JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s TV President Is Dangerously Pro-Russian” – Foreign Policy/ Alexander J. Motyl

Mariyinsky Palace file photo, adapted from image at cia.gov

“Volodymyr Zelensky could become the country’s next real-life leader. If his show is any guide, Ukrainians should be worried. …” Alexander J. Motyl is a professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark. Click here for: “Ukraine’s TV President Is Dangerously Pro-Russian” – Foreign Policy/ Alexander J. Motyl  

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia is no place for young people” – Deutsche Welle

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

It’s almost impossible to find a decent salary and comfortable living conditions in Russia. For many young people, the only options are to build a life in Moscow or leave the country, says Anastasia Arinushkina. “… half of Russia’s citizens are unhappy with the size of their salaries and struggle to pay for health care and education, according to recent […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Frolov: Zelenskiy’s presidency won’t be a picnic for Moscow” – Meduza

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“… columnist and former diplomat Vladimir Frolov argues [in a separate op-ed] that … Zelenskiy’s likely presidency in Ukraine is a mixed bag for Moscow. … [that] the Kremlin initially hoped only that … Poroshenko’s re-election would leave him battered and pave the way to future success for a Russia-friendly parliamentary opposition …. [republic.ru/posts/93574] Zelenskiy comes without Poroshenko’s toxicity in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Comic Who Vowed to Unite Ukraine Wins Votes in East and West” – AP

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… With nearly all ballots counted, Zelenskiy had 73% … compared … Poroshenko’s 24%. [OSCE m]onitors … said the election … respect[ed] … ‘fundamental freedoms’ and set the stage for a ‘democratic and orderly transfer of power.’ The first-time candidate, who stars in a TV sitcom about a high school teacher who becomes president almost by accident, appeared to have […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Shadow over Ukraine’s Presidential Election” – International Crisis Group/ Katharine Quinn-Judge

File photo of statue of St. Volodymyr in Kyiv overlooking the Dnieper River, adapted from image at cia.gov

“With Ukraine’s establishment forecasting doom after the presidential runoff, the far right’s influence on politics is impossible to ignore. Its resurgence is both a symptom and a cause of the country’s ills: there is less daylight between it and the political mainstream than either admits.” “… Zelensky’s campaign has hinged on shying away from policy specifics …. appealing to voters […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why frustrated Ukrainians may elect a comedian as president” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Whom do voters turn to when elected leaders disappoint? Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko looks set to be trounced in elections Sunday, but not because of approval for his opponent, a TV comedian. “… Ukrainians seem ready to overwhelmingly elect a political novice, a comedian whose main claim to fame is that he played a president on TV …. Many in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What the Mueller Report Tells Us About How Russia Works; Please, put away those onion-dome-on-the-White-House graphics and abandon those excitable claims of Trump as a Russian agent.” – Moscow Times/ Mark Galeotti

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Putin’s Russia is … an ‘adhocracy’ … in which the true elite is defined by service to the needs of the Kremlin rather than any specific institutional or social identity. They may be spies, or diplomats, journalists, politicians, or millionaires; essentially they are all ‘political entrepreneurs’ who both seek to serve the Kremlin or are required to do so, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH AUDIO: “Former U.S. Ambassador To Russia Discusses Findings Of Mueller Report”- NPR/ Michael McFaul

File Photo of Michael McFaul Standing and Barack Hussein Obama Sitting at Desk, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“MCFAUL: … I’ve actually been dealing with Russian trolls and Russian real people on social media since I was ambassador in 2012, and I think it just underscores how sophisticated this operation was by Russia. I still fear that a lot of Americans have underestimated both their capacity to interfere in our elections and their will to do it. And […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Hacked Emails Appear To Reveal Russia Is Backing Comedian Likely To Be Ukraine’s Next President” – Newsweek/ Cristina Maza

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… hacked emails suggest … Zelenskiy may have a powerful patron of his own: the Kremlin. … Ukraine’s security services … are investigating whether Zelenskiy’s campaign received financing from members of the Russian security service … supporting the leadership of the Donetsk People’s Republic … self-proclaimed, pro-Russian separatist proto-state in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. … [A] Ukrainian hacking group associated […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Maybe We’ll Be Better Off With a Clown as President; Ukraine’s absurd election may turn out well for its people” – New York Times/ Alisa Sopova

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“Branding himself ‘Ze,’ he campaigned mostly via social media postings and … touring the country with his comedy shows. Instead of substantive messages, he offered banter and mockery. … accused of being a clown instead of a serious candidate … Zelensky proudly agreed, posting a video selfie … with a round red nose …. asked to share his plans for […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Rocky Road to Replacing Vladimir Putin” – Chatham House (UK)/ Andrew Wood

