RUSSIALINK: “Moscow Lifts Outdoor Mask Requirements as New Coronavirus Cases Slow” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Thursday that wearing masks will no longer be required outdoors from July 13 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Arctic sets ‘fantastical’ heat records: weather chief” – AFP

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

“The Russian Arctic set record temperatures in June that sparked abnormal tundra fires … Russia’s weather service [director] said … blaming climate change for … ‘fantastical’ anomalies. Russia’s northern territories, including parts of Yakutia region which borders the Arctic ocean, have faced a heat wave … with some districts declaring a state of emergency. … He noted one record in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Coronavirus Crisis Strains Russia’s Soviet-Era Regional Health System” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“Doctors, equipment and basic supplies run short as cases climb; some facilities lack running water.” “… The episode at Karabanovo hospital offers a glimpse into the dysfunction and inefficiency that plagues Russia’s health-care system as the country fights the new coronavirus … the world’s third-highest caseload after the U.S. and Brazil. Many front-line medical workers in Russia say their safety […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians Rushing Back to Work as Pre-Virus Life Returns; Most workers are back in the office, while traffic data shows Moscow is one of the busiest cities in the world again.” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Empty Chair and Desk with Computer, adapted from image at osha.gov

The majority of Russians have stopped working from home and almost immediately returned to offices and workplaces across the country following the relaxation of quarantine measures […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow Cultural Life Is Slowly Reawakening; First to open their doors – carefully – are museums” – Moscow Times/ Daniil Galaydov

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

… In almost every museum, visitors will only be able to buy electronic tickets, and everyone, including guests and exhibition staffers, are required to wear masks and practice social distancing. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Coronavirus Is Just Getting Started in Some Russian Regions” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

Their WWII Parades Are Going Ahead. Meanwhile, 20 cities have canceled or delayed the June 24 parades because of the pandemic. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Pjotr Sauer, Evan Gershkovich – June 17, 2020) [photo caption in original post: After military cadets were infected with the coronavirus during parade training sessions in April, the Defense Ministry has enforced stricter measures.Defense […]

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RUSSIALINK: “St. Petersburg Leads Russia’s Coronavirus Mortality – Analysis” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 16, 2020) Russia’s second-largest city St. Petersburg had the highest coronavirus mortality rate among all Russian cities in the month of April, according to a new analysis of official data. St. Petersburg recorded 200 deaths where Covid-19 was a direct cause or “had a significant impact” on the person’s death in April, state statistics […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moscow, Center of Russia’s Coronavirus Crisis, Emerges From Lockdown” – Wall Street Journal/ Ann M. Simmons

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Infections remain high as city authorities begin reopening and Putin prepares for parade, referendum” “… Moscow has been at the center of Russia’s novel coronavirus pandemic, with 40% of the country’s nearly half million infections. … Russia is recording about 9,000 new cases a day. On Tuesday, Moscow reported just over 1,500 new cases … [down] from … nearly 2,000 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s ‘miraculous’ coronavirus death statistics face scepticism” – The Times (UK)

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“… [Its] mayor surprised [Moscow] … lifting the vast majority of coronavirus curbs …. even as the city registered more than 3,500 new cases and 110 deaths in the past 48 hours. … Since … suspected patient zero arrived in Moscow from Milan in February, the health ministry has recorded over 485,000 confirmed cases … third highest in the world […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Did Russia pass the coronavirus test? Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responds” – CNN/ Matthew Chance, Zahra Ullah, Nathan Hodge

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

“Russia has been one of the countries hardest hit by … [Covid-19] coronavirus … behind only the United States and Brazil in … [T]he government’s response has received heavy criticism at home and abroad. Russian doctors have described critical shortages of equipment, which hospital administrators and local governments deny. Observers have questioned whether Russia is under-reporting mortality figures …. But […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Which Coronavirus Restrictions Is Moscow Lifting?” – Moscow Times

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

Moscow officials announced plans to lift coronavirus restrictions starting Tuesday despite the Russian capital continuing to see about 2,000 new infections each day. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Suing Russia’s president; An ‘ultra-Putinist’ ex-governor has made history with a lawsuit challenging his dismissal. Here’s his story.” – Meduza

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

“Mikhail Ignatiev … lost his job as the head of Chuvashia in January … after two scandals: … he advocated ‘wiping out’ bloggers and journalists who praise Western countries … then … humiliated a fireman by forcing him to jump for the keys to a new fire engine. Ignatiev is now … the first public official in Russia to contest […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “City of Moscow Revises Up Its Coronavirus Death Toll for April After Criticism” – Reuters

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“… Moscow … issued a revised version of its coronavirus death toll for April after criticism of its initial figures, more than doubling the original tally by using what it said was an alternative counting method. … Russia has reported the third highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the United States and Brazil. … Data published this […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow’s First Steps Out of Coronavirus Lockdown, Explained” – Moscow Times

