RUSSIA MONITOR MONTHLY 6/2020

Contents
The Awakening Of Private Military Companies

The Awakening Of Private Military Companies

Private military companies, or PMCs, are independent corporations that trade military services through a wide range of opportunities they have due to their corporate nature.

Iraq’s Two Rivers

Iraq’s Two Rivers

To those with tenacity to remain hopeful of a peaceful and stable political-operational situation in Iraq, taking seriously the cold and brutal geopolitical realities could benefit from some creative thinking. Incomplete information is a given in policymaking decisions. Fortunately, the solutions need not be perfect – just good enough.

Putin’s Constitution

Putin’s Constitution

With a constitutional overhaul of the balance of power in Russia, Vladimir Putin is pushing to consolidate his eternal grip on power. As Russia is seeing a slew of rifts in its politics, economy as well as social matters, any attempts to repeat its past ‘tandemocracy’, or the joint leadership of Russia between 2008 and 2012, are considered by the Kremlin as far too risky.

Russia Close to Reach Oil Output Quotas

Russia Close to Reach Oil Output Quotas

Throughout June, Russian oil and gas condensate production averaged 1.272 million tons, or 9.323 million barrels per day (bpd). Russia has stuck to its duties under the OPEC+ oil cuts, official data shows.

Turkey Buys Less Russian Gas

Turkey Buys Less Russian Gas

Turkey has been importing less gas from Russia yet the increase of Russian energy commodities is illusory, with Turkish data showing a significant drop in natural gas imports from Iran. Also, Turkey’s liquefied natural gas imports have outpaced the purchase of natural gas through pipelines.

A Holiday for Putin’s “Democracy”: Outcome Known From the Top

A Holiday for Putin’s “Democracy”: Outcome Known From the Top

The proposed constitutional amendments have come into force, with a nationwide plebiscite being nothing but a political theater. The public vote on them is seen as more of a national opinion poll, designed to lend legitimacy to the amendments and solidify Vladimir Putin’s grip on power.

Hungary to Join TurkStream Gas Pipeline

Hungary to Join TurkStream Gas Pipeline

The supervisory board of Hungary’s pipeline operator FGSZ greenlighted a plan of investment into the construction of a gas pipeline to Serbia by October 2021, the company said in a statement.

Lukoil Starts Drilling in the Caspian Sea

Lukoil Starts Drilling in the Caspian Sea

Russian oil major Lukoil said it has started drilling of an exploration well at the Shirotno-Rakushechnaya prospect structure north of the V.I. Grayfer oilfield. The company has also begun to study Khazri and Titonskaya features in the south of the same sea area.

Russia Is Afraid of U.S. Troops Moving from Germany to Poland

Russia Is Afraid of U.S. Troops Moving from Germany to Poland

The Trump administration agreed that an additional 1,000 U.S. troops would be added to Poland, the sole outcome of the latest round of the U.S.-Polish talks that confirmed what the two parties had concluded a year ago. In Moscow, many say that would push the balance of power throughout the region in favor of NATO countries.

Paul Whelan: A Victim of FSB Provocation

Paul Whelan: A Victim of FSB Provocation

There is yet another sign that Paul Whelan, the former marine detained on spy charges, was taken as collateral in negotiations to free Russian agents being held in U.S. prisons. The American is not going to appeal his prison sentence, his lawyer said.

Russia Says Concerned Over Trump-Duda Meeting

Russia Says Concerned Over Trump-Duda Meeting

The Kremlin is voicing growing concern over the Polish President’s planned visit to the White House and Washington’s ambition to extend its military presence in Poland. Warsaw is rising in importance whereas Berlin is steadily losing it.

Putin (Again) Wages Memory War

Putin (Again) Wages Memory War

In a lengthy essay published in U.S. magazine The National Interest, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the topic of both World War II and the current affairs worldwide. Though stuffed with a number of references to many other documents, the historian-like exegesis is far from being a scientific paper.

Coronavirus in Russia: Putin Has Ratings Problem

Coronavirus in Russia: Putin Has Ratings Problem

The fall in Vladimir Putin’s popularity ratings is bucking the trend. The pandemic and much-criticized state policies, including the president’s self-isolation from Russian society, have created a less comfortable environment for the Kremlin while only speeding up some alarming shifts.

Russia’s Plan For Libya: Diplomatic Solutions Instead of Hired Guns

Russia’s Plan For Libya: Diplomatic Solutions Instead of Hired Guns

Following a series of setbacks for Russian-backed military commander Khalifa Haftar, there comes a severe threat of the collapse of the Libyan National Army (LNA). Thus, the Kremlin is seeking to bolster efforts towards compliance with Russian-Turkish bilateral agreements on a ceasefire in Libya.

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