6:45 AM 11/30/2017 – “Putinism In Transition” | A BRICS Internet? Kommersant looks at a recent proposal from the Russian Security Council to have the BRICS countries pool their efforts on Internet security.

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“The Kremlin is now run by regents around a diminished president, and discussion is already focusing on what the post-Putin era will look like.” 

Gleb Pavlovsky

ON MY MIND

Is the so-called “collective Putin” diverging from its creator?

In a strongly recommended piece featured below, former Kremlin insider Gleb Pavlovsky writes that the Russian elite is currently less concerned with preserving the continued rule of Vladimir Putin than it is with preserving the system Putin established.

“We increasingly have the impression that ‘the boss is away,'” Pavlovsky writes.

“The management of Russia that is formally exercised by the president has been almost entirely taken over by his inner circle and the presidential administration, which has ceased being just a general staff and has turned into a player with its own special interests.”

Is Pavlovsky right? There certainly are data points out there suggesting that he is.

Arrests are taking place that do not appear to be sanctioned by Putin. Figures like Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov seem to be pursuing independent agendas. Intramural clan warfare appears to be intensifying.

As Pavlovsky suggests, “The system is not only functioning without a fully functional Putin, it also lacks any strategic direction.”

So, are we witnessing the birth of Putinism without Putin — or at least with a diminished Putin?

A necessary caveat: Every time pundits have written off Putin in the past, he has come roaring back.

But somehow, this time it just feels different. It feels as if next year’s election will not only be Putin’s last — which has become the consensus position among Kremlin-watchers — but that it will be a watershed that will usher in a new political era.

IN THE NEWS

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations has accused the U.S.-led coalition in Syria of trying to partition the country by setting up local governing bodies in areas seized from the Islamic State extremist group, Russian news agencies reported.

The organization overseeing media access to the U.S. Congress has stripped Russia state-funded TV channel RT of its press credentials.

A Canadian man has pleaded guilty to his role in the 2014 hack of Yahoo’s e-mail servers, the latest development in a mysterious investigation that has ensnared officers of Russia’s main security agency.

Two men in the central Kazakh city of Qaraghandy, members of a Russia-based semireligious group called the Union of Co-Creators of the Holy Russia, are being tried on charges of inciting ethnic and religious hatred.

A lawyer for a Russian historian who is being tried on child pornography charges his supporters say are politically motivated has asked a court to move his client from jail to house arrest.

Tatar language classes are no longer mandatory in Russia’s Tatarstan region, a senior official has announced.

A U.S. diplomat has dismissed the idea that the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline will ever be built.

During his first trip abroad since his inauguration earlier this month, Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov has pledged to make “every effort” to strengthen the partnership between Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a law declaring December 25 a public holiday.

WHAT I’M READING

New PSSI Report On Russian Active Measures In The Visegrad Four

The Prague Security Studies Institute has released a new report — United We Stand, Divided We Fall: The Kremlin’s Leverage In The Visegrad Countries — on Russian influence operations in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland. You can download the full report here.

Explaining The War Drums

As I note in today’s Daily Vertical, the rhetoric in Moscow is becoming increasingly — and alarmingly — bellicose as the long winter sets in. It has included schools in Siberia being told to prepare for wartime conditions, Vladimir Putin telling defense contractors to ramp up production, and Patriarch Kirill’s remarks about a looming apocalypse.

Novaya Gazeta’s politics editor Kirill Martynov has a commentary contextualizing the recent wave of bellicose rhetoric from the authorities.

Meanwhile, economist and political analyst Vladislav Inozemtsev looks at recent proposals to increase military production and what they indicate in a commentary for RBK.

Russia’s North Korea Problem

In his column for Republic.ru, Moscow-based foreign affairs analyst Vladimir Frolov writes that, with its latest missile launch, North Korea has put Russia in a very uncomfortable position.

New Blog From NED: Power 3.0

The National Endowment for Democracy has just launched a new blog, Power 3.0, that explores how authoritarian governments spread their influence in a globalized information age and how democracies are contending with this challenge.

  • Putinism In Transition

In a commentary on the Moscow Carnegie Center’s website, former Kremlin insider Gleb Pavlovsky argues that with the 2018 election, Putin has become diminished and Russia is entering into an era of transition.

  • Ulyukayev And Sechin

In a commentary for Novaya Gazeta, political analyst Leonid Nikitinsky argues that Aleksei Ulyukayev and Igor Sechin both benefit from the Rosneft CEO’s refusal to testify in the former economic minister’s corruption trial.

  • A BRICS Internet? 

Kommersant looks at a recent proposal from the Russian Security Council to have the BRICS countries pool their efforts on Internet security.