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

Starting Monday, Muscovites will be allowed to walk outside for the first time in two months – with a number of restrictions still in place […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Wants Russia to Get Back to Normal. New Outbreaks Show It May Be Too Early.” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

Budget deficits are driving regions to lift quarantine restrictions. But poor data could be hiding a second coronavirus wave. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – May 21, 2020) Before 136 employees of the distribution center for the popular Krasnoe & Beloe discount liquor chain in central Russia’s Sverdlovsk region tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday, the region […]

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Global Cities Versus Russian Rustbelt Realities

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

… According to Kudrin, Moscow and St. Petersburg are Russia’s only “global cities” and the rest of Russia’s cities are “barely noticeable on the map of the world.” …

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Eases Nationwide Virus Lockdown as Russia Becomes 3rd Most-Infected Country” – Moscow Times

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

… Putin has eased Russia’s “non-working” period imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus even as Russia emerges as Europe’s new coronavirus hotspot. …

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RUSSIALINK: “Daily growth in Covid-19 cases dips to 1,370 in Moscow” – Interfax

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

MOSCOW. April 16 (Interfax) – Moscow has detected 1,370 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours; this is the first decline in the number of Covid-19 cases seen in the city since April 11, the Moscow coronavirus response headquarters said in a statement on Thursday. “Moscow has identified 1,370 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing […]

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Part Two: COVID-19 Siberia: Life in the Village: March 29- April 4 “Non-work Week #1” in Manjerok, Altai Republic

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

Subject: Part Two Date: Sat, 11 Apr 2020 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Part Two COVID-19 Siberia: Life in the Village March 29- April 4 “Non-work Week #1” in Manjerok, Altai Republic By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has been a community development activist in Siberia since 1992. Currently she is focusing on research and writing about civil society in Russia.] With […]

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RUSSIALINK: “How Do Moscow’s Coronavirus Lockdown Passes Work?” – Moscow Times

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 13, 2020) Moscow is tightening its lockdown with digital passes this week as the Russian capital’s coronavirus count surpassed 10,000 cases and officials warned of a continued influx of patients. Here’s an overview of what the citywide pass system means for Muscovites’ everyday life: When does it start? Digital passes will become mandatory this […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Confusing COVID-19 Response” – Foreign Policy Research Institute/ Fabrice Deprez

Kremlin and River

“The Moscow lockdown … is an unprecedented event in Russia’s post-Soviet history, as are the similar measures introduced across the country to slow the spread of COVID-19. Yet, the way that Russia has responded to the outbreak so far has followed an unusual pattern: early, swift action was followed by several weeks of uneasy lethargy, and then, as the number […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Muscovites flee coronavirus shutdown, bringing trouble to Russia’s regions” – Reuters/ Katya Golubkova, Polina Nikolskaya

Russia Regions Map

“[On one day] … about 730,000 cars … perhaps 10% of Moscow’s 12.7 million population, left the capital, centre of Russia’s epidemic, for the countryside, according to Moscow’s transport department. … rais[ing] fears that the virus is being carelessly spread … anger[ing] … residents of outlying regions who had thought themselves at least relatively protected. … [S]ome locals are accusing […]

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COVID-19 Siberia Update: Life in the Village

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

Subject: COVID-19 Siberia Update: Life in the Village Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2020 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> COVID-19 Siberia Update: Life in the Village: Part I: Background By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has been a community development activist in Siberia since 1992. Currently she is focusing on research and writing about civil society in Russia.] With Pictures: medium.com/@ECHOSiberia/covid-19-siberia-update-life-in-the-village-a3a964a5290a [DJ: Great […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Italian Doctors Warned Hospitals Are Coronavirus Vectors. One Russian Region Proves Their Point.” – Moscow Times

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

The sparsely populated northern Komi Republic is one of Russia’s coronavirus hotspots. Six of its hospitals are now under quarantine. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich, Pjotr Sauer – April 9, 2020) On March 21, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article by a group of doctors who had for weeks been treating coronavirus patients in the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘They need to quarantine Moscow’; How small businesses in Russia’s capital are scrambling to stay afloat as coronavirus clobbers the economy” – Meduza

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“… The news website RBC estimates that shutting down for a single day costs the average shopping and entertainment center in Moscow and the surrounding region roughly 60-155 million rubles (between $775,800 and $2 million). Fitness clubs … will lose as much as 300,000 rubles ($3,900) a day, while coffee shops in the city center will lose 100,000-200,000 rubles ($1,290-$2,585) […]

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COVID- 19: The View from Siberia

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

Subject: COVID-19: The View From Siberia Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2020 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> COVID- 19: The View from Siberia By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has been a community development activist in Siberia since 1992.] With pictures: medium.com/@ECHOSiberia/covid-19-the-view-from-siberia-fd04bfa38db5 I did not do any special reporting for this piece. It is a chronology of consciousness and events in relation to […]

