RUSSIALINK: “Why Russia Can’t Compete in the Tokyo Olympics, But Its Athletes Can” – Moscow Times

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 29, 2021) Russian athletes have won a total of 25 medals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under the neutral Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) flag. Here’s our guide to team ROC: Why can’t Russian athletes compete under the Russian flag? In 2015, the Russian government was accused of doping — administering performance-enhancing drugs to athletes […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin fears ‘instability’ after U.S. withdrawal from Iraq” – Interfax

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(Interfax – July 27, 2021) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has said that the planned withdrawal of US troops from Iraq may lead to greater ‘instability’ in the region. “Now it is too early to second-guess events, but we would not like to see, in general, one more territory added to the regional potential for instability,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists […]

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West Using Ukraine to Undermine Russian National Identity and Dismember Russia, Markov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, July 15, 2021) “Putin’s main mistake,” Sergey Markov says, was not introducing Russian military forces into Ukraine in the spring of 2014, a failure that has led to the rise of “an occupation regime” there and the formation of an “anti-Russia.” With his new article, the Kremlin leader has laid the foundation […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Blacklisting of Bard College Signals End of Key U.S.-Russia Cultural Exchange” – Moscow Times

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

The U.S. liberal arts college has been labeled “undesirable,” effectively banning its dual-degree program with St. Petersburg State University […]

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Despite Putin’s Urging, Russia’s Major Companies Aren’t Willing to Move Out of Moscow

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 1, 2021) In the course of his Direct Line television show, Vladimir Putin said he was against moving the capital of the Russian Federation from Moscow but does favor having Russian companies which operate there have their headquarters in Siberian cities and pay taxes there rather than as now in Moscow. […]

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Unpalatable Truths About Belarus’s Political Crisis

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

(Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 18, Issue 99 – Grigory Ioffe – June 22, 2021) On June 14, Belarus’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) organized a 74-minute briefing to the press (YouTube, June 14). Two out of the three major topics touched upon were 1) the alleged deportation to Poland of three activists of the Polish […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Some Investors Sense Buying Opportunity in Russia-U.S. Détente” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

Russian market could benefit from geopolitical calm, but Black Sea skirmish shows Russia has a habit of delivering negative surprises […]

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Biden hasn’t Betrayed Russian Liberals or Ukrainian Patriots; He’s Defended U.S. National Interests, Inozemtsev Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, June 19, 2021) Since the Geneva summit, some Russian liberals and some Ukrainian patriots have insisted Joe Biden betrayed their causes, forgetting that the US president swore “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” and not in any case promising to defend democracy in Russia or Ukrainian independence, […]

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U.S.-Russia Summit Offers New Framework: Restarted Dialogue, With Biden as ‘Russia Hand’

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Nikolas Gvosdev – June 18, 2021) Nikolas Gvosdev is a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and a senior fellow for Eurasia at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Most media reaction to the meeting between presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in Geneva focused on the optics: analyses of handshakes, body language, smiles […]

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Survey: Experts Weigh In With Expectations for Biden-Putin Summit

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags, 200, 1807-2007

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – June 15, 2021) Five of America’s top Russia experts consider prospects for the June 16 meeting between presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Thomas Graham, Nikolas Gvosdev, Paul Kolbe, Olga Oliker and Angela Stent share their thoughts on stabilizing the U.S.-Russian relationship, low-hanging fruit, concrete steps to take and what can go wrong. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Biden agrees to meet Zelenskiy, but after the Putin summit” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris in Berlin

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

“… Biden has invited … Zelenskiy to meet at the White House in July …. Zelenskiy says he learned through the press – not … the State Department – that … Biden … decided to stop trying to block a Russian pipeline that Ukraine sees as a dire national security threat. … [Zelenskiy, in a news interview,] spoke of his […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia-U.S. relations at their lowest since Cold War ended – presidential aide Ushakov” – Interfax

Yuri Ushakov file photo, adapted from image at ommerce.gov

MOSCOW. June 8 (Interfax) – Russia-U.S. relations are at their lowest since the end of the Cold War era, and thus, things need to change to the benefit of both countries and the world at large, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said at the Primakov Readings forum. It would be logical to pay attention to Russia-U.S. relations ahead of the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “IMEMO Director Feodor Voitolovsky: A new system of coordinates is a challenge for the modern world order” – Interfax

