JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why the Russians Aren’t Coming!” – iAffairs Canada/ Egor Evsikov

Kremlin and River

“… Imagery of Russian forces assembling near the [Ukrainian] border is just one of … several indicators to consider …. Russia is … a semi-authoritarian ‘managed democracy’ …. The Russian population does not live in a constant state of war readiness. A significant state-controlled media effort would be required to prepare the population and ensure public support for the invasion […]

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RUSSIALINK: “For a Troubled Russian Region, Stalin is a Local Hero” – Moscow Times

File Phot of Attlee, Truman, Stalin at Potsdam, adapted from image at osti.gov

Pukhayev and other local Stalin critics are left casting around for explanations …. “Stalinism is our national Stockholm syndrome,” he said, referring to a psychological condition in which hostages develop an emotional bond with their captors […]

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Time Horizons of Russians Short and Bases for More Optimism in Short Supply, Volkov Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Dec. 29, 2021) For six reasons, Russians do not have a long time horizon when it comes to planning, Denis Volkov of the Levada Center says on the basis of his conversations with participants of focus groups. And while their optimism about the future has risen over the past year, few are […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin wishes Russians happier new year, hails their strength” – AP/ Vladimir Isachenkov

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

“In a televised address broadcast just before midnight in each of Russia’s 11 time zones, Putin said the nation … has faced ‘colossal challenges … ‘ … Russia’s state coronavirus task force has registered … about 10.5 million confirmed infections and 308,860 deaths, but the state statistics agency … [using] broader criteria … has reported nearly 626,000 virus-linked deaths in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Court shuts down another human rights group in Russia” – AP

Kremlin and River

“… [A]mid a sweeping crackdown on Russian rights groups, independent media and opposition supporters[,] [t]he Moscow City Court’s decision to shut down the Memorial Human Rights Center came a day after Russia’s Supreme Court revoked the legal status of its sister organization, Memorial, … that drew international acclaim for its studies of [Soviet] political repression …. Russian authorities previously declared […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin penetrates deeper into online world of Russians” – Financial Times

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

“Pressure grows on foreign social media platforms after state-run group’s takeover of Russia’s Facebook.” “The takeover … of VKontakte … by companies tied to … Gazprom has the feel of a final act in a long saga of creeping state control over the company. … [T]he Facebook lookalike’s trajectory has mirrored … the Russian internet … from the freewheeling Ru-net […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia clamps down on historical memory and justice” – Financial Times

Gulag file photo featuring barbed wire across open ceiling, adapted from image at nps.gov

“The threat to liquidate the research group Memorial is an assault on a brave outpost of post-Soviet civil society.” “… Putin’s crackdown on dissent is inextricable from a desire to control Russia’s past. … Memorial has [painstakingly] compiled a database of more than 3m victims of Soviet political repression, mostly … executed, imprisoned, sent to labour camps or exiled during […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow Court Begins Hearings on Closing Top Rights Center” – Moscow Times

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

A court in Moscow on Tuesday began hearings into a request by prosecutors to shut down a key center of Russia’s leading rights group Memorial […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: Alexei Navalny: “You wait all the time 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

“You wait all the time in prison. Any prisoner will tell you that the term breaks down into large and small waiting periods. In the endless groundhog day, there are certain regular events … It is clear that people here keep count of their total term too. Most prisoners can immediately answer “I have 583 days left.” But my prospects […]

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Self-Selection into the Public Sector When Corruption is Widespread: The Paradoxical Case of Contemporary Russia

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

[W]e found that despite Russia’s high levels of corruption, Russian university students with a propensity to act dishonestly or corruptly self-select out of public sector employment and into the private sector …. These findings present something of a puzzle […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Lenin would be baffled: Russia’s once-tame Communist Party is becoming an opposition force: The Kremlin and the party’s own leader are worried” – The Economist

