Interview: Russia Seeks To ‘Capitalize On Opportunities’ In Libya

File Photo of Ancient Roman Arch in Libya Framing Minaret and Palm Trees, adapted from image at cia.gov

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tony Wesolowsky – April 10, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/interview-russia-seeks-to-capitalize-on-opportunities-in-libya/29873341.html) The situation is escalating in Libya, where more than 30 people have been killed since fighting broke out on April 4, when forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive against the internationally […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Military Drills in Arctic Aim to Counter Russia, but the First Mission Is to Battle the Cold” – New York Times/ Helene Cooper

Arctic Map

“… the melting polar ice cap has opened up the Arctic, disappearing what used to be an impenetrable barrier between North America and Russia. … NATO is rushing to try to catch up. … ‘Russia is increasing its military presence in the Arctic,’ said … a [NATO] spokesman … [NATO is] ‘monitoring Russia’s Arctic buildup carefully.’ In fact, Russia has […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Calvey to stay under house arrest till mid-summer” – Interfax

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. April 12 (Interfax) – The Basmanny District Court in Moscow has extended the period of house arrest of Baring Vostok investment fund founder and senior partner Michael Calvey, who is charged with fraud, until July 14, an Interfax correspondent reported from the courtroom. “The court will grant the request of investigators. The court will also extend the period of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Richest 3% Russians Hold 90% of Country’s Financial Assets – Study” – Moscow Times

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 12, 2019) The wealthiest 3 percent of Russians owned 89 percent of all financial assets in 2018, according to joint research by the Higher School of Economics and the state-run VEB Bank. This is the first time a comprehensive study of wealth inequality has been attempted in Russia, the Kommersant business daily reported on […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “All About the U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Putin’s Russia” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer, Laurence Arnold, Olga Tanas, Tony Halpin

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

“… Since 2014, the U.S. has imposed travel bans, asset freezes and finance and trade restrictions against hundreds of Russian individuals and companies … a multinational effort …. 1. What U.S. sanctions are in place against Russia? More than 700 Russian people and companies have been targeted …. 2. Why were the sanctions imposed? … starting in 2014 after Russia […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s New Gold Rush Could Shake Up the International Monetary System; Russia and China might be considering a gold-backed digital currency.” – Moscow Times/ Bruno Macaes

File Photo of Gold Bars with U.S. Government Engravings, adapted from image at fbi.govA

“Russia is buying … [a] lot of gold … quadrupl[ing] reserves [within a decade]. Gold buying last year exceeded mine supply for the first time … Russia is about to become a net importer …. Are the Russian authorities preparing for a renewed clash with the United States … attempting to reduce … vulnerability to … sanctions? Or do they […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Effective Military Spending Is Around $200 Billion” – Checkpoint Asia/Richard Connolly

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Russia maintains armed forces of around a million … compared with … fewer than 200,000 in the UK. … [and] procures and maintains far larger volumes of equipment across the whole spectrum … including [ICBM’s], nuclear-powered submarines … state-of-the-art helicopters and fighter aircraft. * * * … PPP-based measures … yield a figure of closer to $200 billion …”

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Russia Seeks New Arctic Oil Frontier

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

Rosneft, Russia’s state-controlled oil company … the largest oil producer in the country, plans to develop an Arctic cluster of oil fields over the next five years. These plans by Rosneft – led by a close [Putin] ally … Igor Sechin – fit [Putin’s] ambition to develop Arctic oil and gas resources and adjacent regions, as well as the so-called Northern Sea Route – a shipping lane through Russian Arctic waters … from Europe to the Far East. …

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Russia Makes Progress When It Looks Outward and Suffers When It Turns in on Itself, Inozemtsev Says

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 5, 2019) Yezhednevny zhurnal offers another chapter from Vladislav Inozemtsev’s new book, An Uncontemporary Country, a chapter that demonstrates that whenever Russia has turned outward and involved itself with the rest of the world, it has made progress but that when it has turned in on itself, it has not only […]