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Interfax – May 31, 2021) The Primakov Readings, organized by the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, will take place in Moscow on June 8-9. The topic of the 2021 readings is “Challenges to the Contemporary World Order”. Interfax is an information partner of the Primakov Readings 2021. IMEMO Director Feodor Voitolovsky […]

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1996 Russian Elections Made a Putin Inevitable, von Eggert Says

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, June 2, 2021) Twenty-five years ago, Russia had its last presidential election in which the outcome was not ordained. But after Boris Yeltsin’s orchestrated victory, Konstantin von Eggert says, the country entered yet another non-democratic era in which the rise of someone like Vladimir Putin was inevitable. In that sense, the independent […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Cuts Dollar Holdings From $119 Billion Wealth Fund Amid Sanctions” – Bloomberg

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia said it will eliminate the dollar from its oil fund [the National Wellbeing Fund] to reduce vulnerability to Western sanctions …. The wealth fund currently holds 35% of its liquid assets in dollars, … about $41.5 billion, with the same amount in euros and the rest spread across yuan, gold, yen and pounds. After the change, the fund’s assets […]

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Belarus Could Become a Normal European Country with Far Less Difficulty than Ukraine, Inozemtsev Says

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, May 31, 2021) Once Alyaksandr Lukashenka is ousted from power, Belarus would find it far easier to become a normal European country than Ukraine seeking the same thing has, Vladislav Inozemtsev says, something that restrains Moscow from seeking his ouster precisely because it would give the West such an enormous opportunity. The […]

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RUSSIALINK: “The 2021 Russian National Bestseller Award Goes to Alexander Pelevin; His winning novel “Pokrov-17″ is a dystopian mystery” – Moscow Times

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

… The new Russian literary reality, as seen through the National Bestseller lens, is a world of drug addicts, volunteers, online messengers, and Russia’s trademark never-ending search of justice […]

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Middle Class in Russia Plays Very Different Role than in Western Countries, Gontmakher Says

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, May 29, 2021) The roughly ten percent of Russians who are middle class not only by virtue of incomes but by level of savings, education, and rank in the economy play a very different role than do the much larger middle classes in more developed Western countries, Yevgeny Gontmakher says. Middle classes, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian elite hope Biden summit will boost foreign ties” – Financial Times

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium in Front of U.S. and State Department Flags, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“Better western relations are high on the wishlist at annual St. Petersburg forum, the country’s answer to Davos.” “… Biden and Putin will meet in Geneva … June 16 … at a summit pitched at ‘normalising’ relations between the west and Moscow. Ties have steadily eroded … the past seven years because of allegations of Russian election meddling, tit-for-tat sanctions […]

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Russian Bill Barring Navalny Associates From Running In Elections Passed

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

… The measure appears to be a thinly veiled attempt at neutralizing Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), which the authorities are seeking to have declared an “extremist” group ahead of parliamentary elections […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Patrushev: Russia ready to use force to suppress unfriendly activities by other countries” – Interfax

Nikolai Patrushev file photo, adapted from image at defense.gov

MOSCOW. May 31 (Interfax) – Russia may use force if need be in response to unfriendly activities by other countries, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said. “The new edition of the National Security Strategy emphasizes that Russia seeks greater predictability, trust and security in the international arena. At the same time, it says that it is lawful to take […]

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Five Former Moscow Police Officers Jailed Over 2019 Arrest Of Journalist Golunov

File Photos of Law Books and Gavel, adapted from image at fjc.gov

A Russian court has sentenced five former police officers to several years in prison for the 2019 arrest of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov on trumped-up drug charges. … The journalist suffered bruises, cuts, a concussion, and a broken rib […]

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‘Green Shift’ Occurring across Russian Political Spectrum, Shaburov Says

Russia Regions Map

Most parties … participating in the upcoming Duma and regional legislative assembly elections are now including environmentalists in their list of candidates […]

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AUDIO: JRL NEWSWATCH: “What Russia Stands To Gain By Backing Belarus [Fiona Hill interview]” – NPR

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

“A growing number of European countries are blocking access to Belarusian airlines. … after Belarus intercepted a commercial flight and removed and arrested Roman Protasevich, an opposition journalist who was on board. … While Western democracies try to sanction Belarus, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, seems to support Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. … Fiona Hill … spoke to NPR’s All Things […]

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RUSSIALINK: “World Bank Urges Russia to Adopt Guaranteed Minimum Income to Slash Poverty” – Moscow Times

World Bank Building

Russia spends $30 billion on social welfare, but only 10% goes to the extremely poor. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 26, 2021) The World Bank has recommended Russia overhaul its welfare state if it wants to slash poverty as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S.-headquartered organization said Russia should adopt a “guaranteed minimum income” — a […]

