JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia: Foreign Policy and U.S. Relations [Excerpt]” – Congressional Research Service

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

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rise to leadership more than 20 years ago, tensions have increased steadily between Russia and the United States […]

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‘Why Don’t You Like Putin?’: Russian Students Pay A Heavy Price For Political Protests

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

… In the weeks since the demonstrations, local officials … have cracked down on young people … who participated …. Many have found themselves facing expulsion from their educational institutions, serious criminal charges, or … both […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “House of the dead: Does the Kremlin want Alexei Navalny to die in prison? It is beginning to look like it” – The Economist

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

“… Putin may have hoped that locking up … political opponent [Navalny] in a harsh [Pokrov] penal colony would finally put him out of sight and out of mind. … [Navalny] has been on a hunger strike … protesting … the appalling conditions of his confinement … deprived … of sleep and … medical care. … [with] a fever and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. to Send 2 Warships to Black Sea Amid Russia-Ukraine Tension, Turkey Says” – Moscow Times

File Photo of U.S. Navy warships in Black Sea exercise, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to MC1 Justin Stumberg

… The U.S. Navy routinely operates [in] the Black Sea and flies reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace there to monitor Russian naval activity and troop movements […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Ukraine does not seek escalation of situation in Donbas – NSDC secretary” – Interfax

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

KYIV. April 7 (Interfax) – Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleksiy Danilov said, when commenting on the situation surrounding a buildup of Russian forces in the proximity of the border with Ukraine, that “there is a certain intensification of all processes” today, adding that Kyiv seeks to avert any escalation of the situation in Donbas. “Let’s […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘Memories of Moscow’ Brings the Late Soviet Era to Life; Author Harald Lipman was the British Embassy doctor in the 1980s.” – Moscow Times

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

… Lipman kept a diary … enough to trigger … memories, often aided by his wife, Nahid. He has compiled them into … “Moscow Memories: Memoirs of a Medical Diplomat,” … describ[ing] the day-to-day life not only of diplomats, but of Soviet citizens […]

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Punitive Response to SolarWinds Would Be Misplaced, But Cyber Deterrence Still Matters

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Erica D. Borghard – March 31, 2021) Erica D. Borghard is a senior fellow with the New American Engagement Initiative at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. She also serves as a senior director on the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission. This op-ed is part of a new debate from Russia Matters and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow ready for joint work with Washington on international stability issues, not looking for confrontation – Lavrov” – Interfax

Sergei Lavrov file photo

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY. April 1 (Interfax) – Russia is not looking for confrontation with the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “We’re not looking for any sort of confrontation. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has said on multiple occasions, including after the regretful interview given by [U.S. President] Joe Biden to the ABC television channel, that we […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Leaders of Russia, France, Germany discuss global crises” – AP

Map of Europe, adapted from image at loc.gov

The leaders of Russia, France and Germany met by conference call … discuss[ing] coronavirus vaccines, the Iranian nuclear standoff[,] … eastern Ukraine, Libya … Syria [and Navalny] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia seizes on Suez blockage to promote merits of Arctic route” – Financial Times

Suez Canal and Environs Aerial File Photo, adapted from image at nasa.gov

Moscow is busy highlighting the northern sea route and Nordstream as alternatives for world trade […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Biden invites Putin, Xi to his first major climate talks” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Smokestackm Emssions and Sky adapted from image at nasa.gov with credit to EPA

“… Biden … has invited … Putin … and Xi Jinping … to … virtual climate talks. … [scheduled for] 22-23 April. … Some 40 invitations [were sent] to … leaders of … major countries, as well as [some at-risk, low-lying] countries …. If Putin or Xi attend, Biden will have to walk a fine line diplomatically, given claims of […]

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Russian Oversight Commission Meets Navalny In Prison

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

Members of the Public Oversight Commission in the Vladimir Region have met with jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny following … complaints about … declining health and poor medical treatment […]

