Moscow Duma Says Dzerzhinsky Will Not Return to Lubyanka

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – February 12, 2014)  A statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky or Iron Felix, a Bolshevik revolutionary and founder of the Cheka, the predecessor of the KGB, will not be restored to its erstwhile location on Lubyanskaya Ploshchad, the Moscow Duma’s committee on monuments announced Tuesday. “Restoration of the monument is impractical at the […]

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Interfax: Russians stand for collecting intelligence worldwide – poll

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

MOSCOW. Dec 13 (Interfax) – Russians are certain that foreign security services are spying in their home country and support the proportionate actions of domestic security services on a global scale. Two-thirds of Russians (66%) believe that domestic security services should collect intelligence information in other countries: tap conversations, read correspondence and obtain classified materials. Ten percent say this is […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: “Kremlin: Spying accusations meant to overshadow U.S.-­EU problems”

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolay Surkov, RBTH – November 1, 2013) Security experts in Moscow say Russia already had countermeasures in place. The Kremlin dismissed accusations on Friday that Russia spied on G20 delegates, saying Western media is creating a distraction from the bigger issue of deteriorating relations between the United States and its European allies over […]

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Where Beria’s Limo Still Runs But Isn’t Seen – Moscow at Halloween

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 31, 2013) Muscovites interested in ghosts don’t need to go to Transylvania. They can find plenty right at home this Halloween, even if many in the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian government denounce this holiday as alien and “extremist” (globalsib.com/18692/ and religiopolis.org/publications/6936-hellouin-2013.html). In an article on Chaskor.ru yesterday, Artur Mulyukov and […]

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On your marks, get set… intercept!

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(opendemocracy.net – Mark Galeotti – October 29, 2013) Mark Galeotti is Professor of Global Affairs at New York University’s SCPS Center for Global Affairs. He blogs on Russian security affairs at In Moscow’s Shadows and tweets as @MarkGaleotti. His most recent book is Russian Security and Paramilitary Forces since 1991 (Osprey, 2013) Russia is devoting considerable effort to trying to […]

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Interfax: Opinion polls mirror improved public attitude to police – Interior Ministry

Biryulyovo Riots file photo

(Interfax – October 24, 2013) The number of Russians who claim that the police are one of the worst corrupt authorities has declined over the past year, a source from the Russian Interior Ministry told Interfax, referring to a Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) poll. “Currently, this opinion is expressed by 19 percent of the respondents. The indicator stood […]

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Russia Softens Charge in Greenpeace Case

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladimir Goryachev and Christopher Brennan – October 24, 2013) The Investigative Committee said it had dropped the piracy charges against 30 people who were on board Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship, replacing them with accusations of hooliganism. If convicted of the new charges, the 28 activists and two journalists who were taken into custody in September […]

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FSB wants to record Internet communications

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yaroslava Kiryukhina, RBTH – October 23, 2013) Just several months after granting temporary asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Russia prepares to implement electronic surveillance that looks similar to the infamous PRISM. But is it actually the same? Russia’s Communications Ministry has drafted an order that would require Internet providers to install monitoring […]

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Russian MPs Downplay New Internet Surveillance Plans, Activist Alarmed

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

(RIA Novosti – October 21, 2013) Russian State Duma MPs have downplayed the significance of the Communications Ministry’s draft decree requiring internet service providers to install equipment for storing internet traffic and sharing it with the Federal Security Service (FSB), Russian news agencies reported on 21 October. The Russian heavyweight liberal newspaper Kommersant reported earlier on the same day that […]

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Russian Telecoms Giant Slams New Surveillance Powers – Paper

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

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 21, 2013) A Russian telecommunications giant has slammed government plans to give security services complete access to all Internet traffic by the middle of 2014, calling them unconstitutional, Kommersant newspaper reported Monday. The daily cited a letter submitted by mobile operator Vimpelcom to the Press and Communications Ministry as saying the proposed legislation violated fundamental […]

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RIA Novosti: Quarter of Russia’s Budget to Become Classified by 2016

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

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, October 14, 2013) ­ Almost one-quarter of government spending in Russia is to become classified within the next three years, according to findings by a Moscow research institute that will raise concerns of decreasing economic transparency in a country already plagued by corruption. Vedomosti business daily said in a report Monday, citing a study by the […]

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Putin’s “Praetorian Guard”

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Donald N. Jensen – October 10, 2013) In September, Vladimir Putin appointed Colonel General Viktor Zolotov, who used to head the Russian president’s security service, as deputy commander of the Interior Ministry troops, a large paramilitary force of about 170,000 soldiers. This appointment may be a step toward the creation of a new […]

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RIA Novosti: High-Ranking Russian Officials Misreport Income – Kremlin

