This page features the weekly news and analysis digests compiled by Russia Matters. Explore them by clicking "Read More" below the current week's highlights and subscribe using the subscribe links throughout the site, like the one below, to receive our digests via email. Past digests are available in the News Archive, which is accessible via the link on this page.
This Week’s Highlights:
- U.S. and Russian security services are resuming cooperation on cyber issues, according to FSB director Bortnikov, TASS reports. Bortnikov also noted that "not so long ago, the Americans provided us with information on certain individuals and their plans to carry out terrorist attacks in our country," according to Interfax.
- Putin supervised major test launches of ballistic and cruise missiles on land, air and sea as part of the three-day Grom (Thunder)-2019 exercises that was aimed to test the readiness of Russia’s command structure and how efficiently its orders are carried out in a nuclear war, The Moscow Times reports.
- Three U.S. diplomats, who included the U.S. military and naval attachés, caught near the restricted zone of a recent deadly nuclear explosion in northwestern Russia had declared a different destination for their trip prior to travel, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said, according to RFE/RL. The trio was removed from a train on Oct. 14 and briefly questioned.
- Twenty-two U.S. citizens are in detention or in jail in Russia, according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
- Statistics published by the Russian government showed an unexpected jump in real disposable incomes of an annual rate of 3 percent in the third quarter of the year, off the back of a 0.1 percent fall in the second quarter. GDP was also reported to have climbed 1.9 percent over the past 12 months, up from 0.9 percent in the previous reading, according to The Moscow Times.
- A subsidiary company of China National Chemical Engineering has signed an agreement, worth around $13.3 billion, with Baltic Chemical Complex of Russia to build a natural gas processing and chemical plant near Russia's shoreline on the Gulf of Finland, Xinhua reports.
- On a Middle East tour, Putin first signed a package of deals valued at $2 billion with Saudi Arabia, followed by a $1.3 billion package with the UAE, according to RFE/RL and AlJazeera.
This Week’s Highlights:
- One of America’s leading Russia experts, Thomas Graham, offers a comprehensive plan for normalizing U.S.-Russian relations. As part of this plan, “rather than trying to persuade Moscow to understand its own interests differently, Washington must demonstrate that those interests can be more safely pursued through both considered competition and cooperation with the United States.”
- In previous Valdais, both Russian and Chinese speakers have explicitly denied that Russia and China will form an alliance, writes leading Russia expert Angela Stent. This time, these denials were absent. Based on what was said during the conference, one could conclude that the two countries are indeed moving toward some form of a formal alliance, Stent writes.
- If ever there were a moment for U.S.-Russian dialogue about how to avoid miscalculation with doomsday weapons, it’s now, argues columnist David Ignatius. This dialogue, Ignatius writes, should begin with a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders who can talk with administration officials about strategic stability and prepare the way for eventual discussions between the U.S. and Russia.
- Russian troops took up position in Syria between the government's army and Turkish-backed forces, filling a void created by departing U.S. troops and demonstrating the Kremlin's role as a power broker in the country's multisided conflict, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- Nord Stream 2 booklets and promotional publications succeeded in convincing many Europeans that the project is about getting more Russian gas by an additional route, writes Mikhail Korchemkin, founder of East European Gas Analysis. In fact, Korchemkin argues, Nord Stream 2 is about diverting transit revenue from Ukraine and Slovakia to Germany and physically liquidating most of the pipelines taking gas to and through Ukraine.
- Russia would need to be ready for a collapse of the peace process in eastern Ukraine under pressure from the nationalist opposition to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, while also facilitating the resettlement of this region’s residents in Russia, writes Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. Russia does not need more land, but it certainly needs more people, according to Trenin.