Foreign Press Review (05.12-11.12)

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While experts continue to look for a future strategy and common ground in the Russia-US relations, US officials have become obsessed with debating Russia’s alleged meddling in the US presidential elections. In the meantime, President-elect Donald Trump came into direct confrontation with leading congressmen, who are to launch a wide-ranging investigation into Russia’s alleged activities, and intelligence agencies. According to the Washington Post and the New York Times, CIA changed its opinion and concluded in a secret assessment that Russia had not only interfered with the electoral process but also aimed at helping Mr Trump win the presidency. It is worth noting that ahead of the elections the US intel community did not find any connections between Trump and Russia, sharing a version that Russia’s aim was to undermine Americans’ faith in country’s democracy.

The president-elect team already commented on the findings by the intelligence, which were published in the mainstream media, claiming that “these are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and “Make America Great Again”.  Moreover, last week, during his interview to Time magazine, Donald Trump emphasized yet again that he doesn’t believe in Russia’s interference and thinks that the claims were politically driven. Such collision can become a sensitive part of the US future policy, as in January Mr Trump will enter the Oval Office and lead those intelligence agencies as a president.

Besides, the media payed a lot of attention to the situation in Syria. A number of reports asserted that Assad’s government forces, backed by Russia, is to win a major victory recapturing Aleppo from rebels (Russia’s Ministry of Defense said that 93% of the city is already under government control). Journalists highlighted that this victory will strengthen Russia’s hand making it a key regional powerbroker and hence will be a sign of the end of US hegemony in the region.

Meanwhile, on Friday Richard McLaren presented the results of his investigation into Russia’s doping. He said that more than 1000 Russia’s athletes were involved into a “institutional conspiracy” sponsored by Russia’s Sports Ministry. The Ministry has already pledged to thoroughly examine the McLaren report and claimed its readiness to cooperate in fighting doping with zero-tolerance. However, it rejected with all responsibility the accusation of a state-run doping system. In addition, the Ministry pointed to the fact that Russia’s law enforcement agencies have been already investigating the circumstances listed in the first McLaren report and will start their probe into the second part shortly.

Russia-US relations

Trump Again Rejects U.S. Spies’ Conclusion That Russia Hacked Election

By Ken Dilanian

NBC News


President-elect Donald Trump is doubling down on his repudiation of the intelligence agencies he will soon lead, telling Time magazine he still believes the unified U.S. government assessment that Russia sought to interfere in the presidential election was not only wrong, but politicized.

Nuclear War Is No Longer “Unthinkable” for Russia

By Nikolas K. Gvosdev

The National Interest


Putin is warning the United States to back off.

Trump really can’t do much to reduce tensions with Putin’s Russia

By Carroll Colley

The Hill


As the shock of Donald Trump’s stunning victory on Nov. 8 fades, the future of the U.S.-Russian bilateral relationship will occupy a prominent position in Trump’s foreign policy agenda.

Republicans ready to launch wide-ranging probe of Russia, despite Trump’s stance

By Karoun Demirjian

The Washington Post


Leading Senate Republicans are preparing to launch a coordinated and wide-ranging probe into Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. elections and its potential cyberthreats to the military, digging deep into what they view as corrosive interference in the nation’s institutions.

Democrats Launch New McCarthyism

By Norman Solomon


Unwilling to examine the real reasons why Democrats did so poorly on Election Day, party leaders in Congress are scapegoating Russia and setting in motion a new McCarthyism.

Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House

By Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller

The Washington Post


The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

The Russian Reset That Never Was

By Mikhail Zygar

Foreign Policy


How palace intrigues in the Kremlin, the death of Qaddafi, and war in Ukraine ushered in a new era of mistrust between Russia and the United States under Obama.

Hybrid wars

Russia’s Hybrid War as a Byproduct of a Hybrid State

By Mark Galeotti

War on the Rocks


Russia is indeed waging an essentially political struggle against the West through political subversion, economic penetration, espionage, and disinformation.

