RUSSIALINK: “Russia Is a ‘Distinct Civilization,’ Putin Says” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 18, 2020) Russia is a distinct civilization that must be protected through genetics and other advanced technologies, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview that aired Sunday. Putin told state television that “it would be impossible to secure the future of our civilization” without artificial intelligence, genetics and unmanned vehicles, as well as hypersonic […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow’s War in Syria” – CSIS

Syria Map

“… Russia’s military and diplomatic campaign in Syria [has been] the largest and most significant Russian out-of-area operation since the end of the Cold War. … and will shape [Russia’s] military thinking, influence promotion and personnel decisions, impact research and development for its arms industry, and expand its influence …. [D]espite the importance of Russia’s involvement in Syria – especially […]

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Arms Control in the COVID-19 Era: No Next Step without New START

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

… another urgent existential threat is quietly growing in the background: the steady termination of nuclear arms control treaties between the United States and the Russian Federation and the absence of new arms control negotiations. ..

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Poll: Majority of Young Russians Distrust NATO, Don’t Consider Russia a European Country

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Thomas Schaffner, Angelina Flood – May 5, 2020) A majority of young Russians distrust NATO more than any other organization and disagree that Russia is a European country, according to a recent poll conducted by Russia’s independent Levada Center and Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Foundation. These organizations’ research on the opinions of Russia’s “Generation Z” (aged […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “New evidence reinforces the suspicion that Russia was behind the downed MH17 plane” – Washington Post Editorial

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

…. The findings suggest … Putin’s regime was overseeing the separatists at the time the Russian missile was fired at the airliner. …

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U.S.-Russia Deconflicting 75 Years Ago: Flares and Friendly Fire at the Elbe

File Photo of American Soldier Meeting Soviet Soldiers in Berlin in 1945, adapted from image at army.mil

… 75 years ago, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up on the Elbe River in Germany at the end of the European phase of World War II. The anniversary prompted current leaders of the U.S. and Russia to transcend … frosty relations … and issue a rare joint declaration ….

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “With the World Distracted by Coronavirus, Hopes for Peace in Ukraine Are Dimming” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

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

“Sound of gunfire and shelling has become part of everyday life in the city of Mariupol as hopes fade for an end to the war.” “… in eastern Ukraine … hopes for an end to the long-running war between Russian-backed separatists and Kyiv have faded since this winter’s tentative detente between … Putin and … Zelensky. … The conflict has […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Has a Syria ‘Headache’ and the Kremlin’s Blaming Assad” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer, Ilya Arkhipov

Syria Map

“… Putin is … impatien[t] … with Syrian ally Bashar al-Assad, who isn’t … [sufficiently] grateful for being kept in power by Russian intervention …. Consumed … by … twin shocks of collapsing oil prices and the coronavirus epidemic … eager to wrap up his Syrian military adventure by declaring victory, Putin is insisting that Assad show more flexibility in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Is Testing US Military for Weaknesses Amid Pandemic, General Says” – Military.com/ Gina Harkins

File Photo of F-22 Fighter and Ground Crew

“Russia is testing whether the U.S. military has developed any weaknesses during the novel coronavirus crisis, a top general said, noting three run-ins with that country’s planes over a two-month period. ‘We just want to make it very clear to them … there are no vulnerabilities as a result of COVID-19,’ Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, head of U.S. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “NATO enlargement: evaluating its consequences in Russia” – International Politics/ Kimberly Marten

NATO Meeting file photo

“… There is no question that Russia – its leaders, expert analysts, and public – reacted negatively to NATO enlargement right from the start. … But …. Russia’s unhappiness is overdetermined, and there is no evidence that if NATO enlargement had been avoided, delayed, or altered (while nothing else changed), that Russia could have been reconciled to the idea of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. should revive Lend-Lease to contain Russia” – Atlantic Council/ Stephen Blank

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

“… Moscow’s hybrid war against the Western world continues unabated. … There are many advantages to a modern-day revival of the Lend-Lease concept. Firstly, it materially strengthens Ukraine by demonstrating growing U.S. support …. Secondly, this plan would help increase allied security and capabilities in threatened areas such as Romania in the Black Sea region and Poland in the north. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Memory wipe: Vladimir Putin wants to rehabilitate Stalin’s pact with Hitler; Russia’s latest disinformation campaign is aimed at Poland and the EU” – The Economist

