Putin To Bail Out Russian Oil Industry

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Irina Slav – May 25, 2020) Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has tasked the government with implementing a set of measures aimed at supporting the oil industry for the duration of the OPEC+ production cut agreement. According to a document published on the website of the Russian presidency, the measures include a prescription not to sanction companies that stray […]

» Read more

Pandemic has Destroyed Putin’s ‘Sacred’ Standing in the Eyes of Russians, Tsipko Says

Putin at Desk

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 21, 2020) Before our eyes and in a remarkably short time, Aleksandr Tsipko says, the coronavirus pandemic has destroyed the hitherto widely held belief among Russians that the fate of their country and the fate of Vladimir Putin were ineluctably intertwined and even one and the same thing. The senior Moscow […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s small businesses left out in the cold by Covid-19” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Local service-sector enterprises flounder in an economy dominated by large industrial groups.” “… the Kremlin … [must] demand two seemingly opposing outcomes: maintain restrictions to smother the world’s second-largest number of Covid-19 infections and lift a lockdown [that is shrinking GDP] …. [with] [s]mall and medium-sized businesses … trapped in … between. … forced by … Putin to pay salaries […]

» Read more

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. […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “A History of Chess in Russia” – Chess24

Chess Pieces File Photo

“In the 80 years since Alexander Alekhine became World Chess Champion in 1927 until Vishy Anand took the title from Vladimir Kramnik in 2007, Russian or Soviet players held the title for all but five years – Max Euwe (1935-37) and Bobby Fischer (1972-75) were the only players to disturb the dominance. … FM Andrey Terekhov looks at those years, […]

» Read more

2020, Intended to Be Putin’s Triumph, Becoming Instead His Waterloo, Shevtsova Says

Putin Descending a Staircase

This year was supposed to be the Kremlin’s “year of triumph,” one in which the life rule of Vladimir Putin would be confirmed, but instead, Liliya Shevtsova says, 2020 is rapidly becoming his Waterloo, a time at which both he and his system have sailed into disaster. […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Economy Suffers Double Hit From Oil Slump and Coronavirus” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove, Georgi Kantchev

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

“As infections grow, Russia finds a shortfall in oil revenue hurts its ability to offer the kind of emergency support provided in the West.” “… [Russia’s] slump … began … when coronavirus lockdowns in China and elsewhere pushed oil prices lower. … Putin’s hesitance in joining … big producers to curtail output compounded the problem, driving oil to its lowest […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Russian Ruble Hits 10-Week High on Investor Optimism; The Finance Ministry sold a record volume of government bonds Wednesday, and the government is reportedly mulling increasing foreign currency sales.” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 21, 2020) The ruble has hit its strongest level in more than two months, pushed higher by investor confidence, renewed appetite for risk and a partial recovery in worldwide oil prices. The ruble was trading at 70.8 against the U.S. dollar Thursday morning – a 12% appreciation since panic on the financial markets in […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s GDP shrinks by 20% in April, but government maintains a triple surplus” – bne Intellinews

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… Russia’s nominal GDP shrank … 28%, of which two-thirds was due to the nation-wide lockdown … another third … due to … oil prices, the Ministry of Finance said …. The real contraction of the economy in April could be 20%, according to the Ministry …. [T]he government has reported … surplus[es] [for] the trade balance, currency account and […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “The United States Should Not Align With Russia Against China; Authoritarians make bad allies-and Washington already has the stable and democratic friends it needs” – Foreign Policy/ Matthew Kroenig

Asia Map

“… The growing Russian and Chinese strategic relationship is worrying. The two autocratic powers have cooperated on major energy deals, including a blockbuster $55 billion arrangement to pipe Siberian natural gas into China. … and Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping … [having] high-level summits … Xi … declared Putin ‘his best friend and colleague.’ Perhaps most troubling … have […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Has Russia grown tired of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad? And what is Russia’s role in the clash between the Assad and Makhlouf clans?” – Al Jazeera/ Anton Mardasov

Syria Map

“… What was all this media campaign about then? There are a few plausible explanations for it. First, it may have been ordered by parts of the Russian political elite critical of Damascus. Second, it could also have been used as a way to distract attention from reports by … Novaya Gazeta … of Russian mercenaries torturing Syrians. Third, it […]

