Tag Archives: Corruption

NEWSWATCH: Boris Nemtsov murder: Putin now governs mostly through terror & propaganda: Any plot would have been known by Kremlin

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

[“Boris Nemtsov murder: Putin now governs mostly through terror and propaganda; Any plot against Boris Nemtsov would have been known by the Kremlin. Putin either killed him or tolerated his death.” – The Daily Telegraph (UK) – February 28, 2015] Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Ben Judah comments on the assassination in Moscow of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov. He […]

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NEWSWATCH: Boris Nemtsov: Liberal martyr: Russia’s rising political hatred claims a victim: a scrupulously honest reformist leader

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

[“Boris Nemtsov: Liberal martyr: Russia’s rising political hatred claims a victim: a scrupulously honest reformist leader” – The Economist – February 28, 2015] The Economist covers the assassination of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov in Moscow. ‘NEMTSOV is a national traitor! Execute the traitor!’ wrote a commenter a few days ago, on an internet petition to strip Boris Nemtsov of […]

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NEWSWATCH: The Nemtsov Murder and the FSB

Boris Nemtsov file photo

[“The Nemtsov Murder and the FSB” – Tom Rogan – The National Review – March 2, 2015] Tom Rogan, writing in The National Review, covers the assassination in Moscow of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov. He points to signs of involvement by the Russian government security services, particularly the FSB. Nemtsov opposed not only the Putin regime but the related kleptocracy […]

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NEWSWATCH: Russia’s Army of Avengers: Masha Gessen on the Murder of Boris Nemtsov

Boris Nemtsov file photo

[“Russia’s Army of Avengers: Masha Gessen on the Murder of Boris Nemtsov” – Masha Gessen – New York Times – March 2, 2015] Masha Gessen covers the assassination in Moscow of Russia opposition figure Boris Nemtsov. The scariest thing about the murder of Boris Nemtsov is that he himself did not scare anyone. ‘He was no threat to the current […]

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NEWSWATCH: My friend charted the looting of a nation; his death is a warning to all Russians

Boris Nemtsov file photo

[“My friend charted the looting of a nation; his death is a warning to all Russians” – The Sunday Times (UK) – Edward Lucas – March 1, 2015] Edward Lucas reflects upon the Moscow assassination of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, writing in London’s The Sunday Times. Nemtsov was my closest friend in Russian politics. I had known him since the […]

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Putin’s Russia between the Reichstag Fire and the Kirov Murder

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 1, 2015) No one can disagree with Yuliya Latynina that with the murder of Boris Nemtsov, Russia has entered a new era, one in which the political opponents of the regime are killed or intimidated by that possibility and one about which it is critically important that all recognize that reality (echo.msk.ru/programs/code/1501598-echo/). […]

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Nemtsov: Kremlin-Watchers Find Eerie Parallel In An 80-Year-Old Murder

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – March 1, 2015) On December 1, 1934, a killing took place that would set the stage for one of the blackest chapters in Soviet history. The victim was Sergei Kirov, the popular head of the Leningrad Communist Party and one of the few men who could stand toe-to-toe with the increasingly powerful Soviet […]

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Is Nemtsov’s Murder a Replay of Kirov’s?

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Jack Matlock – jackmatlock.com – March 1, 2015) Jack Matlock is a career diplomat who served on the front lines of American diplomacy during the Cold War and was U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union when the Cold War ended. Responding to the shock of the gang-style execution of Nemtsov in Moscow, Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev, speaking at Tufts University yesterday, said […]

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First Putin Marginalizes His Critics, Then He Kills Them, and Then He Shifts the Blame

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 1, 2015) The horror and revulsion all people of good will feel about the murder of Boris Nemtsov in the shadow of the Kremlin has led many to treat this latest crime as if it were something new. In fact, the killing of Nemtsov is only the latest example of Vladimir […]

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Nemtsov Murder Corners Kremlin

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Moscow Times editorial – themoscowtimes.com – March 2, 2015) There is no shortage of theories as to who was behind the murder of Boris Nemtsov. But we should not allow ourselves to be fooled by the decoys spread by investigators and the pro-Kremlin media, such as that his murder was the result of a business dispute or revenge by his […]

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Boris Nemtsov: ‘We Must Free Russia From Putin’

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Mikhail Sokolov and Luke Johnson – February 28, 2015) Slain opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was looking ahead to a planned March 1 opposition rally, though in an interview with RFE/RL’s Russian Service earlier this month, he portrayed the demonstration as just a first step in a long struggle. “If you think that [authorities] would run away […]

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Nemtsov’s Murder Defines Putin’s Russia

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Bloomberg editorial – bloomberg.com – March 1, 2015) The thousands who marched in Moscow on Sunday in honor of the murdered opposition politician Boris Nemtsov did so because they recognize just how much has been lost with his death. Nemtsov had been brave enough to tell the truth in Russia under President Vladimir Putin. The official response to his apparently professional […]

