From Russia With News

From Russia With News

This week’s news and analysis from Russia introduced by our staff and guests.

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    Russian anti-fascist group gets 'monstrous' jail terms. And New Yorker journalist Joshua Yaffa on his new book, 'Between Two Fires'

    — On Monday, seven members of a Russian anti-fascist activist group were jailed for up to 18 years on terrorism charges in a case that observers have compared to a Soviet-era show trial. We speak to NYT correspondent Ivan Nechepurenko about how Russian society has reacted to the case. — New Yorker correspondent Joshua Yaffa joins us in the studio to discuss his new critically-acclaimed book “Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin's Russia,” a fascinating portrait of modern Russia and the inner struggles of the people who sustain Putin’s rule.

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    Russia returns to the Council of Europe. And the Kremlin puts the squeeze on Georgia as 'Anti-Russian' protests continue in Tbilisi

    — Five years after it was expelled for annexing Crimea, Russia has been admitted back onto the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. And not everyone is happy about it. We speak to Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky about how the decision has divided European allies and delighted Russia.

    — A decade after Russia and Georgia fought a 5-day war, ties between the countries are at a historic low following a dramatic week of protests, resignations and sanctions. We talk to Thomas de Waal of the Carnegie think tank about why Vladimir Putin is lashing out at Georgia.

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    What to make of Putin's annual call-In 'ritual'. And are we closer to justice for MH17 victims?

    — Vladimir Putin put on display his ability to rattle off facts about Russia’s success during his annual phone-in on Thursday. But just how impressed was his audience? We talk to Alexander Baunov of the Carnegie think tank.

    — On Wednesday, Dutch prosecutors charged three Russians and one Ukranian with murder in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014. The three Russian men have various links to their country’s intelligence services and all of them served in the military. Their trial, which they are unlikely to attend given that Russian law prohibits its citizens from being extradited, begins in March next year. Joining us on the line is Dutch journalist Gert-Jan Dennekamp a reporter at Nieuwsuur television program.

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    A journalist's arrest shows the cracks in Putin's regime

    The shock arrest of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov — and his even more unexpected release — is revealing the unpredictability of late Putinism. We speak with Alexei Kovalev, Ivan’s editor, about what it took to get him free, and with Daily Beast reporter Anna Nemtsova about how authorities tried to manage the outcry.

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    The Kremlin woos foreign investors at "Russian Davos." And what's behind the roaring success of HBO's Chernobyl

    — Russia’s flagship economic conference, kicking off in St. Petersburg on Thursday, has been overshadowed by the detention of U.S. investor Michael Calvey. We speak with Ann Simmons of the Wall Street Journal about what Russia is doing to shore up its image and find new trading partners.

    — HBO’s roaring hit Chernobyl has sparked some uncomfortable conversations in Russia. We talk to writer Michael Idov about why the show has struck a chord in the U.S. and a nerve in Russia

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    Don't Insult the President. And why rural doctors are striking

    — Russians are learning the hard way what happens when you take Putin’s name in vain. We speak with Moscow Times editor, Daniel Kozin, about a new law against insulting the authorities.

    — If it's demonstrations against trash disposal, then it’s against new churches, restrictions or internet censorship. We’ve covered them all on the podcast, and now, doctors are protesting. We speak to Andrew Kramer from the New York Times about how doctors in rural Russia are speaking up against low wages.

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    A new censorship scandal rocks the media. And Russia's dirty oil crisis

    — The entire politics desk of the Kommersant business newspaper, 11 people in total, handed in their resignations this week. The mass departure was a protest against a decision by the editor in chief and the oligarch owner to fire two journalists for a scoop in April. We speak with one of the Kommersant reporters who was fired for the scoop, and to Russian journalist Alexei Kovalev about how this latest incident fits into the worsening media landscape in Russia.

    — On April 25, Russia halted oil flows through the Druzhba pipeline to Eastern Europe and Germany because the deliveries had been contaminated with organic chloride, leading to frictions between Russia, Belarus and the West. We speak to Bloomberg reporter Jake Rudnitsky to discuss the fallout.

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    Yekaterinburg revolts. Pompeo meets Putin. And Joshua Yaffe on a village doctor turned writer

    — Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city has been rocked by protests, as thousands of residents continue to defend a riverside park from plans to build a church on its grounds. We speak with Matthew Luxmore, a Radio Free Europe reporter on the ground and with Yekaterina Schulmann, a political scientist about the larger forces at play.

    — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Russia this week for direct talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and President Putin. We speak to Fyodor Lukyanov, a Kremlin focused foreign policy analyst, about whether the visit represents the beginning of a new chapter.

    — And finally, we have New Yorker correspondent Joshua Yaffa in the studio to discuss his recent profile of Maxim Osipov, a village doctor and writer whose work seems to capture the nuances and peculiarities of life in Russia.

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    Russia’s endgame in Venezuela. And the Kremlin’s obsession with Victory Day

    This week on From Russia With News, Moscow Times columnist and political consultant Max Hess explains why the Kremlin is going all in on Nicolas Maduro, the embattled leader of Venezuela who recently fended off a coup attempt backed by the United States.

    And it’s Victory Day. We speak with Washington Post bureau chief Anton Troianovski about why the Kremlin is obsessed with celebrating the Soviet Union’s role in World War II.

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    Kim Jong Un rides armored train to Russia. And Mark Galeotti on Mueller, Ukraine and teaching in Russia

    Kim Jong Un arrived in Vladivostok on Wednesday for a three-day visit in an armored train. He was greeted with flowers, and bread and salt. We talk to Mikhail Korostikov, the Kommersant journalist who broke the news of the meeting about what the two leaders want from the summit.

    Regular Moscow Times columnist and author of two new books, “We need to talk about Putin” and “Vory: Russia’s super mafia,” Mark Galeotti is in town. We speak to him about life after the Mueller report, the recent elections in Ukraine, and what it’s like teaching transnational crime at Russia’s most elite university.

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