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

“… Antipathy between Poland and Russia is ancient. But … Putin has fanned the flames by launching one of the biggest propaganda offensives of his 20-year hold on power …. This time he tried to upend the entire history of Soviet aggression towards eastern Europe. A key moment … August 1939, when Hitler and Stalin signed a non-aggression pact and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Mechanism for settling incidents between Russian, U.S. militaries in Syria working without failures – Russian military expert” – Interfax

Syria Map

MOSCOW. Jan 23 (Interfax) – Moscow and Washington have achieved a practically ideal level of interaction in preventing clashes between the Russian and United States militaries on the Syrian territory, Vladimir Batyuk, the head of the Center for Military and Political Studies of the Institute of U.S. and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said. “Incidents can be […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Reaffirms Its Global Ambitions After Political Transition” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove

Sergei Lavrov file photo

“Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticizes the West’s ‘aggressive stance’ on the world stage” “… Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov … said the Kremlin would continue work to boost Russia’s global influence, while countering the U.S. and Europe. Russia’s growing sway on the world stage has reinvigorated Russians’ patriotism and contributed to the backbone of support for … Putin at home, even […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “NATO Outmaneuvers Russia in Balkans” – Wall Street Journal/ James Marson

NATO Meeting File Photo

Albanian Air Base Gets NATO Upgrade as Alliance Plays to Its Strengths in Balkans. Graveyard of obsolete MiGs to become refueling station for NATO planes projecting power eastward. “[NATO] is spending €50 million ($56 million) to upgrade the six-decade-old base [in Kucova, Albania], further cementing its foothold … The alliance also aims to project power from here into the Mediterranean […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Common interests should prevail in Russian-NATO relations – Putin” – Interfax

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

BOCHAROV RUCHEI, Sochi. Dec 3 (Interfax) – Russia stands ready for cooperation with NATO and expects that common security interests will prevail in its dialogue with the alliance, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “London is hosting a NATO summit marking the 70th anniversary of the alliance’s foundation right now, on December 3-4,” Putin said, opening a regular conference on defense […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin wants to ‘understand’ Ukrainian leader’s approach to conflict settlement” – Interfax

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

(Interfax – Dec. 1, 2019) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has said that the expected meeting between Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris would be “very useful” for understanding the Ukrainian leader’s vision for the implementation of the east Ukraine conflict settlement plan known as the Minsk accords. The meeting will “certainly be very useful because we […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin urges Interior Ministry employees to thwart toughly any attempts to split Russian society” – Interfax

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. Nov 10 (Interfax) – Employees of the Russian Interior Ministry must counter resolutely the corruption and other crimes, fight strongly terrorism and extremism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a festive concert on the occasion of the Day of the Employee of the Russian Internal Affairs Bodies on Sunday. “Today, the bodies of internal affairs, each of their employees […]

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Forget U.S.-Russian Friendship: Let’s Foster ‘Predictable Competition’ [re: George Beebe]

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Thomas Schaffner – Oct. 16, 2019) The U.S. and Russia have reduced their nuclear arsenals by about 70 and 80 percent, respectively, since the peak of the Cold War, according to the Federation of American Scientists, and the two countries remain committed to bilateral and multilateral documents meant to prevent either intentional or accidental war […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “12 Hours. 4 Syrian Hospitals Bombed. One Culprit: Russia.” – New York Times

Syria Map

The Russians saved Bashar al-Assad’s government. A trove of Russian Air Force recordings obtained by The Times shows how bombing Syrian hospitals helped them do it. “The Russian Air Force has repeatedly bombed hospitals in Syria in order to crush the last pockets of resistance to President Bashar al-Assad, according to an investigation by The New York Times. An analysis […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is Russia Winning the Ukraine Scandal?” – Council on Foreign Relations/ Stephen Sestanovich

File Photo of Zelenskiy Extending Handshake, adapted from image at a subdomain of senate.gov