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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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Gallup Poll Shows One In Five Russians Would Migrate West If Possible

Satellite Image of Earth in Style of Mercator Map, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – April 4, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-migrate-west-gallup-poll-one-in-five/29861985.html) One in five Russians say they would leave their country if they could, according to a new poll by Gallup. The Washington-based pollster said on April 4 that since 2014, the percentage of working-age Russians who say they […]

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Russians’ Happiness More Dependent on Nationalism than on Money, Sociologists Say

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 3, 2019) Russians have fallen ten places in the international happiness, from 49th in 2017 to 59th last year, and sociologists have been studying why that has occurred and what makes Russians happy. Their conclusion, Elena Rotkevich says, is that money doesn’t make Russians happy but that nationalism does. Like other […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Ford Will Pay Out $200M to Laid-Off Russian Workers” – Moscow Times

Ford Van file photo, adapted from image at gsa.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 28, 2019) Ford will pay around $200 million in cash to workers and suppliers who lose their jobs when the company closes three of its plants in Russia in June, the company said in a statement. The U.S. automaker is closing two assembly plants and one engine factory because it says the passenger vehicle […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russians in Heartland Sour on Vladimir Putin Over Money Woes; Stagnant wages, rising costs fuel grumbling among working-class residents who once lauded president” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove

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

“… Working-class Russians … have increasingly shouldered the burden of an economy beset by Western sanctions and a government more committed to military spending than overhauling the civilian economy. … after years of paying for Moscow’s military adventures abroad, the economic malaise in Nizhniy Tagil, once considered a bastion of Kremlin loyalty, highlights growing discontent and an erosion of support […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “MinEkonomiki congratulates itself on SME progress” – Bear Market Brief

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“The Ministry of Economic Development (MinEkonomiki) will have a meeting to discuss progress on the national project on supporting small and medium-sized businesses. …  launched this January … focus[ing] on business education, bringing self-employed businesspeople out of the gray economy, and … allow[ing] small businesses to borrow at subsidized rates. Some of these initiatives (particularly the subsidized credit) are good, […]

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Putin Tells Prosecutors To Protect Rights Of Business Owners

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – March 19, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-tells-prosecutors-to-protect-rights-of-business-owners/29830693.html) President Vladimir Putin has urged Russian prosecutors to protect the rights of businesspeople “with a view to improving the business climate.” Speaking to a gathering of prosecutors in Moscow on March 19, Putin said that a “more effective […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Ditches Real Income Data That Has Slumped for Five Years” – Bloomberg

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia will stop publishing monthly data that’s shown a slump in disposable incomes for five straight years after the indicator was criticized for using methodology that’s decades out of date. The Federal Statistics Service will start releasing quarterly income data starting next month and historical numbers will be recalculated going back to 2013 …. The new methodology will include data […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. investor jailed by Russia tells Washington to keep distance: prison monitor” – Reuters

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

“The detention … of Michael Calvey, founder of the Baring Vostok private equity group, has strained U.S.-Russia ties and stoked talk of a possible U.S. boycott of an annual economic forum in June attended by … Putin. Calvey was detained along with three other executives from Baring Vostok after investigators accused them of stealing 2.5 billion roubles ($38.09 million), a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia backs global use of its alternative SWIFT system” – Reuters

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

“Russian lawmakers on Tuesday backed the international use of a Russian alternative system for the global financial messaging network SWIFT designed by Moscow to eliminate the risk of Western sanctions. Russia has held talks with China, India, Iran and Turkey about joint use of Russia’s financial messaging system …. Russia started developing an alternative to the Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Audit Chamber Chairman Kudrin in favor of mitigating sanctions through talks” – Interfax

Alexei Kudrin file photo

MOSCOW. March 14 (Interfax) – Russia should seek to mitigate the Western sanctions by synchronizing the efforts of the ministries of foreign affairs, the interior, and economic development, and other agencies toward a better investment climate, Audit Chamber Chairman Alexei Kudrin said. “We need a friendly global environment, we need to enter these [foreign] markets and operate in various jurisdictions, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Natural Resources Make Up 60% of GDP” – Moscow Times

