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Russia This Week – Part II – January 5- 13, 2017

Russia This Week is a weekly review by the MEMRI Russian Media Studies Project, covering the latest Russia-related news and analysis from media in Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Description: http://www.memri.org/image/30641.jpg

Cartoon Of The Week

Description: Курьерская доставка
Vitaly Podvitsky, December 29, 2016

American news readers are crushed by the New York Times (that has been renamed the “New York Lies” by the cartoonist) and its incessant harping on the Russian threat

Zakharova Dixit

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova is one of the most-quoted Russian officials. She is known for using colorful language when describing Russian foreign policy in her weekly press briefings. The following are Zakharova’s quotes of the week:


Zakharova in front of Christmas Tree. The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7.(Source: Instagram.com/mzakharovamid)

Zakharova wrote on her Facebook account: “Every day I read the news from Washington: new sanctions against Russia, supplying MANPODs [Man Portable Air Defense Systems] to Syrian beheaders, senseless but very harmful actions throughout the whole scope of foreign policy. God created the World in seven days. Obama administration has two days more in order to destroy it.”

(Facebook.com/maria.zakharova.167, January11, 2017)

“Why are you attacking only the Russian media? Didn’t The Voice of America and Radio Liberty cover the nomination of presidential candidates or State Duma elections in Russia? Browse through their materials. Were they connected with the events that concerned protest movements in Moscow? In fact, they were the first to report them. Just look at the amount of information they provided on this issue. And after that you accuse RT and Sputnik of propaganda? RT and Sputnik offer alternative views that have at last become heard amid the Western mainstream media news. Just read what Radio Liberty writes [on its website], and you will feel ashamed, because this is what your taxpayers are paying for. This is shameful.”

(Mid.ru, January 12, 2017)

Question: “What do you say about the specific statements by Rex Tillerson who referred to Russia as a threat?”

Zakharova: “We will provide comments after the proper appointments have been made followed by official statements and actions by the US State Department. Even the appointments haven’t been made yet. The new administration has a long way to go before they settle into their new positions. Give them some time. Again, we have never expected our relations with the United States to be simple and easy. We are realistic about our bilateral relations.

(Mid.ru, January 12, 2017)

Quotes Of The Week

Commenting on U.S. accusations that Russia staged cyber-attacks on Democrats during the 2016 elections, Vadim Dengin, a member of the Duma’s committee on information policy, said: “We have to treat this with understanding. To understand and to forgive the Obama’s administration. There will be other people after [this administration], and I hope there will never be such disgusting insinuations anymore.” He then added: “It seems that Obama wants to stay the worst president for the American people forever.”

(Ria.ru, January 6, 2017)

Leonid Levin, head of the Duma’s committee on information policy, said: “Saying that Russian informational resources could have seriously influenced the public opinion of American voters directly insults American public opinion itself. An assertion that the publication of a few about one of the political parties is a danger for the  200-years-old American statehood is even more humiliating to the entire American political system.” He then added: “It seems like American special services started to believe in the anti-Russian theses utilized by the Democratic party during the election campaign.”

(Ria.ru, January 7, 2017)

Senator Franz Klintsevich, First deputy chairman of Russia’s Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security, said: “All the accusations regarding cyber-attacks are senseless, because it is impossible in principal to influence the voting process in a country like the U.S. with such means. To suit the outgoing administration, U.S. intelligence has exposed itself to derision”.

(Ria.ru, January 5, 2017)

The Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee for International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev wrote on his Facebook account: “Obama’s desperate efforts to pin his defeat on the Russian president just seem to be a banal attempt at settling scores. But in fact this indicates the utter failure of America’s hegemonic policies and more important systemic shifts in global politics rather than Trump’s victory over Clinton.” He then added: “The world cannot remain an eternal hostage to America’s blunders, the US version of the Western leadership has failed completely. Obama is not just a president losing an election, he is a symbol of a post-Cold-War era coming to an end.”

(Tass.com, January 9, 2017)

Pushkov’s Tweet Storm

Senator Alexey Pushkov (@Alexey_Pushkov) wrote on his Twitter account:  “The mountain has produced a molehill: all accusations against Russia are based on ‘confidence’ and allegations. The U.S. were just as confident that [Saddam] Hussein had WMD.”


