NEWSWATCH CNN/Matthew Rojansky, Michael Kofman: Isolated Russia has little left to lose

NATO Meeting file photo

Writing for CNN.com, Matthew Rojansky and Michael Kofman address historic shifts in relations between Russia and the West, amidst Western reactions to the Russo-Ukrainian War, the downing of civilian airliner MH-17 and other developments. … MH17 was a turning point, after which many European leaders abandoned their previously held view that Russia could be successfully integrated into Western-led economic, political, or […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal/Ariel Cohen: How Russia Could Become a Food Superpower

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ariel Cohen addresses historical shifts in Russian agriculture, and what the future might hold. Russia could be a food superpower, given its vast soil and water resources. It still may become one, but the question is whether the food will be Western or Chinese. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict, the Russian economy has […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times/Andrei Kozyrev: Russia’s Coming Regime Change

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

Writing in The New York Times, former Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev addresses the future of Russian governance in the face of multiple economic, political and international challenges. The firmness of the West in protecting the sovereignty of Ukraine and restoring its territorial integrity is a prerequisite not only to rein in the Kremlin’s aggressive impulses, but also to engage […]

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NEWSWATCH The Times (UK): U.S. ready to switch off cash supply to Putin. The US proposals mark a dramatic escalation in financial sanctions against Moscow.

The London Times reports on U.S. efforts to bring greater financial pressure against the Putin regime over the conflict in Ukraine. The United States is ready to starve Russia of access to western credit if President Putin fails to meet demands for peace in Ukraine. The punitive measures against Mr Putin’s inner circle of oligarchs and their extensive business interests […]

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NEWSWATCH Kyiv Post: Soviet social guarantees for employees scare away investors, often backfire

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

The Kyiv Post and Olena Gordiienko comment on Ukrainian labor law and its impact on real world labor practices, business and investment. Ukrainian labor legislation is paternalistic and focuses excessively on employee rights, many lawyers and employers say … it also leads to unintended consequences.   Ukrainians earn less than any other nation in Europe, $180 per month on average. Unemployment rose from 7.3 […]

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NEWSWATCH Deseret News: This week in history: Napoleon invades Russia

Painting of Napoleon on Throne in Regal Attire with Scepter

Deseret News marks the anniversary of Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia. On June 24, 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte made perhaps his greatest blunder by invading Russia. Though he recognized the dangers of invading such a huge country, political factors demanded that he move against Russia or risk losing French domination of Europe. * * * After the Battle of Borodino in […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: NATO Returns Its Attention to an Old Foe, Russia

NATO Meeting file photo

The New York Times covers NATO exercises and policies towards Russia. After years of facing threats far beyond its borders, NATO is now reinvigorating plans to confront a much larger and more aggressive threat from its past: Moscow. This seismic shift has been apparent in military training exercises in this former Soviet republic [Latvia], which is now a NATO member […]

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NEWSWATCH: NATO and Russia Are Playing a Risky Game

NATO Meeting file photo

Writing in The Moscow Times, NYU professor Mark Galeotti comments on recent military exercises by NATO and Russia. Both Russia and the West continue to stage all kind of major military exercises and demonstrations, even while both accuse the other of provocation and aggressive intent. Are the drums of war beating? No, they’re not — but we need to understand […]

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NEWSWATCH Washington Post: At G-7 meeting, Obama’s primary task is confronting his Putin problem

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

[“At G-7 meeting, Obama’s primary task is confronting his Putin problem” – Washington Post –  Steven Mufson – June 6, 2015] The Washington Post covers U.S. policies towards Russia and Ukraine amidst the latest meeting of the G-7: The G-7 meeting is a symbolic moment. After the Cold War, the annual gathering of the leaders of the world’s major industrial nations […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: With eye on U.S. election, Republicans assail Russia’s Putin

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

[“With eye on U.S. election, Republicans assail Russia’s Putin” – Reuters – STEVE HOLLAND – June 8, 2015] Reuters covers U.S. policies on Russia and Ukraine, and reactions by Republican presidential hopefuls. Something about Vladimir Putin makes Republicans in the U.S. presidential race see red.   The Russian president has emerged as a symbol for what they view as President Barack […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: Defense Chief: Subversion, ‘Big Lie’ Are in Russia’s Arsenal. Ash Carter favors more military exercises, better intelligence sharing