Oil Well file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 14, 2019) Russia’s Natural Resources and Environment Ministry estimates that the combined cost of the country’s oil, gas and other resources amounts to 60 percent of its gross domestic product, the RBC news website reported on Thursday. As one of the world’s top producers of natural gas and oil, Russia’s economy is heavily reliant […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Russia, gender equality still a long way off” – AP/ Francesa Ebel, Irina Titova, Harriet Morris, Nataliya Vasilyeva

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

“While International Women’s Day is marked Friday across many countries with calls for gender equality, in Russia it is still a holiday largely focused on celebrating traditional gender roles. Women in Russia may hold prominent positions in the government – including the influential chief of the Central Bank and speaker of the upper chamber of parliament – but traditional gender […]

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Russia To Defend Its Venezuela Oil Assets In ‘Toughest Way Possible’

Venezuela Map, adapted from image at cia.gov

(Oilprice.com – Tsvetana Paraskova – March 6, 2019 – oilprice.com/Geopolitics/South-America/Russia-To-Defend-Its-Venezuela-Oil-Assets-In-Toughest-Way-Possible.html] Nicolas Maduro’s staunchest international ally-Russia-reaffirmed last week its full support to the Socialist leader’s regime and his efforts to prevent what Moscow sees as interference in Venezuela’s domestic affairs. At the same time, Russia, which vowed to defend its oil assets in Venezuela as early as the political crisis began […]

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RUSSIALINK: “98 Russian Billionaires Hold More Wealth Than Russians’ Combined Savings” – Moscow Times

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 6, 2019) Fewer than 100 Russian billionaires now have a combined wealth that is greater than the entire population’s savings, according to figures published by Forbes. Russia is regularly named in international ratings as one of the most unequal of the world’s major economies, with an estimated 89 percent of the country’s wealth owned […]

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Declining Incomes among Russians Put Future of Country’s Middle Class at Risk, Chepurenko Says

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 27, 2019 – windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/02/declining-incomes-among-russians-put.html) The declining incomes of Russians over the last few years are not only leaving all but the very wealthiest residents of that country poorer than they were but putting at risk the formation and survival of the politically critical middle class in the country, according to Aleksandr […]

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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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Russia Risk: It’s a Feature, Not a Bug

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov – February 19, 2019 – wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/russia-risk-its-feature-not-bug) Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Fellow at the Kennan Institute and the Editor-at-Large of Vedomosti, an independent Russian daily. In a story both typical of Russian business practices and so unusual as to bring a response from Putin’s key business allies, the American investor Michael Calvey and […]

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‘Unorganized’ Change at the Top in Russia a Small but Real Risk to Country’s Economy, Moody’s Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, Feb. 25, 2019) In a new survey of risks facing the Russian economy, Moody’s Investors Service says that “unorganized” regime change is “a distant but tangible one,” simultaneously sending warnings to both Vladimir Putin and to any who might seek to push him out of office before 2024. Many commentators have taken […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Black Market Totaled 20% of GDP in 2018 – Reports” – Moscow Times

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 22, 2019) The size of Russia’s shadow economy was equal to 20 percent of the GDP last year, media reported Friday, citing the Rosfinmonitoring state financial watchdog. The watchdog recorded 20.7 trillion rubles ($315.9 billion) in undeclared imports and income taxes, as well as under-the-table salaries and other suspicious transactions, in 2018, the RBC […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin needs more than spending to lift ratings; Five years after Crimea was annexed, Russian discontent is rumbling” – Financial Times Editorial

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

“… exactly five years after … annexing Crimea, trust in the [Russian] president has dropped to a 13-year low. The economy is stagnating. While his state of the nation address this week ended with habitual nuclear sabre-rattling, much was devoted to spending pledges aimed at burnishing his image. It is far from clear that such social bribery will work. … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Spokesman suggests Putin unhappy with prosecution of businesspeople” – Interfax

