Evolving Global Order Makes a P5 Summit Ineffective

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Paul Saunders – Sept. 17, 2020) Paul Saunders is a senior fellow in U.S. foreign policy at the Center for the National Interest. With military tension among great powers increasing in east Asia, central Europe and the Middle East, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and others have proposed a summit of the U.N. Security Council’s five […]

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The Role of Russian Espionage in Re-Shaping the West

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

… This brings me to the most critical point about the book. Instead of referencing sources for various claims and assertions, the author provides notes … at the end …. Despite the fallacy of the incomplete evidence, Harding’s hypothesis is embraced enthusiastically by many […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin is reckless because we allow him to be” – Washington Post/ David Ignatius

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

“… Putin keeps defying the norms of international behavior. … Intelligence agencies have … evidence … Russian military intelligence officers, from … shadowy Unit 29155 of the GRU, paid … Taliban … whose bombing killed three U.S. Marines in … 2019. … [S]ources … [claim] forensic links between the [Afghan operation] GRU officers … and GRU colleagues who carried out […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Which Countries Are Open to Russians – and Vice Versa?” – Moscow Times

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

… Russia also closed its borders to most foreign citizens, with exceptions for diplomats, relatives of deceased people, high-demand workers and other categories […]

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Mark Galeotti: “Re: Subject: A comment on Galeotti” [re: UK-Russian Relations, U.S.-Russian Relations, Nicolai Petro]

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

It’s always great when something you write receives a thoughtful response, but I did feel I needed make a couple of responses to Nicolai Petro’s open reply to my short commentary in The Spectator […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin plans to make the West destroy itself; Chaos and division is the real goal for Russia” – The Spectator (UK)/ Owen Matthews

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“… only one person [will] be genuinely pleased with the Intelligence and Security Committee’s Russia report … and that’s … Putin. Russia emerges as an amorphous and formidable enemy – all the more so because the inconclusive and much-redacted report contains next to no substantiated allegations. Instead Russia appears as a phantom, unknowable menace, and this will spawn a thousand […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What does the Russia report mean for British people and politics? Luke Harding considers the implications of the report on Moscow’s meddling” – The Guardian

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“… The Russia report accuses the government of failing to investigate Russian interference in British politics, in particular during the 2016 EU referendum. The Commons intelligence and security committee[] … says Downing Street showed a ‘lack of curiosity’ over Kremlin meddling. … [not] say[ing] whether this complacency was deliberate or an omission[,] [e]ither way … a stunning rebuke of Boris […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “British court rules against Christopher Steele, orders damages paid to businessmen named in dossier” – JustTheNews/ John Solomon

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

“Court rules Steele’s firm violated Britain’s data privacy law by failing to aggressively check allegations in his dossier.” “A British judge ruled … that Christopher Steele violated a data privacy law by failing to check the accuracy of information in his infamous dossier, ordering the former spy’s firm[,] … Orbis Business Intelligence, to pay … [the equivalent of] about $22,596 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “FBI spread claim Trump worked with Russia, declassified document shows” – New York Post/ Steven Nelson

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“A newly declassified document reveals FBI officials circulated sensational claims that … Trump ‘worked with’ Russia in 2016 and that his campaign was offered ‘financial compensation’ to drop U.S. sanctions, but didn’t disclose that the claims came from an opposition researcher for the Democrats. … former British spy Christopher Steele … detailed by the FBI in a classified annex to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Skripals Relocate to New Zealand Following Russian Poisoning Attempt – Reports” – Moscow Times

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia have relocated to New Zealand two years after suffering a near-fatal poisoning attempt that Britain pins on Russia […]

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Luis Alcalá: “Re: ‘Three Russian doctors fall from hospital windows'”

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings

Subject: [UTExpertsDiscGrp] Re: “Three Russian doctors fall from hospital windows” Date: Thu, 7 May 2020 From: Luis Alcalá <luismalcala@gmail.com> It is a waste of time to comment on these news. In England and the USA, medical personnel commit suicide and nobody says it is the fault of Trump or Boris, but in the news about Russian suicides or accidents they […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “EBRD drops a COVID-19 dambuster on Russian sanctions; The EBRD has started investing in Russia again after several years off” – bne Intellinews/ Jason Corcoran

