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:
- Work is underway on holding a Russian-U.S. meeting on issues related to the INF Treaty, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, according to TASS.
- Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab provided the tip to U.S. law enforcement that led to the August 2016 arrest of a former NSA contractor for allegedly leaking highly sensitive NSA hacking tools, The Washington Post reports.
- Russian hackers looking to gain access to critical American power infrastructure were able to penetrate the electrical grid by targeting sub-contractors to the system by pretending to be job seekers among other things, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of Russians say election tampering is likely to happen to their nation, while 78 percent of Americans say that elections are likely to be tampered with.
- The Russian central bank halved its dollar reserves to $100 billion and then moved $44 billion each into Chinese renminbi and euros, according to data released this week with a six-month lag, Financial Times reports. Russia’s trade with China reached a record high of the equivalent of $100 billion, according to the Chinese government.
- Germany will try to protect German and European companies from some potentially "massive collateral damage" if Washington levies further sanctions against Russia, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.
- 55 percent of Germans think the U.S. is a threat to the country, just one point less than the 56 percent who said the same of Russia, according to a recent survey conducted by Germany's Forsa Institute. A mere 16 percent of Germans expressed concern over China, Newsweek reports.
- U.S. federal prosecutors have asked witnesses about how at least a dozen Ukrainians gained access to Trump inauguration events and their activities in the U.S., the New York Times reports. Last month, prosecutors were asking about illegal foreign lobbying related to Ukraine and whether foreigners from Ukraine and other countries used straw donors to disguise donations to the inaugural committee, according to the news outlet.
NB: Next week’s Russia Analytical Report will appear on Tuesday, Jan. 22, instead of Monday, Jan. 21, because of the U.S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.
This Week’s Highlights:
- Against a backdrop of deep mistrust, the coming U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty and a new U.S. emphasis on tactical systems revive fears of nuclear war in Europe, writes Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. Despite 24/7 contact between the U.S. and Russian militaries, Trenin argues there is a need to resume strategic-stability dialogue to avoid miscalculation.
- If Trump is intent on withdrawing all U.S. troops from Syria, the best his advisers can do is to limit the damage by encouraging Russia to keep ISIS down and contain Iran, write Ilan Goldenberg and Nicholas A. Heras, the director of the Middle East Security Program and a fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
- There are three reasons to believe that Russia’s nuclear system is at great risk of cyber attack: Russia has already experienced a high rate of cyberattacks; the Russian nuclear arsenal is vulnerable to potential accidental use of nuclear weapons; and the high-stress living conditions at command centers, write M. V. Ramana, director of the Liu Institute for Global Issues, and his co-author.
- Washington Post columnist Max Boot has come up with 18 reasons why he thinks that “Individual 1” in the Mueller investigation, U.S. President Donald Trump, could be a Russian “asset.”
- The unification of Russia and Belarus is politically attractive to Russian President Vladimir Putin, writes Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky. A deeper integration scenario of the two countries appears to be on Russian officials’ minds, Bershidsky writes. However, Artyom Shraibman, a political commentator for Tut.by, argues that the current confrontation between Belarussian and Russian leaders is a significant step in the two countries’ emancipation from one another.