JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Health-Care Cuts Spark Protests in Russian Heartland” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer, Ilya Arkhipov

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“The country has 100 billionaires, and yet more than a third of Russians can’t afford to buy two pairs of shoes a year.” “… Concern … that traditionally loyal sections of the population are turning against the authorities [have] raised an alarm in the government [sources say] …. Protests used to be confined to the big cities. Now they’re in […]

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‘The Ice Will Melt and We Will All Die’ – Global Warming Seen Sparking Epidemics in Russia

Ebola Virus, adapted from image at nih.gov with credit NAID

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 22, 2019) Most discussions of the impact of global warming on the Russian Federation have focused either on the ways in which the melting of permafrost will damage infrastructure in the northern part of that country, imposing severe economic costs, or extend the growing season in many places, giving Russia some […]

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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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Rising Mortality Rates Challenge Russia’s Efforts To Kick-Start Population Growth

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Matthew Luxmoore – April 4, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/rising-mortality-rates-challenge-population-growth-decline-putin-demographics/29861882.html) Every third region in Russia saw a spike in mortality rates in 2018, according to health officials, contributing to the country’s first population decline in a decade and highlighting the challenges of fending off a […]

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Life Expectancy in Russia Inches Upward to 73 – Health Ministry Official

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 21, 2019) Average life expectancy in Russia has reached 73 years, a top health official said on Thursday. Russia plans to spend 1.7 trillion rubles ($26.68 billion) on dramatically improving health care to accomplish President Vladimir Putin’s goal of raising life expectancy to 78 years by the time his term ends in 2024. Average […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Drops Further in World Happiness Index – UN” – Moscow Times

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 20, 2019) It’s not all smiles for Russia as it slips down the global happiness rankings for a third consecutive year, according to an annual UN report published on Wednesday. The World Happiness Report ranks 156 countries by variables that support well-being, including GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Avoidable Epidemic of HIV/AIDS” – PONARS Eurasia/ Judyth Twigg

Microscopic Image of T-Cells Infected by HIV

“After first exploding among people who inject drugs in the late 1990s, HIV/AIDS now presents a serious public health and social challenge in Russia. The threat was initially mitigated through energetic interventions from civil society, largely financed by the global health community, that attempted to introduce best-practice prevention and treatment strategies. President Vladimir Putin’s third term and the consequent dismantling […]

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Bitter Medicine: Doctors Give Bad Marks To Russian Program To Boost Rural Health Care

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Yulia Paramonova, Roman Chertovskikh, Robert Coalson – March 5, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-rural-doctor-programmillion-rubles-embezzlement/29805275.html) In 2017, Vladimir Sotnikov graduated from Tomsk Medical University and joined the government’s Rural Doctor program, an initiative aimed at encouraging young medical professionals to work in remote rural locations. Sotnikov […]

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WADA to Inspect Moscow Lab for Doping Violations

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 8, 2019) With the clock ticking towards new sanctions, Russian authorities said on Monday they would allow a World Anti-Doping Agency inspection team to return to a Moscow laboratory to retrieve data it had earlier been denied. Russia’s Sport Minister Pavel Kolobkov said WADA officials would return to Moscow on Wednesday. WADA also confirmed […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘We are new Russians’: How a hard-drinking nation curbed its alcohol use; Russia now ranks 14th in terms of alcohol consumption globally, and is comparable to France and Germany” – CBC News (Canada)/ Chris Brown

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

“Once the holder of the dubious title of one of the world’s hardest-drinking nations, Russia has fallen steadily down the list  … Eduard Grigoriev … [a] volunteer with the group Sober Russia … [is a] 21-year-old … self-proclaimed liquor vigilante. … helping police crack down on businesses that break Russia’s ever-stricter liquor laws. … Illegal alcohol sales usually take the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Diseases caused by bad nutrition cause 63% of deaths in Russia – Rospotrebnadzor” – Interfax