» Read more

Global Cities Versus Russian Rustbelt Realities

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

… According to Kudrin, Moscow and St. Petersburg are Russia’s only “global cities” and the rest of Russia’s cities are “barely noticeable on the map of the world.” …

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Profit Slumps Herald More Trouble Ahead for Russia’s Corporate Giants” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Russian companies’ first quarter financial results are already showing the impact of the coronavirus. The worst is yet to come. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – May 18, 2020) Russia’s blue chip companies have posted some of the bleakest financial results for years in the first few months of 2020, with analysts saying the hit to earnings will […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Russia Is a ‘Distinct Civilization,’ Putin Says” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 18, 2020) Russia is a distinct civilization that must be protected through genetics and other advanced technologies, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview that aired Sunday. Putin told state television that “it would be impossible to secure the future of our civilization” without artificial intelligence, genetics and unmanned vehicles, as well as hypersonic […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow’s War in Syria” – CSIS

Syria Map

“… Russia’s military and diplomatic campaign in Syria [has been] the largest and most significant Russian out-of-area operation since the end of the Cold War. … and will shape [Russia’s] military thinking, influence promotion and personnel decisions, impact research and development for its arms industry, and expand its influence …. [D]espite the importance of Russia’s involvement in Syria – especially […]

» Read more

Russia Was Falling Apart ‘Everywhere’ When He Came to Power, Putin Says

File Photo of Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 12, 2020) Vladimir Putin rose to the presidency because he restarted the Chechen war and argued that only by fighting and suppressing Chechnya could Russia retain its territorial integrity, but now he is suggesting that he feared Russia in 2000 was at risk of disintegration not just in the North Caucasus […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “What’s preventing a respite from the broken U.S.-Russia relationship?” – Defense News/ Steven Keil

“… In addition to a rare joint statement … Trump and … Putin connected numerous times over the past several weeks according to public reports. These developments stand out … [T]ies between Moscow and Washington have long been frozen in place. [Recent developments are] even more surprising given the Kremlin’s continued actions in places like Syria and Ukraine. The dual […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Vindication of Michael Flynn; Justice drops its prosecution with new evidence about the FBI” – Wall Street Journal Editorial

Department of Justice Headquarters Building file photo, adapted from image at justice.gov

“… Justice … dropped its case against Michael Flynn … ‘with prejudice[]’ …. [E]vidence … undermines the credibility of James Comey’s FBI, special counsel Robert Mueller, and the entire ‘Russia collusion’ investigation. [R]etired Army general [Flynn] … initially pleaded guilty to making false statements … when two agents interviewed him at the White House shortly after he took over as […]

» Read more

Arms Control in the COVID-19 Era: No Next Step without New START

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

… another urgent existential threat is quietly growing in the background: the steady termination of nuclear arms control treaties between the United States and the Russian Federation and the absence of new arms control negotiations. ..

» Read more

Why Russia Finally Accepted Deeper Oil Output Cuts

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Irina Slav – May 5, 2020) When Russia refused two months ago to join the deeper OPEC oil cuts, it was because Moscow found them unnecessary. Two months later, Russia agreed to cut quite a bit more than it was asked to at the ill-fated March meeting. It is now doing its best to achieve its promised cuts. […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Arrears now main threat for production chains in Russian economy – Belousov” – Interfax

Cash, Calculator, Pen

MOSCOW. May 6 (Interfax) – The main threat for production chains in the Russian economy is now arrears; governors must bring this problem under their supervision, said First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, who is currently acting prime minister. “Where do I see the problem? I see the problem in the fact that now, as enterprises are launched, breaks will […]

» Read more

Poll: Majority of Young Russians Distrust NATO, Don’t Consider Russia a European Country

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Thomas Schaffner, Angelina Flood – May 5, 2020) A majority of young Russians distrust NATO more than any other organization and disagree that Russia is a European country, according to a recent poll conducted by Russia’s independent Levada Center and Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Foundation. These organizations’ research on the opinions of Russia’s “Generation Z” (aged […]

» Read more

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, […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “As coronavirus hits record numbers in Russia, this is a dangerous moment for Putin” – CNN/ Nathan Hodge

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Russia hit a grim milestone … officially recording the highest number of coronavirus cases the country has seen in a 24-hour period, with 10,633 people testing positive. … [T]he economic pain is worsening … Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on state television … ‘I don’t recall anything like this,’ … adding that plummeting global oil prices — a primary source […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

U.S.-Russia Deconflicting 75 Years Ago: Flares and Friendly Fire at the Elbe

File Photo of American Soldier Meeting Soviet Soldiers in Berlin in 1945, adapted from image at army.mil

… 75 years ago, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up on the Elbe River in Germany at the end of the European phase of World War II. The anniversary prompted current leaders of the U.S. and Russia to transcend … frosty relations … and issue a rare joint declaration ….

