RUSSIALINK: “Could Navalny’s Detention Derail His Movement? Some analysts believe the opposition figure’s arrest could lead to a broader crackdown on his supporters.” – Moscow Times

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

The arrest and detention … of prominent opposition activist … Navalny is threatening to upend Russian politics in an already fraught year that will include parliamentary elections […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian opposition activist Navalny calls for supporters to take to the streets this weekend” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

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

“Jailed anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny has called on Russians across the country to take to the streets this weekend …. Navalny appears to be hoping for a repeat of the 2013 demonstrations where thousands … gathered outside the Kremlin … to protest against his arrest at that time. … [T]he Kremlin backed down and released him, but […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Navalny Goes on Trial in Police Station Following Return to Russia” – Moscow Times

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

“Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny will be kept in custody until mid-February, a court ruled Monday, following his detention Sunday evening at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. The 44-year-old opposition leader flew back to Moscow after spending several months in Germany recovering from a poisoning attack that he said was carried out on the orders of President Vladimir Putin. In the hearing Monday, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “A Year After Shock Appointment, Russian Prime Minister Mishustin’s Star is Rising” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and River

… [D]espite being initially seen by some as a placeholder prime minister … Mishustin has seen his star rise, asserting his control over government appointments while seeing his popularity tick upwards to rival even his boss […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Markets Unfazed by Navalny’s Detention; Ruble and stock markets down slightly, but no signs of widespread panic” – Moscow Times

… The detention was met with immediate condemnation from U.S. and European leaders as well as new calls for sanctions against Russia in retaliation […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Navalny Returns to Russia” – Moscow Times

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

“Chief Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny returned to Russia from Germany … and was immediately detained. The 44-year-old opposition leader flew back to Moscow after spending several months in Germany recovering from a poisoning attack that he said was carried out on the orders of President Vladimir Putin. …” Click here for: “Navalny Returns to Russia” – Moscow Times [Navalny image […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia past peak of coronavirus epidemic – Rospotrebnadzor’s Epidemiology Institute” – Interfax

Covid-19 Coronavirus file photo, adapted from image at cdc.gov

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) – It looks like Russia has passed the peak of the coronavirus epidemic, and there is currently a trend toward stabilization, Deputy Director of Rospotrebnadzor’s Central Research Institute of Epidemiology for Clinical Analysis Natalia Pshenichnaya said. “We’re observing a certain trend toward stabilization,” Pshenichnaya told journalists on Friday. “Daily morbidity may still fluctuate, considering that Russia […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia struggles to distribute its vaccine to the regions; Putin calls for ‘mass’ inoculation as data suggest government is delivering fewer jabs than promised” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

File Photo of Blue-Gloved Hand Holding Syringe and Injecting Arm, adapted from image at nih.gov

“… Russia’s government says 1.5m vaccines have been distributed … [with] hundreds of thousands more … ready … [but] doctors and officials … [indicate] a far bleaker reality of limited supplies and delayed shipments. … Moscow’s clinics have been busy vaccinating … [but] regions outside of the capital have struggled to secure adequate supplies, calling into question … [governmental] ability […]

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Navalny’s Expected Return To Moscow Lights Up The Russian Internet

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

… Navalny has announced … he will return to Russia … following months of recuperation after being poisoned by a Novichok-type nerve agent …. Compelling evidence indicates he was poisoned by … FSB[] operatives …. The Kremlin has said it was not involved … but has refused to cooperate […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Pivotal moment approaching in coronavirus crisis, situation to start improving – PM Mishustin” – Interfax

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is expecting the start of recovery from the socioeconomic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Meet Me,’ Alexei Navalny Wrote; The opposition leader is setting up a showdown with both Putin and the people. Who will rise to the occasion?” – Moscow Times/ Sam Greene