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

The transition to Putin’s constitutionally scheduled replacement as president of Russia may be rougher than currently expected. “… an ordered and stable succession … when … Putin leaves the presidency in May 2024 … is … questionable. Those close to the Kremlin are aging, like Putin. None … has a glimmer of independent authority within the ruling cabal, not even […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Militaristic and anti-democratic, Ukraine’s far-right bides its time.” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

There are few countries in Europe that don’t have a problem with the far-right. But for Ukraine, where political stability is tenuous, the defiance and impunity of ultra-nationalist groups pose an acute concern. “… few in number … far-right groups operate with a high degree of impunity in Ukrainian society, allowing them to harass and attack minorities and human rights […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Notre Dame fire, echoes of the 1837 blaze that destroyed Russia’s Winter Palace” – The Conversation/ Paul W. Werth

File Photo of Hermitage Art Museum

“In a city graced with remarkable architecture, the [C]athedral of Notre Dame may be Paris’ most striking edifice. … when it was engulfed by a fire that toppled its spire, it seemed as if more than a building had been scorched; the nation had lost a piece of its soul. … I couldn’t help but think of a similar tragedy […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Former ambassador: U.S. should stop trying to make friends with Russia” – Missoula Current (Montana)/ Laura Lundquist

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“… Putin, suspecting the U.S. of trying to overthrow him, targeted McFaul for … two years. Russian state media discredited McFaul using propaganda and political harassment. … Obama pulled McFaul out. … [I]s Putin, the man who controls … Russian government and media, really so popular? McFaul isn’t so sure. … Russia is the most highly surveilled country in the […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Threat of Nuclear War Is Still With Us; The U.S. must re-engage with Russia to ensure the ultimate weapon doesn’t spread and is never used” – Wall Street Journal/ George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Sam Nunn

Nuclear Mushroom Cloud

“… A bold policy shift is needed to support a strategic re-engagement with Russia …. The most difficult task facing the U.S. is also the most important – to refocus on America’s most vital interests even as we respond firmly to Russia’s aggressions. … The U.S. and other nuclear states have yet to take decisive steps toward the goal of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Democrats’ Denial Over The Lack Of Russian Collusion Could Re-Elect Trump” – The Federalist/ Jonathan S. Tobin

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“Doubling down on accusations and demanding the un-redacted Mueller report is no substitute for collusion myths, but Democrats’ inability to let it go helps the president.” “… The Democratic Party absorbed a hard blow when … the Mueller investigation determin[ed] there was no collusion with Russia involving the president or his campaign. … Expecting members of Congress like … Adam […]

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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: “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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Will a Comic Actor Become Ukraine’s Next President? Why Volodymyr Zelenskiy Won the First Round of Elections” – Foreign Affairs/ Melinda Haring

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… Front-runner Volodymyr Zelenskiy, an inexperienced 41-year-old comic television actor, came out on top, with even higher numbers than predicted. … 30 percent …. Incumbent … Poroshenko came in second with just under 16 percent. … fac[ing] off in a second-round runoff on April 21. … Poroshenko gets solid marks as a wartime president, but the economy is barely growing. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s TV President Is Dangerously Pro-Russian; Volodymyr Zelensky could become the country’s next real-life leader. If his show is any guide, Ukrainians should be worried.” – Foreign Policy/ Alexander J. Motyl

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… Unforgivable is the absence from [Zelensky’s television] show of Russia or … Putin. In its alternate universe, Crimea and Donbass are not occupied. There is no war. … no deaths. … no mention of Russian attempts to quash Ukrainian independence …. suggest[ing] either … Zelensky, who serves as the show’s executive producer, has no idea how to deal with […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “5 ways that Poroshenko can still win” – Kyiv Post/ Brian Bonner

Petro Poroshenko file photo, with additional men in background, adapted from image at state.gov

“… Most Ukrainian voters, however, see … [Poroshenko] as someone who squandered the clear mantle of leadership handed to him with a resounding 54 percent of the vote in 2014, securing a first-round knockout victory over ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, whose third presidential bid ended in failure on March 31. Voters say they see him as no better than all […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Revolution That Wasn’t: Disillusioned Ukrainians Head to Polls” – Wall Street Journal/ Georgi Kantchev

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“Frustrated with graft, their inability to join NATO and the EU and a conflict with Russia, voters make a politically inexperienced comedian their top candidate” “Five years ago, Ukrainians staged a revolution that sought to throw off a Russia-backed government and sweep away a corrupt ruling class. Europe and the West would pull the country into their orbit, reviving a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s leading presidential candidate Zelenskiy denies dependence on oligarch Kolomoisky” – bne Intellinews/ Sergei Kuznetsov