“U.S. military and economic support for Ukraine has so far weathered the widening impeachment inquiry into … Trump’s contacts with Kyiv. This backing could strengthen Ukraine in the next round of diplomacy with Russia. … Trump’s suspension of military aid to Kyiv was opposed both within his own administration and by Congress, and the move was reversed even before details […]

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Kremlin Sees Role For U.S. In Helping Resolve Conflict With Ukraine

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Oct. 8, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/kremlin-sees-role-for-u-s-in-helping-resolve-conflict-with-ukraine/30205596.html) The Kremlin says the United States could play a role in helping resolve the Russia-Ukraine conflict given Washington’s influence in Kyiv. “The U.S. can undeniably use the influence it has over Kyiv to make Ukraine fulfill its Minsk […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin Rejects Idea of U.S. Role in Ukraine Conflict Talks” – Reuters

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

“Russia … rejected the idea of involving the United States in talks to help resolve the conflict between the Kiev government and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s east. Kremlin spokesman … Peskov said there was no support for the idea of Washington joining the Normandy Format talks … involv[ing] Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France. … Peskov did say … that the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine-Russia Prisoner Swap: Necessary, Not Sufficient” – International Crisis Group

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

“… Moscow released 35 Ukrainian citizens. … includ[ing] four Crimeans arrested shortly after Russia’s … takeover of the peninsula, along with 24 sailors … Russian security forces apprehended [on] the Black Sea …. Russian courts had charged them with crimes including terrorism, espionage, conspiracy to violate state borders, and, most bizarrely, killing Russian troops in Chechnya in the mid-1990s. Human […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The unraveling of Vladimir Putin” – Joseph Dresen/ The Hill

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

“… as tens of thousands of protesters once again took to the streets in Moscow to protest upcoming municipal elections, Russian state television showed a smiling … Putin riding with … [a] motorcycle club in Crimea. … a typical scene … the president doing tough guy stuff at the location of his most popular act of [the] annexation of Crimea. […]

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After Ukraine-Russia Prisoner Swap, Can Zelenskiy Capitalize On Momentum?

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller- KYIV, Sept. 7, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/after-ukraine-russia-prisoner-swap-can-zelenskiy-capitalize-on-momentum-/30151851.html) “Our guys are home.” As those words were shared by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on September 7, the Ukrainian nation simultaneously celebrated and breathed a collective sigh of relief upon learning that 35 of their compatriots […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump slow-walks Ukraine military aid meant to contain Russia” – Politico/ Caitlin Emma, Connor O’Brien

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

“The Trump administration is slow-walking $250 million in military assistance to Ukraine, annoying lawmakers and advocates who argue the funding is critical to keeping Russia at bay. … Trump asked his national security team to review … the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative … to ensure the money is being used in the best interest of the United States, a senior […]

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Molotov-Ribbentrop What? Do Russians Know Of Key World War II Pact?

Map of Poland and Environs

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tony Wesolowsky, Matthew Luxmoore – August 22, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/molotov-ribbentrop-what-do-russians-know-of-key-wwii-pact/30123950.html) It’s an anniversary few in the Kremlin, or elsewhere in Russia for that matter, are keen to talk about — let alone remember in some way. Eighty years ago, on August 23, 1939, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Says It Won’t Share Rocket Explosion Data as Suspicions Swirl” – Moscow Times

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 20, 2019) Russia told an international organization set up to verify a ban on nuclear tests that a military testing accident in northern Russia earlier this month was none of its business and that handing it radiation data was entirely voluntary. Russia has acknowledged that five nuclear workers were killed in the explosion on […]

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U.S. Special Envoy To Ukraine Says Russian Propaganda Hindering Peace Efforts

File Photo of Kurt Volker and W. Bruce Weinrod, adapted from image at defense.gov with photo credit to Senior Airman Nathan Lipscomb

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/u-s-special-envoy-to-ukraine-says-russian-propaganda-hindering-peace-efforts/30112993.html) The U.S. special peace envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, says Russian propaganda is making it a challenge to solve the conflict in the east of the country. Speaking to RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service in Washington, Volker said Moscow’s […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “New technique shows Putin lying about MH17” – Kyiv Post/ Askold Krushelnycky

