Project Code: STATE-RUS-180

Russian Far East News Monitor

Project Title Russian Far East News Monitor
Project Summary Help inform U.S. foreign policy making and reporting by catching news stories of interest to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and Washington, DC.
Country Russia
Agency Department of State
DoS Office N/A
Post VLADIVOSTOK
Section POL
Number of Interns 3
Project Description

The U.S. Consulate in Vladivostok is seeking assistance in reporting on political, economic, cultural, and social developments in the Russian Far East - the largest consulate district in the world by landmass. The world's attention has turned to this region as September 2018 elections resulted in surprise upsets of incumbent politicians, and 6 out of the 10 districts with the lowest support for President Putin in the March presidential elections were in this region. The Public Affairs Section and Political-Economic Section of the Consulate are seeking an intern to help catch news stories each day that could be of broader interest outside the region. The Consular District recently expanded to include 3 more regions - Transbaikal, Irkutsk, and Buryatia. The Consulate has not traditionally been monitoring these areas, so illuminating an under-served region will be valuable to informing U.S. foreign policy in this area.

Required Skills or Interests
Skill(s)
Economic analysis
Political Analysis
Writing
Additional Information

Ideally, the virtual intern(s) would send a report of relevant news headlines and stories in the Russian Far East 3-5 days per week, with the report arriving in Vladivostok by about 8:30am local time, which would be 6:30pm in Washington, DC (5:30pm Central Time, 4:30pm Mountain Time, 3:30pm Pacific Time). Priority days would be Sunday-Thursday, but the schedule would be negotiable based on your availability. The Russian Far East has expanded to include includes 12 regions/districts: Primorye (where Vladivostok is located), Khabarovsk, Sakhalin, Yakutsk, Kamchatka, Magadan, Chukotka, Amur, the Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Irkutsk, Buryatia, and Transbaikal. The main outlets to monitor are the following:

Vladivostok: Primamedia - http://primamedia.ru/, Vl.ru - http://www.vl.ru/, Konkurent - http://konkurent.ru/, Zolotoy Rog - http://zrpress.ru/, Regional news portal - http://primorye.ru/; Sakhalin/Kuril: Sakh.com - http://sakh.com/, Sakhalinmedia- sakhalinmedia.ru/, ASTV - https://astv.ru/, Khabarovsk: Vostokmedia (both Primorye and Khabarovsk) - http://vostokmedia.com/, Amurmedia – http://amurmedia.ru/, DvHab –http://www.dvhab.ru/, DebriDV - http://debri-dv.com/, Yakutsk: Yakutiainfo – http://yakutia.info/, Ykt.ru - http://news.ykt.ru/, YSIA - http://ysia.ru/; Kamchatka: Kamchatinfo - http://kamchat.info/, Kam24 - https://www.kam24.ru/, VestiPK - http://www.vestipk.ru/; Amur, PortAmur - https://portamur.ru/, Amur.Info - http://www.amur.info/; Magadan: Kolyma - http://www.kolyma.ru/, Magadanmedia - http://magadanmedia.ru/; Chukotka: IA Chukotka - http://www.prochukotku.ru/, Anadyr - http://www.anadyr.org/; Jewish Autonomous Oblast: Gorod na Bire - http://www.gorodnabire.ru/, EAOmedia - http://eaomedia.ru/, Transbaikal - https://www.chita.ru/news/, https://zab.ru/news, https://ok.ru/chitaru, https://www.mkchita.ru/news/; Irkutsk: https://www.irk.ru/news/, https://irkutsk.news/, https://baikal.mk.ru/news/, https://irk.today/, Buryatia: https://www.infpol.ru/, https://gazetarb.ru/news/, https://arigus.tv/news/, https://bgtrk.ru/

Not all outlets would need to be monitored each day, but starting from the first outlet in each region, you would do the following: translate the news home page into English (right click and select 'translate page' in Google Chrome), scan for stories of broader interest based on the criteria below, copy headlines and URLs into a Word document, copy any key facts from the stories (time permitting), organize the headlines by general category, and then send the Word document to the following email addresses: ThiesDT@State.gov; ParisiB@State.gov; and MotovilovDA@State.gov. In general, the topics of interest are the following:

1. North Koreans in the Russian Far East (RFE)
2. North Korean efforts to develop its nuclear weapons program and delivery systems
3. U.S.-Russian Relations in the RFE
4. The U.S. Consulate in Vladivostok
5. Sanctions on Russia and North Korea
6. Public Opinion Polling of residents in the RFE
7. Federal government efforts to develop the RFE
8. Public Protests and Activism in the RFE
9. Russian-Japanese relations in the RFE
10. Russian-Korean relations in the RFE
11. Russian-Chinese relations in the RFE
12. Russian Military Capability development in the RFE, including military exercises
13. Regional and Local Politics in the RFE
14. U.S. Business and Investment in the RFE
15. Economic Development Indicators in the RFE
16. Vostochniy Space Port activities
17. Corruption in the RFE
18. Notable events concerning Society and Culture in the RFE (e.g., surveys, demographic trends, notable cultural events, awards and achievements, indigenous affairs, religious groups, human rights, censorship)
19. Environmental Problems in the RFE (e.g., Pollution, deforestation, endangered species, efforts by the Russian government and NGOs to protect the environment and wildlife)
20. Health challenges in the RFE (e.g., HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, alcoholism, antibiotic misuse, drug-resistant illnesses)
21. Agriculture development in the RFE (e.g., new greenhouses and dairy farms, fisheries, railroads to carry grain to ports, foreign investment in the agricultural sector)
22. Education sector development in the RFE, and what happens to graduates when they graduate from college
23. Science and technology developments in the RFE, including robotics and drones (especially underwater drones)
24. Leading human interest stories that everyone is talking about at a given time

Specific Stories/Search Words to Follow
1. Vostochny Spaceport
2. Visa Free Regimes
3. Vladivostok Re-development Plans
4. Out-Migration/Depopulation/Demographic Data
5. RFE – Alaska Ties
6. Migrant Laborers in RFE
7. RFE Hectare Program
8. Coal Dust at Seaports, particularly Nakhodka
9. Religious Minorities
10. American Citizens in RFE
11. Shipbuilding
12. New direct flight routes in the RFE
13. Film Festivals, Music Festivals, Indigenous Festivals, City Day Festivities in RFE – announcements of dates
14. Education Fairs in RFE