View From The Ground: Russia’s Ulyanovsk Region Highlights Limits Of China-Russia Ties

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

From big gas projects to closer military cooperation and improved bilateral trade that reached a record of more than $110 billion in 2019, the China-Russia relationship has reached new heights [. ..]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow To Check Electronic Votes for State Duma in Recount” – Moscow Times

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Independent data scientists and analysts said that half of all the votes attributed to United Russia in the official results were probably fake — a level of falsification previously unseen in Russian parliamentary elections [. ..]

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RUSSIALINK: “In Small-City Russia, Elections Feel Irrelevant For Local Business Owners” – Moscow Times

Cash, Calculator, Pen

Saransk’s entrepreneurs are divided over whether the government is on their side, but discontent is unlikely to be reflected in the upcoming Duma vote. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – SARANSK, MORDOVIA – Sept. 7, 2021 For barbershop owner Oleg Kechin, the first 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic were a breeze. After shutting for just four weeks […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Ahead of Duma Vote, Affluent Voronezh Remains Loyal to Putin and Stability” – Moscow Times

Russian State Duma Building file photo

On Sept. 19, Russians will vote in important elections to the country’s State Duma national parliament, the first major test of public opinion since a major crackdown […]

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Many Russians Prefer Village Life to Urban Because They Fear Change, Novikova Says

File Photo of Car on Road in Siberian Town

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Aug. 31, 2021) Because so many Russians have left villages to move to the cities, it is often overlooked that many Russians choose to remain in villages and many who have moved into urban areas nonetheless view village life as preferrable in a variety of ways to the one they find themselves […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Alarmed Over ‘Unprecedented’ Natural Disasters in Russia” – Moscow Times

Forest Fire file photo

Putin … said the scale of natural disasters that have hit Russia this year is “absolutely unprecedented” as local officials ask for Moscow’s help to tackle fires and floods […]

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The Week In Russia: The Dangerous Summer

Forest Fire file photo

As September elections approach, COVID-19 takes a mounting toll and wildfires burn across huge swaths of the country …. The Kremlin crackdown on dissenters, civil society, and independent media continues […]

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AUDIO JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Dacha Is Russia’s Summer Cure For Urban Life” – NPR

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

“In the Russian imagination, the dacha occupies a near mythical place. Once the reserve of the landed nobility, the summer house gained popularity with urban professionals in the late 19th century; in the Soviet era the dacha became available to everyone, from writers to factory workers. Nowadays, a dacha can be anything from a two-room shack to an oligarch’s imitation […]

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Despite Putin’s Urging, Russia’s Major Companies Aren’t Willing to Move Out of Moscow

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 1, 2021) In the course of his Direct Line television show, Vladimir Putin said he was against moving the capital of the Russian Federation from Moscow but does favor having Russian companies which operate there have their headquarters in Siberian cities and pay taxes there rather than as now in Moscow. […]

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Moscow City’s Pothole Management Portal Benefits Residents and Regime, Sharafutdinova Says

Moscow Roads

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, June 25, 2021) Russia’s autocratic government is modern not just because it has reversed the democratization wave of three decades ago but because it is willing to make use of modern techniques in some spheres of life under its control for its direct benefit, according to Gulnaz Sharaftudinova. The Kremlin uses various […]

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RUSSIALINK: “How Will Moscow’s Mandatory Vaccination Drive Work?” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 28, 2021) Moscow has rolled out one of the world’s most ambitious mandatory vaccination schemes, requiring 60% of all service sector workers — more than 2 million people — in the capital to be fully vaccinated within the next seven weeks. The unprecedented push comes as the city faces a surge of cases and […]

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‘Green Shift’ Occurring across Russian Political Spectrum, Shaburov Says

Russia Regions Map

Most parties … participating in the upcoming Duma and regional legislative assembly elections are now including environmentalists in their list of candidates […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow Official Slams Slow Vaccination, Lax Mask-Wearing as Coronavirus Cases Double” – Moscow Times

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

The spike was announced 24 hours after the Kremlin denied … report[s] that Russia is in the midst of a Covid-19 third wave […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Navalny supporters face full force of Kremlin wrath” – Financial Times

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

“Aggressive intimidation tactics and court move suggest bid to silence opposition leader for good.” “… Navalny [supporters] … are facing unprecedented pressure … [with] a Moscow court … poised to designate their organisation an ‘extremist’ movement on a par with jihadi group al-Qaeda… [A]ctivists working for the opposition leader say they are in a state of siege. … shut[ting] down […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Less Than 10% of People Vaccinated In Moscow, Center of Russia’s Vaccination Drive” – Moscow Times

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

Latest figures continue to show the slow pace of Russia’s vaccination rollout. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 15, 2021) Around 820,000 Muscovites have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said yesterday, with the number who have received at least one dose of Russia’s three homemade jabs having surpassed 1 million in the capital. In a […]

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Demand for Russia’s Sputnik-5 Vaccine Exceeds Supply Abroad and at Home