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

“A scientific technique … to spot deception … studying minute changes in facial expressions has been used to demonstrate that Kremlin dictator … Putin was lying when denying Russian responsibility for shooting down the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine … July 17, 2014, killing all 298 … aboard. The technique and analysis of Putin’s speech were described at a public meeting […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Donald Trump says an experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile accidentally blew up in Russia, and here’s why experts say he’s right” – Meduza/ Dmitry Kuznets, Kevin Rothrock (translation)

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

“… August 8, two soldiers and five staff from a nuclear research center in Sarov died in an explosion in the Arkhangelsk region while testing some of Russia’s latest ‘hardware.’ … monitors … recorded raised levels of background radiation … and part of the White Sea has been closed to shipping. The United States … announced openly … the accident […]

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U.S. urges Russia to pull troops stationed in Abkhazia, S. Ossetia behind pre-2008 conflict line – embassy in Tbilisi

Georgia Map

TBILISI. Aug 8 (Interfax) – The United States urges Russia to implement the ceasefire agreement of August 12, 2008, and to pull its troops stationed in Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the line that existed before the August 2008 conflict, U.S. Charge d’Affaires in Georgia Elizabeth Rood told the press on Thursday in connection of the 11th anniversary of the […]

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Russian Plane Draws Shots from South Korea in First Air Patrol with China: Belfer Experts Weigh In

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff- July 25, 2019) South Korean fighter jets fired over 300 warning shots at a Russian Air Force A-50 Mainstay Airborne Early Warning aircraft on July 23 after the Russian plane twice violated South Korea’s airspace above the East Sea, according to South Korean authorities cited by The Aviationist. Earlier that day, Russian and Chinese […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Zelensky, U.S. reps hope Donbas truce enacted on July 21 to be comprehensive, permanent” – Interfax

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

KYIV. July 26 (Interfax) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker and U.S. Representative to the European Union Gordon Sondland have discussed the current situation in the area of Kyiv’s Joint Forces Operation in Donbas, including the disengagement of forces and military hardware near Stanytsia Luhanska. “The sides expressed hope that the ceasefire enacted […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Ukraine Seizes Russian Tanker Over Kerch Incident, Frees Crew” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 25, 2019) Ukraine has seized a Russian oil tanker in the Ukrainian port of Izmail over a November 2018 incident between the two countries in a strategic strait near Crimea. The Ukrainian security services (SBU) said that the tanker had been involved in the Kerch Strait incident in which Russia captured a Ukrainian ship […]

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Are Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin Partners? Interpreting the Russia-China Rapprochement

Map of China and Environs, adapted from image at cdc.gov

(PONARS Eurasia – Hilary Appel – July 19, 2019 – Hilary Appel is the Podlich Family Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College) (PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) The blossoming of relations between the Russian and Chinese presidents has been prominently on display. Images have been widely distributed of Xi Jinping awarding Vladimir Putin the newly […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “China Promises Further Military Cooperation With Russia; Beijing accuses U.S. of undermining regional stability and sharpens its warnings against Taiwan in new defense report” – Wall Street Journal/ Jeremy Page

Asia Map

“China vowed to step up military cooperation with Russia, a day after the two countries’ first joint air patrol triggered a rare confrontation over the Sea of Japan and stoked U.S. concern about the intensifying partnership …. Releasing a new defense ‘white paper’ … China accused the U.S. of undermining regional stability by strengthening its alliances, and sharpened a warning […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia in the Gray Zone” – Aspen Institute/ Kathleen Hicks

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

“… Russia is waging campaigns … [to influence world affairs with a] significant number of … tactics … [falling] between routine statecraft and direct and open warfare …. Americans … familiar with Russia’s disinformation efforts in the United States and its use of ‘little green men’ in Ukraine … may be less attuned to stepped-up Russian political and economic coercion […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Rebels without a Cause: Russia’s Proxies in Eastern Ukraine” – International Crisis Group

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

“Russia and the separatists it backs in Ukraine’s east are no longer quite on the same page, especially since the Kremlin abandoned ideas of annexing the breakaway republics or recognising their independence. The rift gives the new Ukrainian president an opportunity for outreach to the east’s embattled population, including by relaxing the trade embargo. … * * * Resolving the […]

