Foreign Press Review (25.07-31.07)

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Last week the DNC (the Democratic National Committee) hack and Russia’s alleged involvement in it was the most covered event. WikiLeaks published about 20000 emails of the DNC, which revealed controversial political games of the Democratic party elite willing to prevent Bernie Sanders from winning primaries and interfering in journalists’ work by pre-editing future articles. U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton blamed Russian intelligence services for the hack amid leading American media accusing Russia of meddling into the U.S. presidential elections and supporting Trump. When even U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted that Washington is unsure about Russia’s role in the hack, the accusations on the part of the Democratic party and American journalists seem to be an attempt to distract attention from the contents of the leaked emails, and, given the hysteria in the Western press with warnings that the Kremlin could try to hack the voting machines during the elections in November, they succeeded.

Moreover, Clinton’s opponent at the race for presidency Donald Trump said that he is ready to look at recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and was immediately called “Putin’s buddy” and blamed for “treasonous” aims by the leading newspapers. It becomes more and more difficult not to notice that American politics ahead of the presidential elections has been acquiring the features of simple McCarthyism and witch-hunting, when people can face accusations just because of not sharing the mainstream opinion and showing support for Russia.

A lot of attention was payed to the doping scandal. The media and World Anti-Doping Agency criticized the International Olympic Committee for allowing Russia to the Games, still insisting on a total ban, and siding with Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, on Wednesday the Russian President spoke to the athletes including those clean sportsmen who had become victims of the IAAF decision to bar the whole Russia’s Olympic track and field team in the Kremlin. Mr Putin emphasized once again that the decision is “an attempt to bring the rules of world politics into the world of sport” and “to revise the ideas of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games”.

As for the Syrian conflict, after negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Laos, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Washington and Moscow had made progress on their way to partnership in Syria and the details would be announced in early August. In addition, U.N. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said that he aimed to convene a new round of Syria peace talks toward the end of August, while Russia and Syria have already opened humanitarian corridors into Aleppo allowing for the distribution of food and medical aid, and giving residents and rebels who choose to surrender an opportunity to leave the city.

Russia-US relations

In D.N.C. Hack, Echoes of Russia’s New Approach to Power

By Max Fisher

The New York Times

25.07.16

Kremlin leaders could see releasing internal Democratic emails as a tit-for-tat retaliation in the information struggle.

Why would Russia interfere in the U.S. election? Because it sometimes works

By Paul Musgrave

The Washington Post

26.07.16

Observers have expressed furor that a foreign government would seek to influence American politics.

Tailgunner Hillary and the Putin Hack

By Austin Bay

Observer

28.07.16

What Robby Mook did is pure McCarthyism.

How to Counter the Putin Playbook

By Michael A. McFaul

The New York Times

30.07.16

Everywhere, autocrats are pushing back against democrats, and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia is the de facto leader of this global movement.

The Democrats’ Putin dilemma

By Michael Crowley

Politico

30.07.16

While Obama and Clinton ridicule Trump’s vow to “get along great” with the Russian leader, the administration is quietly trying to open a dialogue of its own

How Dangerous Is Russia?

By Nikolas K. Gvosdev

The National Interest

30.07.16

Experts don’t agree with either U.S. political party’s threat assessment.

Russia-NATO relations

What If Russia Invaded the Baltics—and Donald Trump Was President?

By Uri Friedman

The Atlantic

27.07.16

A former NATO general imagines a frightening scenario.

Is Putin eyeing up the Baltic states?

By Henry Williams

The Spectator

28.07.16

The concern is that the Baltic States represent a soft target for a Russia keen to dominate its near abroad.

Russia and the West

How Putin Hoodwinked the Political Right

By Mike Gonzalez

The Daily Signal

30.07.16

Russia’s president poses as the champion of nationalism vs. rampant transnationalism, of Christianity vs. secularism, and of European identity in general.

Syrian conflict

Why’s Obama Covering for Russian War Crimes in Syria?

By Roy Gutman

The Daily Beast

28.07.16

A new Human Rights Watch Report presents a devastating picture of Russia’s use of cluster bombs against civilians. And Washington says … nothing.

More humanitarian corridors to open in besieged Aleppo, Russia says

By Tim Hume, Schams Elwazer and Ian Lee

CNN

31.07.16

Syria and Russia will establish four additional humanitarian corridors into Aleppo.

Russia-Turkey relations

Erdogan And Putin: Strongmen In Love

By Owen Matthews

Newsweek

28.07.16

A failed coup is pushing Turkey’s increasingly autocratic president back into the arms of Vladimir Putin.

Doping scandal

What the Olympic doping scandal says about the decline of Putin’s Russia

By Mark Galeotti

The Guardian

27.07.16

Drug taking in sport can be seen as a metaphor for the country’s ills: denial, bluster and blame providing a recipe for isolation and stagnation

Russia just doesn’t belong at the Rio Games

By Bill Plaschke

The Los Angeles Times

26.07.16

Beginning with next week’s march by Sergei Tetyukhin, the Russians sadly must be considered guilty until proved innocent.

Russia’s economy

A reformed Vladimir Putin is the model of economic sobriety

By Ruchir Sharma

The Financial Times

26.07.16

His strategy is all defence and no offence, bringing stability but not growth.

Articles also deserving your attention

  1. The (alleged) Russian hack of the DNC should be one of the biggest stories of the year. Why isn’t it? (26.07.16)

  1. DNC Email Hack: Why Vladimir Putin Hates Hillary Clinton (27.07.16)

  1. 3 reasons Russia’s Vladimir Putin might want to interfere in the US presidential elections (27.07.16)

  1. Putin May Have Plans for Both Trump and Hillary (26.07.16)

  1. Israeli Intelligence Debunks Notion of Russia Hacking DNC Emails (31.07.16)

  1. Wikileaks Dismantling of DNC Is Clear Attack by Putin on Clinton (25.07.16)

  1. Russians Respond to the DNC Hack: Who Cares If the Kremlin Did It? (29.07.16)

  1. The Americans who think Vladimir Putin isn’t so bad (28.07.16)

  1. If Putin Wants to Stoke Chaos and Discord in the West, Trump Is His Man (29.07.16)

  1. In Putin’s Reality Show, Trump and Erdogan Do the Work for Him (29.07.16)

  1. Are Russia, China and the U.S. Headed Toward a New Cold War? (26.07.16)

  1. Putin Is Still Standing (26.07.16)

  1. Putin’s Pre-Election Shuffle Tightens Security Grip on Regions (28.07.16)

  1. Vladimir Putin’s Red Scare? Inside Russia’s Resurgent Communist Party (31.07.16)

  1. Putin wages propaganda war on UK (30.07.16)

  1. Putin, Erdogan Mend Ties as Post-Coup Turkey Turns to Russia (26.07.16)

  1. How to Start a Russian Purge (29.07.16)

  1. Vladimir Putin Is His Economy’s Worst Enemy (27.07.16)

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