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

“‘Meet me.’ With those … words … just one word in Russian … Navalny announced his return to Russia [Jan. 17], after … recuperating in Berlin from an attempt to poison him with … nerve agent Novichok. … Opposition supporters … have clearly taken his message as an invitation to show up … [despite winter weather]. Most commentators … expect […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why I Got the Russian Vaccine” – New York Times/ Andrew E. Kramer

File Photo of Blue-Gloved Hand Holding Syringe and Injecting Arm, adapted from image at nih.gov

“A New York Times reporter juggled fears engendered by the politicized rollout of the Sputnik V vaccine with the urge to gain protection from the deadly virus.” “… Russia’s coronavirus vaccine … Sputnik V[] [is] made at a factory outside of Moscow from genetically modified human cold viruses. Like so much else in Russia, … [its] rollout … was entangled […]

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Most Russians See Coronavirus as Top Event of 2020, Worry 2021 Will Be Tense

New Year's Eve on Red Square with Fireworks, Kremlin, Saint Basil's, Crowds

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – Jan. 6, 2021) The Levada Center has just released the results of its latest annual poll on the most significant events of the past year, and, predictably, the global coronavirus outbreak tops the list. As many as 39 percent of Russians believe the pandemic was the most significant event of 2020, while […]

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Moscow Drops Plans for Foreign Language Requirement for Secondary School Graduation

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

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Jan. 4, 2021) To graduate from secondary schools, Russians will still have to pass tests in Russian; but they will not be required to do so in foreign languages like English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese, the education ministry has announced (publication.pravo.gov.ru/Document/View/0001202012240006?index=1&rangeSize=1). That change effectively ends the effort of former education minister, […]

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Five Developments in Russia during 2020 Likely to Play Out in and Define 2021, Serenko Says

New Year's Eve on Red Square with Fireworks, Kremlin, Saint Basil's, Crowds

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Jan. 3, 2021) According to Andrey Serenko, head of Volgograd’s Analytic Center on Russian society, there were five developments in the Russian Federation during the last 12 months that are likely to play out with potentially serious consequences during 2021 (realtribune.ru/news/authority/5686). They are: 1. The quarantine regime and vaccinations. By late summer […]

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RUSSIALINK: “2020: The People Russia Lost” – Moscow Times

Covid-19 Coronavirus file photo, adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Dec. 31, 2020) In 2020 the number of deaths in Russia of prominent and beloved public figures was devastatingly high, many from the coronavirus, but some from other causes as well. The performing arts were particularly hard hit by Covid-19, since by the nature of the professions, people at work cannot be masked or socially […]

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Pandemic and Economic Crisis Changing Russians from Observers to Citizens But Leaving Them Divided, Levinson Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Dec. 29, 2020) Because of the pandemic and the associated economic crisis, many Russians are being forced by circumstances to shift from being passive observers to taking more demanding positions as citizens, a change that could outlast either of the problems that generated it, according to Aleksey Levinson. The two crises, the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “After Momentous 2020, Russia’s Putin Enters New Year as Powerful as Ever; Kremlin leader takes action to cement his rule, repel challenges and spread Russia’s influence in moves that signal what’s likely to come next year” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

Kremlin and River

“… [In] 2020 … Putin took bold moves to cement … power at home and extend … nearly two decades in power, a likely bellwether for [2021], when … [he] could squelch remaining domestic opposition and reinforce … influence abroad. … [D]issent has simmered. Massive protests in the Far East … over the arrest of a popular regional governor quickly […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Rumors Run Wild as He Shrouds Himself in Secrecy” – Daily Beast/ Anna Nemtsova

Putin Descending a Staircase

“Putin’s secrecy has helped fuel Russia’s black market in information which is thriving online and undermining the president’s authority.” “Vladimir Putin has surrounded himself with such a thick fog of secrecy that it’s now unclear where he is living, how many children or lovers he has, if his health is failing, or whether he’s planning to stay in power ….” […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Russia, tough new laws and stepped-up defiance abroad mark Putin’s shift toward unfettered control” – Washington Post/ Robyn Dixon