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As Soldiers Disengage, ‘Fragile Hope’ For Peace Appears In One Front-Line Ukrainian Town

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Christopher Miller – STANYTSYA LUHANSKA, Ukraine, July 18, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/as-soldiers-disengage-fragile-hope-for-peace-appears-in-one-front-line-ukrainian-town/30062713.html) Beyond the series of checkpoints manned by armed guards with bomb-sniffing dogs in this battle-scarred town lies a mile-long stretch of no man’s land that’s one of most dangerous places in Ukraine. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia, Ukraine Agree [to] ‘Comprehensive’ Cease-Fire in Donbass” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 18, 2019) Russia, Ukraine and Europe’s top security body have announced an “indefinite” ceasefire in eastern Ukraine that analysts hail as a substantial step toward ending the five-year conflict. The war between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region has killed 13,000 people since it broke out in 2014. Sporadic fighting […]

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Attitudes of New Leaders in Russia and U.S. Making Nuclear War Ever More Likely, Golts Says

Iskander Missile with Launch file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 9, 2019) The decision of Moscow and Washington to dispense with arms control agreements, the attitude behind that which holds that the most powerful countries must not be constrained by such accords, and the lack of understanding among the leaders in both capitals about the nature of war all make a […]

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Interview: ‘There’s An Incident Involving A Russian Submarine Every Five Or Six Years’ [Interview with Dmitry Gorenburg]

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Yury Zhigalkin – July 3, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/interview-incident-involving-a-russian-submarine-every-five-or-six-years/30034923.html) The Russian Defense Ministry announced on July 2 that a fire aboard a submarine operated by its main naval research-and-development unit the day before had killed 14 sailors. Although the military did not identify the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Donbas crisis escalating – DPR” – Interfax

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

DONETSK. July 2 (Interfax) – The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) believes that the situation along the Donbas contact line is becoming tenser every day, while hostilities may be intensified at any moment. “The situation along the entire contact line is heated up every day, as the escalation is constantly on the rise. The intensity and density of attacks on […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Blaze that affected sub broke out in battery area – expert” – Interfax

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

MOSCOW. July 3 (Interfax) – The fire on board a Russian Navy deep-sea submersible, in which 14 submariners died, broke out in the submarine’s battery tank, Konstantin Sivkov, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Rocket and Artillery Sciences, said on Wednesday. “It is now known for sure what caused this accident: the fire broke out in the submarine’s […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Meeting with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and River

(Kremlin.ru – July 2, 2019) The Defence Minister reported to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief on the fire on the Northern Fleet deep-water research submersible in the Barents Sea, which killed 14 sailors. Vladimir Putin conveyed his sincere condolences to the families of the dead and gave instructions on providing them with assistance and support. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Shoigu, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Forget Putin’s ‘liberalism’ jibe. This man runs a war machine; For too long, the west has turned a blind eye to Russian atrocities in a string of wars.” – The Guardian/ Natalie Nougayrède

File Photo of Country Flags Outside 2017 G20 Meeting in Hamburg, adapted from image at state.gov

“… Putin is on a high. Kicked out of the G8 in 2014 after the start of his military operations in Ukraine, he’s been making full use of the G20 summit in Osaka to bask in meetings with world grandees and soak up all the international media attention he possibly can, complete with a not very challenging interview with the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Military Posture in the Arctic; Managing Hard Power in a ‘Low Tension’ Environment” – Chatham House/ Mathieu Boulègue

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“… Russia’s military build-up in the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation (AZRF) primarily aims to ensure perimeter defence of the Kola Peninsula for the survivability of second-strike nuclear assets. Russia’s ‘Bastion’ defence concept consists of the projection of multi-layered sea denial and interdiction capabilities. Another Russian priority is … Northern Fleet[] access to … the Northern Sea Route (NSR) […]

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JRL NEWSBLOG: “Russian Orthodox Church to stop blessing missiles” – The Times (UK)/ Tom Parfitt

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… a church commission has concluded that one category of blessings is beyond the pale and should not continue: weapons of mass destruction. … at odds with recent practice. … In November, a priest … blessed an S-400 missile unit as it was deployed to the Crimea. The previous year, a priest could … be seen having just completed the […]

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