A Professional Conversation”

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

MOSCOW. Oct 26 (Interfax) – The Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) and the Interfax Group have announced the launch of a new joint project called Russia and the World: A Professional Conversation. They signed an agreement on its implementation on Monday, October 26. The project will include a series of expert meetings dealing […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Belarus protests stoke sea change at state media outlets” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon, James Shotter

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

“Hundreds of journalists have gone on strike demanding fair coverage of demonstrations.” “… [In] a sea change at … [Belarus’s] normally pliant state media[,] [h]undreds of journalists have gone on strike demanding fair coverage of the [anti-Lukashenko] protests and … brutal police crackdown …. Several have resigned …. [S]tate media … remains a crucial tool in … Lukashenko’s attempt to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The contest after the vote; Eight major takeaways from the immediate aftermath of the Belarusian presidential election” – Meduza

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

“… Belarusian election officials published … preliminary results … [indicating that] Lukashenko … won more than 80 percent …. radically contradict[ing] [opposition] reports … say[ing] [Svetlana] Tikhanovskaya won 70 percent. … Tikhanovskaya’s campaign refuses to recognize the election’s results … [S]he called on ‘those who believe their vote was stolen’ ‘not to remain silent.’ … [R]eporting suggests … tens of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “There Is No Russian Plot Against America; The Kremlin’s Electoral Interference Is All Madness and No Method” – Foreign Affairs/ Anna Arutunyan

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

“… Researchers and investigators have revealed … activities of [Kremlin-connected] Russian actors … during the 2016 election. … [yet with] comparatively little information about the real impact[,] … still less about … precise objectives. … Russian officials say and write a great deal about the United States …. What emerges is not a cunning, systematic scheme to corrode American democracy […]

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Report: U.S. Officials Say Russia-Backed Websites Spread Coronavirus Disinformation

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

U.S. officials have identified three English-language websites that they say Russia is using to spread disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic to exploit the U.S. struggle to contain the outbreak […]

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YouTube Blocks Accounts Of Pro-Kremlin Analyst, Orthodox TV Channel In Russia

Youtube(TM) Logo, adapted from image at oakridge.doe.gov

YouTube has blocked accounts of the Tsargrad TV channel in Russia and its former chief editor, pro-Kremlin analyst Aleksandr Dugin. … Google, which owns YouTube, said … that the accounts were blocked due to the violation of laws on sanctions and trade regulations […]

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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: “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: “A Wave of Sexual Harassment Claims Is Rocking Russia’s Independent Media” – Moscow Times/ Evan Gershkovich

File Photo of Empty Chair and Desk with Computer, adapted from image at osha.gov

“Novaya Gazeta has blazed a trail by instituting a sexual harassment policy after taking internal accusations of misconduct seriously. Some independent outlets are following suit.” “As her shift at Russia’s investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper was coming to an end on a late Monday afternoon last January, Elizaveta Kirpanova stopped by a senior reporter’s office to catch up. Kirpanova, a 23-year-old […]

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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: “Famous ex-defence reporter arrested, accused of treason” – bne Intellinews

FSB Building file photo

“In what appears to be an escalating crackdown on Russian journalists by the Federal Security Service (FSB), famous defence reporter Ivan Safronov was arrested … and charged with treason. He faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted. The arrest is only the latest of a series of arrests and cases brought against leading Russian journalists who have simply […]

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Russia and the West

Satellite

From: David C. Speedie <davidcspeedie@gmail.com> Date: Sun, Jun 28, 2020 Subject: Russia and the West To: <letters.editor@ft.com> (Financial Times) Philip Stephens [“Russia cannot afford a war with the west”, 26 June] contains some home truths about Russia under Vladimir Putin, but comes significantly short of the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. To focus on but a few illustrations: […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian disinformation operation relied on forgeries, fake posts on 300 platforms, new report says” – Washington Post/ Ellen Nakashima, Craig Timberg

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“The report underscores the ambition, sweep and scale of Russian disinformation operations” “Russian operatives used online forgeries, fake blog posts and more than 300 social media platforms to undermine opponents and spin disinformation about perceived enemies throughout the world, including in the United States, according to a new report ….  The list of figures that operatives targeted over six years […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin’s anti-American propaganda in Ukraine isn’t working” – Kyiv Post/ Mykhailo Basarab

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

“Over the past six months, we have witnessed a sharp increase in anti-American rhetoric not only by the Viktor Medvedchuk’s pro-Kremlin TV channels but also by representatives of certain political groups. And this rhetoric is happening not just from the 44-member Opposition Platform For Life faction in Parliament, which officially advocates a pro-Russia policy. It’s happening among billionaire oligarch Ihor […]

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Russia, George Floyd, and the end of the imaginary West; Why are Russians so angered by America’s latest protests?