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

MOSCOW. Dec 6 (Interfax) – Over half of all deaths in Russia are associated with eating low-quality food and the wrong nutrition, Rospotrebnadzor said in a report released on Thursday. “The idea of labeling [products] is due to Rospotrebnadzor’s concerns about the high rate of diseases associated with eating among the country’s population. About 63% of all deaths in Russia […]

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Differences between Male and Female Life Expectancy in Russia ‘Largest in the World,’ New Study Says

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 10, 2018) On average, women in Russia live 11 years longer than men do, according to a study conducted by Russian and Western scholars that has been published in Britain’s authoritative medical journal, The Lancet (thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31485-5/fulltext). The study focused on trends between 1980 and 2016 and noted that the difference between […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia trolls ‘spreading vaccination misinformation’ to create discord” – BBC

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“Troll accounts that had attempted to influence the US election had also been tweeting about vaccines, a study says. Many posted both pro- and anti-vaccination messages to create “false equivalency”, the study found. …”

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RUSSIALINK: Interfax: “Duma speaker warns of Russia’s dangerous dependency on U.S. pharmaceutical imports”

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

MOSCOW. April 20 (Interfax) – Russia must take efficient measures to swiftly make available in its market domestically produced medicinal drugs to secure itself from a possible halt of U.S. imports, State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said. “The U.S. has around 50 billion rubles of annual net profit from supplying pharmaceuticals to our country,” Volodin told reporters on Friday after […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Life in Vladimir Putin’s Russia explained in 10 charts” – BBC/ Alex Murray, Tom Housden, Anastasia Napalkova, Sandra Rodriguez Chillida, Joy Roxas, Zoe Bartholomew

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

“1. Fewer people are poor … 2. But wage growth has stalled recently … 3. More people have a car, and there are more microwaves than households … 4. Russians fell in love with Ikea … 5. And champagne … There’s some dispute over how much Russians drink. … 6. … the internet took off … 7. But circuses are […]

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Putin’s Cruelty Product of His Extremely Unhappy and Carefully Concealed Childhood, New Biographer Says

Artist's Rendition of Head and Brain, adapted from .gov image at lbl.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 7, 2018) Many think that Vladimir Putin’s penchant for cruelty can be explained by time in the KGB, Kristina Kurchab-Redlikh says; but there have been many with that background such as Yevgeny Primakov or Sergey Stepashin who also served in the organs but were not like that at all. Kurchab-Redlikh, who […]

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Average Russian an Overweight 37-Year-Old Married Woman with Children Who Smokes, Drinks and Suffers from Depression, Doctors Say

File Photo of Feet of Woman on Scale, With Red Toenails and Help on Scale Digital Display Screen

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 31, 2018) Olga Khlynova and Yevgeny Furman, two doctors who are also candidate members of the Academy of Sciences, say that the average Russian today is an overweight 37-year-old married woman with children who smokes and drinks and suffers from migra[i]nes and depression. Their observations came during a lecture in Perm […]

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Russian Alcohol Consumption Falls 80% in 5 Years, Says Minister

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 16, 2018) Russia’s health minister has said that Russians consume 80 percent less alcohol than they did five years ago, amid a decrease in smoking levels and an increase in the number of people who do sports. The latest World Health Organization figures put Russia’s alcohol consumption below France and Germany. “We have managed […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian answer to opioid epidemic: ‘Cold turkey’; Russia has an opioid abuse problem as big as America’s, but a very different way of dealing with it. No methadone replacement therapy in Moscow – just a couple of aspirin and a short, sharp withdrawal shock.” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

Blurred Image of Young Woman Holding Up Pill Between Her Thumb and Index Finger, adapted from image at drugabuse.gov

“Russia has an opioid addiction crisis about as grave as America’s. … the two countries’ approaches to the problem could hardly be more different. … most US and European clinics offer patients methadone as replacement therapy [yet] Russian doctors disdain such ‘soft’ treatment. … their [cold turkey] methods … have a lower success rate than the 50 percent achieved in the United States. … […]