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

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 6, 2013) ­ A number of high-ranking Russian officials have provided false information in their income declarations, the head of the presidential administration said Friday. “I would like to avoid naming names, but we have some concrete results concerning exposed facts of officials providing false information,” Sergei Ivanov said on the sidelines of the G20 […]

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NEW BOOK: Freedom, Repression, and Private Property in Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2013 From: Vladimir Shlapentokh <shlapent@msu.edu> Subject: New book: Freedom, Repression, and Private Property in Russia. Hardcover,Cambridge University Press, 2013 Freedom, Repression, and Private Property in Russia Hardcover, Cambridge University Press, 2013 by Vladimir Shlapentokh (Author), Anna Arutunyan (Author) This study demonstrates how the emergence of private property and a market economy after the Soviet Union’s collapse […]

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Russian rights watchdog head queries security service anonymous tip-off proposal

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

(Interfax – August 21, 2013) A proposal that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) should react to anonymous tip-offs could lead to an increase in such messages and would in practice duplicate work done by the police, Tatyana Lokshina, head of Human Rights Watch’s Moscow bureau, told Interfax news agency on 21 August.(1) On the same day, government-owned Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya […]

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Snowden Not Interrogated by Russian Security Services – Assange

Edward Snowden file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, August 17, 2013) Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was not interrogated by special services after his arrival to Russia, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said on Friday. In an interview with Fairfax Media, the founder of the anti-secrecy organization has confirmed that WikiLeaks personnel have continuously accompanied Snowden since he left Hong Kong for Moscow on […]

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After Years Of Secret Tapes, Georgia Mulls How To Destroy Them

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Nona Mchedlishvili – June 17, 2013) How do you make a secret disappear? That’s the question Georgian officials and activists are mulling as they consider a stash of legally dubious phone and video recordings made by the Interior Ministry, mainly under the rule of President Mikheil Saakashvili. The current Interior Minister Irakli Garibashvili has pledged to […]

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Russian Security Services Hunt Culprits in Railroad CEO Hoax

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 20, 2013) ­ The hunt is on to find those behind hoax claims that the CEO of Russia’s railroad monopoly had been dismissed, which caused a flurry of confusion in the Russian media. On Wednesday evening, Russian news outlets received a press statement saying that Vladimir Yakunin had been dismissed as head of Russian Railways […]

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Moscow has questions about personal data leak in U.S. – Foreign Ministry

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 19, 2013) The leak of personal data requested by U.S. security services will be discussed at bilateral meetings of Russia and the United States, Russian Foreign Ministry Representative for Human Rights Konstantin Dolgov said. “We have questions to ask the United States and these issues will not be overlooked in bilateral contacts with the U.S. This […]

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Interfax: Pushkov says U.S. to be hysterical if Russia grants political asylum to surveillance leaker

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 11, 2013) The United States will be hysterical if Russia grants political asylum to (name/post redacted), State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov tweeted on Tuesday. “By promising asylum to (name redacted), Moscow undertakes the protection of persons persecuted for political motives. The U.S. will be hysterical. They recognize it as their right,” he said. […]

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Russia’s Top Social Network Under Fire

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW – May 28, 2013) When Vkontakte.ru briefly appeared on a government blacklist of banned websites last week, it raised eyebrows. Russia’s leading social network isn’t just a place where friends connect, make plans, and share experiences. It’s also one of the main platforms the opposition has used to organize its activities across […]

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Russians to Get Access to FBI Data

FBI Headquarters Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – May 27, 2013) After the Boston bombings last month and ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi next February, U.S. authorities are expanding their work with the Interior Ministry by granting the Russians access to some FBI information. The development, which came during a visit by Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev to the […]

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Russian Intelligence Agency Warns of Rise in Terror Threat

Map of Afghanistan and Environs

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, May 23, 2013) ­ Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, expects the Taliban influence in Afghanistan to grow after international coalition forces are pulled out, while rising radicalism in Syria could lead to the country’s disintegration, the GRU chief said on Thursday. Lt. Gen. Igor Sergun said the situation in Afghanistan poses a “serious challenge to […]

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Corruption and Control Define Russia’s Border Zones

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – May 13, 2013) On the face of it, there are few similarities between the city of Blagoveshchensk, located in the Far East, and the country’s natural gas capital of Novy Urengoi, 3,000 kilometers away in the tundra just below the Arctic circle. But both cities are part of official border zone territory: […]

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Radicalization of Tsarnaev Brothers Likely Did Not Occur in Chechnya

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(Eurasia Daily Monitor – Volume 10, Issue 88 – Mairbek Vatchagaev – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – May 9, 2013) The role of the brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston bombings is assessed differently on either side of the Atlantic. In the United States, few doubt they are terrorists and that the youngest son, Dzhokhar, who remains alive, […]

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Tsarnaev Case Highlights Communication Breakdown Between Daghestani Agencies