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

From liberal columnists to pro-Kremlin pundits, Russia’s opinion formers take the same line on the protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd. Once poles apart, they have merged into a chorus chanting about the death of the West, exposing “political correctness,” and gleefully sharing racist jokes.

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A brazen foray into the Barents yields predictable Cold War-type friction” – Responsible Statecraft/ Lyle J. Goldstein

File Photo of U.S. Naval Ships in Joint Exercises with UK in Barents Sea, adapted from defense.gov image with photo credit to U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony Nichols

” … [M]ilitary escalations in the High North need more attention … [not] the [U.S.] media focus … on … Russian trolls, social media influence peddlers, spies, and various ‘useful idiots.’ … [W]hen the New York Times … seemingly … tr[ied] to investigate what might actually be going on under the … waters of the Barents and off the Norwegian […]

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‘The Message Sends Itself’: In Coverage Of U.S. Protests, Russia Reveals Its Own Fears Of Unrest, Disorder

File Photo of Moscow Protest with Riot Police

… Putin’s government has clamped down on protests at home, sometimes deploying violent methods that have earned it opprobrium from Washington and the West and demands that it respect human rights. … Accusations of U.S. hypocrisy are nothing new for the Kremlin and the media outlets it controls […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Pro-Kremlin entrepreneur buys leading Russian business newspaper; Media executive Ivan Eremin to acquire Vedomosti after censorship row sinks alternative deal” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

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

A little-known Russian media executive with close commercial ties to the state has bought leading business newspaper Vedomosti […]

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Russia Demands Apology From Bloomberg Over Report About Putin’s Low Ratings

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

… The report on Bloomberg noted that only 27 percent of respondents in the poll, published on April 27, named Putin when asked to name a politician they they most trust. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Anatomy of lies; Russia’s covid-19 outbreak is far worse than the Kremlin admits” – The Economist

Kremlin and River

“Like its Soviet predecessor, Vladimir Putin’s system is steeped in falsehoods.” “… official numbers reveal less about covid-19 than they do about Russia’s political system … like its Soviet predecessor, … saturated with lies. Russian elections throw up similarly strange graphics. Many Russian athletes … took performance-enhancing drugs … their cheating … covered up … with official connivance. … [One […]

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Luis Alcalá: “Re: ‘Three Russian doctors fall from hospital windows'”

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings

Subject: [UTExpertsDiscGrp] Re: “Three Russian doctors fall from hospital windows” Date: Thu, 7 May 2020 From: Luis Alcalá <luismalcala@gmail.com> It is a waste of time to comment on these news. In England and the USA, medical personnel commit suicide and nobody says it is the fault of Trump or Boris, but in the news about Russian suicides or accidents they […]

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Andrei Liakhov: “Re: [UTExpertsDiscGrp] ‘Three Russian doctors fall from hospital windows'”

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings

Subject: Re: [UTExpertsDiscGrp] “Three Russian doctors fall from hospital windows” Date: Tue, 5 May 2020 0 From: ‘Andrei Liakhov’ via “Untimely Thoughts” – An Expert Discussion Group on Russia <untimely_thoughts_an_expert_discussion_group_on_russia@googlegroups.com> I do not know about the gents, but I have relatives who work and live in Star City where everyone knows everyone else. The doctor in Star city has not […]

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New York Times Wins Pulitzer For Putin Coverage That Moscow Calls ‘Fabrications’

File Photo of Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., Adapted From Image at loc.gov

(Article text ©2020 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – May 5, 2020 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/new-york-times-wins-pulitzer-for-putin-coverage-that-moscow-calls-fabrications-/30593587.html) The New York Times has won a Pulitzer Prize in the international reporting category for what the judges called a series of “enthralling stories, reported at great risk,” about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government. The initial Pulitzer ceremony, […]

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First Russian Opposition Online Meeting Attracts Widespread Interest and 4800 Participants

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 30, 2020) The “No!” campaign organized on YouTube a virtual protest action against the amendments to the constitution and the failure of the Kremlin to act to help the population during the pandemic. It attracted only 4800 participants but far more likes and visits, observers said. This virtual protest (youtube.com/watch?v=gYDkz-tjn7E), which […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Censorship row threatens Russia’s top business newspaper; Journalists at Vedomosti in open revolt against new editor” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