» Read more

Poll Finds Russians’ Trust In Putin Dips To Lowest Point In 14 Years

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

A survey by Russia’s main state-funded pollster shows that trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin fell in March to its lowest in 14 years. The poll … by … VTsIOM … showed those who chose Putin when asked to name a politician whom they trust[] dropped to 28.3 percent ….

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

Russia’s Energy Czar, Disliked And Feared, Catches Blame As Oil Prices Collapse, Venezuela Deals Crumble

File Photo of Rosneft and Russian Flags Next to Rosneft Banner

March was the cruelest month for one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s longest-serving and most hawkish confidants[,] Igor Sechin … head of state oil company Rosneft …

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “4 in 5 Young Russians Are Apolitical: Poll” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 30, 2020) More than 80% of young Russians have no interest in politics, according to a new survey on Generation Z’s values published by the Vedomosti business daily Thursday. Russian authorities have targeted the country’s youth with several initiatives, including a ban on minors attending protests, funding for military and patriotic education and a […]

» Read more

Russia Expects A Protracted Oil Price Plunge

Oil Wells File Photo

(Oilprice.com – Tsvetana Paraskova – April 29, 2020) Even though the new OPEC+ deal is set to come into force this week, oil prices will not rise much in the near future because of very high global inventories, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an article published in the ministry’s publication Energy Policy on Tuesday. The oil market could […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin Using Virus Outbreak to Push Through Putin’s Reforms: Proekt” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 29, 2020) The Kremlin is attempting to take advantage of Russia’s coronavirus outbreak to maintain President Vladimir Putin’s popularity and ensure that the public votes for his constitutional reforms, the Proekt investigative outlet reported Wednesday, citing unnamed federal officials. The reforms would potentially allow Putin, 67, to extend his 20-year rule into 2036. Putin […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s economic woes will clip Vladimir Putin’s wings; Pandemic combined with collapsing oil prices spells real hardship” – Financial Times

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

“… Putin’s … oil price war with Saudi Arabia … was disastrously timed. … days before the coronavirus pandemic began forcing economies around the world into lockdown, cutting crude demand. Russia then succumbed to the virus itself. … [Putin] had to cancel a referendum to approve constitutional changes …. The IMF forecasts Russian [GDP] could contract by 5.5 per cent […]

» Read more

Replacing ‘The Last of the Offended’ – Generational Change at the Russian Foreign Ministry

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 25, 2020) The Moscow Carnegie Center has issued a podcast devoted to the discussion of generational change at the Russian Foreign Ministry and to what the rising generations, those in their 30s and 40s as well as those in their 20s are likely to bring to the table when they assume […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Has a Syria ‘Headache’ and the Kremlin’s Blaming Assad” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer, Ilya Arkhipov

Syria Map

“… Putin is … impatien[t] … with Syrian ally Bashar al-Assad, who isn’t … [sufficiently] grateful for being kept in power by Russian intervention …. Consumed … by … twin shocks of collapsing oil prices and the coronavirus epidemic … eager to wrap up his Syrian military adventure by declaring victory, Putin is insisting that Assad show more flexibility in […]

» Read more

Saudi Arabia And Russia Fight Bitter Market Share Battle As Oil Prices Collapse

Oil Wells File Photo

(Oilprice.com – Vanand Meliksetian – April 27, 2020) The Chinese word ‘crisis’ consists of the characters for ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’. The unprecedented situation in global energy markets has provided traditional producers with an opportunity to displace incumbents in primarily the U.S. The price war Saudi Arabia started after Russia refused to reduce output in early March has decimated budgets of […]

» Read more

Putin has Serious Problems But Likely Doesn’t Face the Threat Now to His Power Some Suggest