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

“As the Kremlin awaits what it fears will be a hostile Biden presidency, President Vladimir Putin is shifting course on two fronts — accelerating a drive to full-blown authoritarian control at home and escalating his defiant rhetoric against the West ….” Click here for: “In Russia, tough new laws and stepped-up defiance abroad mark Putin’s shift toward unfettered control” – […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia cuts size of COVID-19 vaccine study, stops enrollment” – AP

File Photo of Blue-Gloved Hand Holding Syringe and Injecting Arm, adapted from image at nih.gov

“Russia’s Health Ministry … cut … a [Russian] coronavirus vaccine [study from 40,000 to about 31,000] and stop[ped] … enrollment of volunteers. … a week after developers said enrollment … slowed since Russia began giving out the Sputnik V vaccine while the late-stage study was still continuing. They also cited ethical concerns about giving a dummy shot to some of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Lawmakers Back New Restrictions on Free Speech, Information, Protests” – Moscow Times

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Dec. 23, 2020) Lawmakers in Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, have passed over a dozen laws this week that expand the government’s powers while imposing new restrictions on free speech and information access. State Duma deputy Dmitry Vyatkin authored many of the bills, which have moved through parliament at breakneck pace in […]

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VIDEO: JRL NEWSWATCH: “Navalny ideo (“Я позвонил своему убийце. Он признался” [“I called my killer. He admitted.”) 33 minute video of call [English subtitles available]” – YouTube @Алексей Навальный

FSB Headquarters file photo

“Это невероятно. Я позвонил одному из своих убийц и поговорил с ним. Один из самых удивительных разговоров в моей жизни. Так странно обсуждать собственное убийство с одним из тех, для кого это просто работа. Мой собеседник – военный химик из ФСБшной группы отравителей – отвечает за зачистку следов химоружия после совершения преступления. Послушайте внимательно: эта запись – просто документ эпохи. […]

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Russia’s liberal intelligentsia and the post-Putin consensus

Kremlin and River

After Putin, Russia’s cultural consensus will package private property together with neo-colonialism, racism and Social Darwinism. The signs are already there. (Opendemocracy.net – Kirill Kobrin – Dec. 22, 2020) Kirill Kobrin is a writer, historian and journalist. He is an editor of the Russian intellectual journal Neprikosnovennyi Zapas, and is the author of 27 books and numerous publications in the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Navalny Extracts Poisoning Confession From Alleged FSB Agent on Trick Call” – Moscow Times

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

Leading Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny said … he tricked one of the several security officers linked to his poisoning into outlining the details of the operation […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin promises to order prosecutors to verify suspects’ torture reports” – Interfax

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. Dec 11 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin will order the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate the instances of torture of persons under investigation in order to make them confess. Nikolai Svanidze, a member of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, said during Putin’s meeting with its members that torture of persons under investigation has become […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Backs Russian Human Rights Court Proposal” – Moscow Times

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Dec. 11, 2020) Russia should form its own human rights court, President Vladimir Putin said when asked by a council member on Thursday. Analysts have said the formation of such a court is likely a response to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which has ordered Russia to pay out millions of euros to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian bill on designation of private individuals as foreign agents may be elaborated on – Putin” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) – The Russian draft legislation introducing criteria for designating private individuals as foreign agents could be adjusted to enhance the legal mechanisms of its enforcement, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “We assume that this doesn’t envision prohibitive steps on the state’s part. If you think there are some risks there and if the principal aspects of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Moves to Further Curb Protests” – Moscow Times

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Dec. 10, 2020) Russian lawmakers have approved new restrictions on protests, prompting criticism from the opposition that they violate Russians’ constitutional rights. Deputies in Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, approved a pair of bills Wednesday that ban foreign funding for protest organizers as well as rallies outside law enforcement and security buildings. […]

