Western media observers have been alarmed by the series of Russian laws passed that give the Kremlin an increased ability to police the Internet. For liberal Russians, and bloggers in particular, the newest limitations are just the latest part of a disturbing trend of new restrictions on Internet media that, not coincidentally, began when Vladimir Putin retook the presidency in 2012.
The U.S. and Russia seem to have fallen into a pattern over the crisis in Ukraine. When Washington ratchets up the pressure on Moscow, Russia doubles down on its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Russians and Westerners have diametrically opposed interpretations of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, recent polls demonstrate, and that determines the decisions taken by policy-makers on both sides, analysts told The Moscow Times on Tuesday.
Over the last six months, the Russian propaganda machine has pursued a two-pronged strategy toward its domestic audience. Russia’s propaganda effort also has a global dimension. How should the US government respond?
Despite their hardening views on economic ties, neither Brits nor Germans are ready to switch the carrot for the stick just yet when it comes to diplomacy. Only around a third of Brits and a fifth of Germans think that their countries should break off diplomatic relations with Russia. Although this has risen since the Malaysia Airlines crash, it seems that people want their leaders to keep working with their counterparts in the Kremlin.
Investigators are still far from an official judgment of what brought down a Malaysia Airlines flight in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew onboard. But the global court of public opinion, the verdict appears to be rendered.
Moscow's reaction to the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 and the latest round of U.S. sanctions reveals signs of disarray over the strategic shift toward confrontation with the West. Many Russian officials view the rising stakes with trepidation.
The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) plan to present a draft version of Russia’s “soft power doctrine" (entitled “Integrated Strategy for Expanding Russia’s Humanitarian Influence in the World”) to President Vladimir Putin before the end of summer.