Ashton Carter File Photo

[Wall Street Journal – Defense Chief: Subversion, ‘Big Lie’ Are in Russia’s Arsenal. Ash Carter favors more military exercises, better intelligence sharing – GORDON LUBOLD – June 6, 2015] The Wall Street Journal covers remarks by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter after a European trip to discuss Russia and the crisis in Ukraine. Mr. Carter made clear at the end of an […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: The Putin Recession; Russia’s economy keeps shrinking, but the West won’t take advantage

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

The Wall Street Journal editors address Russia’s economic crisis and the West’s apparent unwillingness to step up economic pressure. The Russian recession is expected to continue unfolding. An oddity of recent weeks has been the attempt to argue that Russia’s economy isn’t as awful as it looks. Then along comes Friday’s report that GDP fell 1.9% year-on-year in the first […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: Russian Court Quashes Latest Bid to Jail Kremlin Critic Navalny.

Alexei Navalny file photo

Reuters covers the latest attempt to jail Russian lawyer, whistleblower and opposition figure Alexei Navalny. A Moscow court on Wednesday rejected a bid by law enforcement officials to have Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny jailed for violating the terms of his suspended five-year sentence on embezzlement charges. Navalny, who led mass street protests against President Vladimir Putin in 2011-2012, denies any […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: EU’s top diplomat says destabilized Russia in nobody’s interest

EU Map

Reuters covers the views of Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission. A destabilized and isolated Russia is in nobody’s interests, and sanctions are only being kept in place because a truce agreement in the conflict in Ukraine is not being fully implemented, the European Union’s foreign policy […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: A Parade Hailing Russia’s WWII Dead and Marching Further From the West

File Photo of Parade in Red Square from 2005

The New York Times covers Russia’s celebration of Victory Day amidst current international tensions. … Putin has recast what he calls the country’s most important holiday to celebrate the might of the Russian state, the days are over when … Western leaders joined Mr. Putin on the bleachers …. The nationalistic fervor surrounding the parade and the tensions over Ukraine mean that the […]

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NEWSWATCH Chatham House: Ukraine’s Oligarch Gambit

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

Writing for Chatham House in the aftermath of Igor Kolomoisky’s dismissal as regional governor, Orysia Lutsevych considers the impact of Ukrainian oligarchs and efforts to address their role. The grip the oligarchs have on Ukraine’s economy could further undermine the country’s integrity. Attacking their vested interests is dangerous but preserving the current state of affairs is even riskier.   According to […]

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NEWSWATCH AUDIO National Public Radio: New START Nuke Deal With Russia May Be Aging – But It’s Not Over

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

NPR covers U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control and assessments of New START. ‘ [click here for transcript – click here for article – audio follows below] Five years ago, another big nuclear deal was being signed … known as the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) … its aim … simple: to limit the number of nuclear weapons the United States and Russia have pointed at […]

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NEWSWATCH The Herald (Scotland): No daughter can be restored. No leg can be replaced: our report from the frontline of the war in Eastern Ukraine.

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

The Herald and David Pratt examine some of the human costs of the conflict in Ukraine. Those who could afford it, or had somewhere else to go, got out when they could.   But often the most vulnerable — the elderly; infirm; poor; disabled — had no choice but to sit out the violence engulfing their community. Nadezhda Kalashnikova’s husband, […]

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NEWSWATCH Carnegie Moscow: From Greater Europe to Greater Asia? The Sino-Russian Entente

Eurasia Map

Carnegie Moscow’s Dmitri Trenin considers shifting relations between Russia and China amidst tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.  He argues that, regardless of how close Russia gets with China, a rupture between Russia and the West could mean Russia is more energetic at seeking stronger connections beyond the West generally, especially in Asia. The rupture between Russia and […]

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VIDEO NEWSWATCH Legatum Insitute: The Menace of Unreality: Combating Russian Disinformation in the 21st Century.