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Those Russians Angry at Putin Not Necessarily Pro-Western and His Successor May Not Be Either, Kirillova Warns

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

Those … angry at … Putin and his failures at home and abroad are not necessarily pro-Western, Kseniya Kirillova says […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Signs Constitutional Reforms on State Council, Secession, Russian Law” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and River

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Dec. 8, 2020) President Vladimir Putin has signed bills into law elevating a low-profile advisory body known as the State Council, criminalizing secession and prioritizing the Russian Constitution over international law. Putin approved the set of laws on Tuesday, 160 days after Russian voters overwhelmingly approved constitutional reforms that pave the way for him to […]

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EVENT VIDEO: JRL NEWSWATCH: “Politics, Tragedy, Sovereignty: A Panel Discussion on the Meaning of Today’s Russia” – Simone Weil Center for Political Philosophy/ Anatol Lieven, Marlene Laruelle, James Carden, Boris Mezhuev, Paul Robinson, Richard Sakwa

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“The Simone Weil Center for Political Philosophy recently hosted a panel discussion on U.S.–Russia relations and Russia’s place in the world. … The discussion was moderated by Anatol Lieven, the distinguished journalist and scholar. The panel was comprised of George Washington University’s Marlene Laurelle, the philosopher and editor Boris Mezhuev, the University of Kent’s Richard Sakwa, the University of Ottawa’s […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Aleksei Navalny, Ready to Run Again in Russia” – The New York Review of Books/ Amy Knight

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

“The Russian opposition politician, who narrowly escaped death by nerve agent poisoning, remains undeterred from challenging Putin’s hegemony.” “Though not yet restored to full health, … Navalny is recovering in Germany from the poisoning that almost killed him … preparing to return to Russia to continue his fight for democracy. … Not surprisingly, the Kremlin has refused to initiate a […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Mixed Censorship Model Is a Boon for Online Activism” – Moscow Times

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

New research shows the growth of mobile internet leads to falling trust in governments, with Navalny as the prime example. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – Dec. 4, 2020) The rapid spread of mobile internet around the world over the last decade has directly contributed to falling levels of trust in government and a surge in populism, according […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin explains why AI cannot yet run country” – Interfax

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

While the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in public administration is bound to grow, a machine cannot yet be the leader of a state, … Putin […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Northern Sea Route should operate according to special rules, based on Russia’s interests – presidential envoy” – Interfax

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

… Russian president’s special representative for environmental protection and transport, Sergei Ivanov said … the whole NSR runs through Russian territorial waters or … the country’s economic zone, and said that Russia must insist on special rules […]

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Young Russians Increasingly More Pessimistic about Future than Their Elders, Goncharov Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

… That pattern, [a] Levada Center sociologist says, reflects … the very different experiences of the two generations and the inability of the Putin government to find a common language with the rising generation … a threat to the stability of the regime […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Over 20 NGOs appeal to Russian ombudsman, Council of Europe over broadening of foreign agent list, tightening of requirements” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

… The authors of the address added that, if these bills are passed, it will become far more challenging to organize rallies, demonstrations, processions, and pickets […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow Plans Expanded Social Credit-Style Tracking System – Open Media” – Moscow Times

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Moscow plans to track its residents’ “loyalty” with detailed digital profiles […]

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AUDIO: Katrina vanden Heuvel: “Steve Cohen’s Anecdote Lecture — December 6, 1983/ via John/ JohnBatchelorShow.com podcast”

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

Subject: Steve Cohen’s Anecdote Lecture — December 6, 1983/ via John/ JohnBatchelorShow.com podcast Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2020 From: Katrina vanden Heuvel <kat@thenation.com> Steve Cohen gave an annual anecdote lecture in his Soviet Politics class, first at Princeton starting in 1980, and running through his ten years at NYU — until about 2012 — Here is the 12/6/83 Lecture broken […]

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