ON MY MIND
French President Emmanuel Macron reads Vladimir Putin the riot act in public.
An increasingly confident Angela Merkel rides high in the polls, looks to be sailing toward a fourth term as German chancellor, and there appears to be little the Kremlin can do about it.
After the euro crisis, the migrant crisis, the rise of the xenophobic right, and a coordinated campaign of Russian meddling, it looks to many that with Merkel and Macron at the helm Europe is getting its mojo back.
Is it real? Or is it a false dawn?
On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, I'll be joined to discuss this question by Jamie Kirchick, author of the recently published book The End Of Europe. Also joining Jamie and I will be Christian Caryl, a columnist at The Washington Post, editor of its Global Opinions section, and author of the book Strange Rebels: 1979 And The Birth Of The 21st Century.
It promises to be a great show so be sure to tune in later today.
IN THE NEWS
Vladimir Putin has said that Russian hackers might target those who criticize their country out of "patriotic" feelings, but insisted that the government has no involvement in such cyberattacks.
A Chechen man whom Russian authorities accuse of plotting to kill President Vladimir Putin was shot and wounded in Kyiv in what Ukrainian police say was an assassination attempt.
Russia's ambassador to NATO says Moscow will respond to the alliance's military deployment in eastern members.
The United States has sanctioned several new entities and individuals, including two Russian companies, one subsidiary, and a Russian citizen in connection with North Korea’s banned weapons programs.
Russia says it has for the first time used its Iskander-M tactical ballistic-missile systems out of the country during military exercises in Tajikistan.
A prosecutor in Chechnya has asked a court to block websites that carry content from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which recently posted a lewd comic strip taking aim at Ramzan Kadyrov over allegations of a campaign of abuse against gay men.
A Moscow court has postponed the verdict in the trial of Natalya Sharina, a librarian who is charged with inciting hatred in a case that is steeped in the confrontation between Moscow and Kyiv and has been denounced by rights activists.
Moscow authorities have rejected opposition leader Aleksei Navalny's request to hold an anticorruption march and rally in the heart of Moscow on June 12.
A Russian court has ordered the release of an activist who was forcibly committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2015 after making online calls for the establishment of a "Urals people's republic."
The Washington Post reports that U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has taken steps toward returning two diplomatic compounds that Russia was kicked out of in December.
WHAT I'M READING
I spoke to The World Weekly about the broader meaning of the recent expulsions of Russian diplomats from Moldova and Estonia.
Talkin 'Bout My Generation
Stratfor World View has a piece on how a new generation in the former Soviet countries of Eurasia is challenging Russian dominance.
The Western Front
In a piece for Republic.ru, Giorgi Golosov, a professor at the European University of St. Petersburg, looks at Vladimir Putin's visit to France and what it foreshadows for Russia's relations with the West.
The Russian Revolution And The Rise Of Trump
In The New York Times, Ivan Krastev -- chairman of the Sofia-based Center for Liberal Strategies, a fellow at the Vienna-based Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, and author of the forthcoming book After Europe -- explains what the Russian Revolution teaches us about the rise of Donald Trump.
The Strange Partnership
Eugene Rumer has a piece on the Carnegie Center for International Peace website on Belarus's tense and often ambiguous relationship with Russia.
The End Of Elections?
Kommersant is reporting that State Duma Deputy Mikhail Yemelyanov has released a pamphlet calling for the abolition of direct presidential elections. Instead, Yemelyanov argues, all the political parties should choose the president by consensus.
The Moscow Times has a piece looking "inside the secretive world of RT."
In New Eastern Europe, Kamil Całus of the Warsaw-based Center for Eastern Studies looks at the political wrangling between pro-Russia and pro-Western political factions in Moldova -- and the oligarchs playing both sides.
The past two installments of the SRB POdcast, hosted by Sean Guillory of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies, look at patron politics in Eurasia (with guest Henry Hale of the Eliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University) and the force of custom in Kyrgyzstan (with guest Judith Beyer of the University of Konstanz, Germany).