Seven powerful politicians from around the world that speak Russian

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

Russian is considered one of the most difficult languages to learn yet there are many influential politicians around the world that have taken it up. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – – NATALIA MASHINISTOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 12, 2016) [Videos with Michael McFaul and Condoleezza Rice here:] Most Russian-speaking politicians live in former Soviet republics and other […]

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Got a Diplomatic Dilemma? Send in the Clowns

Clown file photo

(Moscow Times – – Justin Lifflander – December 2, 2015) While some potential visitors have crossed Russia off their list, a group of humanitarian clowns still regards the country as an ideal destination. The 22nd annual clown tour of Russia, which ended last week, brought more than 40 garishly dressed volunteers from 12 countries, including those with problematic relations […]

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Russia’s Media Offensive Seen by the West as Real Threat

(Moscow Times – – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 30, 2015) Western governments and institutions are scrambling to devise a commensurate response to Russia’s state-run media offensive, analysts told The Moscow Times on Wednesday amid a wave of reports of Western governments seeking to beef up their own media capabilities. When the Russian authorities moved to establish in 2005 the international […]

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Putin confesses he expected radical upturn in relations with West after fall of the Communist regime

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

(Interfax – April 26, 2015) There was no point in counting on radical changes in the West’s attitude to Russia after the fall of the Communist regime, as each country has its own geopolitical interests not linked to ideology, President Vladimir Putin said in a documentary, titled “President,” released by the Russia 1 television channel. “All of us had illusions. […]

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Unnecessary Sacrifice

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Institute of Modern Russia – – Alexander Podrabinek – November 24, 2014) Prominent Russian journalist, writer and human rights activist. His articles appeared in Novaya Gazeta, Ezhenedelny Journal (Ej.Ru), Grani.Ru, et al. He is a regular guest at Ekho Moskvy radio station. Podrabinek is also a well-known Soviet dissident and former political prisoner. In 1977, he published a book […]

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Interfax: Russian church leader calls on people to join forces amid sanctions

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Interfax – November 4, 2014) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has criticized the West over attempts to play havoc with the minds of the Russian people through the sanctions it had imposed against Russia, Gazprom-owned Russian TV channel NTV reported on 4 November. “One should make the economic situation worse to play havoc with minds. We are now […]

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Sanctions Update Part 3, Practical Steps.

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

Subject: Sanctions Update Part 3, Practical Steps. Date: 15 Oct 2014 From: Paul Backer <> Part 3. Practical aspects of sanctions impact optimization for Russian companies. Violating sanctions or hoping for a world without sanctions is not a sanctions policy. Effective sanctions policies optimize transacting and protect assets. They work at the nexus of regulatory, corporate, international, finance, litigation, procurement […]

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For the Russian elite, loyalty is all: Life has changed for Russia’s elite – and not just their holiday destinations…

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

( – Yelizaveta Surnacheva – October 16, 2014) Yelizaveta Surnacheva is a journalist at Kommersant. In the last six months, Russian officials, oligarchs, CEOs of state-owned businesses, parliamentary deputies, and regional governors have found themselves in a new world, with new missions, new economic circumstances, and new mechanisms for decision-making. Not many are comfortable with it, but enough of them […]

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Interfax: Russia “moving along crisis trajectory” due to trade barriers – experts

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Interfax – October 7, 2014) The risk of the Russian economy moving from stagnation to a full-scale recession “has become slightly higher” in the short run, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 7 October, quoting the latest study carried out by a group of Russian researchers. The research headlined “Comments on the state and business” for the period from […]

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Curbs on Foreign Ownership Will Gut Russia’s Media

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – – Delphine d’Amora – September 28, 2014) An era in Russian media ended Friday as parliament passed a law limiting foreign ownership in domestic media assets at 20 percent, hitting some of the world’s largest media companies and turning back the clock on an industry that has thrived on foreign brands and capital. Since the draft […]

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RIA Novosti: Opinion: West Should Think Twice Before Imposing New Sanctions Against Russia

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW, May 23 (RIA Novosti) – The West should not rush to impose further sanctions against Russia as they could have an extremely negative effect on the global financial system, Chair of the Government Department at Harvard University Timothy Colton told RIA Novosti. “The West should think twice, think very carefully about extending the sanctions, because it could end up […]

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RIA Novosti: West Advancing Dividing Lines Toward Russian Borders – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, April 25 (RIA Novosti) – The West is not only maintaining dividing lines in Europe, but is moving them toward Russian borders, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday. He said that Russia’s strategic goal is to create a single economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, in which all countries in the European […]

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Kasparov: It’s time to stop Putin

Garry Kasparov file photo

In a Washington Post op-ed, Garry Kasparov argues that Putin’s motives in seizing Crimea are shaped more by greed than Russia’s national interests, and that assessments of possible future Kremlin actions should be based on pragmatic assessments of what Putin actually does: When Vladi­mir Putin formally annexed Crimea this week, he acted in defiance of the predictions of many pundits, […]

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EU, U.S. want to cancel February 21 accord in Ukraine – Lavrov

Maidan Square file photo

TUNIS. March 4 (Interfax) – Russia thinks that the European Union and the United States want to cancel agreements reached between Ukraine’s authorities and opposition on February 21. “They are trying to annul the February 21 agreement on settling the crisis in Ukraine that was signed by Ukraine’s president and opposition,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference […]

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Interfax: Greenpeace has noble goals but wrong methods – Putin

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

MOSCOW. Nov 21 (Interfax) – The actions of the Greenpeace environmentalists who tried to climb an oil platform in the Arctic posed a threat to the lives of the people who are working there, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “When they climb the platform and create an emergency situation, there could be not just one mistake of an operator but […]

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Russia not interested in tensions between West, Islamic world – Putin

Russian Mosque File Photo

(Interfax – Ufa, October 22, 2013) The voice of Russian Muslim figures should be heard better both on the international arena and in the international Islamic community, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “Tensions between the West and the Islamic world are increasing today. And someone is trying to gamble on this theme by adding firewood to this fire. We are […]

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10th Annual Valdai Club Meeting Opens

File Photo of Valdai Club Gathering at Long Tables in Large Hall Valdai Club Gathering at Long Tables in Large Hall

(RIA Novosti – September 16, 2013) Today, beginning at 9:15 a.m. Moscow time (5:15 a.m. GMT), RIA Novosti is broadcasting live from the opening of the 10th annual meeting of the Valdai Club, a discussion forum where high-level Russian officials have been meeting with foreign political scientists since 2004. A recording of the event will be posted after the broadcast […]

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Will Russia pivot East or West?

Eurasia Map

( – Jonas Parello-Plesner – January 24, 2013) Jonas is Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. He served as Denmark’s Senior Advisor on China and North East Asia from 2005-2009.   Russia-watchers have long been interested in her place on the international arena. Now, with China at the centre of the growing power game, the question […]

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NEWSLINK: A revolution in space but calmer streets at home; Pundits predict a loss of momentum for the protest movement at home and see little scope for improvement in relations with the West

New Year's Eve in Red Square with Crowd and Fireworks

(A revolution in space but calmer streets at home; Pundits predict a loss of momentum for the protest movement at home and see little scope for improvement in relations with the West – Russia Beyond the Headlines – Artem Zagorodnov – January 4, 2013 – click here for google cache version of article) Russia Beyond the Headlines takes a look […]

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