Russia Regions Map

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says demand for the Russian vaccine far exceeds supply in foreign countries …. But the same situation holds in many parts of Russia where there is now not enough vaccine to meet domestic demand […]

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JRL RUSSIALINK: “Katherine Zubovich’s Magnificent ‘Moscow Monumental’; The story of Moscow’s skyscrapers and the lives they changed” – Moscow Times

Moscow State University file photo

“In its 874-year history, Moscow has grown from an obscure twelfth-century military outpost into a world-class capital city of over 20 million inhabitants. Along the way, the city has been reinvented over and over to suit the needs of its rulers. Ivan the Great made Moscow “The Third Rome” after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, raising stone cathedrals inside […]

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Navalny’s Team Looks To Expand Ahead Of September Parliamentary Polls In Russia

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

… Navalny’s team has announced plans to open offices in 10 cities where it believes the ruling United Russia party is most vulnerable […]

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Navalny’s Movement Faces Tough Obstacles To Expanding Into Russia’s North Caucasus

Caucasus Mountains Satellite Image

Although Navalny’s team has long touted ambitions to become a truly national movement in opposition to the rule of longtime authoritarian President Vladimir Putin, the movement has made no inroads in the North Caucasus […]

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From Russia with Questions

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

… [Our NASA Earth Observatory] team noticed a … message with a peculiar and beautiful image from Russia near 66 degrees north latitude. It turned into a scientific detective story and an unresolved case […]

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

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

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

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Russia’s Next Economic ‘Shock’ Likely To Come From Impoverished Regions, Experts Say

Russia Regions Map

Russia … failed to invest enough in its regions, whose health-care systems are now overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic, adding to citizens’ frustration with the government […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Blame Climate Change for Historically Warm Fall in Russia’s Biggest Cities, Experts Say” – Moscow Times

Cartoon Sun and Thermometer, adapted from cdc.gov

… Russia’s two largest cities experienced the warmest autumn temperatures of their recorded histories in 2020 …. And it’s only the beginning, experts say […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Along Russia’s ‘Road of Bones,’ Relics of Suffering and Despair” – New York Times/ Andrew Higgins

“The Kolyma Highway in the Russian Far East once delivered tens of thousands of prisoners to the work camps of Stalin’s gulag. The ruins of that cruel era are still visible today.” “… [P]risoners, hacking … through insect-infested summer swamps and winter ice fields, brought the road … [which] then brought yet more prisoners … a torrent of slave labor […]

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RUSSIALINK: “In a Poor Russian City, Coronavirus Hits Hard; The pandemic has combined with poverty to push Ivanovo’s healthcare system to its breaking point.” – Moscow Times

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Felix Light – IVANOVO, Nov. 20, 2020) In this hardscrabble city in central Russia, the morgues are full and well-paid jobs are scarce. Though many of Russia’s outlying regions are struggling with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Ivanovo — a working-class city of 400,000 located 300 kilometers northeast of Moscow — is coping […]

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By Hook Or By Crook: For The Opposition In St. Petersburg, Winning An Election Is Only The Beginning Of The Battle

File Photo of Statue of Peter the Great on Horse Atop Rock in St. Petersburg, Russia, adapted from image at cia.gov

… St. Petersburg conducted controversial gubernatorial and local legislative elections. Observers … reported unjustified delays in the vote count, voter intimidation, suspicious recounts, and other alleged violations. … Nonetheless … [o]pposition and independent deputies nearly doubled their representation […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘We’re in Hell’: Russia’s Second Wave of Covid-19 Is Catching the Regions Off Guard” – Moscow Times

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

Medics in hospitals across Russia voiced frustration that authorities failed to use the summer respite to prepare for a second coronavirus wave. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Pjotr Sauer – Oct. 27, 2020) In a video widely shared across Russian social media last week, dozens of bodies wrapped in black plastic bags line the walls of a decrepit basement in […]

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‘Crisis Of Trust’: Russia’s Pandemic Fatigue Combines With Wariness Of Expert Advice

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

Across the world, a growing ‘pandemic fatigue’ appears to be exacerbating the spread of the coronavirus …. Many governments have brought back restrictions they had lifted …. But while many European countries have imposed stringent measures again … Russia has in many ways carried on as normal […]

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Russians’ Unwillingness to Take Responsibility Found Wherever They Feel They can’t Affect Outcomes, Levada Center Sociologist Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, Oct. 13, 2020) As was the case at the beginning of the pandemic, so now too again Russian officials are complaining that the unwillingness of Russians to assume personal responsibility may force the government to take repressive actions that will harm everyone, Karina Pipiya says. But the Levada Center sociologist says that […]

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What Do Siberian Millennial and the Perestroika Generation Professionals Have in Common?