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“A modest investment by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in a Russian travel company may prove to be the sanctions dambuster that the Kremlin has been longing for. The London-headquartered bank announced on April 7 it would provide finance to a Russian travel aggregator Travelata as part of its €1bn coronavirus (COVID-19) funding programme … designed to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Proposes 2020 Summit With Leaders of Russia, France, China, U.S. and UK” – Reuters

UN Building file photo

“… Putin … proposed holding a summit between the leaders of Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain in 2020 to discuss the conflict in Libya and other global problems. Putin, … speaking during a trip to Israel, said Moscow was ready for a “serious conversation” with the permanent members of the UN Security Council, that there was much […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Top Secret Russian Unit Seeks to Destabilize Europe, Security Officials Say” – New York Times/ Michael Schwirtz

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

“… a destabilization campaign in Moldova … the poisoning of an arms dealer in Bulgaria …. a thwarted coup in Montenegro. … an attempt to assassinate a former Russian spy in Britain using a nerve agent. … Western security officials have … concluded that these operations, and potentially many others, are part of a coordinated and ongoing campaign to destabilize […]

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RUSSIALINK: “The U.S. Imposed New Sanctions Today on Russia. What Are They?” – Moscow Times

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 26, 2019) A new round of U.S. sanctions on Russia over the poisoning of a former spy in Britain last year has gone into effect on Monday. Washington imposed an initial batch of sanctions last year on Russia after determining that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian double agent, Sergei […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “When BoJo Meets Vova; A piece of advice for Britain’s new prime minister on how to deal with Putin’s Russia” – Moscow Times/ Mark Galeotti

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“Boris Johnson … in the past called … Putin a ‘ruthless and manipulative tyrant’ (… presumably a criticism in today’s political world?) … his Russian counterpart congratulated him on his election and suggested that ‘it would be in the interests of our countries and peoples to develop relations in various spheres.’ How, though, could any improvement in relations be accomplished […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Denies Visas for Teachers at Anglo-American School in Moscow” – New York Times/ Andrew E. Kramer

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

“Russia’s Foreign Ministry has … denied visas for teachers at a [Moscow] school … run by Western embassies … American officials suggested [the action] was an effort to exert political pressure on the United States by curtailing schooling for the children of diplomats. It is not clear why the Russian government denied entry to 30 teachers, about one fifth of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian envoy urges U.S., NATO countries to store nukes only in own territories, like Russia does” – Interfax

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

BRUSSELS. July 17 (Interfax) – Russia urges the United States and other NATO countries to store their nuclear arsenals only in their national territories. “Russia deploys and stockpiles all its nuclear weapons exclusively on the national territory. We call upon U.S. and NATO to follow this practice,” Russian Permanent Representative to international organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said on Twitter […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow warns London of possible reciprocal measures to UK media” – Interfax

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

MOSCOW. July 11 (Interfax) – British members of the press working in Russia should be prepared for symmetrical measures after the United Kingdom authorities have denied Russian media access to a conference in London, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. “We have always acted based on the principle of reciprocity, and in this context, the British media working in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Zelensky’s idea of multilateral Donbas summit has right to exist – Lavrov” – Interfax

Sergei Lavrov file photo

HIGH TATRAS (Slovakia). July 9 (Interfax) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s idea of a summit involving Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the United States has a right to exist, but emphasis should be put on direct dialogue between the conflicting sides, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the press on Tuesday. “This format, both the Normandy and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Sergei and Yulia Skripal are alive, but not available for contact – relative” – Interfax

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

YAROSLAVL. May 18 (Interfax) – Former Russian military intelligence (GRU) officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, who were poisoned in April 2018 in Salisbury, the United Kingdom, are alive, but they are not maintaining contacts with their relatives in Russia, Viktoria Skripal, Sergei’s niece, said in an interview with Interfax on Saturday. “As far as I know, [Sergei […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Inside the West’s Plans for Arctic War Against Russia” – DailyBeast/ Nico Hines