“Ukrainian comic and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy has denied any dependence on controversial oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. … some experts and journalists in Kyiv are speculating that Zelenskiy is ready to de-nationalise … PrivatBank, co-owned by Kolomoisky …. Zelenskiy has strengthened his lead in the presidential elections, and now has nearly double the ratings of his rivals, according to the latest […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What’s at Stake in Ukraine’s Presidential Election” – AP

File photo of statue of St. Volodymyr in Kyiv overlooking the Dnieper River, adapted from image at cia.gov

“Awash in corruption, plagued by a war with Russia-backed separatists, reliant on international institutions for billions of dollars in aid, Ukraine presents stern challenges for its next president. Sunday’s election, which will require a second round if none of the 39 candidates wins an absolute majority, comes five years after mass protests drove the pro-Russia president to flee the country. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Kharkiv’s pro-Russian protesters still mistrustful of Kiev; Some in Kharkiv see Ukrainian government as ‘illegitimate’ and will not vote in Sunday’s presidential elections” – Aljazeera/ Tamila Varshalomidze

Kharkiv at Sunset, file photo adapted from image at ua.usembassy.gov

“… Pro-European demonstrations born in 2013 on Kiev’s Independence Square – known as the Maidan protests – were copied in the country’s second-largest city, but … crowds were never more than about 300 people. … [A] sprawling pro-Russian protest camp occupied the central square in 2014 with Russian flags on display. … The differences that led to the split in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine votes: The incumbent, the populist, or the comedian?” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“Ukraine’s Maidan Revolution brought hope and enthusiasm to Kiev, but now much of that energy has sapped away. Sunday’s presidential election has a chance to reinvigorate Ukrainian reform.” “Ukraine’s presidential election, set for this Sunday, looks to almost everyone like a chaotic 39-way horse race. … featur[ing] … allegations of skulduggery, including fraud, bribery and … Russian meddling. … [T]he […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Will Russia try to occupy Belarus? Here are the 4 things you need to know about the two nations’ falling out.” – Washington Post/ Ryhor Astapenia

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“Will Russia try to occupy Belarus? …. Over the past four months, the Kremlin has been proposing closer ties within the Union State of Russia and Belarus …. That treaty was signed in 1997 … [with] few tangible results. … Russian elites are rumoring that … a fully functioning union might enable … Putin to stay in power after … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What Mueller Won’t Say: Did he investigate the Steele dossier? If not, he didn’t really investigate.” – Wall Street Journal/ Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

Robert Mueller file photo, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“… the exact words of Attorney General William Barr: ‘The Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump … conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.’ How is it possible to investigate these ‘allegations’ without holding the Steele dossier, the only […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russiagate: The Great Tragic Comedy of Modern Journalism” – Matt Bivens

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

(Matt Bivens – Medium.com – March 25, 2019 – medium.com/@mattbivens_34439/russiagate-the-great-tragic-comedy-of-modern-journalism-fd2a451aaa25) “Russiagate: The Great Tragic Comedy of Modern Journalism” By Matt Bivens Former editor, Moscow Times “In its Russiagate coverage, The New York Times has repeatedly offered a graphic accusing the President’s retinue of “more than 100 contacts with Russian nationals.” This decision to question the loyalty of people who have […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole; The Mueller Report won’t soothe a paranoid frenzy to undo the 2016 election” – City Journal (New York)/ Paul Starobin

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“The idea of irascible Donald Trump as a compliant tool of the Kremlin in Moscow – some sort of clandestine agent or asset … has always seemed off-center. Who has ever been able to control him … Does Trump seem capable of keeping secrets, following orders, or maintaining the strict discipline required of a double agent? … to sober minds, […]

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AUDIO: JRL NEWSWATCH: “What does the end of the Mueller investigation mean for US-Russian relations? [interview with Michael McFaul]” – PRI/ The World staff

File Photo of Michael McFaul Standing and Barack Hussein Obama Sitting at Desk, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… Mueller found no evidence of collusion between … Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election, but left unresolved the issue of whether Trump obstructed justice by undermining the investigations …. The Kremlin said … Putin was ready to improve ties …. Peskov repeated Moscow’s denial of any interference in U.S. elections and internal affairs …. But Michael McFaul […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH [SATIRE]: “Shocked Vladimir Putin Slowly Realizing He Didn’t Conspire With Trump Campaign; ‘Who The H[–]l Was I Working With Then?’ Asks Russian President” – The Onion