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Nemtsov Feared Putin Would Kill Him and Now the Kremlin Leader Has

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Window on Eurasia –  Paul Goble – Staunton, February 28, 2015) Almost three weeks ago, Boris Nemtsov said that he feared that Vladimir Putin would kill him for his opposition activities, and last night, the Kremlin leader did, either by direct order which some are convinced is the most likely or by creating the barbarous climate in Russia which has made such […]

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NEWSWATCH: The Murder of Boris Nemtsov: Another Putin opponent is killed by unknown assailants

Boris Nemtsov file photo

[“The Murder of Boris Nemtsov: Another Putin opponent is killed by unknown assailants” – Wall Street Journal editorial – February 28, 2015] The Wall Street Journal comments upon the assassination of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov in Moscow. In the gangster state that is Vladimir Putin ‘s Russia, we may never learn who shot dead Boris Nemtsov in Moscow late Friday night, much […]

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NEWSWATCH: Death threats and a late night dinner before Russia’s Nemtsov was shot dead

Boris Nemtsov file photo

[“Death threats and a late night dinner before Russia’s Nemtsov was shot dead” – Reuters – Thomas Grove – MOSCOW, Feb 28, 2015] Reuters covers the assassination of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov in Moscow. A political reformer who had fallen foul of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Nemtsov had been preoccupied for weeks with details of an opposition march planned for Sunday. * […]

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Putin’s ‘Hybrid’ Great Terror

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – February 28, 2015) When reporters asked former world chess champion and Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov who was behind the assassination of opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, he dismissed the question as irrelevant. Whoever did the dirty work, he implied, would have done so only with President Vladimir Putin’s blessing. “Who gave the order to […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Nemtsov murder: Shock and condemnation in Russia and abroad

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – February 28, 2015) The killing of prominent Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov in central Moscow late on Friday shocked policymakers and other public figures both in Russia and abroad. His associates tend to believe that the murder was politically motivated. They are determined to hold a mourning procession in central Moscow on Sunday […]

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Interfax: Moscow admin allows Nemtsov mourning procession

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, Feb. 28, 2015) The mayor’s office has given permission for a planned procession in central Moscow on Sunday to mourn Boris Nemtsov, an official in the city administration said. “The route lies from Kitaigorodsky Proyezd along Moskvoretskaya Embankment and the Greater Moskvoretsky Bridge. The procession is to terminate on the Smaller Moskvoretsky Bridge,” Alexei Mayorov, head of […]

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Analysts Blame Nemtsov’s Death on Russia’s ‘Legitimized Hate’

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 28, 2015) Boris Nemtsov, 55, one of the most vocal political opponents of President Vladimir Putin, was shot dead outside the Kremlin on Friday night, revealing the deep sense of alienation between various political forces in Russia and showing how political divisions in the country can in a moment turn violent. […]

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Ukraine’s Tarnished Poster Child for Reform

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – February 24, 2015) Less than a year ago, Igor Bilous was a symbol of hope and change for Ukraine. The 36-year-old investment banker’s appointment to lead the country’s tax service seemed to confirm that the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych’s corrupt regime would mark a generational shift and a radical cleanup of the […]

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Tide starts to turn against corruption in Ukraine one year after Maidan

Column in Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – February 24, 2015) One year after opposition protests ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, the fight against Ukraine’s endemic corruption has begun for real – and the tide has started to turn. “Corruption has not been eliminated since Maidan but it has been noticeably driven back where it was most […]

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Putin Aide Linked to Maidan Killings

Vladislav Surkov file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 20, 2015) In the classic film about Watergate, “All the President’s Men,” Deep Throat warns that in unmasking a conspiracy, it is important not to go too fast but rather to build from the outer rings into the center. Otherwise, the conspirators will feel protected, and the possibility that anything will […]

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Few Russians left unmoved by “Leviathan” of a movie

Movie Theater file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – FILM REVIEW: Anna Kravchenko in Moscow – February 10, 2015) Andrei Zvyagintsev’s “Leviathan”, probably the most anticipated film in post-Soviet Russia, hit the screens of more than 600 cinemas on February 5. The film made RUB7.2mn (€97,000) in its first day of release, an impressive sum for Hollywood-dominated Russian distribution market. Weekend box office […]

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Interfax: Corruption not Russians’ primary concern – deputy interior minister

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Interfax – February 9, 2015) Russian citizens are not particularly worried about corruption in the country, Russian Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov has said, as reported by privately-owned news agency Interfax on 9 February. “All the colour revolutions, in every country that has had one, took place under the slogan of fighting corruption, but thereafter these countries were thrown into […]

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Russian Authorities to Create Blacklist of Corrupt Officials

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – January 22, 2015) The Russian government has called for the creation of a special registry of officials who have been dismissed from their positions on the basis of a “loss of trust” due to corrupt activities, Kommersant reported Thursday. The move aims to serve both as a deterrent to corrupt activities among […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Russia’s Mobutu?