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

(Interfax – February 21, 2019) Russian President Vladimir Putin is unhappy with the continuing practice of arresting businesspeople suspected of committing economic crimes, his spokesman has suggested. His remarks come after US financier Michael Calvey was detained and later charged with fraud in a move that has caused disquiet among investors. “The president is dissatisfied with how effectively his orders […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Social benefits proposed by president to cost 80 bln rubles in 2019 – Golikova” – Interfax

Cash, Calculator, Pen

MOSCOW. Feb 21 (Interfax) – The social benefits proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his Address to the Federal Assembly for realization this year will cost 80 billion rubles, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said on the show “Time Will Tell” on Channel 1 on Wednesday. “According to our preliminary estimates, the things that fall to 2019 – in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Having an Honest Business Is Not Possible in Russia, Majority Says” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 20, 2019) A majority of Russians say that doing business in the country without breaking a few rules is impossible, according to a newly released state-funded survey. The poll was carried out a day after Michael Calvey, a U.S. citizen and one of the biggest private equity investors in Russia, was detained on suspicion […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Calvey’s arrest sends chill through Russia’s foreign investors; U.S. founder of Moscow-based Baring Vostok was seen as savvy operator” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon, Anne-Sylvaine Chassany

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

“Kremlin officials were touting Russia’s investment opportunities at a [Sochi resort] conference … when news trickled out that one of the country’s last remaining American investors had been thrown behind bars. Michael Calvey … founder of Moscow-based private equity fund manager Baring Vostok, remained one of the last Russia bulls at a time when most of his contemporaries had left […]

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Russia’s Kudrin Calls Detention Of American Investor ‘Emergency’ For Economy

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – February 19, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-official-calls-us-investor-s-detention-emergency-for-economy-/29778434.html) A longtime former finance minister who is close to President Vladimir Putin has called the arrest of a prominent American investment-fund manager an “emergency” for the Russian economy, suggesting it could further damage the country’s image and harm the […]

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In Search of Better Quality of Life, Russians Lean on Credit

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – February 16, 2019 – themoscowtimes.com/2019/02/16/in-search-of-better-quality-of-life-russians-lean-on-credit) Voronezh wasn’t cutting it. Artyom had been out of college for four years, and job openings in the southern Russian city were sparse. Last fall, in search of better employment opportunities, he headed north to St. Petersburg. But the journey wasn’t cheap. “I needed money for the […]

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Russia in 2019 and What Lies Ahead

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Daniel Shapiro – February 14, 2019 – russiamatters.org/blog/russia-2019-and-what-lies-ahead) Daniel Shapiro is a graduate student associate with Russia Matters and Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. What can we expect for Russia in 2019 and beyond? At a recent policy workshop held by the Washington, D.C.-based PONARS Eurasia network, scholars and analysts addressed this […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is the arrest of US fund manager Michael Calvey a litmus test for Russia?” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

“The arrest of Michael Calvey on February 14 on ‘large-scale embezzlement’ charges sent shockwaves …. Calvey has been both a savvy investor and at pains to keep his head down. He never comments on politics and is known as a straight shooter. … What is unusual is that a court issues an arrest warrant and a leading fund manager and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “It is necessary to fairly distribute money resources between cities, villages – Medvedev” – Interfax

File Photo of Car on Road in Siberian Town

MOSCOW. Feb 17 (Interfax) – The difference between the incomes of people living in cities and villages should decrease and the budget funds will be distributed more fairly, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. “Of course, agglomerations, cities are where our country is developing. They are very important, a considerable number of people live there. But we should not forget […]

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RUSSIALINK: “WTO has essentially ceased to function due to U.S. actions – minister” – Interfax

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. Feb 18 (Interfax) – The actions of the United States in the area of international trade have led to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) activities coming to a virtual standstill and one can theoretically conceive that the trade body will cease to function altogether, Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin said on the Main Actors with Nailya Asker-Zade show […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Stroppy in Strunino; The lessons from protests in small-town Russia; The government is getting less and less popular” – The Economist

