Russia

The Arctic – The Arctic Russia’s plan for the world’s newest ocean

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There’s a new ocean at the top of our globe In just the past three decades, global warming has shrunk the size of the Arctic Ocean’s summer ice by half. Vox The region is now more accessible than it’s been in 1,000 years, and governments around the world have taken notice. The melting of the Arctic has grave implications for global weather patterns and rising sea levels, and most of the world sees it as a looming disaster. But for ... Read More »

What Putin Really Wants

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Russia’s strongman president has many Americans convinced of his manipulative genius He’s really just a gambler who won big. Julia Ioffe The Atlantic I. The Hack The large, sunny room at Volgograd State University smelled like its contents: 45 college students, all but one of them male, hunched over keyboards, whispering and quietly clacking away among empty cans of Juicy energy drink.“It looks like they’re just picking at their screens, but the battle is intense,” Victor Minin said as we ... Read More »

A confident and upbeat Putin goes on Mideast ‘victory’ tour

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Ρussian President Vladimir Putin declared “victory” in Syria during a surprise visit Monday to a military base there, then traveled to Egypt and Turkey, where he celebrated Moscow’s deepening ties with those key regional powers. Hamza Hendawi and Vladimir Isachenkov Associated Press Chicago Tribune The tour highlighted Russia’s expanded reach in the Middle East and the global clout of its leader, who announced last week he is seeking re-election for another six-year term in March. Speaking to Russian troops on ... Read More »

Russia’s multilayered Syrian diplomacy worries Iran

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TEHRAN, Iran — The Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, widely known for its tourist attractions, has recently turned into a diplomatic hub, with dialogue over the Syrian crisis now serving as its main international attraction. Hamidreza Azizi  AlMonitor On Nov. 22, the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey attended a trilateral summit in Sochi to coordinate their efforts on the future of Syria. Just a day before, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in the resort, with his warm welcome ... Read More »

YPG, Russia meeting ‘evaluated steps to take’ after ISIL: Russian defense ministry

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Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Dec. 4 that a meeting held a day earlier by a Russian military delegation and officials of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria’s Deir Ezzor province had “evaluated the steps to be taken” after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is ousted from the region. Nerdun Hacıoğlu – MOSCOW Hurriyet It was the first statement released by Russia regarding the Dec. 3 meeting. The Defense Ministry said among the ... Read More »

Turkey squeezed between American hammer, Russian anvil on Syrian stage

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Images can be misleading. Anybody who sees the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran in the Russian Black Sea resort town of Sochi might think this impressive trio could actually deliver a settlement to the bloody Syrian conflict that has been ongoing for six years. Cengiz Çandar AlMonitor Astana, Kazakhstan, is another venue being used by the same trio for peacemaking in Syria. Although the Russians were always keen to present Astana as a supplementary peace effort to the United Nations’ Geneva talks, the meetings in ... Read More »

The Duplicitous Superpower

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How Washington’s chronic deceit—especially towards Russia—has sabotaged U.S. foreign policy For any country, the foundation of successful diplomacy is a reputation for credibility and reliability. Ted Galen Carpenter The American Conservative Governments are wary of concluding agreements with a negotiating partner that violates existing commitments and has a record of duplicity Recent U.S. administrations have ignored that principle, and their actions have backfired majorly, damaging American foreign policy in the process. The consequences of previous deceit are most evident in ... Read More »

Prague appeals court to rule on Russian hacker extradition to US

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A Prague appeals court is due to rule on an appeal by a Russian man who faces charges of hacking computers at American companies against a lower court decision allowing his extradition to the United States. PRAGUE – The Associated Press Hurriyet Czech authorities arrested Yevgeniy Nikulin in Prague in cooperation with the FBI in October, 2016. He is accused by U.S. prosecutors of penetrating computers at Silicon Valley firms including LinkedIn and Dropbox in 2012. Moscow also wants him ... Read More »