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Moscow’s Record Wave of Bomb Hoaxes Continues Into 2020

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 14, 2020) More than 50,000 Muscovites have been evacuated in 2020 so far in the latest wave of bomb threats after more than 1 million evacuations last year, Interfax reported Tuesday. The New Year’s holidays provided a brief respite from the bomb hoaxes which have intermittently plagued Russia since late 2017. A record 1.1 […]

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Russian North is Dying but Putin’s Media Policies Ensure Most Won’t Find Out

Arctic Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, Nov. 28, 2019) What is happening in the Russian North recalls to mind an old Soviet joke in which Hitler returns from the dead to watch a Soviet military parade in Red Square. After he has watched this display of military might, he is approached by a Soviet citizen who says, “I […]

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New Moscow-St. Petersburg Highway Emblematic of Russia’s Road Problems and Much Else

Moscow Roads

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, Nov. 15, 2019) By the end of November, the new M-11 superhighway between Moscow and St. Petersburg is scheduled to be opened for traffic, a move that will significantly shorten the time for travel between the two capitals. But both its construction and its finished form reflect many problems that plague Russian […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘Where Is Our Land?’: Challenges for Indigenous Groups in the Russian Arctic” – Kennan Institute/ Arbakhan K. Magomedov

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

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Arbakhan Magomedov – Nov. 14, 2019) Arbakhan Magomedov is visiting professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities. (RSUH). His fieldwork in the Far North was done as part of the project “Rising Voices of Northern Indigenous People in the Context of Growing Pressure of Russian Nationalism,” for which he received financial support through […]

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Russian Governors Now More Popular than Putin but Unlikely to Act as a 1990s-Style Fronde

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 13, 2019) Polls show that the approval ratings of Russia’s governors have risen significantly over the last year, while the standing of Vladimir Putin has continued to fall. If this trend continues – and it is likely to, Abbas Gallyamov says – the governors will soon be more popular than the […]

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Appointed Governors Locked in Battles with Elected Mayors in Russian Regions

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 5, 2019) The Nakanune news agency suggests that conflicts between governors and mayors increasingly resemble those of the 1990s when cities and regions squared off against each other in order to stake out their power (nakanune.ru/articles/115597/). But this trend contains within it of a more dangerous development in the late 1980s. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Chechnya Outperforms Kremlin’s KPIs Nationwide – Reports” – Moscow Times

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nov. 12, 2019) Russia’s republic of Chechnya has the highest trust ratings toward its leaders and President Vladimir Putin among all regions, Russian media reported Monday. The Kremlin closely monitors Putin’s trust ratings, which dipped to historic lows then quickly bounced back after the Kremlin challenged state pollsters’ methodologies. Its domestic policy curator Sergei Kiriyenko […]

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Only Half of All Russians Live in the City or Village Where They were Born, VTsIOM Reports

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, Oct. 31, 2019) Only 50 percent of Russians now live in the city or village in which they were born, far lower than at any point in their national history, according to VTsOM poll results published today. Men are slightly more likely to have moved than women, and young people significantly more […]

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Sure, Help The Homeless, These Moscow Residents Say, But Don’t Do It In Our Neighborhood

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Anastasia Kuzina, Robert Coalson – MOSCOW – Oct. 27, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-homeless-moscow-neighborhood-not-in-my-backyard/30238628.html) “If you want to do good deeds, do them – but don’t make those around you uncomfortable,” said Kira Gorchakova, a resident of Moscow’s Begovoi district when asked about a shelter […]

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Suburban Wasteland: New Russian Homeowners Feel Trapped In Infrastructure-Poor ‘Ghettos’

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 – Tatyana Voltskaya, Tony Wesolowsky – UST-SLAVYANKA, Russia, Oct. 23, 2019 article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/suburban-wasteland-new-russian-homeowners-feel-trapped-in-infrastructure-poor-ghettos-/30232857.html) Sofia was eager to move into her new apartment complex in a suburb of St. Petersburg. Besides the new buildings, a kindergarten, a school, and a medical clinic were just some of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Cities at Risk as Climate Change Accelerates Permafrost Thaw – Report” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 3, 2019) Russia’s permafrost is expected to thaw at an accelerating rate between now and 2100, a process that could trigger a “feedback loop” of carbon emissions, according to a new report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). More than 50% of Russia’s territory is located in the planet’s frozen cryosphere. […]

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Russia Might Be Better Off if ‘Heavyweight’ Governors Returned, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, Sept. 27, 2019) Vladimir Putin spent much of the first decade of his reign working to eliminate the so-called “heavyweight” governors who had real power in their regions and republics and replace them will technocrats, typically people without ties to the local population, who would simply do what he told them. That […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Turns Trampled Grass Into Weapon Against Opponents” – Bloomberg/ Jake Rudnitsky, Ilya Arkhipov