Russian State Duma Building file photo

“… many Russian democrats, desperate to get Yeltsin’s successor [Putin] out of the Kremlin, find themselves voting for the Communists. … aware of the irony. … With nearly all forms of politics banned and [] Navalny behind bars, the Communist Party … [has benefited the most from Navalny’s] ‘smart voting’ strategy. … Had … votes been counted honestly in parliamentary […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Archie Brown Is Awarded the Pushkin House Book Prize: ‘The Human Factor: Gorbachev, Reagan and Thatcher and the End of the Cold War'” – Moscow Times

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

The 9th Pushkin House Book Prize was awarded to Archie Brown, Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Oxford, for “The Human Factor: Gorbachev, Reagan and Thatcher and the End of the Cold War,” published by Oxford University Press.

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Paul Grenier: “Link To Recording: Russia’s National Idea” [at Simone Weil Center]

Kremlin and Red Square file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

Subject: Link to recording: Russia’s National Idea (S. Weil Center) Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2021 From: Paul Grenier <psgrenier@gmail.com> In case you missed it, here are links to the recording of today’s seminar on the Russian National Idea: SimoneWeilCenter.org: simoneweilcenter.org/conferences On YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=b_yMM7606XI Thursday, Oct. 28 What is Russia’s National Idea? A discussion with Marlene Laruelle, author of Is Russia […]

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Notes on Valdai 2021: Putin Touts Russia’s ‘Healthy Conservatism’

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Angela Stent – Oct. 27, 2021) Angela Stent is senior adviser to the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and professor emerita of government and foreign service at Georgetown University, and a member of the Russia Matters editorial board. This year’s session of the annual Valdai International Discussion Club was organized in hybrid fashion, […]

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‘I Was Always Afraid Of Getting Caught’: Former Inmate Who Leaked Russian Prison-Torture Videos Speaks Out

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

А former Russian inmate who leaked a massive cache of videos showing evidence of rampant torture in Russian prisons said he believes prison guards were prone to using sexual assault against their victims “because it is the cruelest” […]

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‘Sword Of Damocles’: With First Legal Charges, Russia’s ‘Foreign Agent’ Law Bares Its Teeth

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

“‘… you have to remember how every single ruble ended up in your account.’ If a report is deemed erroneous, a designated “foreign agent” could face a fine of up to 300,000 rubles ($4,250) or a prison term from two to five years […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Evgeny Dobrenko’s ‘Late Stalinism: The Aesthetics of Politics’ Recasts 20th Century History” – Moscow Times

File Phot of Attlee, Truman, Stalin at Potsdam, adapted from image at osti.gov

Dobrenko, a professor at the U.K.’s Sheffield University … argues [that] Stalin’s twilight years — which see the rise of cultural puritanism, state-sanctioned anti-Semitism and the nascent Cold War — set the cultural frames of reference on which the Soviet Union, and eventually Russia, continue to operate […]

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Putin’s Dominance Risks Destabilization: Fiona Hill’s Insights On Russia, the U.S., And Their ‘Unfortunate Parallels’

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

(Article text ©2021 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – Oct. 18, 2021 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/31517780.html) A native of the United Kingdom who later became a U.S. citizen, Hill, who has described herself as “a nonpartisan foreign-policy expert,” is a scholar and historian who has written several books on Russia, including […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Catherine Belton’s “Putin’s People” is Essential Reading: ‘How the KGB Took Back Russia and then Took on the West.'” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Emily Couch – Oct. 17, 2021) The path taken by Catherine Belton’s “Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and then Took on the West” is a well-trodden one. For those who have read Masha Gessen’s “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin,” Ben Judah’s “Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell […]

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Arrest Of Russian University Rector Sparks Fears Of Further Clampdown On Liberal Arts

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

His supporters have rallied to his cause, alleging that he fell victim to a criminal case that was opportunistically used to target a plucky school that some officials see as an incubator of dissent […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Talks with Kyiv pointless, necessary to wait for reasonable Ukrainian leaders ready for equal ties with Russia – Medvedev” – Interfax