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In Memoriam: Professor R.W. (Bob) Davies 1925-2021

Lit Candle with Reflection and Dark Background

From: On Behalf Of Michael Berry Sent: 16 April 2021 18:32 Subject: Professor R.W. (Bob) Davies 1925-2021 I am sorry to have to report that Professor R.W. (Bob) Davies the eminent economic historian of the USSR and director of CREES at the University of Birmingham for many years died earlier this week. His knowledge and wisdom will be missed by […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Biggest Navy Exercise in a Generation Will Include 25,000 Personnel Across 17 Time Zones” – Military.com

File Photo of Portions of U.S. Navy Carrier Groups Lincoln and Stennis in Mediterranean, adapted from defense.gov image relating to defense.gov video

“Tens of thousands of sailors and Marines will participate in the biggest U.S. naval exercise in a generation to test how the services will fight across vast distances as they prepare for possible conflict with China or Russia. Aircraft carriers, submarines, planes, unmanned vessels, and about 25,000 personnel will participate in Large Scale Exercise 2021 … [beginning] late summer. … […]

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Putin’s Aggressiveness Uniting West against Russia and Powering Its Search for Modus Vivendi with China, Shevtsova Says

File Photo of G7 Leaders at Summit, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

Putin’s aggressively anti-Western posture is helping the West to recover its lost self-discipline and unity […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Congress Seeking Inspiration From Medieval History Is Quashed by Authorities” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

The crackdown is being seen as a sign that the Kremlin is playing closer attention to local power structures ahead of fall elections […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Military Seeks to Outmuscle U.S. in Arctic” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of Polar Bear on Snow with Bare Ground in the Background, adapted from image at nasa.gov with photo credit to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Eric Regehr

“For Moscow it is the last geopolitical battleground where it holds the advantage over Washington and Beijing” “… [N]ew and refurbished bases [are] meant to service the Kremlin’s ambitions in the resource-rich Arctic. … combined to form a new military district … under … the Northern Fleet, Russia’s foremost Arctic naval force[] … [with fleet] headquarters … on the Kola […]

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Russian Lawmakers Take Step Toward Ban Of Navalny Supporters From All Elected Posts

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

… The measure appears aimed at neutralizing the foundation of jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, which Russian authorities are seeking to have declared “extremist” ahead of parliamentary elections […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Wants to Exempt State Media From ‘Foreign Agent’ Scrutiny” – Moscow Times

Satellite Dishes

… Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media submitted a draft bill … requiring only commercial, and not state media, to be subjected to financial audits […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Arctic-Superpower Jostling Heats Up as Russia Takes on Key Role” – Bloomberg

File Photo of Arctic Fox Running Across Snow, adapted from image at USGS.gov, with photo credit to Mike Lockart and USGS

“Russia’s Sergei Lavrov claimed this week that ‘this is our land and our waters’ as NATO allies boost military activity” “… Russian and U.S. diplomats … [signal] rising tensions between [powers] racing to seize Arctic resources …. Arctic Council [participants] weren’t due to discuss security. But … Russia’s … Sergei Lavrov declared … the Arctic ‘is our land and our […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Google Files First Lawsuit Against Russia’s Internet Censor” – Moscow Times

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

… The company filed a lawsuit April 23 against Roskomnadzor in the Moscow Arbitration Court […]

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Image of Sakharov, Once the Conscience of the Nation, an Increasingly Blurred Figure for Russians, Lev Gudkov Says

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

The month marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Academician Andrey Sakharov who developed the hydrogen bomb … then became the leading spokesman for humanism and democracy against the Soviet regime […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s harsh condemnation of Israel – What does it mean for the future?” – Jerusalem Post

Jerusalem At Night, adapted from image at cia.gov

“Though such tough language directed at Israel has not been heard since the days of the Soviet Union, it is still very premature to declare Russia returning to its Middle East policies of the Cold War.” “… [H]ostilities between Israel and Hamas [have] produced a number of new developments, … tactical and strategic …. Russia’s harsh condemnation of Israel’s actions […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s weather goes crazy” – bne Intellinews

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“In May it was hotter on the coast of the Arctic Circle than in the Mediterranean. Russia is heating up three times faster than the rest of the world.” “…. And Moscow has just reported its warmest days in May ever … while the rest of Europe was suffering from a cold snap that has seen gas prices … for […]

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