File Photo of Empty Chair and Desk with Computer, adapted from image at osha.gov

“A row over censorship has plunged Russia’s top business newspaper into a crisis that could either see it fall under the Kremlin’s control or torpedo a deal to sell it, leaving it on the verge of bankruptcy. Staff at Vedomosti are in open revolt against new acting editor Andrei Shmarov … they say he banned writing about taboo topics for […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow’s coronavirus offensive; As the epidemic ravages Europe, the Kremlin has dialed up the disinformation and propaganda” – Politico.eu/ Hannah Roberts

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

“As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, Russia appears to be observing the adage that you should never let a good crisis go to waste. Seeking to capitalize on the chaos and promote its own soft power, the Kremlin has taken Beijing’s lead and started love-bombing struggling nations with medical aid, and stepping up its efforts to broadcast propaganda and sow disinformation […]

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Given Pandemic, Russians Increasingly Turning to Internet for News But Slow Speeds Keep Many from Using It Widely

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 7, 2020) As Russians are told to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, ever more of the 82 percent who are connected to the Internet are turning to that channel for news, with the share doing so rising from 83 percent to 89 percent over the last […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s state-backed media uses the pandemic to spin anti-Western views. They are not alone.” – Washington Post/ Isabelle Khurshudyan

Satellite Dishes

“After a Russian military contingent with medical equipment arrived in Rome last month, the Kremlin’s English-language media outlets RT and Sputnik found video gold. They highlighted an Italian man replacing an E.U. flag with a Russian one — deriding how Italy’s European partners “failed” to provide assistance to the coronavirus-stricken country while Russia ‘filled in.’ But when questions were raised […]

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VIDEO RUSSIALINK: “Take a Hermitage Tour; Walk and walk and walk some more through the Hermitage Museum (Video)” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Hermitage Art Museum

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 18, 2020) If you have time on your hands and a deep love of Western art and Russian architectural extravagence, take a look at this. Five hours, one continuous shot, 45 halls and 588 works of art in the Hermitage Museum, all filmed on an iPhone without recharging. themoscowtimes.com/2020/03/18/take-a-hermitage-tour-a69670 [Additional information russianlife.com/stories/the-russia-file/5-hour-phone-film/: Apple recently […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What’s being done to stop Russia’s election interference?” – PBS

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

“Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has been well documented, and evidence shows Russia is again trying to undermine the 2020 election. But what is the federal government doing to stop it? Richard Hasen, founder of the Election Law Blog and author of “Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy,” joins Hari Sreenivasan to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Trying to Stoke U.S. Racial Tensions Before Election, Officials Say” – New York Times/ Julian E. Barnes, Adam Goldman

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Russian intelligence services are trying to incite violence by white supremacist groups to sow chaos in the United States, American intelligence officials said “The Russian government has stepped up efforts to inflame racial tensions in the United States as part of its bid to influence November’s presidential election, including trying to incite violence by white supremacist groups and to stoke […]

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More than 10 Times as Many Russians are Focusing on the Coronavirus than on Putin’s Latest Moves, New Poll Reports

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble) Staunton – Twenty-six percent of Russians say they are interested in news reports about the coronavirus, compared to only three percent who say they follow the constitutional amendments and two percent who say they are interested in the Kremlin leader’s latest moves, the Public Opinion Foundation says (media.fom.ru/fom-bd/d82020.pdf). Rosbalt commentator Sergey Shelin cites this finding […]

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Why does Russia need a new “foreign agent” law? Russia’s parliament has passed a law that will allow individual citizens to be labelled “foreign agents”. What effect will it have on the country’s most active citizens?

Kremlin and River

(Opendemocracy.net – Ivan Davydov – Dec. 4, 2019) Ivan Davydov is a Russian journalist and writer. His articles can be seen at The New Times, Republic, Inliberty and Gazeta.ru, among other publications. In case you missed it, Russian MPs have spent the past several years debating amendments to media and information legislation which would allow the state to give individual […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s New ‘Foreign Agent’ Law, Explained” – Moscow Times

Satellite Dishes

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Dec. 2, 2019) Russia has passed legislation that will allow individual journalists and bloggers to be labeled “foreign agents,” a move that critics say will tighten curbs on the media and free speech. At least nine news organizations funded by the U.S. government have been designated “foreign agents” under the original version of the law […]

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Russian Duma Approves ‘Foreign Agents’ Bill That Threatens Journalists With Label

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Nov. 21, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-duma-approves-foreign-agents-bill-threatens-journalists/30284789.html) The Russian parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma, has approved the final reading of a bill allowing reporters who work for organizations officially listed as foreign agents to be designated as foreign agents themselves. The bill, approved on […]