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

“Moscow is growing belligerent in its quest to pry open the icy route to the Atlantic. The U.S. and Britain are racing to catch up, but is it too late?” “… deep in the Arctic Circle, some of the world’s best-trained commandos … struggl[e] to complete an ambush exercise knee-deep in … snow. Britain’s Royal Marines make painfully slow progress […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The UK executives helping Putin burnish Russia’s image; Meeting with top British businessmen could not come at a better time for the Kremlin” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“Eleven years ago [BP’s] Bob Dudley … fled [Russia] citing ‘sustained harassment of the company and myself’ and threats to his life allegedly directed by politically connected oligarchs and Russia’s security services. Last month … Dudley, now head of the British oil group, was back, telling … Putin … at the Kremlin that he and the British company ‘deeply appreciate […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia spread ‘disinformation’ on Skripal attack; Report says state media spread seven different conspiracy theories about the attack” – Financial Times/ Solape Alatise, David Bond

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“Russian state media published 138 contradictory accounts of the nerve agent attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal last year …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Chaotic’ sanctions against Russia have failed, says Navalny’ Putin critic claims they miss target and US and UK avoid tackling dirty money” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

“… Navalny said western sanctions against Moscow missed the target and were not working, and that the U.S. and UK had no real interest in tackling ‘dirty money.’ … Navalny labelled existing economic curbs ‘chaotic’ and ‘incomprehensible’ and said attempts to rein in Russia should refocus to target properly the powerful oligarchs with close links to … Putin. … argu[ing] […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Daily 202: From Brexit to NATO and the shutdown, Putin is winning so much he might get tired of winning” – Washington Post/ James Hohmann

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

“James Hohmann is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post. He is the author of The Daily 202, The Post’s flagship political newsletter.”  

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NEWSLINK: “American Charged in Russia Also Holds British, Canadian and Irish Citizenship” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“A former U.S. Marine arrested on espionage charges in Russia was removed from the military for trying to steal more than $10,000 in government cash while deployed at a base in Iraq, according to details of Defense Department court records released Friday. …”

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NEWSLINK: “VLAD’S KGB SPIES: Vladimir Putin has up to 75,000 Russian spies in Britain, shock report reveals; Dr Andrew Foxall revealed up to half of the 150,000 Russian ex-pats in Britain are feared to be spy service ‘assets'” – The Sun (UK)

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

“Russia has up to 75,000 spies on our streets, a shock report claimed yesterday. Vladimir Putin’s army of spooks has risen five-fold in eight years, with 200 ‘case officers’ each handling hundreds of agents, it warned. …”  

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia has ‘more than five times as many spies in Britain now than it did during the Cold War” – Daily Mail (UK)

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

A report will reveal there are an estimated 200 intelligence officers in Britain The figures from the Henry Jackson Society report will be published next week Author of report Andrew Foxall said capital ‘ill-equipped’ to deal with espionage Click here for: “Russia has ‘more than five times as many spies in Britain now than it did during the Cold War” […]

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NEWSLINK: “Skripal Suspect Boshirov Identified as GRU Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga” – Bellingcat

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“… Bellingcat has been able to confirm the actual identity of one of the two officers. The suspect using the cover identity of ‘Ruslan Boshirov’ is in fact Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly decorated GRU officer bestowed with Russia’s highest state award, Hero of the Russian Federation. Following Bellingcat’s own identification, multiple sources familiar with the person and/or the investigation have […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia rejects reports of Skripal suspects being GRU agents” – Interfax

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

(Interfax – September 19, 2018) The Russian Interior Ministry has said it is impossible to establish whether a person works for the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence, based on the Federal Migration Service’s (FMS) database. The Interior Ministry thereby dismissed the joint investigation by the Bellingcat investigative site and Russian website The Insider, according to which the suspects in ex-spy Sergei […]

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NEWSLINK: “Britain may have MISSED real Novichok ‘assassins’ with CCTV suspects acting as ‘watchers’, ex-spy claims” – The Mirror (UK)/Will Stewart, Abigail O’Leary