The evolution of Turkish-Russian relations

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The past decade has seen considerable change in Russia’s Middle East policy, with greater involvement in regional crises and engagement in good relations with key countries and non-state actors. Sinem Cengiz Arab News Russia’s policy at times converges with Turkey’s, and at other times challenges it. Turkish-Russian relations have survived several crises, the most severe being in November 2015 when Turkey shot down a Russian jet along its border with Syria. Neither Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan nor his Russian ... Read More »

The Nansen passport: the innovative response to the refugee crisis that followed the Russian Revolution

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The triumph of revolution in Russia in 1917 brought an end to the 300-year old Romanov dynasty and the empire over which it ruled Peter Gatrell The Conversation The collapse of the German, Austrian and Ottoman war effort in 1918 precipitated the end of the remaining continental European empires. In each instance, imperial dissolution went hand in hand with the formation of new states. The Russian Civil War, between 1918 and 1921, led to an exodus of people who opposed ... Read More »

Kurdish rift emerges between Erdogan, Putin

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ANKARA, Turkey — Since a Russian warplane was shot down by Turkey in November 2015, Turkey has been scrambling to reconcile with Russia, but disagreements over the role of Syrian Kurds are now threatening a fresh deadlock. Zülfikar Doğan Al-Monitor Despite the close dialogue between the two countries’ presidents, the rift over the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), seems to be deepening. Last week, Russia invited 33 groups, including Syrian President Bashar ... Read More »

Coincidence or coordination?

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Russians approached at least nine people in Trump’s orbit during the campaign and presidential transition Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger The Washington Post Through family, business and campaign operatives, Russian nationals repeatedly sought contact with Donald Trump’s world, starting only a few months after his presidential bid was announced in 2015. They forwarded proposals to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, brought a Trump adviser to Russia to speak and repeatedly sought meetings with Trump and his aides. Special ... Read More »

Turkey’s plan to acquire Russia’s S-400 air-defense system may never happen, analysts say

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While Russia continues to tout the planned sale of its S-400 strategic air-defense system to Turkey, some U.S. analysts are growing more skeptical about the deal. Jeff Daniels CNBC On Thursday, the CEO of Russia’s state-owned Rostec defense company said the deal with Turkey exceeded $2 billion, according to Tass, the Russian news agency. It followed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in September announcing the longtime member of NATO had made a down payment to Moscow for the S-400 and ... Read More »

Carl Bernstein: Russia probe feels ‘worse than Watergate’

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If President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the presidency, its “worse than Watergate,” journalist Carl Bernstein says. Kim Janssen Chicago Tribune Bernstein’s views on the matter were of great interest to a standing room-only crowd in Hyde Park on Wednesday night. Along with his Washington Post colleague Bob Woodward, Bernstein, of course, broke the Pulitzer Prize-winning stories about the Watergate break-in that ultimately led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation. Now 73, Bernstein waxed lyrical about the parallels between ... Read More »

Latvia to build fence along Belarus border

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Officials in Latvia said Wednesday that a 120-kilometre (74-mile) border fence with Belarus will be built as soon as a similar fence along the Baltic state’s border with Russia has been completed in 2018 RIGA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Speaking on Latvian public radio, Olegs Jemasovs, the border guard chief for the southeast Daugavpils region, said 3.7 million euros ($4.3 million) would be spent on securing the country’s eastern borders in 2018, with the total cost of the Belarus fence ... Read More »

Turkey can’t integrate Russian missiles: NATO

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A leading NATO official has said that Turkey will face “consequences” if it purchases a Russian air-defense system “The principal of sovereignty obviously exists in acquisition of defense equipment, but the same way that nations are sovereign in making their decision, they are also sovereign in facing the consequences of that decision,” said Gen. Petr Pavel, chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, on Oct. 25 during a Washington meeting with a group of reporters hosted by the Defense Writers Group. Hurriyet ... Read More »