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Russian PM Says US-Russia Ties at Low Ebb but Trump ‘Friendly’ – U.S. News & World Report
 


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Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visit the Resurrection New Jerusalem Monastery at Istra, outside Moscow, Russia November 15, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS Reuters. MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian and more »
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RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Is Pavlovsky right? There certainly are data points out there suggesting that he is. Arrests are taking place that do not appear to be sanctioned by Putin. Figures like Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov seem to be pursuing and more »
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Financial Times
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The US presidents Twitter attack on Britains prime minister leaves her with a toxic diplomatic dilemma how to respond to a contemptuous US presidentIt is some poor officials job this morning to tell Theresa May that while she slept, the relationship with the US became special for all the wrong reasons.It is at least historic. No US president in modern times has addressed a UK prime minister with the open peevishness and contempt of Donald Trumps tweet telling May to mind her own business.

Related: Donald Trump attacks British PM Theresa May over her criticism of his far-right retweets

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After Michael Flynn flips on Donald Trump, his son Michael Flynn Jr flips out

On Wednesday it was revealed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has paused his grand jury against Michael Flynn, the surest sign yet that Mueller and Flynn are hammering out a plea deal in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. Flynn is widely believed to be reluctantly cutting a deal in order to protect his son Michael Flynn Jr, who also faces serious exposure to criminal charges in the scandal. Now that Flynn Sr is flipping, Flynn Jr isn’t taking the news well. In fact he’s flipping out.Michael Flynn Jr has spent the past few days making vague Twitter posts suggesting that things may or may not be what they seem. However, shortly after it was revealed that his father really is wheeling and dealing with the Special Counsel, we got this tweet from Flynn Jr:
It’s not entirely clear how we’re supposed to interpret the animated GIF of Jim Carrey screaming and ripping his hair out. Is this what he expects society’s reaction to be to the Michael Flynn deal? Donald Trump’s base may be nervously tearing out its hair, as Flynn has the goods to take down Trump and everyone else involved, but mainstream Americans are celebrating the news that Flynn is flipping. In any case, Flynn Jr’s other tweets of the day suggests that he’s the one flipping out.

At one point Michael Flynn Jr attacked Fox News host Geraldo Rivera for defending Matt Lauer. At another point Junior retweeted a completely nonsensical tweet from Donald Trump about contempt citations. The other day he retweeted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a key suspect in the Trump-Russia conspiracy. This guy is all over the place. We’re continuing to monitor Flynn Jr’s Twitter account because once his father formally signs a deal that gets his son off the hook, we’ll see the son being forced to suddenly stop tweeting altogether.

The post After Michael Flynn flips on Donald Trump, his son Michael Flynn Jr flips out appeared first on Palmer Report.

In SF, Russian ambassador to US speaks of cooperation – SFGate
 


SFGate
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SFGate
The closure was the latest move in a long tit-for-tat it came in response to Putin ejecting hundreds of American diplomats fromRussia, which in turn had been a reaction to sanctions approved by Congress to punish Russia for interfering in the U.S  
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Roger Stone apologizes, admits hes been lying about Trump-Russia the entire time

Donald Trump’s former campaign adviser and longtime friend Roger Stone has long portrayed himself as a bully in the public square. Stone sells conspiratorial political books for a living, and loves to play the part. In fact he’s been such a misbehaving bully, he’s been permanently banned from CNN and Twitter. But now that he finds himself firmly in the crosshairs of the Trump-Russia scandals, he’s revealing himself to be very much a coward.Rather than face contempt of Congress or worse, Roger Stone has coughed up the name of the WikiLeaks go-between he was using during the election: his friend Randy Credico. In so doing he’s sold out Credico, who has just been subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee as a result (link). As it turns out, that’s just the beginning of the story, because now Stone is admitting he’s been lying the entire time, and he’s apologizing for it.Ryan Lizza, who writes for the New Yorker and appears on CNN, tweeted this after the news broke: “I asked Roger Stone in March if Randy Credico was his Wikileaks contact and he lied to me and said no. He just texted me, ‘A misguided effort to protect Credico who I felt had helped me on an off the record basis. Sorry.’” So now, not only is Stone giving up his friend to try to save himself, he’s also confessing to his lies and apologizing to the media. Has he turned over a new leaf? Probably not. He may be more worried about obstruction of justice charges.

Lying to a journalist is not a crime in and of itself. But if it can be demonstrated that Roger Stone lied to the media (and thus the public) for the purpose of trying to throw off investigators, that can meet the legal definition of obstruction of justice. Now that Stone is panicking and caving, he may be caving all the way.

The post Roger Stone apologizes, admits he’s been lying about Trump-Russia the entire time appeared first on Palmer Report.

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Esquire.com
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The Guardian
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US Intel Committee Subpoenas Comedian in Russia Election Meddling Probe
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On several occasions over the last few years, Credico interviewed and met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a man believed by some U.S. officials and lawmakers to be an untrustworthy pawn of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Assange’s group and more »
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CNN
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Reuters
Assange’s group released Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential campaign that U.S. intelligence agencies say were hacked by Russia to try to tilt the election against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. He is regarded with distaste by many in 
New York radio personality was Roger Stone’s WikiLeaks contactCNN
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