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

“… in this sleepy town some 120km north-east of Moscow … when local activists organised a march … against planned cuts to medical services, more than 100 people took to the streets. …. an example of shifts in public opinion … reshaping the country’s political landscape. … The rapture [over Ukraine] began to fade … when the government announced plans […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Top American investor detained in Moscow” – BMB Russia/ Bear Market Brief

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Michael Calvey … was detained in Moscow … on charges of fraud. … Since founding Baring Vostok in 1994, Calvey has been one of the preeminent foreign investors in Russia. … [T]he fraud allegations may be fallout from an ownership dispute over Vostochny Bank …. a blow to Russia’s already cold investment climate. … one journalist noted, the Kremlin must […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Medvedev at] Russian Investment Forum Sochi 2019 [Excerpts]” – GovernmentRu

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – February 14, 2019 – government.ru/en/news/35726/) Plenary session Success Factors: Ideas, Personnel, Skills. The forum’s main theme is National Projects: From Strategy to Action. The Russian Investment Forum exhibition includes promising investment projects from the regions and companies. Excerpts from Dmitry Medvedev’s remarks at a plenary session of the investment forum: This forum is completely different from any previous […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Dmitry Medvedev answers questions from TV presenter Irada Zeynalova (NTV) at the Sochi 2019 forum. [Re sanctions]” – GovernmentRu

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – February 14, 2019) Irada Zeynalova: We know perfectly well that the Americans are now preparing a package of doomsday sanctions. They already know all the sensitive points of our economy. Our economy is growing even with the sanctions, but they still have surprises for us. What should we do in this situation? Do we even fear these sanctions? […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Dmitry Medvedev on the strategic goals of the country’s development” – RIA Novosti

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

The start of the year provides an excellent opportunity to talk about plans and prospects. A great goal stands before us – accelerating development in key areas of the economy and the social sphere. And there is every opportunity to achieve this. I am talking about 12 national projects. Their cost along with the infrastructure plan is R25,700 bn (391 […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Expanded meeting of the State Council Presidium on improving housing and creating a comfortable urban environment” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – February 12, 2019) Vladimir Putin held an expanded meeting of the State Council Presidium on the work of regional executive authorities of the Russian Federation aimed at improving housing conditions and creating a comfortable urban environment. A short presentation of Innopolis was held for the President before the meeting. Russia’s youngest city was established on June 9, 2015 […]

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Nearly 40 Percent of Russians Subsist on Less than 10 US Dollars a Day, Official Figures Show

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 10, 2019) Thirty-seven percent of Russians life on 19,000 rubles or less a month, Rosstat says, a figure that works out to a subsistence of ten US dollars or a less a day, 23.2 percent live on less than 15,000 rubles a month (under seven dollars a day); and 12 percent […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Officials get somber on GDP growth” – BMB Russia/ Bear Market Brief

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“… Oreshkin cited … one-off factors such as an increase in oil production and a dangerous boom in consumer borrowing as unsustainable sources of 2018 growth. … tr[ying] to refocus the discussion on structural reforms …. [and] a massive investment drive via national projects in infrastructure, demography, health, education, and exports …. Nevertheless, to the extent that the high 2018 […]

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Those Fishy-Looking Russian Economic Stats Look A Lot Like Those Fishy-Looking Soviet Economic Stats

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – February 11, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/those-fishy-looking-russian-economic-stats-look-a-lot-like-those-fishy-looking-soviet-economic-stats/29764301.html) When Russia’s state statistics agency released its initial estimates of 2018 economic growth on February 4, it caught economists, investment bankers, financial analysts, and many others off-guard. It wasn’t because the reported gross domestic product (GDP) […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “For Putin, economic and political reality dampen appetite for arms race” – Reuters/ Andrew Osborn

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

“With his ratings down and state funds needed to hedge against new Western sanctions and raise living standards … Putin cannot afford to get sucked into a costly nuclear arms race …. Alleging Russian violations, Washington said … it was suspending its obligations under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and starting the process of quitting it …. That raises […]

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