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‘Russians to This Day Remain Soviet People,’ Moscow Psychologist Says

Artist's Rendition of Head and Brain, adapted from .gov image at lbl.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 31, 2017) Russians remain “Soviet people,” Aleksandr Asmolov says, not in terms of the specific ideological program pushed by the communist regime but rather according to three deep structures which informed that program, ensured its widespread acceptance, and guarantee its continuing vitality. Asmolov, a professor of psychology at Moscow State University, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian health officials want an all-out war against smoking in public (and other places)” – Meduza

No Smoking Symbol

“Russian Health Ministry officials want to expand dramatically the list of places where smoking is prohibited. … [to] include … communal apartments, within 10 feet of public transportation stops … underground and overground walkways, within 10 feet of shopping malls … in private vehicles in the presence of children … ‘in the presence of anyone who objects to the consumption […]

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More Than 16 Million Russians Are Breathing Polluted Air

File Photo of Smokestacking Spewing Cloud of Discharge

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 21, 2017) More than 16 million residents of Russia’s largest cities are breathing polluted air, an annual Natural Resources and Environment Ministry report cited by the Kommersant daily on Thursday suggests. Russia’s fledgling post-Soviet environmental protection movement has been hampered in recent years by corruption, lax enforcement of laws and a crackdown on advocacy […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian life expectancy reaches a record 72.5 years” – bne Intellinews/

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“The average life expectancy of Russians reached 72.5 years for the first time in history … according to Rosstat … men’s life expectancy increased by a year from 66.5 to 67.5 years and for women it was 77.4 years. During the worst of the economic crisis that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, male life expectancy fell to […]

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Russians have Sex but Don’t have Sex Education – and the Results are Disturbing

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 2, 2017) In Soviet times, it was sometimes said, there was no sex; but there was at least in many periods sex education in the schools. But in post-Soviet times, there appears to be even more sex, although there is no sex education in the schools as a result of enormous […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s TB problem is ticking time bomb for Europe; Controlling the airborne disease takes on additional urgency this year as the country seeks to integrate into EU with a new visa-free regime” – Politico/ LILY HYDE

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“… Odessa has the highest rate of TB in Ukraine, with 110 cases per 100,000 people in 2016, and rising fast. Closely linked with migration, instability and poverty, controlling this airborne disease takes on additional urgency this year as Ukraine seeks to integrate into Europe thanks to a new visa-free regime. Part of a migration corridor from Central Asia and […]

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Life Expectancy in Russia Reaches 72 Years for First Time

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 15, 2017) The average life expectancy in Russia has for the first time exceeded 72 years, deputy prime minister Olga Golodets said on Monday. According to data from the federal statistics agency Rosstat, the average life expectancy reached 72.4 in the first half year of 2017, she was cited as saying by the state-run […]

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Kremlin Plans Rapid Healthcare Reform in Time for Presidential Election

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 7, 2017) Russian authorities will unroll healthcare reform nationwide in time for presidential elections next year, the Vedomosti newspaper reported, citing a source close to the Kremlin. The Health Ministry says the organizational reforms for clinics, which were piloted last year, can reduce waiting times twelve-fold and boost consumer satisfaction by 10-15 percent. Implementation […]

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Interfax: Aggression among people manifestation of weakness – Putin

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

SOCHI. July 21 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he usually manages to contain his aggressive mood and in those rare cases when he does lose his temper he is angry with himself. “Of course, I too constantly experience stressful and semi-stressful situations, I don’t like a lot of things, but I have still learnt how to control […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Government members

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Kremlin.ru – July 19, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon colleagues. Today, we will discuss an issue of great importance for practically every Russian family – how we can use information technology to improve access to medical care and medicines. But first, I would like to ask Mr Manturov to […]

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Most Russians Swear Under the Influence of ‘Strong Emotions’ – Poll