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 11 (Interfax) – It is pointless to negotiate with the incumbent Ukrainian authorities, as they are not trustworthy; it is necessary to wait for the election of a reasonable leadership in Ukraine that would not aim at sweeping confrontation with Russia, verging on war, but would seek equal relations, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said. “Another […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Massive Video Leak Shows Rampant Torture at Russian Prisons – NGO” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and River

A prominent NGO that tracks abuses in Russia’s prison system says it has received “thousands” of leaked video clips showing inmates being beaten and tortured […]

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KPRF Faces a Serious and Divisive Choice about Its Future, Skobov Says

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Sept. 27, 2021) The KPRF’s surprising success in the recent Duma elections does not presage any threat of a communist resurgence – Zyuganov’s party is as far from Lenin’s as Patriarch Kirill is from early Christianity – but it does mean that the party now is confronted by a serious choice, Aleksandr […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Police Search Communist Party Offices as Online Voting Controversy Continues” – Moscow Times

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Moscow authorities attempted to raid the Communist Party’s city headquarters … minutes before a group of party lawyers was preparing to file a lawsuit to challenge controversial online voting results from last week’s parliamentary elections […]

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Russian Political Elite Seeks to Retain Post-Stalin Consensus while ‘Correcting Mistakes’ of Soviet Regime, Luzin Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Sept. 24, 2021) The Russian elite does not have an explicit ideology but it does have a shared set of beliefs that guide its actions, an ideology that has “grown out of political practice rather than from any philosophy,” Pavel Luzin says. But that does not make it any less influential. Indeed, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Navalny, associates charged with extremist network establishment, participation – Russian Investigative Committee” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Sept 28 (Interfax) – The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case against opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who is serving time in a penitentiary in Russia, and his close associates on counts of establishing and participating in the activity of an extremist network. “The Main Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case under Part […]

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Expert Survey: Will the Outcome of Russia’s Elections Impact Its Foreign Policy? [With Andrei Kolesnikov, Tatyana Stanovaya, Angela Stent, Denis Volkov]

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Sept. 24, 2021) The ruling United Russia party retained a two-thirds majority in the lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, following elections that have been criticized as neither free nor fair by Russia’s opposition and the West. United Russia came away with 50% of the vote that took place Sept. 17-19, winning 324 […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Biggest Names Among Russia’s Election Winners: A first female mayor, a TV host and Chechnya’s strongman” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

Russia held controversial parliamentary elections last weekend that were marred by claims of mass fraud […]

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Russian Attitudes Toward West Improve Despite Feelings of Isolation

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Aleksandra Srdanovic – Sept. 21, 2021) Aleksandra Srdanovic is a graduate student at Harvard University and a student associate with Russia Matters. The Levada Center recently polled Russians on their attitudes toward Russia’s general standing in the international community, as well as their attitudes toward strategic competitors and countries within the post-Soviet neighborhood. Polling shows […]

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Fake About Fakes: Russian Election Commission Airs Apparently Falsified Video Sullying Its Critics

Russian State Duma Building file photo

In a separate development, tens of thousands of pro-government bloggers participated in a coordinated campaign to spread positive reports about the course of the parliamentary elections […]

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Seeing Red: Russia’s Communist Party Makes Gains In New Duma, But Does It Matter?

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Article text ©2021 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – Sept. 22, 2021 – article text also appeared at https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-communist-party-duma/31473164.html) Moscow polling station No. 151 was set up on the premises of the state Gulag History Museum, just a short stroll away from blood-curdling testimony of the crimes of Communist Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Yet, according […]

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Next Generation of Russians Will Be More Anti-Western than Current One, Chesnokov Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Sept. 20, 2021) “If present trends continue,” Edvard Chesnokov says, “the next generation of Russian rulers will be even more anti-Western than the present one,” the result of the West’s double standards when it comes to Russia and recognition by Russia’s rulers that they must stand up to such pressure. The Komsomolskaya […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Online Vote Recount Shows No Sign of Election Fraud, Russian Officials Find”

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

Nationwide statisticians have estimated that half of the official votes received by United Russia in the election could have been falsified [. ..]

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