US security services have fingered the channel as a key player in the Kremlin's efforts to sway Western politics. But inside its offices, RT seems a far cry from what the US says it is – and what it aspires to be.
In Russia, there is no shortage of rumor around the Kremlin and the goings on of its residents. And for many in the business of verifying that rumor, the Trump dossier provides a lot of reason to doubt its assertions.
After several years of economic hardship and international pressure over its annexation of Crimea, Russia may see its lot improve next year. But most are skeptical of the possibility of lasting change.
Expectations have grown that Putin and Abe might formally end World War II between Russia and Japan during their meeting this week, but the Kremlin now says that is unlikely. Still, Russians see great opportunity to be had.
In his state of the union speech Thursday, Putin said he would wean Russia from its oil dependency, revive its flagging economic dynamism, and restore its global reputation. But his window may be closing.
There is little optimism in Russia that there could be a serious reconciliation between Washington and Moscow, even if Donald Trump is in the White House. But if it happened, this is what Russian analysts say it would have to entail.
While Russian and Syrian forces are set for a major offensive on Aleppo after the end of today's cease-fire, the potential military success is overshadowed by the Kremlin's inability to return to superpower-style dealing with the US.
Pinning down specific Russian responsibility for hacking incidents is complicated by Russia's cybersecurity model. Most of the IT expertise lies in the private sector, and the Kremlin itself is surprisingly not tech-savvy.
In their overwhelming attacks on eastern Aleppo, which spurred the US to suspend talks with Moscow, Russia and Syria are seeking a favorable political outcome through time-tested – if brutal – military means.
Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church have increasingly invoked Czar Nicholas II, murdered in 1918, as part of a broader strategy to claim political legitimacy. But that epoch may hold warnings for Putin.