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Russia Reform Monitor - No. 2002

Publishing, Russian style;
Arms to Egypt... and the Arctic

Edited by Ilan Berman
September 14, 2015

August 14: 

Russia's publishing industry is taking extreme license with the works of select authors, 
the New York Timesreports. A number of prominent authors critical of the Kremlin - including British journalist Luke Harding andThe Economist's Edward Lucas - have "found their books rewritten and published" by a Russian publishing house called Algoritm. The actions have been taken "without consultation or permission" from the authors, and have resulted in works that are radically different - and more sympathetic to the Kremlin - than the originals. 

August 15:

In the aftermath of the July 14th signing of the new nuclear deal with Iran, relations between Moscow and Tehran are kicking into higher gear. 
According to Radio Free Europe, Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov has told reporters that the Kremlin is "completely satisfied" with the terms of the recently-concluded nuclear agreement, and plans to "resume trade at all levels" with Tehran - including the provision of long-delayed air defenses to the Islamic Republic. 

August 16:

As part of the burgeoning strategic ties between Cairo and Moscow, Russia has "gifted" the Egyptian government an advanced new warship, 
Al-Ahram reports. According to the Cairo newsweekly, the gift of the "Molniya" missile corvette was made in conjunction with the inauguration of the new Suez Canal expansion project, a major initiative of the government of president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and reflects "Russia's support for Egypt and the matching visions of both countries on the war against terrorism." 

August 17:

The most violent clashes since the signing of the Minsk II ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine this spring have broken out near the cities of Mariupol and Horlivka, 
Foreign Policy reports. According to Ukrainian authorities, separatists have commenced shelling on the border of Mariupol, killing two Ukrainian soldiers and two civilians and wounding seven others. Both Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists are taking the offensive as violence escalates. 

August 18:

For over a decade, Russia's Gazprom natural gas monopoly has served as an important foreign policy tool, furthering the Kremlin's geopolitical objectives through its extensive energy clout. But now, amid plummeting energy prices, that influence is on the wane, 
the Washington Post reports. Among other developments, Gazprom's European customers are increasingly seeking out alternatives to Russian gas, while the EU has brought an antitrust case against the monopoly. The effects have been pronounced. Gazprom's market value has shrank to a mere seventh of what it was in the year 2008, while fewer customers and warmer winters have left the company with a glut of natural gas. 

Russia is moving military
materiel into the Arctic in an attempt to strengthen and solidify its position there, the U.S. military has warned. Business Insider reports that a new study by the U.S. Army's Foreign Military Studies Office has outlined the deployment by Russia of modified air defense systems to "key areas" near its Arctic borders with both Norway and the U.S as part of what experts have termed its growing "militarization" of the Arctic.

Related Categories: Russia; Russia and Eurasia Program; Ukraine

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