Satellite Dishes

The Legatum Institute, on Oct. 14, 2014, hosted a panel discussion on “The Menace of Unreality: Combatting Russian Disinformation in the 21st Century.”  The event featured Anne Applebaum, Director of the Legatum Institute’s Transitions Forum, Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Ukraine, Oleksander Scherba, Ambassador at Large at the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Michael Weiss, Editor-in-Chief of The Interpreter, Peter Pomerantsev, journalist […]

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NEWSWATCH Der Spiegel: Fortress of Nationalism: Russia Is Losing Its Political Morals

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

[“Fortress of Nationalism: Russia Is Losing Its Political Morals” – Der Spiegel – Christian Neff – March 31, 2015] Der Spiegel addresses the evolution of political values in Russia, amidst the Nemtsov assassination and a gathering of nationalists in St. Petersburg that included far-right elements. The murder of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov reveals that Russia has become morally unhinged. The country […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: Former Putin allies question his political course

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

[“Former Putin allies question his political course” – AP – NATALIYA VASILYEVA – March 31, 2015] As Russian President Vladimir Putin marks 15 years in power, former advisors such as Alexei Kudrin are raising concerns over the impact of his current policies, such as the economic fallout of Putin’s aggressive foreign policy. … in a rare show of dissent several long-time […]

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NEWSWATCH Washington Times: Russia’s grab for its neighbors; ‘Europe whole and free’ should be more than a slogan

Europe Map

[“Russia’s grab for its neighbors: ‘Europe whole and free’ should be more than a slogan’” – Washington Times – Paula Dobriansky, Blaise Misztal – March 29, 2015] Writing in the Washington Times, Paula Dobriansky and Blaise Misztal address concerns about Russia’s impact on peace, security and economic stability in Europe. They also assess the prospects for political consensus in the United States to […]

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NEWSWATCH The Guardian: How Nemtsov’s murder could force Putin into a big decision

Boris Nemtsov file photo

[“How Nemtsov’s murder could force Putin into a big decision: A month after the politician’s killing in Moscow there are signs of a Kremlin power struggle – and Russia’s president may soon have to take sides” – The Guardian – Shaun Walker in Moscow – March 29, 2015] The Guardian covers the aftermath of the Moscow assassination of former Deputy Prime Minister and […]

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NEWSWATCH Moscow Times: Predicting the Future With Russia’s Economic Nostradamus

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

[“Predicting the Future With Russia’s Economic Nostradamus. (Mikhail Dmitriyev)” – The Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 18, 2015] The Moscow Times talks with former Putin Deputy Economy Minister Mikhail Dmitriyev about unfolding changes in the Russian economy, as well as the interaction between foreign and military policy, economic pressures, political trends and public attitudes towards the Russian government and the […]

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NEWSWATCH AFP: Ruble gain brings hope to Russian economy

Cash, Calculator, Pen

[“Ruble gain brings hope to Russian economy” – AFP – March 30, 2015] AFP covers variations in the value of the ruble amidst Russia’s ongoing economic crisis. It has been a torrid time of late for the Russian economy, as the fallout from Ukraine and tumbling oil prices have plunged the country into financial crisis. However, an unexpected recent rebound by […]

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NEWSWATCH Foreign Policy Magazine: Is Russian Literature Dead? How the land of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy became a book lover’s afterthought

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

[“Is Russian Literature Dead? How the land of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy became a book lover’s afterthought” – Foreign Policy Magazine – Owen Matthews – March 24, 2015] Writing in Foreign Policy Magazine Owen Matthews addresses the lack of attention and celebrity for Russian literature created in recent decades, at least among American readers. The last Russian novel to become a genuine […]

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NEWSLINK Kyiv Post: Western defeatism in stopping Russia’s war against Ukraine

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

Special status within the Ukrainian state for separatist-held territory in the east, envisioned in Minsk II agreement, is an incongruously crude attempt to undermine stability and make turmoil in Ukraine. It was Vladimir Putin’s script, accepted by the shameless Barack Obama-Angela Merkel-Francois Holland trio, even if the U.S. president was not there in person. It was their alternative to offering […]