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 18, 2017) Seventy-three percent of Russians use obscene language, according to a poll conducted by Public Opinion Foundation (FOM). Some 58 percent of 1,500 respondents said they use obscene language but “only under influence of strong emotions.” Sixty-five percent of respondents said they see nothing wrong with using profane language and 36 percent admitted […]

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Bad Weather Blamed for Moscow’s Summer Sadness

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 6, 2017) An unusually cold summer is partially responsible for a spike in Muscovites calling in for psychological help, RT reported, citing the director of the Moscow Psychological Aid Service Nina Petrochenko. The service received a total of 3,870 queries in June 2017, a 14 percent increase compared to the same month in 2016. […]

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Russian Opposition Leader Navalny Lands in Barcelona for Treatment

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 8, 2017) Russian opposition leader and presidential candidate Alexei Navalny landed in Barcelona Sunday to receive medical treatment, the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper reported, citing unidentified sources. On May 4, Navalny said he had received a passport for foreign travel. But his lawyer later Tweeted that a probation officer had informed Navalny that he shouldn’t […]

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Russia Gives Putin Critic Navalny Passport to Travel Abroad

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov – May 4, 2017) #Russian opposition leader Alexey #Navalny said he’s been issued with a passport that would allow him to seek treatment abroad for eye damage suffered when an assailant threw a chemical in his face. The Federal Migration Service notified him that he can collect the passport after a five-year struggle to […]

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Interfax: Russians have started smoking less, dying of alcohol poisoning less – government report

MOSCOW. April 20 (Interfax) – Russians have become less prone to bad habits. According to the materials prepared for the annual government report in the State Duma, thirty-one percent of the country’s adults said they smoked in 2016, against 41% in 2010. The data was provided citing the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center. Alcohol consumption has decreased from 14.3 liters […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Be fertile and multiply: How to spur a baby boom, a la Russe?”

Couple in Hospital with Newborn

After an upswing from 2005 to 2015, Russia’s birth rate is once again declining. Meanwhile, mortality continues to grow, and the government needs innovative ideas and reforms to rectify the situation. Proposed measures, however, primarily benefit women and ignore the interests of men. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – YEKATERINA SINELSCHIKOVA, RBTH – April 21, 2017) Russia’s Education and […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Do Russians really drink as much as people think they do?”

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

“How is vodka…” “Why did Putin…” RBTH has chosen some of the most popular search queries related to Russia and will answer each question in detail in a series of articles titled “Why Russia.” Today, we examine how Russia has earned its reputation as a country that loves to drink. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – OLEG YEGOROV, RBTH […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH/Gazeta.ru: “Live longer! Putin calls for improving life expectancy. Russia’s leader hopes that by 2025 average life expectancy will reach 76 years. To achieve this target, authorities must combat not only alcoholism and drug addiction, but also reduce the number of road accident deaths.”

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

“Russia’s leader hopes that by 2025 average life expectancy will reach 76 years. To achieve this target, authorities must combat not only alcoholism and drug addiction, but also reduce the number of road accident deaths. …”

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects meeting

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – March 21, 2017) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Presidential Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects at the Kremlin. Participants in the meeting reviewed progress in the implementation of priority projects in healthcare, as well as measures aimed at enhancing labour efficiency. Transcript of the meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects President […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “What do Russians dream about when they sleep?”

File Photo of Dogs Dressed as Batman and Robin, adapted from photo at whitehouse.gov

Most Russians dream about people, fish, children and snakes, claims a Yandex study based on the analysis of search queries. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – IGOR ROZIN, RBTH – March 20, 2017) A study conducted by the leading Russian search engine, Yandex, shows what Russians most frequently see in their dreams. The results are based on search queries […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with Government members

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – March 14, 2017) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Government members in the Kremlin. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, We will begin with s number of current issues. The epidemic level seems to be on the decline, but the situation is still serious. Even Mr Medvedev could not stay out of harm’s way, and caught […]

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Kicking habits, kicking back; In Russia, a punitive Soviet approach to drug users is still in place. But a new generation of activists is ready to challenge it.