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 24, 2020) Like the leaders of all personalist regimes that have built their authority by de-institutionalizing their states, Vladimir Putin is in important ways trapped by the system that he has created. He has to constantly be seen as the demiurge; and when he doesn’t appear for a time, that alone […]

» Read more

Dmitry Babich: “My answer to Sean Guillory” [re: Russian Studies]

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

Subject: My answer to Sean Guillory (re Russian Studies) Date: Sat, 25 Apr 2020 08:53:34 +0300 From: Dmitry Babich <dima9770@mail.ru> [Dmitry Babich, born in Moscow, has worked for various Russian and international media outlets for more than 25 years. He is a frequent guest on BBC, Al Jazeera, RT, and CNN. His core areas of focus include Russia’s modern political […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “CBR reiterates, strengthens monetary policy signal: scale of shock requires broad steps, economy to require low-cost funds” – Interfax

Central Bank of Russia file photo

MOSCOW. April 28 (Interfax) – The Central Bank of Russia (CBR), which cut its key rate by 50 basis points last Friday for the first time in six months and said that further monetary easing was possible at its next meeting, has reiterated its dovish signal and even strengthened it somewhat. “We must be able to mitigate the blow to […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Russia Seeks to Revive Coronavirus-Hit Tourism Industry by Cutting Visa Red Tape” – Moscow Times

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

Russia’s Federal Tourist Agency (Rostourism) wants to help the industry recover from the coronavirus crisis by relaxing visa rules after the country reopens its borders, the RBC news website reported Friday. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 24, 2020) Russia grounded international flights, except those that return its nationals from abroad; closed border crossings; and suspended issuing visas and e-visas […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Learn All About the Great Patriotic War; A marathon to remember the 75th anniversary of the victory begins April 25” – Moscow Times

File Photo of American Soldier Meeting Soviet Soldiers in Berlin in 1945, adapted from image at army.mil

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 24, 2020) Starting at 4 p.m. on Sat., April 25 until May 9 – Victory Day in Russia – the Russian Ministry of Culture and several other organizations are launching an online marathon to mark the 75 anniversary of the end of the war. On the special site, you can find a tremendous amount […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Repair, abandon, burn: Russia explores options for historic oil cut” – Reuters/ Olesya Astakhova, Katya Golubkova

Oil Well file photo

“In just a week, Russia has to find ways to cut a fifth of its oil output … and is looking at all options, including putting wells on repair and maintenance to abandoning them entirely and even burning oil, four oil industry sources said. Russia, along with other members of the global oil alliance between the [OPEC] and non-OPEC members, […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Made men; The enduring grip of the men-and mindset-of the KGB” – The Economist

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

A meticulous account of Vladimir Putin’s consolidation of power in Russia. “… as [Catherine] Belton shows [in Putin’s People], the continuity between the Soviet agency that nurtured … Putin as a young officer, and the security-based behemoths that bestride today’s Russia lies less in institutions than in mentality. … that believes anybody can be turned; that advantage can be sought […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Easter in Russia: Between Church and State, a New Divide Has Risen” – NYU Jordan Center/ Kathryn David

File Photo of Russian Orthodox Cathedral with Man in Religious Garb in Foreground

“… The enormous variances in how priests chose to observe Easter this year in Russia hints at the broader context that frames the divide between those following church-related COVID restrictions and those ignoring them: the complex relationship between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian state. While many commentators have remarked on the tight partnership between the church and state in […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Cuts Interest Rate to Shore Up Faltering Economy” – Wall Street Journal/ Georgi Kantchev

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

The central bank takes action as the country lurches towards a recession. “Russia’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate in a move to shore up the country’s economy as it lurches toward a deep recession due to depressed oil prices and shutdowns over the spread of the coronavirus. … lower[ing] its key rate by a deeper-than-usual 50 basis points […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Arctic Likely to See Ice-Free Summers Despite Climate Action, Study Says” – Moscow Times

Arctic Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 22, 2020) The Arctic will likely lose its summertime ice cover by 2050 even if current levels of CO2 emissions are significantly cut, a new study published in the American Geophysical Union’s journal has warned. Climate change has reduced sea ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean in recent decades, with 2019 tying with 2012 […]

» Read more
1 2 3 154