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NEWSWATCH The Guardian: Fragile truce brings limited respite to war-weary people of eastern Ukraine: The population of eastern Ukraine faces a humanitarian crisis

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

[“Fragile truce brings limited respite to war-weary people of eastern Ukraine: The population of eastern Ukraine faces a humanitarian crisis with an acute lack of basic amenities and mental health problems taking a heavy toll” – The Guardian – Clár Ní Chonghaile -March 25, 2015] The Guardian reports on the humanitarian impact of conflict in eastern Ukraine. Just over a month after […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: Ultra-nationalist Ukrainian battalion gears up for more fighting

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

[“Ultra-nationalist Ukrainian battalion gears up for more fighting” – Reuters – Gabriela Baczynska – March 25, 2015] Reuters reports on the conflict in Ukraine, including activities by the far-right Azov battalion in eastern Ukraine. The far-right Azov battalion, whose symbol resembles a black swastika on a yellow background, is preparing to defend the port city of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine against a […]

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NEWSWATCH Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières: Ukraine: Voices from the Front Line

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

[Ukraine: Voices from the Front Line – Doctors Without Borders – doctorswithoutborders.org – March 19, 2015] Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) relates experiences of civilians encountered during MSF’s humanitarian relief efforts in war-torn Ukraine. Since May 2014, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has supported around 100 medical facilities on both sides of the front line in Ukraine with medical supplies, in […]

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NEWSWATCH: How the Ukrainian Diaspora Sees the Homeland

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

[“Ukrainian Politics Abroad: How the Ukrainian Diaspora Sees the Homeland” – Foreign Affairs – foreignaffairs.com – Olena Lennon – March 17, 2015] Professor Olena Lennon, from the University of New Haven, writes on the experiences and attitudes of those of Ukrainian origin or heritage in the United States. Points of interest include perspectives on history, Russia, Europe, and the Russian and Ukrainian languages. The diaspora is distinctive in several […]

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NEWSWATCH: Kremlin rules out handing back Crimea to Ukraine

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

[“Kremlin rules out handing back Crimea to Ukraine” – Reuters – March 17, 2015] Reuters reports on Russia insisting it will try to sustain its occupation and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, despite the threat of continued Western sanctions. Russia said on Tuesday it would not hand back Crimea to Ukraine, despite warnings by the United States and European Union that […]

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NEWSWATCH: Ukraine Finance Minister Seeks More Bailout Financing; Natalie Jaresko says security, political risks could push up debt-restructuring needs

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

[“Ukraine Finance Minister Seeks More Bailout Financing; Natalie Jaresko says security, political risks could push up debt-restructuring needs” – Wall Street Journal – Ian Talley – March 16, 2015] The Wall Street Journal covers Ukraine’s efforts to gain more financing to spur growth and development. Ukraine needs more bailout financing than currently promised to help jump-start the embattled nation’s economy, Finance Minister […]

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NEWSWATCH: In 2015, Vladimir Putin may witness his empire’s death knell

Vladimir Putin

[“In 2015, Vladimir Putin may witness his empire’s death knell” – Strobe Talbott – Reuters – Dec. 16, 2014] Strobe Talbott predicts that a third Chechen War could break out in 2015, sounding the death knell for Russia’s current geographic configuration. Indeed, Talbott comments that Russia could break apart by the end this century, and that the policies of Russian President […]

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NEWSLINK: IHS Jane’s analysis of the capabilities of Ukraine’s missile systems

File Photo of Buk-1 SAM

[“IHS Jane’s analysis of the capabilities of Ukraine’s missile systems” – IHS – press.ihs.com – July 17, 2014] The IHS Jane’s Missiles & Rockets editor considers the shoot-down of the Malaysian civilian airliner in eastern Ukraine. An airliner cruising at around 30,000 ft altitude would be well above the coverage of shoulder-fired man-portable missile systems … * * * Downing an airliner flying […]

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NEWSLINK: World leaders demand answers after airliner downed over Ukraine with 298 dead

Ukraine Map and Flag

[“World leaders demand answers after airliner downed over Ukraine with 298 dead” – Reuters – Anton Zverev – July 18, 2014] Reuters covers the shoot-down of the Malaysian civilian jumbo jet in eastern Ukraine and its aftermath, including calls for an international investigation. World leaders demanded an international investigation into the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner with 298 people … over eastern […]