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

Subject: What Do Siberian Millennial and the Perestroika Generation Professionals Have in Common? Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2020 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> What Do Siberian Millennial and the Perestroika Generation Professionals Have in Common? By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has been a community development activist in Siberia since 1992] With photos: medium.com/@ECHOSiberia/what-do-siberian-millennial-and-perestroika-generation-professionals-have-in-common-ff4a74fc7658 After a six hour drive, the designer cocktail […]

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Coronavirus Numbers Rising Rapidly in Moscow, Major Russian Cities

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 27, 2020) Coronavirus infections are rising rapidly in Moscow and other major Russian cities, with the number of cases in the capital jumping from 1050 three days ago to more than 2,000 today, the result, experts say, of the start of flu season and declining caution among Russians (svpressa.ru/economy/article/276981/, kp.ru/daily/217187.5/4293934/, regnum.ru/news/3074643.html, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Nobody wants to kill business’; Moscow is experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases, but there’s no lockdown in sight” – Meduza

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

“Moscow is experiencing a sharp increase in new coronavirus cases[,] [a]s of Friday, September 25, …record[ing] 1,560 new cases in the last day – 510 more than the day before … nearly twice as many as last week. … the highest daily increase … since June 12. … Also on September 25, Russia recorded more than 7,000 new coronavirus cases […]

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On Russia’s Far Eastern Frontier, Vast Stretches Of Free Land, But Little Interest

Siberian River, Forest, Mountain

… The Russian state has made 220 million hectares of land available under its program, double the total amount allotted under the Homestead Act. But only around 80,000 Russians have taken advantage. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Crumbling Power Vertical: Decreasing Disposable Income Drives Discontentment” – PONARS Eurasia

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Accumulating evidence points at prospects of growing destabilization at the regional level in Russia. In 2019, five consecutive years of economic stagnation ignited a wave of protests across the country. In 2020, as Russia’s economic situation worsened dramatically due to a pandemic-driven halt to economic activity combined with a fall in oil prices, support for Kremlin appointees might start crumbling […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Faces Test of Voters With Poisoned Critic in Hospital” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer

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

“With his most prominent critic hit by a near-fatal poisoning that opponents and the West blame on the Kremlin … Putin faces a key test of support in regional elections ahead of a national vote next year. About a third of the electorate is eligible to vote … over three days … to choose representatives at different levels … in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Only 31% of Russians willing to vote for ruling United Russia Party, says Levada Center” – bne Intellinews/ Ben Aris

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

“With … regional elections … start[ing] … September 13 …. 31% … say they are willing to vote for the ruling United Russia Party, according to independent pollster the Levada Center. If elections to the State Duma took place this coming Sunday, 31% of Russians would vote for United Russia. … 11% … are now ready to vote for the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s 2020 elections hotspots; A semblance of real political competition makes the upcoming vote worth following in several regions” – Meduza

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

“… [On Sunday,] residents of 18 regions … elect governors, another 11 regions … vote for local parliamentary deputies, and 22 regional capitals … hold city council elections. In several regions … results may not be in favor of … [ruling powers] in spite of … three-day voting rules, which can create increased opportunities for manipulating … election results. … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Regional Elections, Explained” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Sept. 11, 2020) Russians are heading to the polls through Sunday to elect new regional and city leadership. In a year that has seen a global pandemic, weeks of anti-Kremlin protests in the Far East and historically low approval ratings for President Vladimir Putin, the vote is set to be a key test for the […]

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Emergency situation: the slow-moving tragedy of the Russian Arctic

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

Melting permafrost, oil spills, collapsing infrastructure, abandoned towns: Russia’s far north is heading for social, economic and ecological disaster. (opendemocracy.net – Sofia Gavrilova – August 27, 2020) Sofia Gavrilova is a geographer and works in the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig. [Text with photos opendemocracy.net/en/odr/russia-arctic-monotowns/] “The asbestos factory closed last year. The crushed stone plant is closing this year. […]

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Russians Don’t Know Geography of Their Own Country or That of Others, VTsIOM Finds

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 19, 2020) In Soviet times, schools devoted a great deal of attention to geography and especially to how much larger the USSR was than any other country and where its natural wealth was located. But since 1991, such instruction appears to have taken a back seat to other subjects at least […]

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Pandemic-Driven Pessimism Greater in Moscow and Major Cities than Elsewhere, Poll Finds

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

A survey of 5,000 Russians … finds the level of pessimism about the future is greater in Moscow and other major cities than elsewhere … [T]hese cities were hit harder by the pandemic than anywhere else […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Six Months into the Coronavirus Outbreak, Russia’s Statistics Still Provide More Questions than Answers” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

Analysis of excess fatalities show regions may be underreporting deaths from Covid-19 […]

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Anti-Centralism Now Embraced by Both Russian and Non-Russian Radical Oppositions, Sidorov Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 3, 2020) Russian nationalists have always been more divided than most analysts have suggested, with some committed imperialists, others devoted to a small Russia, and still others believing that their best course forward is in the elaboration of a civic national identity that would allow them to retain the loyalty of […]

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