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Liz Fuller – April 30, 2013) The Boston Marathon bombings have served to corroborate many observers’ previously unsubstantiated hunch that one reason for the Russian security services’ inability to contain the North Caucasus insurgency is that the various agencies responsible fail to share information among themselves. In this particular case, Daghestan’s Center for the Struggle Against […]

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Russian Security Services Offer Surprising Revelations About Boston Bombings

Boston Bombings Suspects File Photo Adapted from FBI Image

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 80 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Valery Dzutsev – April 29, 2013) On April 27, the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta published an article on the dead Boston bomber suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, based on information it received from the Russian security services. It cited officers of the Dagestani Center for Combating Extremism who said […]

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Putin and Russian History

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

From: Arch Getty <getty@ucla.edu> Subject: Putin and Russian History Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2013 Putin and Russian History By J. Arch Getty J. Arch Getty is Professor of History at UCLA.  He is the author of several books on Russian history, including Practicing Stalinism: Boyars, Bolsheviks and the Persistence of Tradition, forthcoming from Yale University Press. An occupational hazard of […]

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‘Operative in the Kremlin’: De-mystifying Putin

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Gasyuk, special to RBTH – April 24, 2013) Alexander Gasyuk is Rossiyskaya Gazeta’s Washington Bureau Chief “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin,” a new book by the Brookings Institution pundits, analyzes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personality instead of surrounding stereotypes RBTH sat down with Fiona Hill, who serves as the director of […]

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Boston Bombing Seen as U.S.-Russian Intelligence Failure

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – April 22, 2013) Revelations that Moscow alerted Washington in early 2011 to suspicious behavior by one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, but did not provide additional information when asked, has raised questions about the effectiveness of bilateral counterterrorism cooperation. Though both sides have promised to focus on “all aspects of the […]

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Russian Security Adviser Calls For State’s Stronger Presence In Internet

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, April 10, 2013) Law-enforcement methods are becoming ineffective in prevention of terrorism, especially when it comes to propaganda in the internet, therefore all forces must be concentrated on meticulous work with the internet audience, adviser to the chairman of the National Antiterrorist Committee and member of the Public Council under the FSB reserve Lt-Gen Andrey Przhezdomskiy […]

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At Putin’s Order, FSB Now Using Social Networks to Target Opposition

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 12, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/03/window-on-eurasia-at-putins-order-fsb.html) At the direction of President Vladimir Putin, the FSB is not only monitoring social networks but using one of their features to create problems for those opponents of the regime who use them by posting statements on their sites and then invoking the appearance of those materials […]

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Putin: Special services must not interfere in business disputes

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

MOSCOW. Feb 14 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded that special services’ interference in business disputes be stopped. “I want to emphasize particularly that being dragged into commercial disputes, putting pressure on business, and creating various artificial obstacles and barriers to the implementation of investment projects is unacceptable,” Putin said at a Federal Security Service (FSB) expanded board […]

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No ‘Color Revolutions’ in Russia – Security Council Chief

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) ­ Foreign forces trying to spark “a color revolution” in Russia won’t succeed, Russia’s Security Council chief said in an interview published Tuesday. “There are no grounds for ‘color revolutions’ in Russia and we will not permit those scenarios to develop in our country,” Nikolai Patrushev, security chief and longtime ally of President Putin, told […]

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Medvedev’s Gaffe And The Elite’s Jitters

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(RFE/RL – Brian Whitmore – Dec. 13, 2012) When Dmitry Medvedev was caught by a live microphone last week referring to Investigative Committee agents as “kozly,” a deeply offensive insult in Russian, it sparked a minor scandal, embarrassed the prime minister, and infuriated many in the law-enforcement community. Medvedev’s gaffe cast a light on the turbulence that President Vladimir Putin’s […]

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NEWSLINK: Getting His Goat: Open criticism of Russian officials is allowed only when it is part of a plan

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

[Getting His Goat: Open criticism of Russian officials is allowed only when it is part of a plan – Masha Gessen – Masha Gessen is the director of Radio Liberty’s Russian Service and the author of “The Man Without a Face,” a biography of Vladimir Putin – New York Times – Dec. 10, 2012 – click here for full article] […]

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NEWSLINK: Post-interview ‘hot mic’ catches Russia’s Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

[Post-interview ‘hot mic’ catches Russia’s Medvedev – AFP – Dec. 10, 2012 – click here for full article] AFP covers Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s recent remarks against security services, caught after a televised press conference was supposed to be over, but when at least one live feed was still running (from state-controlled Russia Today): Stark divisions within Russia’s elite […]

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TV Channels Passing Blame Over Leaked Medvedev Comments

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – Dec. 10, 2012) Television channels were passing the blame Monday after unofficial footage from an interview with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was leaked Friday. Footage that appeared on YouTube showed the prime minister just after the end of an hour-and-a-half interview, chatting freely with the journalists from the five channels that […]

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