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NEWSLINK: Rival Claims Over Crashed Malaysia Plane’s Recorders

Ukraine Map and Flag

[“Rival Claims Over Crashed Malaysia Plane’s Recorders” – New York Times – Sabrina Tavernise, Keith Bradsher – July 18, 2014] The New York Times reports on investigations in the aftermath of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, including questions about who will gain custody of the doomed jet’s data recorders. The grisly scene of the crash of […]

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NEWSLINK: Ferocity of Ukraine clashes increases risks for Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

[“Ferocity of Ukraine clashes increases risks for Putin” – Reuters – Timothy Heritage – May 27, 2014] Reuters covers Ukraine’s efforts to use force to put down separatist militants in eastern Ukraine, and Russia’s potential reaction: An army assault on pro-Russian rebels in east Ukraine will not have taken Vladimir Putin by surprise, but the ferocity of the clashes may have – and […]

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NEWSLINK: Awaiting Russia’s Next Move in Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

[“Awaiting Russia’s Next Move in Ukraine” – The International New York Times – Celestine Bohlen – February 11, 2014] The International New York Times covers efforts by the West to address the crisis in Ukraine.  Russia is expected to step up efforts to bring Ukraine more firmly into the Russian sphere, once the Sochi Winter Olympics are concluded: … in […]

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NEWSLINK: Putin dissolves state news agency, tightens grip on Russia media

File Photo of Little Russian Girl at Laptop Next to Globe

[Putin dissolves state news agency, tightens grip on Russia media – Reuters – Timothy Heritage – December 9 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/09/us-russia-media-idUSBRE9B80I120131209] Reuters covers Russia President Vladimir Putin’s decision to dissolve RIA Novosti and absorb its operations into new entity called Rossiya Segodnya, with a mission of promoting Russia abroad: President Vladimir Putin tightened his control over Russia’s media on Monday by […]

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NEWSLINK: The Stakes in Ukraine: The U.S. should warn Putin not to stoke violence in Kiev.

Monument in Ukraine

[The Stakes in Ukraine: The U.S. should warn Putin not to stoke violence in Kiev. – Wall Street Journal editorial – December 9, 2013 – http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304014504579246330793547224] The Wall Street Journal covers the protests in Ukraine, noting that even with divisions within the country, the majority of Ukrainians want a closer relationship with Europe and a Ukraine with greater democratization: Ukraine […]

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NEWSLINK: Snowden’s father gets visa, to leave for Russia soon

Edward Snowden file photo

[“Snowden’s father gets visa, to leave for Russia soon” – Reuters – August 11, 2013 – reuters.com/article/2013/08/11/us-usa-security-snowden-idUSBRE97A08Y20130811] Reuters reports that Russia has granted a visa to the father of Edward Snowden, former NSA Booz Allen IT support contract employee-turned-fugitive activist.  Lon Snowden is said to be planning to travel to Russia soon. But apparently he has not spoken to the […]

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NEWSLINK: The Snowden Affair: Questions and Answers with Olga Oliker

Edward Snowden file photo

[“The Snowden Affair: Questions and Answers with Olga Oliker” – RAND Corporation – rand.org – August 7, 2013 – http://www.rand.org/blog/2013/08/the-snowden-affair-questions-and-answers-with-olga.html] RAND Corporation and its analyst Olga Oliker address U.S.-Russian Relations and Russia’s granting of asylum to Edward Snowden, former NSA administrative IT support contract employee: The decision by Russia to grant temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden […]

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JRL NEWSBLOG: What the Papers Say, July 9, 2013

File Photo of Russian Print Newspapers, adapted from image at loc.gov

The Moscow Times and the BBC take a look at news highlights from Russian-language newspapers at http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/what-the-papers-say-july-9-2013/482895.html A brief sample: * * * 1. Irina Kezik article headlined “Russia’s oil record” says Russia has broken 25-year record in oil extraction, as 10.53m barrels of oil were extracted daily in June. Oil companies are going to increase their output, while experts […]

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