To keep himself in power, Putin has created an off-putting ‘State of Fools,’ Yakovenko says

To keep himself in power, Putin has created an off-putting ‘State of Fools,’ Yakovenko says

By Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia “By his planned cleansing of the political field of Russia” of anyone who might challenge him, Vladimir Putin has “liquidated any direct threat to the preservation of his power,” Igor Yakovenko says. But at the same time, he “has created a new albeit long-term threat” to him and Russia. The essence of this threat, the Moscow commentator says, is that “in Russia today, there

Russian lawmakers adopt final drafts of legislation cracking down on Internet anonymity

By Meduza Russia’s State Duma passed final versions of legislation that will impose new restrictions on instant messengers and prohibit the use of technologies that make it possible to circumvent Internet censorship. Both draft laws were adopted with overwhelming majorities. The law on instant messengers requires service administrators to establish the identity of all users through their phone numbers, also establishing a system (to be determined by the government) to

Children’s toy part of conspiracy against the Kremlin

By East Stratcom Have you tried the fidget spinner? The toy that enjoys a wave of global popularity has now also reached Russia – only to be blamed on national TV for being instrumental in a conspiracy to topple the Kremlin leaders. Yes, you read that right. In a news broadcast aired by Russian state TV Rossiya-24, the audience was told that the spinner “has at several occasions been seen

Living the Russian dream

  By Corina Rebegea, for CEPA Classic Russian propaganda stories are a rare occurrence in Romania’s media space. Yet discreet attempts to win over the hearts and minds of Romanians are becoming more common. Sputnik recently posted an interview with a Romanian woman married to a Russian man and living in St. Petersburg who painted a rosy picture of life there. The interview is a real treat for its carefully

Nearly two-thirds of Russians now favor statues honoring Stalin and oppose memorials to his crimes

By Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia Sixty-two percent of Russians say that statues and other memorials should be put up in Russian cities to remind about “the successes of Joseph Stalin,” a new VTsIOM poll says; but at the same time, 65 percent of them are opposed to any monuments that recall his crimes. Young people under the age of 24 are somewhat more favorably inclined to the erection of

The Kremlin is planning its own version of Stone’s ‘Putin interviews’

By The Moscow Times A Russian film company will produce a feature-length documentary about President Vladimir Putin in the lead up to the March 2018 elections, the television channel Dozhd reported on Thursday, citing anonymous sources. The RBC news outlet later confirmed the reports of the documentary, due to broadcast on a state-run television channel, citing a source close to the Kremlin. The documentary, which will reportedly center around interviews with the president, follows the release in June of another documentary film, “The Putin Interviews,”

Russian state TV accuses anti-Kremlin opposition of diabolical new plot: profiteering off fidget spinners

By Meduza The Russian state-owned television network Rossiya 24 aired a news segment last month about the supposed connection between the sudden popularity of “fidget spinners” and the actions of Russia’s anti-Kremlin political opposition. Titled “Spinners: Stress Relief, a Get-Rich Scheme, and an Oppositionist Toy,” the report aired on June 19, but it didn’t draw public attention until comments by journalist Alexey Kovalev. Spinners: Stress Relief, a Get-Rich Scheme, and

Russia leading ‘assault’ on freedom of expression — HRW

By The Moscow Times Russian authorities have clamped down on Internet freedoms and introduced “invasive surveillance” online, under the pretext of fighting extremism, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report published today. The report criticizes Russia for unjustly imprisoning dozens of people based on their activity online and for introducing new laws that give the government tools to “restrict access to information, carry out unchecked surveillance and sensor information

Putin feels a kinship with Stalin and Ivan the Terrible, Eidman says

By Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia Vladimir Putin “defends Ivan the Terrible and Stalin ‘from excessive demonization’ because unconsciously he feels himself” to share with them a common approach, Igor Eidman says, and views criticism of them like criticism of himself as “the slander of hatred foreigners.” Stalin defended Ivan for the same reason, the Russian commentator says; but unlike Putin, Stalin viewed the tsar as “an insufficiently decisive murderer,”

Dependent media – Russia’s military TV Zvezda

By East Stratcom “The chemical attack in Idlib in Syria on 7 April this year was a piece of “fake news” and a staged operation from the side of the rebels, which aimed at discrediting Syria’s government forces”. So was the message in a seven minutes long report broadcast last week in Russia by the TV channel and online outlet Zvezda. In order to assess the relevance of Zvezda’s production

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