Putin at Desk

“Saying that he had been ‘totally blindsided’ by the revelations from the recently released findings of the Mueller investigation, a shocked Vladimir Putin reportedly came to the realization Tuesday that he didn’t conspire with Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign after all. ‘What the hell? I worked so hard on this – if I wasn’t colluding with the Trump campaign, who […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “With Mueller gone, can Trump pursue his dream of a Russian reset?” – Washington Post/ Paul Sonne, Anton Troianovski, John Hudson

“… Trump came into office signaling a desire to improve relations with Moscow, pledging on the campaign trail to ‘get along great’ with … Putin and win his respect. With the conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, the president has won more freedom to pursue that goal. But experts say the sand has shifted significantly in Washington […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “After Mueller Report, News Media Leaders Defend Their Works” – New York Times/ Amy Chozick

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“[CNN president] Jeff Zucker … said he was ‘entirely comfortable’ with the network’s coverage. ‘We are not investigators. We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them, which is exactly what we did’ … ‘A sitting president’s own Justice Department investigated his campaign for collusion with a hostile nation. That’s not enormous because the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Myth that Won’t Die: Donald Trump as Russia’s Puppet; Trump’s actual policies toward Russia are in contrast to the notion that he is ‘doing Putin’s bidding.'” – The National Interest/ Ted Galen Carpenter

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… Trump’s political adversaries, along with an assortment of Russia haters in the foreign-policy community and the news media, keep pushing the narrative that Trump is … Putin’s puppet. That allegation shows few signs of dissipating even though no credible evidence supporting it has emerged. Unfortunately, the situation is unlikely to change even though Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation concluded […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russians Hope Mueller Report Opens Door to Improved U.S. Ties” – New York Times/ Neil MacFarquhar, Ivan Nechepurenko, Andrew Kramer

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“There was crowing in Russia … that the special counsel’s investigation did not find coordination between Moscow and the Trump campaign in 2016, but optimism about improved relations was tempered by the report’s extensive focus on Russian meddling in the presidential election. Official reaction … proved decidedly muted. [Putin spokesman] Dmitri S. Peskov … [said] the only news in the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “When the Mueller report shows Trump didn’t collude with Russia, will anyone be punished?” – Fox News/ Tucker Carlson 3.21.19

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Once the Mueller report appears, and it becomes incontrovertible that whatever his faults, Donald Trump did not collude with the Russians, the many people who have persistently claimed on the basis of no evidence that he did collude with the Russians, ought to be punished. …”

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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: “‘Dirtiest’ Race Ever Drags Ukraine Election Into Perilous Waters” – Bloomberg/ Kateryna Choursina, Yulia Surkova

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“… the first of two spots in an almost certain runoff next month looks wrapped up[;] a battle for the other is raging between incumbent Petro Poroshenko and ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Accusations are flying — everything from voter payoffs to wiretaps and shady donors. There’s even a decoy candidate …. Dirty tricks aren’t unique to Ukraine. They’re a common […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Tatiana Stanovaya explains why Putin won’t go like Nazarbayev” – Meduza

Kremlin and River

“… Tatiana Stanovaya says Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s resignation won’t likely affect … Putin’s transition-of-power calculus in the way that many observers have speculated. She argues that Kazakhstan’s unique political traditions, elite structure, and society, not to mention the country’s fundamentally different geopolitical conditions, mean that Nazarbayev’s exit doesn’t work as a model for Putin, though the Kremlin will pay […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “China, Russia Stand to Gain From Kazakhstan’s Political Transition; New president aims to maintain nation’s security ties to Moscow, economic links to Beijing” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons, Thomas Grove

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

“A smooth political transition after the unexpected resignation of Kazakhstan’s longtime leader serves the interests of neighboring Russia and China …. [S]ince the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has shouldered the region’s military burden, while China has provided the impulse for economic growth, a system Kazakhstan has embraced …. On Tuesday, Nursultan Nazarbayev, a 78-year-old autocrat who has ruled […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Top Ukrainian justice official says U.S. ambassador gave him a do not prosecute list” – The Hill

“Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told Hill.TV[] … that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave him a do not prosecute list during their first meeting. ‘Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute,’ Lutsenko … told Hill.TV …. The State Department called Lutsenko’s claim […]

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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: “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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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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RUSSIALINK: “Abandoning United Russia Is the Road to Nowhere for the Kremlin” – Carnegie Moscow/ Andrey Pertsev (Kommersant)

Russia Regions Map

“…. The disgruntled public ask global questions: Why is the retirement age being raised? Why are prices and utility bills increasing, while salaries are not? Is it worth spending so much on Syria, Venezuela, and the arms race? Independent candidates running for governor or regional legislator can answer them easily by saying, ‘That’s a federal issue for which I’m not […]

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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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