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

“The retired agent has doubted that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Bochirov are plausible as killers after they were spotted numerous times on CCTV … The pair, who are suspected of poisoning the Skripals, were spotted numerous times on CCTV and entered the country on Russian passports. Choosing to remain anonymous, the ex-spy said the two men, who claimed to be […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Once again, Putin gives us a lesson on the usefulness of the blatant lie” – Washington Post/Anne Applebaum

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“They were, they declared, just tourists. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – identified … as … Russian intelligence agents who poisoned four people in … Salisbury – were simply on vacation …. This type of tactic has a history. … [During] the invasion of Crimea … Putin insisted … Russian troops marching across the peninsula were locals who … picked […]

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Kremlin Says it Would Consider British Request Over Skripal Poisoning Suspects

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Sept. 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/kremlin-says-it-would-consider-british-request-over-skripal-poisoning-suspects/29489831.html) The Kremlin says it will study any British request to question the two men London suspects of trying to murder a former spy, in strict accordance with Russian law. But spokesman Dmitry Peskov said no such request has been received so far. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Petrov, Boshirov said in RT interview they study global market of dietary supplements, vitamins” – Interfax

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

MOSCOW. Sept 13 (Interfax) – Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, whom the United Kingdom suspects of poisoning former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, said in an interview shown on RT that they were engaged in business related to sports nutrition, and this is the purpose of their occasional trips abroad. “We study the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Spy Story: Sergei Skripal Was a Little Fish. He Had a Big Enemy” – New York Times/Michael Schwirtz, Ellen Barry

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

“Sergei V. Skripal was a little fish. … But … Skripal was significant [to] … Putin, an intelligence officer of the same age and training. … When [the intelligence war between the USSR and the West] was suspended, both struggled to adapt. … While … Skripal was trying to reinvent himself, … Putin and his allies, former intelligence officers, were […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Newest U.S. Sanctions Against Russia Hit an Economic Nerve” – AP

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… The Trump administration announcement of export restrictions in response to accusations Moscow used a nerve agent to poison a former Russian spy in Britain sent the ruble tumbling to a two-year low and drew a stern warning from [Medvedev]. While the initial sanctions may have a limited impact, a second batch expected within months could hit the Russian economy […]

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NEWSLINK: “How the GRU spy agency targets the west, from cyberspace to Salisbury” – The Guardian (UK)/Andrew Roth

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

“… A British security source … [said] the nerve agent attack on the former double agent Sergei Skripal was also ordered by the [GRU] intelligence agency. The British government is poised to submit an extradition request to Moscow for two Russians suspected of carrying out the Salisbury attack that left one person dead and three injured, including Skripal and his […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What Are the FBI and CIA Hiding? The agency might have led the bureau down a rabbit hole in the 2016 Trump counterintelligence probe” – Wall Street Journal/Thomas J. Baker

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“Although the FBI’s case officially began July 31, 2016, there had been investigative activity before that …. John Brennan’s CIA might have directed activity in Britain … [problematic considering] longstanding agreements that the U.S. will not conduct intelligence operations there. It would explain why the FBI continues to stonewall Congress … Further, what we know about the case’s origin does […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Novichok Was in a Perfume Bottle, U.K. Victim Says” – New York Times/Michael Schwirtz, Eric Schmitt

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“… The latest poisoning raised the prospect that in their haste to flee the area, the would-be assassins simply tossed aside a top secret, Soviet-designed weapon that the British authorities, despite a cleanup operation that lasted weeks, failed to discover. …” Click here for: “Novichok Was in a Perfume Bottle, U.K. Victim Says” – New York Times/Michael Schwirtz, Eric Schmitt […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Large Russian Companies Are Turning Inward; The mobile operator Megafon’s plan to delist in London is the latest sign that the West is becoming inhospitable” – Leonid Bershidsky/Bloomberg

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

“The planned delisting of Megafon PJSC, Russia’s second-biggest mobile operator, from the London Stock Exchange is no ordinary event. The company is one of the most liquid Russian stocks trading overseas, and its exit is further evidence that the country’s businesses are turning inward as exposure to the West becomes increasingly problematic. In 2011, almost 70 Russian companies’ depositary receipts […]