Russia Expects a Taste of Its Own Cyber Medicine

By Leonid Bershidsky



Russia, demonized as the biggest cyber-villain in the world in the wake of the U.S. election campaign, must now take special care of its own information security.

Russia Gets A New Information Security Doctrine

By Sean Lawson



Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off on a new information security doctrine (PDF) for Russia.

Russian propaganda is state-of-the-art again

The Economist


As in the 1930s, Moscow is a beacon for an international movement.

Syrian conflict

Putin and Assad Are About to Achieve Their Biggest Victory in Syria

By Uri Friedman

The Atlantic


What comes next?

Afghan conflict

Ties between Russia and the Taliban worry Afghan, U.S. officials

By Hamid Shalizi and Josh Smith 



Afghan and American officials are increasingly worried that any deepening of ties between Russia and Taliban militants fighting to topple the government in Kabul could complicate an already precarious security situation.

Russia-Japan relations

Putin and Abe Are Hoping to Forge Closer Russia-Japan Ties

By Emily Tamkin

Foreign Policy


Russia and Japan have been courting closer ties, hoping to solve a nettlesome territorial dispute, end World War II, and deepen economic ties between Moscow and Tokyo.

Japan sees an opportunity for a reset with Russia

By Yoichi Funabashi

The Financial Times


The west should welcome Tokyo’s engagement with Moscow.

Rosneft privatization

Glencore and Qatar take stake worth €10bn in Rosneft

By Jack Farchy and Neil Hume

The Financial Times


Glencore and the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar are to take a 19.5 per cent stake in Russian oil company Rosneft in a surprise €10.5bn deal that marks a triumph for President Vladimir Putin.

Doping scandal

Report Shows Vast Reach of Russian Doping: 1,000 Athletes, 30 Sports

By Rebecca R. Ruiz

The New York Times


The findings intensified pressure on the International Olympic Committee to reassess Russia’s medals from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and penalize the nation ahead of the 2018 Winter Games.

Articles also deserving your attention

  1. Trump breaks with Obama, intel agencies on election hacking (09.12.16)
  1. Russia Hacked Republican Committee but Kept Data, U.S. Concludes (09.12.16)
  1. Person of the year shouldn’t be Donald Trump – it’s clearly Vladimir Putin (09.12.16)
  1. Russia and the Threat to Liberal Democracy (09.12.16)
  1. How to Make California Great: Secede, With a Little Help From Putin (07.12.16)
  1. Europe is handing Putin a win — and Trump a headache (05.12.16)
  1. Putin’s Plot Against Europe (06.12.16)
  1. No joke: Russian propaganda poses EU threat (08.12.16)
  1. After a Cyberattack, Germany Fears Election Disruption (08.12.16)
  1. Picking Up Where the West Leaves Off (09.12.16)
  1. Putin, Our Tsar-Protector? (07.12.16)
  1. Don’t Expect Surprises From Vladimir Putin’s Visit to Japan (07.12.16)
  1. Aleppo’s fall would be win for Russia, defeat for U.S. in Mideast (05.12.16)
  1. Putin Shows Off Russia’s Embarrassing Aircraft Carrier (05.12.16)
  1. A Rising Star in the Russian Military Killed in Syria (07.12.16)
  1. Russian Military Draws Lessons From Ukraine and Syria Ops (09.12.16)
  1. Russia seeks influence in Libya (06.12.16)
  1. To Free Ukraine, Increase Sanctions Against Putin (09.12.16)
  1. Why Putin Scores Big With the Rosneft Deal (08.12.16)
  1. German Firms Place New Bets on Russia (08.12.16)
  1. Putin’s gulag (07.12.16)
  1. Putin Signs New Information Security Doctrine (08.12.16)
  1. Foes of Russia Say Child Pornography Is Planted to Ruin Them (09.12.16)
  1. Vladimir Putin’s Economic Plan Spooks Russian Entrepreneurs (09.12.16)
  1. A new Orthodox church next to the Eiffel Tower boosts Russian soft power (05.12.16)

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