NONE TO JUNE. TAKING A BREAK
PUTIN'S Q&A SESSION. Here. Rather boring this year I thought: a lot of minutiae about small farmers' problems, medicines, local train services and so on; much agreement that things must be improved. Something important on the Western sanctions; "we must benefit from the situation with the sanctions to reach new development frontiers. Otherwise, we probably would not have done it. This goes for import substitution policies, which we are now forced to implement." Many of the people whom I talk to (with, I might say, a much better track record of assessment than the usual "experts" that fill the MSM: Kraus, Auckland) agree that import substitution will be of great benefit. Nothing on foreign matters that he hasn't said many times before: open for cooperation, but won't be pushed around. When asked why he does these sessions he said they were a sociological poll: "Millions of questions have arrived though different channels and they offer an opportunity to see what people are really concerned about." 3 million phonecalls and SMS messages, in fact. It is a window into concerns.
NEW NWO. Putin lifted the ban on the sale of the effective S-300 AD system to Iran. The Lausanne talks are expected to bear fruit; Iran will probably be soon welcomed into the SCO joining a security alliance with China and Russia. India is also expected to formally join. Another piece in the new order.
OLYMPICS. The Russian Audit Chamber says 324.9 billion rubles (US$6.2 billion) was spent on the Olympics and Paralympics with revenues of 85.4 billion rubles (US$1.6 billion) in revenues. That's about what I said at the time. Hostile Western media confused the other large sums spent on developing the Sochi-Adler complex altogether. Here are some reports of what's happening there now.
JIHADISM. It is reliably reported that the leader of the Caucasus Emirate amir was killed in a special operation in Dagestan. Here's Gordon Hahn's informed take.