Last week one of the main topics concerning Russia in the foreign media was protests that occurred on June, 12, when Russia celebrated its national holiday. Foreign journalists focused mostly on several points. First of all, they tried to emphasize that there had been many youths among demonstrators. Secondly, the media highlighted actions of the police, which had reportedly detained about 1000 protesters. These actions were predictably condemned by the US and EU as threatening “the fundamental freedoms of expression”. Russian authorities pointed to the provocative character of the protests since the leaders of the opposition had changed the authorized place to Tverskaya street, which was central to Russia Day celebrations. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described protestors’ actions as “dangerous for the public” as there had been a lot of other people in the center of Moscow celebrating the national holiday. The opposition claimed that it had made this decision because of government-organized barriers to prepare the scene at the authorized location. However, some experts believe that the opposition leaders just wanted to have “catchy” pictures of the “brutal” police. However, in practice it was totally obvious that the police would have to act in case of mass unauthorized demonstrations, especially if protestors try to disrupt the celebration events (as it occurred at one of the celebration locations). During “Direct line with Vladimir Putin” (this annual call-in show was presented by the foreign press mostly through the prism of the Monday protests) the Russian president also commented on the issue emphasizing that all the protests should be legal. Thirdly, the foreign media tried to forecast influence of the current protests on the future presidential elections trying to predict how the Kremlin would plan its campaign, especially given experts noted that many people even among the opposition itself do not support a confrontational style and tools of the current anti-government movement.
Meanwhile the US Senate voted for the bill imposing new sanctions on Russia (it still needs to pass the House of Representatives and to be signed by the US president), including sanctions against key sectors of Russian economy, such as mining, metals, shipping and railways. The bill was originally proposed as imposing new sanctions against Iran, but ended up as some sort of “punitive” measures for alleged Russia’s interference in the US presidential elections. The bill is also aimed at hindering Trump from easing the Russia sanctions unilaterally. The decision was already criticized by secretary of state Rex Tillerson for its diplomatic inflexibility and by Germany and Austria. The two countries claimed that they considered it to be a violation of international law and a US attempt to meddle into Europe’s energy supply plans and potential Nord Stream II project in particular. Vladimir Putin also dismissed the bill and said that it had resulted from internal political struggles in Washington while US sanctions had always been aimed at containing Russia.
By Michael Riley and Jordan Robertson
Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.
By Patricia Zengerle
The U.S. Senate voted nearly unanimously on Thursday for legislation to impose new sanctions on Russia and force President Donald Trump to get Congress’ approval before easing any existing sanctions on Russia.
By Ralph Peters
New York Post
Russia is our enemy. Not because we want it that way, but because Putin and his sycophants have chosen to be our enemies.
By Andrew Higgins
The New York Times
“This place is very, very important for America and for the Western world so that they can keep an eye on what the Russians are doing”.
By Ben Schreckinger
With hacks, pro-Putin trolls and fake news, the Kremlin is ratcheting up its efforts to turn American servicemembers and veterans into a fifth column.
By Ed Rampell
As the intelligence community, Congress, and the press investigate alleged Russian tampering with the US presidential election, Stone shows Putin’s side of the story.
By Mark Lawson
The film-maker is taking heat for snuggling up to the Russian president in his new documentary. In fact, he got unique access to Vladimir Putin’s jet, dacha, ice-hockey rink – and violent homophobic humour.
By Leonid Bershidsky
I can’t recall a single one over 16 years in which he revealed anything accidentally or under pressure.
By NEIL MacFarquhar
The New York Times
In the 15th episode of his annual call-in show on Thursday, President Vladimir V. Putin was part Oprah, part King Solomon, part Avenger against an incompetent bureaucracy, and very much a modern czar, fielding questions mostly from aggrieved Russians and promising to personally solve their problems.
By Vladimir Isachenkov and Nataliya Vasilyeva
The Washington Post
Wading into the furor surrounding the investigations of the Trump White House, President Vladimir Putin used a national call-in show Thursday to disparage what he called U.S. “political infighting” that is blocking better relations with Russia.
By Andrew Roth and David Filipov
The Washington Post
Shouting “We demand answers,” and “Stop lying and stealing,” tens of thousands of protesters turned out Monday across Russia in a nationwide anti-corruption rally called by opposition leader Alexei Navalny as part of his long-shot bid to unseat President Vladimir Putin.
Protests have swept across Russia once again, and the Kremlin has wasted no time in moving to quash them.
By Masha Gessen
The New York Review of Books
The new face of Russian protest is barely pubescent. Reports from the June 12 demonstrations, which brought hundreds and sometimes thousands of people into the streets of just about every Russian city, feature teenagers.
By Robert Parry
In an interview with Oliver Stone, Russian President Putin explained his take on the Ukraine crisis, one that contrasts with what the U.S. mainstream media has allowed the American people to hear.
By Shaun Walker
On the eve of the Confederations Cup, the focus for officials is on having a smooth event now that shows fans there is nothing to fear from coming to Russia for the 2018 World Cup.
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