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Putin Regime Rests Less on Support than on Absence of Resistance, Lev Gudkov Says

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, March 26, 2021) Vladimir Putin’s continued high ratings and the absence of any mass willingness to protest against him reflect less unqualified support for his person and policies than the absence of alternative leaders and the continuing impact of traditional Russian attitudes about a national leader, Lev Gudkov says. Even Russians who […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Facing Heightened Threats, Russia’s Main Independent Paper Contemplates a Bleak Future” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Woman's Hands Typing on Computer Keyboard, adapted from image at fbi.gov

The latest attack on Novaya Gazeta is making some of its editors wonder how long it can survive in the country. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Felix Light, Pjotr Sauer – March 25, 2021) On the way to work at Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta last Monday morning, journalists noticed a strong chemical stench on the street outside their central Moscow […]

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In Russia’s Provinces, Navalny’s Besieged Movement Says It’s ‘Again Gathering Force’

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

… [Navalny’s supporters] have been systematically targeted with raids, criminal charges, and police beatings …. [H]is team … announced … 10 new regional offices to add to its Russia-wide network … [to] investigate local corruption, organize protests, and contest elections […]

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Russia’s Karabakh Protectorate Taking Clearer Shape (Part One)

Map of Azerbaijan and Environs, adapted from image at cia.gov

(The Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 18, Issue 45 – Vladimir Socor – March 18, 2021) Russia’s military “peacekeeping” intervention in Upper (“Nagorno”) Karabakh in November 2020 laid the foundation for a Russian de facto protectorate (see EDM, December 8, 10, 2020). The Second Karabakh War (September 27–November 9, 2020) has resulted in a partition of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Tentative recovery in sight as Russia’s real wages, unemployment improve” – Reuters

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“… [Russia’s] central bank expects the economy to return to pre-crisis levels before the end of [2021] … central bank [governor] Elvira Nabiullina, said … after a surprise 25-basis-point rate increase, brought about by rising inflation and geopolitical risks. … [The government’s] Rosstat[] said … real wages … rose 0.1% year-on-year in January. … Economic growth and … recovery in […]

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JRL RUSSIALINK: “Katherine Zubovich’s Magnificent ‘Moscow Monumental’; The story of Moscow’s skyscrapers and the lives they changed” – Moscow Times

Moscow State University file photo

“In its 874-year history, Moscow has grown from an obscure twelfth-century military outpost into a world-class capital city of over 20 million inhabitants. Along the way, the city has been reinvented over and over to suit the needs of its rulers. Ivan the Great made Moscow “The Third Rome” after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, raising stone cathedrals inside […]

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Can the Biden Administration Get Russia Policy Right?

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Thomas Graham – March 18, 2021) In its first two months, the Biden administration has made two central planks of its Russia policy crystal clear: It has no interest in a reset, and Russia is not a priority. The sharp break with President Donald Trump’s aspirations was plainly intended as a message to both the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Recalls Its Ambassador to the U.S. for Consultations” – Wall Street Journal

Cropped File Photo of Anatoly Antonov with U.S. Flag, adapted from image at state.gov

“Moscow’s move follows a critical U.S. intelligence report about Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.” “… [Russian Ambassador to the United States] Anatoly Antonov[‘s] … summon[ing] to Moscow came … after a U.S. intelligence report … accus[ing] … Putin of … a wide-ranging influence operation to interfere in the 2020 U.S. election …. Antonov was … previously […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin: U.S. will have to take Russia’s interests into account” – Interfax

File Photo of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in front of U.S. Flag and Russian Flag, adapted from image from RIA Novosti

MOSCOW. March 18 (Interfax) – Russia will cooperate with the United States, but on its own terms, and Washington will have to deal with that, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “I know that the U.S., the U.S. leadership is generally inclined to have certain relations with us, but on issues which the U.S. itself is interested in and on its […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian-Chinese pact to explore the moon is another sign the U.S. must change its approach to Moscow” – CNBC/ Frederick Kempe