Russian Drug Den File Photo

(opendemocracy.net – Dmitry Lebedev – February 20, 2017) Dmitry Lebedev is a freelance journalist from Moscow. He holds a Master’s research degree in political philosophy from Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands. When Russian media report an increase or decrease in drug addiction in the country, they are usually only reflecting the number of users officially registered at state clinics. The practice […]

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Russians 1% ‘Happier’ in 2016

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 7, 2017) Don’t believe the faces you see on the metro – more than half of Russians are happy. According to a new Gallup International/WIN poll, 56 percent of Russians considered themselves to be happy in 2016, an increase of 1 percent on 2015. Happy Russians find themselves in good company. Some 68 percent […]

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NEWSWATCH: “LIFE UNDER ALTERNATIVE FACTS” – The New Yorker/Mikhail Iossel

There was no real cognitive dissonance existing in the minds of most people in the Soviet Union of the nineteen-seventies and eighties. Everyone knew that everything said on the radio or on television, everything (with the exception of weather reports or sports results) was a blatant lie, spoken pro forma …. no one was duped into thinking this was actually […]

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Moscow Unlikely to Achieve Life Expectancy Gains It had Projected, Health Ministry Admits

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 26, 2016) The Russian health ministry has changed its target figures on reducing mortality rates and extending life expectancy by 2020, a reflection experts say of the fact that the Russian government no longer expects to be able to improve the health of the population as much as it did. Ministry […]

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NEWSLINK: “He dared to speak the truth: Alexey Yablokov, scientific hero of Chernobyl” – The Ecologist (UK)/Chris Busby

Chernobyl File Photo

“Alexey V. Yablokov (1933-2017) was a scientific giant of the post-Chernobyl age, writes Chris Busby. It was he who brought together the work of dissident Soviet scientists and revealed to the world, in English language, the true health impacts of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe. ….”

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Russian Ministry Airs Drastic Proposals To Snuff Out Smoking

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, January 10, 2017) Since 2013, Russia has banned smoking in restaurants and taken serious measures to reduce its huge number of smokers. Now, drastic proposals aired this week could put Russia on course to try and eradicate the habit altogether. The Russian Health Ministry on January 9 proposed a blanket ban on […]

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Russians Toast Recession as Pubgoers Drink ‘Less But Better’

Man in Silhoette with Bottle of Alcohol and Head in Hand

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Khrennikov, Andrey Lemeshko – November 30, 2016) A staple drink of Russia’s recession comes in different flavors but it’s best consumed standing up. Food is optional. Not a beer country until the arrival a decade ago of a central European tradition of sit-down bars that married brews with hearty meals, Russia is now reveling in […]

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NEWSLINK RBTH: “Waistline wars: The obesity problem Russia has yet to acknowledge”

File Photo of Feet of Woman on Scale, With Red Toenails and Help on Scale Digital Display Screen

Almost 30 percent of Russia’s population suffers from obesity and 60 percent are technically overweight. The dynamics of the last decades and global experience show that this is by far not the only problem: The additional burden on the economy may be even greater – especially because in Russia this issue is often ignored.

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Russians Now Killing Doctors as Aggressiveness Spreads throughout Population, Commentator Says

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 16, 2016) Aggression in Russian society is “changing qualitatively,” Aleksey Tarasov says, with ordinary Russians now regularly attacking and even killing doctors and others whom they would never have lifted a finger against in the past and with an increasing share of Russians accepting this as the new normal. As a […]

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Russia’s Largest Problem: Permafrost Lies beneath Two-Thirds of Its Territory and Two-Thirds of That Will Melt This Century

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 14, 2016) The Russian government says it will invest 80 billion US dollars in developing Russia’s Far North between now and 2030, money it does not yet have (profile.ru/economics/item/111568-5-trillionov). But the biggest barrier to achieving its goals may not be financial stringencies but the impact of global warming. According to Russian […]

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