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NEWSLINK: “Summitgate and the Campaign vs. ‘Peace’; Not surprisingly, Trump’s meetings with NATO and Putin are being portrayed as ominous events by Russiagaters” – The Nation/Stephen F. Cohen

File Photo of Donald Trump Waving Before Large Crowd with Trump Signs, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“As Cohen pointed out in previous discussions, U.S.-Russian (Soviet and post-Soviet) summits are a long tradition going back to FDR’s wartime meeting with Stalin in Yalta in 1943. Every American president since FDR met with a Kremlin leader in a summit-style format at least once, several doing so multiple times. The purpose was always to resolve conflicts and enhance cooperation […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump Says He Can’t Say if Putin Is Friend or Foe” – Reuters

Europe Map

“… Trump [embarks upon] a tour of Europe … [featuring] a NATO meeting and a visit to Britain. … Trump repeated his criticism of NATO allies for not spending enough on … defense and pointed to [British] political tensions … over … Brexit …. ‘So I have NATO, I have the UK which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have […]

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NEWSLINK: “Implausible Deniability: Novichok Victim Dies: Did the Kremlin Really Lose Control of its Deadliest Poisons? The real question is where does the Russian criminal state end and the criminal underworld begin, and how do they work together in what amounts to a new murder incorporated?” – Daily Beast/Amy Knight

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“… Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley visited … Salisbury and somehow ingested the exotic nerve agent used in the poisoning of Russian defector Sergei Skripal and his daughter …. Sturgess died. … a 44-year-old mother of three. … the police now have a murder case on their hands.  The masterminds of the Skripal attack, at least, are thought to be […]

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NEWSLINK: “At Site of U.K. Poisoning, Doubts About Case Creep In” – New York Times/Ellen Barry

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“… along Salisbury’s shopping streets, residents and businesspeople compare notes on the questions that remain unanswered. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Pushes NATO to Ready More Forces to Deter Russian Threat” – Reuters

NATO Meeting file photo

“The United States is pressing European allies to ready more NATO battalions, ships and planes for combat … to shore up NATO’s deterrence against a potential Russian attack. … seek[ing] broad agreement for the plan … when … defense ministers meet, laying the ground for endorsement by NATO leaders at a [July] summit …. [envisioning] 30 land battalions, 30 air […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Londongrad oligarchs are being forced back to Russia’s embrace; As sanctions bite, tycoons feel hemmed in by Vladimir Putin’s power” – Financial Times/Max Seddon

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“…. once ideal go-betweens between Russia and the west. … [s]uddenly, oligarchs are too Russian for a west eager to clean up its act and too western for a Russia hunting for ‘enemies of the people.’ … the nature of oligarchy … has changed dramatically …. Putin shifted the power dynamic …. under an unwritten rule: they were allowed to […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Battle Against Kremlin Propaganda Network RT” – Daily Beast/Jamie Ross

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

“The Kremlin-funded news channel RT is facing an existential threat in one of its most important target markets. An onslaught of 10 simultaneous investigations into alleged breaches of impartiality laws leave it in serious danger of losing its broadcasting license in the United Kingdom. After years of broadcasting a pro-Russian take on the day’s news to a small but loyal band […]

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NEWSLINK: “MI5 chief: Kremlin is ‘chief protagonist’ in campaign to undermine west” – The Guardian (UK)

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

“Andrew Parker accuses Russian state of interfering in elections, cyber-attacks, disinformation and criminal thuggery ….”

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NEWSLINK: “England fans at World Cup ‘at risk of blackmail from Russian mafia hookers’; There are fears gangsters could threaten to send incriminating pictures to fans’ wives or post them on social media” – The Daily Mirror (UK)/Tom Davidson

File Image of Soccer Ball, Field, Stadium with Lights, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“… ‘It’s not just the Russian government we have to be fearful of when it comes to England fans.  It is also the Russian mafia who we know exploit sex, and use the internet and dating, to offer women in order to blackmail customers.’ …”  

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