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Kremlin narratives on Crimea resurface in German election debate

This article is part of ECFR’s Wider Europe Forum By Andreas Umland, for European Council of Foreign Relations For the future of Ukraine, what Germany thinks and does really matters. Last month, the German election campaign saw an unexpected statement by the leader of Germany’s liberals, Christian Lindner. The chair of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) – a centre-right force hitherto known for its hawkish stance in support of international law

Kremlin propaganda methods and American extremism

By Kseniya Kirillova, for EUToday The past month was marked in the United States by a series of highly disturbing events. This includes a clash with ultra-right extremists in Charlottesville, and, more importantly, President Trump’s reaction to this event, writes Kseniya Kirillova for EU Today. Recall that for a long time Trump refrained from criticizing American neo-Nazis, saying that in this tragedy “both sides are to blame”, a position which caused widespread public outrage, but a

Fake Terrorism Is a Real Threat to the Kremlin (Op-ed)

The string of bomb hoaxes put Putin’s reputation as a ‘security president’ on the line By Mark Galeotti, for The Moscow Times Could bomb scares, no blood, all bluster, actually be more politically dangerous for the Kremlin than the real thing? As the tally of false warnings of attacks across Russia continues to rise, the credibility of the regime and the president may find themselves on the line, facing this most low-key of threats. It is, after all, very easy

The Daily Vertical: What Is ‘Undesirable’? (Transcript)

By Brian Whitmore, RFE/RL What is undesirable is usually in the eye of the beholder. Consider the case of the Sova Center. The Sova Center is a Moscow-based think tank whose sole purpose is to monitor, document, and combat hate crimes. The Sova Center is generally considered to be one of the leading authorities on extremist organizations, political radicalism, nationalism, and xenophobia in Russia. The Sova Center is widely respected

The Daily Vertical: Back To Article 70 (Transcript)

By Brian Whitmore, for RFE/RL So don’t look now, but Russia may be about to get yet another law that will allow Vladimir Putin’s regime to prosecute its own citizens for just about anything. According to a report in this morning’s edition of the pro-Kremlin daily Izvestia, which is one of the regime’s key mouthpieces, the Federation Council is working on legislation to deal with “undesirable behavior.” The details of

Kremlin’s Efforts to Use Russophobia as the ‘Anti-Sovietism’ of Today Don’t Quite Work, Troitsky Says

By Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia When the USSR existed, calling someone “anti-Soviet” was one of the most damning labels, even if some wore that as a badge of honor, Artemy Troitsky says; but now that it has ceased to exist, efforts to use “Russophobia” in the same way don’t work nearly as well. In an essay for Novaya gazeta, the music critic who has lived for many years in

The Daily Vertical: The Ghosts Of August 1939 (Transcript)

By Brian Whitmore, for RFE/RL It happens every August, almost without fail. As the summer winds down, you can count on the annual controversy about the events and repercussions of August 1939. Every August, the ghost of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact — the specter of the Soviet Union’s collaboration with Nazi Germany — comes back to haunt Europe. And this year was no exception. To mark the anniversary of the pact

Facing facts: Why the Great Famine in Ukraine still matters today

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA The Holodomor happened almost a century ago. It’s legacy still shapes contemporary conflict. Was the Holodomor a genocide? No, says modern Russia, echoing the Soviet Union; Stalin killed lots of people, and the fact that so many millions of them were Ukrainians is beside the point. For Ukraine, by contrast, the mass murder of millions by the Communist regime in the Kremlin is both a

Is Russia losing the information war?

By Donald N. Jensen, for CEPA Nikolay Patrushev, head of the Russian Security Council, warns that the use of foreign data technology by state structures could cause infrastructure servicing the state to one day be blocked from the outside. Speaking 16 August in the city of Ryazan, he said “the omnipresent use of foreign information technologies and telecommunication hardware creates prerequisites for information leaks and lowers the level of information

The Daily Vertical: Best frenemies forever (Transcript)

By Brian Whitmore, for RFE/RL They’re arguing about milk. They’re quarreling about customs. And they’re squabbling about ports. For two countries that are supposed to be close allies, who are part of a “union state,” and who are about to hold massive joint military exercises, Russia and Belarus sure do seem to be bickering a lot. As Russian troops arrived in Belarus for next month’s Zapad-2017 war games, Russia banned

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