Source: Twitter.com/Alexey_Pushkov, January 6, 2017

Pushkov wrote: “The democratic process in the U.S., rather than by Russia, was compromised by the Obama administration and media, which supported Clinton against Trump. The danger to democracy is inside the U.S.”


Source: Twitter.com/Alexey_Pushkov, January 6, 2017

Pushkov tweeted: Probably Trump’s major fight will not be with China, North Korea and not even with ISIS, but with the U.S. media which keeps waging an information war against him.”


Source: Twitter.com/Alexey_Pushkov, January 6, 2017

Pushkov wrote: “If you build your policy towards Russia purely from a position of strength, you may then get loads of problems. Bush and Obama did that. The US did not achieve any success.”


Source: Twitter.com/Alexey_Pushkov, January 6, 2017

In The News:

New U.S. Sanctions Against Russia

Commenting on new U.S. sanctions against Russia, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov stated: “On January 9, the outgoing US administration expanded sanctions against Russia, the fourth hostile move in less than three weeks. We could have continued without comment, since the inadequacy of the leaders in Washington, who have fallen into a sanctions-mania, is something that is clear to everyone. But the situation begs for a few pertinent remarks.

The Obama administration has used numerous expedients in recent years in an attempt to hurt us. Now they feel outraged because their candidate lost the presidential race. But they are seeking to place the blame for their defeat anywhere but in their own backyard. And this frustration is an expression of their bad manners and Russophobia.

“The White House is displaying unwarranted vengefulness even though they know full well that their efforts to harm us are futile and will fail. It is clear that the Obama administration can yet complicate things in its final ten days, which includes anything they can do to make things worse for their successors. This behaviour is simply disgraceful.”

(Mid.ru, January 10, 2017)

Commenting on the sanctions, Russia’s State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin termed them: “Hysterics of President Barack Obama’s outgoing administration, this cannot be called any another way.”

(Tass.com, January 10, 2017)

Reactions On McCain’s Push For Additional Sanctions Against Russia

A bill was proposed by Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, on comprehensive sanctions against Russia, following the release of a declassified version of a report by the intelligence community on Russia’s interference in the U.S. election.

The chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachyov, commented: “An active campaign against the president-elect [Donald Trump] is in progress. He is being cordoned off wherever possible.” Kosachyov then added: “Nobody had expected anything else from McCain… All such initiatives are expected to trigger a hasty and nervous response from Russia. I see no need why we should play into the hands of our ill-wishers. We’ve got to wait just a little bit more, before this era is a bygone one.”

(Tass.com, January 11, 2017) 

Commenting on the bill on new anti-Russia sanctions proposed by McCain, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said: “It is difficult to comment on bills approved in another country… it is sad that such people as McCain initiate those decisions in America. McCain is not the person who determines the vector of the Russia-US relations. It’s a pity that such defective political fogies are trying to fasten their views on the American people… It is sometimes necessary to display sagacity and leave in a timely fashion.”

(Tass.com January 11, 2017)

U.S. Armored Brigade’s Deployment To Poland

Commenting on the recent arrival in Poland of the U.S. Army, 4th Infantry Division’s 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, the hugest deployment since the end of the Cold War, Senator Konstantin Kosachev said: “The key to understanding the situation is the decision taken by Obama to complete the deployment until the end of his term. This is one more trap for Trump – one amongst many, which the outgoing administration sets in order to hamper his future freedom of maneuver. Taking into consideration that the US under Trump will reduce financing for NATO programs we can expect a review of the decision to bolster forces along our borders”.

(Interfax.ru, January 7, 2017)

Description: An American soldier from 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, drives a M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzer off of a flatcar in Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, Jan. 9, 2017. The howitzer was one of 53 vehicles that arrived in Northeastern Poland from the Port of Bremerhaven, Germany, as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. Rotating units through the European theater enhances U.S. European Command’s ability to deter aggression and assure U.S. allies. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Corinna Baltos
An American soldier from 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, drives a M109 Paladin self-propelled howitzer off of a flatcar in Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, Jan. 9, 2017. The howitzer was one of 53 vehicles that arrived in Northeastern Poland from the Port of Bremerhaven, Germany, as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. Rotating units through the European theater enhances U.S. European Command’s ability to deter aggression and assure U.S. allies. (Source: Defense.gov)

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