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Derek Brower in London – January 13, 2015) Corruption in Vladimir Putin’s Russia has sprouted its own sub-genre for Western publishers. Few of the many books, though, have the laser-like focus or amass the same devastating detail as Karen Dawisha’s “Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?” (Simon & Schuster, New York: 2014). Thanks to Britain’s […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Five reasons to watch Leviathan

Movie Theater file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anton Dolin, special to RBTH – January 16, 2015) Andrei Zvyagnitsev’s film has already taken home a Golden Globe and Palme d’Or at Cannes for best foreign film and it is now up for an Oscar. Still wonder if you should see it? Let RBTH erase any remaining doubts. 1. This is not […]

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Russian court explains decision not to jail Kremlin critic Navalnyy

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – January 12, 2015) A Russian court has explained its decision to give a suspended sentence to anti-corruption campaigner and Kremlin critic Aleksey Navalnyy while jailing his brother, Oleg, Interfax news agency reported on 12 January. Interfax quoted Moscow’s Zamoskvoretskiy court saying that “in handing down punishment, the court took into account the actual facts in the case, information […]

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Russia’s Oscar Hopeful Is Dark, Critical — And Patriotic

Map of Russia

(RFE/RL – Robert Coalson – January 5, 2015) In the film Leviathan, a drunken mechanic in a far northern Russian town clashes with a greedy, drunken mayor who is determined to expropriate the man’s land for his own mansion. The mayor contemptuously refers to his subjects as “insects” and, in a fit of vodka-fuelled honesty, pulls back the curtain on […]

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Ukraine’s battle against corruption faces politicization and tiny salaries

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – December 11, 2014) Ukraine has declared war on corruption, but the politicisation of the anti-corruption campaign and tiny salaries could lead to collateral damage. On paper at least, anti-corruption in Ukraine is not afraid of big-ticket arrests: on December 10, Serhiy Kostyuk, head of Ukraine’s biggest gas producer, state-owned […]

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Russia to study Navalnyy NGO’s anti-graft proposal after 100,000 sign petition

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, December 9, 2014) One hundred thousand Russians have supported the idea of criminal liability to be introduced for the illegal enrichment of officials obliged to submit the details of their incomes and expenditures, which will lead to a federal expert group examining whether the law needs to be amended. A proposal to that effect, published on the […]

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Interfax: Russian Investigative Committee opens over 21,000 anti-corruption inquiries in 2014

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(Interfax – December 9, 2014) The damage done to Russia by corrupt practices nears 15 billion rubles ($281 million) a year and about half of that sum is compensated for, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said. “The damage done to the budget and aggrieved parties in [corruption] cases referred to court this year exceeds 14.5 billion rubles ($272 million),” […]

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Interfax: Kremlin chief of staff “acknowledges” corruption problem

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Interfax – December 8, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff has spoken about corruption in Russia. In his remarks, reported by Russian Interfax and TASS news agencies on 8 December, Sergey Ivanov said the Russian government “acknowledged” the problem and had been taking “consistent” steps to deal with it. He dismissed a Transparency International study which ranked Russia 136th […]

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Interfax: Human rights activists expect Russia to achieve anti-corruption results in 30 years

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Interfax – December 3, 2014) Russia may achieve tangible anti-corruption results by the middle of this century on the condition the crackdown on corruption starts right now, said Yelena Panfilova, chairperson of the board of the Transparency International anti-corruption research center. “We are asked at every meeting whether we can follow the example of Singapore [which made impressive progress in […]

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Russia Fails to Make Headway in Global Corruption Ranking

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko- December 4, 2014) Russia slipped three places to rank a dismal 136th out of 175 countries in Transparency International’s annual latest corruption survey, unveiled Wednesday. This is evidence that the Kremlin’s anti-graft crusade declared three years ago has not worked, the watchdog’s deputy chairperson Yelena Panfilova said in Moscow. But a new campaign […]

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Business New Europe: Ukraine remains Europe’s most corrupt country

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – December 3, 2014) Ukraine remains Europe’s most corrupt country, and one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by international NGO Transparency International. The rating shows almost no improvement with the situation before a revolution promising a crackdown on corruption was victorious […]

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New parliament, old ways in Ukraine

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – December 1, 2014) It should have been a great day in Ukraine’s effort to transform itself into a modern liberal democracy in the EU mould. The freshly elected Ukrainian parliament held its first session on November 27, completing the process of political transition from the kleptocratic autocracy of Viktor […]

