|IN THE NEWS
A Greek tribunal has given the go-ahead for the extradition of Russian cybercrime suspect Aleksandr Vinnik to the United States, where he is wanted in a $4 billion bitcoin-fraud case.
Spain’s high court has authorized the extradition of a Russian man wanted by U.S. authorities for running a massive computer bot that sent tens of millions of spam e-mails over many years.
Vladimir Putin has appointed the chief of the ruling United Russia party’s parliamentary group, Vladimir Vasilyev, as acting leader of the volatile North Caucasus region of Daghestan.
The United States has called on “Russian occupation” authorities in Crimea to release prominent Tatar leader Ilmi Umerov and vacate his conviction for separatism.
The Russian Defense Ministry says that a Russian air strike in Syria has killed 12 Al-Nusra Front field commanders and gravely wounded the group’s leader.
Russia claims it has killed a Kazakh militant it says was an important commander in the forces of the extremist group Islamic State in Syria.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will travel to Moscow for talks with President Vladimir Putin, the first visit to the Russian capital by a reigning Saudi monarch.
Putin has expressed satisfaction about Russia’s progress in preparing for soccer’s 2018 World Cup, but said construction work on some of the venues remained behind schedule.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development says it will close five of its seven offices in Russia next year, as the London-based lender pursues a ban on new investment loans in the country.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose government is under pressure from protesters at home and Western governments that say he has become increasingly authoritarian, is to meet this week with the leaders of Russia and Belarus.
The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Russia to pay financial compensation to the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta for violating its freedom of expression during hearings related to the publication’s reporting on the sinking of the Kursk submarine in 2000.
The European Court of Human Rights has also ruled that the conviction of a human rights activist for extremism in 2006 for publishing speeches by Chechen separatist leaders was a violation of his rights and ordered financial compensation.
WHAT I’M READING
A Letter From Prison
Voices of Ukraine has published an English translation of filmmaker Oleh Sentsov’s letter from prison , which was smuggled out by a Russian journalist and human rights activist.
Moscow And Barcelona
In a column for Yezhednevny Zhurnal, Aleksandr Ryklin argues that the real winner in the Catalonian independence referendum was Russia.
But in an editorial, Gazeta.ru argues that Moscow’s support for separatism in Europe will come back to haunt the Kremlin.
In his column for Republic.ru, opposition journalist Oleg Kashin looks at Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky’s campaign against liberalism in the arts and what it portends.
Putin And The Governors
In a piece for Politcom.ru, political analyst Tatyana Stanovaya looks at Putin’s recent reshuffling of Russia’s regional governors.
Putin Vs. Navalny
In Sobesednik.ru, Anton Zaritsky evaluates the battle between Putin and opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.
Lessons Of Syria
In a piece for Jamestown, Sergey Sukhankin of the Kyiv-based International Center for Policy Studies looks at the lessons learned from Russia’s “asymmetric response” to the United States in Syria.
Putin’s Man In Germany
In a piece for Carnegie Europe, Judy Dempsey looks at former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder’s “unswerving loyalty to Putin.”
Russia’s Betrayal And Redemption Myth
In The New Republic, Sophie Pinkham, author of the book Black Square: Adventures In Post-Soviet Ukraine, looks at the role of the “epic myth of betrayal and redemption” in Putin’s Russia.
Russian Studies Is Alive And Well
In The National Interest, Timothy Frye, chairman of the department of political science at Columbia University, argues that despite claims to the contrary, Russian studies are thriving at U.S. universities.
Book Review: Masha Gessen’s The Future Is History
Francis Fukuyama reviews Masha Gessen’s new book The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia for The New York Times.
How To Become A ‘Russophobe’
In a piece on the Center for European Policy Analysis, veteran Kremlin-watcher Edward Lucas reflects on how he landed in RT’s list of the “top ten Russophobes.” (And in case you were wondering where the term “Russophobia” came from, and it has a pretty checkered past, read this .)