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:
- Having issued a recommendation for the U.S. to withdraw from the INF Treaty, John Bolton is heading to Moscow to meet Vladimir Putin and his top aides on Oct. 22-23., according to The Guardian.
- U.S. special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker argues that for the West, sanctions are the best way to maintain pressure on Russia, and says that more sanctions will be imposed on Russia every month or two, Ukrinform reports.
- At the Valdai Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that in the event of a nuclear war, Russian martyrs will go to heaven, while the aggressors who strike Russia “will simply drop dead,” according to Business Insider.
- Vladimir Putin has signed off on new nuclear safety guidelines that warn of “illegal manufacturing of components of nuclear weapons” as well as of “terrorist acts involving nuclear materials and radioactive substances.”
- The top 10 percent of wealth holders owns 82 percent of all household wealth in Russia compared to 76 percent for the U.S. and 62 percent for China, according to Credit Suisse.
This Week’s Highlights:
- The opposition winners in Russia’s recent regional elections were not anti-establishment liberals but traditionalists and paternalists, unhappy with the Kremlin’s modernization agenda, according to Gleb Kuznetsov writing for the Carnegie Moscow Center.
- Discussions over the past year have produced recommendations for a sustainable bipartisan U.S. strategy toward Russia, according to Nikolas Gvosdev, and it would comprise three elements: cooperate, compete and confront.
- In their critique of U.S. NATO envoy Kay Bailey Hutchison’s recent warning that the U.S. might “take out” Russian missiles, Jeffrey Lewis and Aaron Stein write “one would think that not provoking a nuclear war with Russia would be at the very top of the ambassador’s list of priorities.” Instead, Hutchison’s undiplomatic language fuels Moscow’s fears of a decapitating U.S. strike, according to the two experts.
- Considering the new independence of Ukraine’s Orthodox Christian churches from Moscow, Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky argues that the damage to Russia “cannot be fully contained. Even if only 20 percent of Ukrainians and 15 percent of Russians say religion is very important in their lives, the symbolic meaning of the religious demarcation and the real prospect of a schism won’t be lost on much bigger percentages of both countries’ population.”
- The fees from American, European and Japanese astronauts that use Soyuz spacecraft account for almost 25 percent of the annual Roscosmos budget.