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RUSSIALINK: “At Russia’s Inaugural Africa Summit, Moscow Sells Sovereignty; The two-day event this week featured 43 African heads of state” – Moscow Times

Africa Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – SOCHI, Oct. 26, 2019) Last winter, the head of Ghana’s state news agency received a message: Russia’s ambassador to the West African country wanted the agency to discuss a partnership with TASS, its Russian counterpart. For many years, Albert Kofi Owusu said the world had thought negatively about Russia, a perception he […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Sovereign Internet Law Comes Into Force; Experts say the country lacks the technology to implement the controversial legislation” – Moscow Times/ Jan Lindenau

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 1, 2019) When the chairman of Russia’s Committee on Informational Policy, Leonid Levin, stepped on stage in Moscow’s Lomonosov building on Oct. 28 to give a speech during the second All-Russian Digital Forum he couldn’t have chosen a better place. The venue is not just the home of Russia’s fastest supercomputer, it’s also overshadowed […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Thirty-four Russians subjected to administrative liability for insulting state symbols – Prosecutor General’s Office” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – Courts have found 34 Russians guilty of administrative violations for insulting state symbols, Russian Prosecutor General’s Office spokesman Alexander Kurennoi said. “The police made 56 protocols of administrative violations over a period of nine months. Courts found 34 people guilty, 13 cases were closed, nine cases are pending trial,” Kurennoi said on the video channel […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Want to Insult Putin? It Will Cost You $462; Russia’s new lèse majesté law helps turn the president into a laughingstock” – Bloomberg/ Leonid Bershidsky

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

“Six months ago, Russia adopted a law making it an administrative offense to insult the government on the internet. … and in a majority of the cases where a court imposed a fine[] Russians have been punished for insulting … Putin. Instead of sheltering Putin and other top officials from harsh and vulgar criticism, however, the use of the Russian […]

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Russians Learn about Protests from State TV but No Longer Accept Official Explanations, Levada Poll Finds

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 3, 2019) The most significant finding of a new Levada Center poll released today is that most Russians continue to get their news about demonstrations from the official media rather than the Internet but no longer accept the government’s explanations about what is going on and why. That suggests that there […]

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Sarah Lindemann-Komarova: “Fake News or Sloppy Journalism? The Washington Post Dims the Lights of Democracy in Siberia”

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

Subject: Fake News or Sloppy Journalism? The Washington Post Dims the Lights of Democracy in Siberia Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2019 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Fake News or Sloppy Journalism? The Washington Post Dims the Lights of Democracy in Siberia Re: Washington Post, September 5, 2019, “In Russia’s local elections, the vote totals are not what really count” By Will […]

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Putin Again Intimidates Russian Оpposition, Driving It intо Fratricide, Rоdin Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, Aug. 25, 2019) The most important story of the weekend, Ivan Rodin of Nezavisimaya gazeta says, is that Vladimir Putin has repeated the same hard line against protests he took in 2011 and that instead of challenging him, the extra-systemic opposition has backed down and retreated into the fratricide for which it […]

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Protest technologies: can innovation change the balance of power in Russia? Russian civil society is becoming more effective with the help of technology. But how far does the solidarity created online go?

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

(Opendemocracy.net – Gregory Asmolov – August 23, 2019) Gregory Asmolov is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at King’s College London’s Russia Institute. He researches the role of information technology in crisis situations. Crisis situations, whether natural disasters, armed conflicts or political protests are often accompanied by a cycle of technical innovation. And if it’s a question of political conflict, each […]

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Influence of Moscow TV Declining But Working Overtime against Russia, Panov Says

Adapted File Photo of TV Set in Russia with Camera, Camerman, Woman on Set in Background

(Paul Goble – Window of Eurasia – Staunton, August 14, 2019) Two weeks ago, the Levada Center issued a report suggesting that the influence of Moscow television on younger Russians is declining at a precipitous rate, thus depriving the Kremlin of one of its most reliable means of influencing Russian public opinion (levada.ru/2019/08/01/21088/). But now a Russian commentator, Valery Panov, […]

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‘Bums, Freaks, And Gypsies’: How Pro-Kremlin Media Depict The Moscow Protesters

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Todd Prince – Aug. 14, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/how-pro-kremlin-media-depicts-the-moscow-protesters/30109908.html) More than 50,000 people joined a rally for fair elections in Moscow on August 10, biting back concerns about arrests and police beatings to show up for what turned out to be the largest anti-government […]

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