File Photo of Surface of Moon with Earth in Distance, adapted from NASA image

“… Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, signed an agreement with the Chinese National Space Administration[] to create an International Scientific Lunar Station ‘with open access to all interested nations and international partners[,]’ … the most dramatic sign yet that Moscow sees its space future with China and not the United States, further underscoring … growing strategic alignment with Beijing. … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “About the Kremlin Propaganda — Our Democracy Needs To Be Protected” – Bild

Brandeburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, file photo adapted from image at state.gov

“As a dictator, … Putin has continued what he failed to do as a KGB agent in the GDR [East Germany] … his fight against a freedom-loving Germany and a united Europe. For years, Putin has been running riot with impunity in [Germany]. … buying off influential ex-politicians with lucrative oil projects, such as Nord Stream 2. … support[ing] the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Could Putin Launch Another Invasion?” – Politico/ Leon Aron

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“The same factors that led up to his incursion into Ukraine are in place again, including domestic protests, a struggling economy and a desire for glory” “… [O]n the seventh anniversary of the Crimean Anschluss, many of the same vectors that produced the invasion of Ukraine are here again. … There are at least two reasons for Putin to be […]

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Putin’s New Authoritarianism Existential Threat to Russia and the West, Skobov Says

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

… Skobov says … Putin’s new authoritarianism reflects … worldwide trends and specific Russian realities … a far more dangerous threat to Russia and the West than many imagine … fundamentally different from … authoritarianisms of the past […]

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Navalny Moved To Penitentiary In Pokrov, Says Russian News Agency

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

Russia state news outlet TASS has been reporting that opposition politician Aleksei Navalny is being held in a penitentiary in … Pokrov, though the anti-corruption campaigner’s staff say they have not received official confirmation of his whereabouts […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Where Climate Scientists See Danger, Russia Sees an Opportunity” – Bloomberg

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“Rising temperatures in the Arctic are a warning sign for the planet. The melting ice has an economic upside for Russia.” “Russia … fourth-biggest [greenhouse gas] emitter … [also faces Arctic] temperatures … warming more than twice [that of global rates] …. [With] more than a fifth of the planet’s forests, Russia has [had] two consecutive years of record-breaking wildfires […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The brutal third act of Vladimir Putin; After eras of prosperity and patriotism, Russia’s president is now ramping up repression to hold on to power” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

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

“… For Russians … oppos[ing] Putin, Navalny’s imprisonment represents a bellwether moment … long expected and feared. … [A] forceful, sweeping effort to tighten political freedoms … signposts a new era for a regime … extending into its third decade. … Putin’s rule … propped up first by economic prosperity … then … pugnacious patriotism, now pivot[s] to repression as […]

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Calls by U.S. for Economic Transition in Russia From Reagan Through Trump

Cash, Calculator, Pen

… Russia’s transition to a market economy is at least partially completed, though estimates point to the state holding between 33 and 46 percent of the economy … concentrated in “strategic” sectors such as energy and banking […]

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EVENTBRITE: “Book Launch: Russia and the 2018 FIFA World Cup” – Friday, March 12, 2021 at 10:00 AM

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

Join us for a discussion of the 2018 World Cup, as leading scholars assess its significance for sport, Russia, and the world. About this Event At this PONARS Eurasia event, we will discuss the findings of the forthcoming edited volume, Russia and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with its contributors, including Richard Arnold, Olga Yakimova, Marina Mikhaylova, Michael Cole, Andrew […]

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Young Russians Want a Normal Country, Not One Based on the Past or Some Ideological Vision

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

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, March 5, 2021) The “We Speak Russian” blog suggests younger Russians reject both a Russia modeled on the past as offered by “state father” Putin and “the beautiful Russia of the future” modeled on an ideological vision as offered by Aleksey Navalny. Instead, the rising generation wants “a normal Russia” (echo.msk.ru/blog/govorimporusski/2800326-echo/). Young […]

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