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Moscow Medical Staff Keep Pressure on Authorities With Massive Street Protest

File Photo of Patient in Russian Hospital

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – December 1, 2014) More than a thousand health care workers took to the capital’s streets Sunday to keep the pressure on authorities amid ongoing medical reforms that critics say are being conducted for financial gain over anything else. The reforms, which were initiated by President Vladimir Putin upon his return to the […]

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Business New Europe: Number of Russians who think corruption got worse in past 15 years went down 20%

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Business New Europe – bne/IntelliNews – bne.eu – November 19, 2014) According to a poll conducted by the independent Levada centre, 39% of Russians think that corruption in the country got worse in last 15 years. That is 20% less than in July 2010, when 60% of respondents said the situation worsened. Traffic police are considered the most corrupt institution […]

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Putin Said to Stun Advisers by Backing Corruption Crackdown

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Evgenia Pismennaya, Irina Reznik- November 19, 2014) Vladimir Putin sat motionless as the minister, seizing on the Russian leader’s first major meeting with his economic team in months, itemized the challenges. A recession is imminent, inflation is getting out of hand and the ruble and oil are in freefall, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev told Putin, according […]

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Russians tend to call corruption indestructible – poll

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Interfax – November 18, 2014) Over a third of Russians believe it is impossible to eradicate corruption in their home country, Levada Center told Interfax. Some 43 percent of 1,630 respondents polled in 134 populated localities said corruption was worst in the traffic police, 39 percent said this about the police in general and 35 percent pointed the finger at […]

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Riches Don’t Come Honestly in Russia, Most Russians Say

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 6, 2014) More than 60 percent of Russians think it is impossible to get rich honestly in their country, according to a survey published Wednesday by the Levada Center, an independent pollster. Fifteen percent of respondents said that it was possible to become wealthy honestly 15 to 20 years ago, but that times have […]

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Crime And Crimea: Criminals As Allies And Agents

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Mark Galeotti – November 3, 2014) Mark Galeotti is professor of global affairs at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University, an expert on Russia’s security services, and author of the blog “In Moscow’s Shadows” Mikhail Volkov is a cop in Moscow (up to a point) and Viktor Skvortsov is a criminal (of sorts), […]

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How to Become a Russian Spy

Stylized Artis Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – October 3, 2014) When a young Vladimir Putin decided to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a spy, he headed to the local branch of the KGB in Soviet Leningrad. Wary of unsolicited applicants, the KGB officers turned Putin away, but not without some valuable advice: Go get an education, preferably in […]

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Frustrated Ukrainian Activists Dishing Out ‘Trash-Bucket Justice’

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, October 2, 2014) You can call it the “people’s lustration,” the “Trash-Bucket Challenge,” or mob rule. But by whatever name, Ukrainian activists are increasingly taking the matter of punishing officials from the old regime into their own hands. Impatient with unsigned lustration legislation, activists from groups like the ultranationalist Right Sector have been tossing officials in trash […]

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No Basis for Moscow’s Claims that Russian Corruption has Declined, Experts Say

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 26, 2014) Independent Russian experts say that there is no basis for the claim by Boris Titov, presidential plenipotentiary for the rights of entrepreneurs, that the level of corruption in the Russian Federation has fallen. Instead, they say, all measures point to corruption still being a major obstacle for the country’s […]

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Ukraine’s Revolutionaries Surrender to Corruption

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – August 18, 2014) To international audiences, Ukraine is now no more than the scene of a Russian-inspired armed conflict. The fighting, however, is confined to areas that are home to 6.5 million of Ukraine’s total population of 45 million. Although the outcome there is important to all Ukrainians, there is a bigger issue: Will the […]

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Daching: How to Get Beaten Up in the Russian Countryside

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – August 11, 2014) Many extreme sports, from snowboarding to air racing, are known health hazards. But only one can lead to indiscriminate beating, allegations of terrorism, jail and even self-imposed exile – and all you need to do is take a stroll through supposedly public land. Dozens of Russian officials, from President […]

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Ukrainian Cows Kidnapped, Trafficked to Russia, Police Say

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 18, 2014) Against the backdrop of blistering diplomatic tensions between Moscow and Kiev, a 172-head herd of cows has been illegally trafficked across the Russian border, the Luhansk region branch of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry claimed Thursday. The herd went missing Wednesday night from a farm in Luhansk region’s Belovodsky district, Tatyana Pogukai, the head […]

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Death Be Not Proud – Be Profitable: Moscow’s Funeral Business

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn- June 5, 2014) Your beloved mother has died, leaving you in a state of grief just short of catatonic. Who do you call? Many Muscovites will tell you it was not really who you call that matters – it was who the police, the dispatcher or the medics call: the funeral agents. Because […]

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