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The Vostok 2018 war games in Siberia may look to some like an indicator of an impending Sino-Russian alliance. But experts say the exercises are not as grand as they appear and are less an omen than a word of warning to the West.
As the Trump-Kim summit nears, little attention has been given to how the Kremlin views the situation. But Russia has a great deal at stake, as both a neighbor and a patron of North Korea.
While the West's sanctions against Russia have been in place for four years now, it's easy to lose sight of just how effective they are. In fact, Russia has largely handled them. But the latest round of US sanctions and a set of new Russian "counter-sanctions" may be about to make the sanctions war much more costly.
As Putin begins his newest term, he is introducing a radically different budget for his country, with plans for a major infrastructure boost coming at the expense of some of the Kremlin's more ambitious defense projects.
Russia has been serving as a buffer between Israel and Iran amid the fighting in Syria. But Israel's restraint appears to be fraying – making the state of relations between Iran and Russia critical to managing any outbreak of fighting.
Unlike post-Soviet revolutions in Ukraine, Georgia, and elsewhere, the current protests in Armenia have not alarmed the Kremlin, even though they look set to bring greater democracy. That is likely due to the lack of geopolitical stakes involved.
Israel has maintained a good relationship with the Kremlin amid Russia's tensions with the West. But as the Assad regime's victories bring Iran closer to the Israeli border, Russia is finding it harder to balance its needs in Syria with its Israeli ties.
The Russian government is trying to block popular messaging app Telegram from domestic users. But its creator, Pavel Durov, is easily winning the fight, ensuring Telegram stays up even as the Kremlin clumsily causes collateral damage online.
Russian and US-allied forces avoided conflict during Friday's airstrikes on alleged Syrian chemical weapon sites. But Moscow sees the US's ongoing involvement in Syria as nothing more than spoiler. Still, analysts say, Russia needs the US to help diplomatically.
Locals in Volokolamsk say the massive garbage dump outside of their town is poisoning their children. The dump is a byproduct of Russia's transformation from communist to capitalist society – but the locals' lawsuit to move it shows that civil society is growing too.
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