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

“A state-owned organization responsible for maintaining Moscow’s roads is seeking compensation from protest leaders for grass trampled during a recent unsanctioned protest, part of a multi-pronged assault on the opposition …. [A]uthorities raided at least 39 offices in Navalny’s political network [across the country], seeking evidence for a money laundering investigation … against his Anti-Corruption Foundation, his ally Leonid Volkov […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Common moral, ethical values of all religions in Russia ensure state stability of country – Putin” – Interfax

Russian Mosque file photo

BOTLIKH VILLAGE, Dagestan. Sept 12 (Interfax) – The common moral and ethical values of all religions represented in Russia guarantee the stability of the Russian state, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “We have a multi-religious country, but if you look closely, all our religions have the same values. As regards the moral and ethical component, they are practically the same,” […]

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Viewed from Regions, Moscow Opposition Very Much Like Regime It Says It Opposes

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, Sept. 7, 2019) Moscow opposition groups regularly give lip service to the idea of federalism, but when push comes to shove, they take positions so similar to the powers that be that people in the regions beyond the ring road find it difficult if not impossible to tell them apart, the Region.Expert […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Head of Moscow CPRF office Rashkin thanks Navalny for ‘smart voting'” – Interfax

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW. Sept 11 (Interfax) – CPRF candidates used all opportunities in order to win in the Moscow City Duma elections, including opposition activist Alexei Navalny’s “smart voting” tactic, First Secretary of the CPRF Moscow city committee Valery Rashkin said. “At this stage, we used everything as a party that has its own strategy, its own program for its candidates to […]

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A New Hope? Five Takeaways From The Elections In Moscow And Elsewhere

Russia Regions Map

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – Sept. 9, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/five-takeaways-moscow-elections-russia/30155264.html) The opposition is up. The ruling party is down. Incumbent governors are in. The Kremlin is worried. Aleksei Navalny’s Smart Voting strategy is … smart? Despite Russian elections still being largely a stage-managed process, the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Arctic leader warns of ‘dramatic’ climate change impact; Head of remote Yakutia region expresses concern about effects of rising temperatures” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

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

“The head of Russia’s largest Arctic territory has warned of ‘very dramatic’ impacts from climate change … Moscow comes under increasing pressure …. [with climate] emerg[ing] as an important domestic issue … due to … large-scale melting of permafrost in the north of the country and temperature increases … outpac[ing] global averages. … creat[ing] serious knock-on effects for Russia, including […]

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Sarah Lindemann-Komarova: “Fake News or Sloppy Journalism? The Washington Post Dims the Lights of Democracy in Siberia”

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

Subject: Fake News or Sloppy Journalism? The Washington Post Dims the Lights of Democracy in Siberia Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2019 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Fake News or Sloppy Journalism? The Washington Post Dims the Lights of Democracy in Siberia Re: Washington Post, September 5, 2019, “In Russia’s local elections, the vote totals are not what really count” By Will […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Opposition, Barred From Moscow Vote, Looks Elsewhere for Gains; Putin’s opponents hope a wave of dissent will carry them past a crackdown and their own discord” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove, Ann M. Simmons

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

“Targeted by police … barred from the ballot in Moscow’s city elections, Russia’s opposition is trying to gain a political foothold in other municipal races … as it rides a rising wave of dissent against … Putin. But to convert a surge in support into a coherent political challenge to … Putin, opposition leaders must first overcome a crackdown against […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Election Chief Defends Ban on Moscow Candidates” – AP

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

“… Russia[] election commission [head Ella Pamfilova] is standing by a decision to keep a dozen independent candidates from running for the city legislature in Moscow, but concedes after weeks of protests drew unusually large crowds, thousands of arrests and unfavorable attention that the qualification rules are outdated. … [C]andidates excluded from the Sept. 8 election said they had presented […]

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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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RUSSIALINK: “What to Expect From Moscow Protests This Saturday” – Moscow Times

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 8, 2019) Moscow’s opposition plans to press ahead with more protests this Saturday even after election officials closed all avenues for several Kremlin critics to run for office in the Russian capital next month. The ongoing standoff between Russia’s opposition and its leadership that has taken place in recent weeks has drawn international attention […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Best Way to Deal With Russia: Wait for It to Implode” – Politico/ Peter Eltsov

Russia Regions Map

“… Putin has moved to annex former Soviet territories, orchestrated cyberattacks on foreign infrastructure and rolled back domestic democratic protections …. [I]n reality, Russia today is much weaker than either the Romanov Empire, which lasted from 1613 to 1917, or the Soviet Union. Russia’s biggest problem is internal: … fail[ing] to produce a national identity … encompass[ing] its entire population. […]

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