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Tag Archive for Government

Most Russians Think Their Interests Not High on Putin’s Agenda, Poll Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 21, 2014) Only one in eight Russians think that President Vladimir Putin represents the interests of “ordinary people” in the country, a recent poll showed, even though a vast majority have said that they “trust” their leader. The most popular choice in a question that allowed for multiple answers

LDPR Leader Zhirinovsky Condemned for Tirade Against Pregnant Reporter

Vladimir Zhirinovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 19, 2014) The State Duma’s ethics committee will investigate Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky after the firebrand politician directed a particularly crude and offensive outburst at reporters on Friday. After being asked whether Russia should retaliate against the travel restrictions placed on Russian men by Ukraine, Zhirinovsky went

Did Putin Declare a Mini Thaw in Culture?

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – April 21, 2014) Did this actually happen or am I imagining it? It’s no big event or turning point, that is for sure. But it did feel for a moment last week that the temperature of the flames burning around us dipped just a little. In recent

Putin Hovering on the Brink of a Massive Invasion of Ukraine

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 73 - Pavel Felgenhauer – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – April 17, 2014) The Ukrainian crisis and the “reunification” of Crimea with the rest of Russia dominated President Vladimir Putin’s almost four-hour-long televised national phone-in-an annual PR performance that had been previously dominated by discussion of pensions, utility payments, inflation,

Putin Shows Victor’s Benevolence at Annual Call-In

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 17, 2014) Breaking his tradition of publicly tongue-lashing opponents at home and abroad, President Vladimir Putin assumed a non-predatory stance Thursday to diffuse fears of escalation of the ongoing rift with the West over the Ukraine crisis during his annual live call-in show broadcast on national

Duma Bill Ending Mayoral Elections Passes First Reading

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – April 17, 2014) The State Duma has approved in a first reading a bill that would put an end to direct mayoral elections in some of Russia’s largest cities in what critics said was an attempt to ensure the appointment of mayors loyal to the Kremlin. The

Putin Family Values

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Outdoor Rally with Microphone in Hand and Heavy Coat

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 17, 2014) Given the Kremlin’s promotion of traditional family values and Russian interest in all things Putin, a distant relative of the Kremlin leader has put out a second edition of his genealogy of the family, the presentation of which in Moscow this week speaks volumes

Russia’s First Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill Under Consideration by Duma

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Katie Davies – April 15, 2014) Russia’s first anti-sexual harassment law has been submitted to the State Duma, despite concerns among critics that its terms will be used to deport foreign workers unfairly. The changes will protect the honor and dignity of “the more beautiful, but weaker sex,” said Oleg

Culture Ministry Purges Prominent Arts Figures

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – April 11, 2014) The Russian Culture Ministry raised eyebrows this week by replacing several respected figures in two departments involving the fine arts and theater. Many admit it was high time for these experts to be rotated out of their positions. But most also suggest that the

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with core members of the Russian Popular Front

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(Kremlin.ru – Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region – April 10, 2014) Vladimir Putin met with core members of the Russian Popular Front national public movement. In particular, the meeting addressed implementing the Russian Popular Front’s anti-corruption project, which includes monitoring purchases for state and municipal needs. Also, Russian Popular Front representatives talked about independent supervision over implementation

Human Rights Group to Close Over ‘Foreign Agent’ Label

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – April 10, 2014) The Constitutional Court has upheld the controversial law requiring some nongovernmental organizations with foreign funding to register as “foreign agents,” while an affiliate of the prominent Memorial human rights group faces closure after being labeled a foreign agent by a St. Petersburg court. The

Russian Economic Ministry revises 2014 GDP growth forecast down to 1.1%

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. April 9 (Interfax) – Russia’s Economic Development Ministry has lowered its 2014 GDP growth forecast in the base scenario from 2.5% to 1.1% and in the conservative scenario to 0.5%, Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach said during a Tuesday evening briefing in Moscow. The main difference between the two scenarios, Klepach said, is

In The Wake Of Crimea Annexation, Patriotism Reigns In Russian Classrooms

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Lyubov Chizhova and Farangis Najibullah – MOSCOW – April 09, 2014) It will take some time to revise Russia’s history textbooks to reflect the annexation of Crimea. But that’s not preventing the authorities from moving quickly to assure the country’s school curriculum sticks to a politically — and patriotically — correct line on the issue.

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting of the Federal Security Service board

fsb-building

(Kremlin.ru – April 7, 2014) Vladimir Putin took part in an expanded meeting of the Federal Security Service board. The meeting reviewed the results of the FSB’s activities in 2013 and set the priorities for 2014. —– PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, At this expanded meeting today, we will discuss the Federal Security

Novosibirsk Race Seen as Win for Opposition

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladislav Shayman – April 8, 2014) Calling Novosibirsk a provincial backwater would be incorrect. With 1.7 million residents, Novosibirsk is Russia’s third-largest city with a nationally known opera theater and nearly 70 local universities and colleges. It also is known as “the town of academicians” for hosting the internationally known

Putin’s Call-In Show Set for April 17, Reports Say

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – April 7, 2014) President Vladimir Putin is expected to hold his annual call-in show on April 17, Russian media reports said Monday. The question-and-answer session will be broadcast on national television and radio stations and is expected to cover “Crimea, the international situation, the domestic economy and the

RIA Novosti: Russia Won’t Let NGOs Be Used for Destructive Ends as in Ukraine – Putin

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday the country will not allow the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to be used toward destructive ends as has recently happened in Ukraine. “Modern Russian legislation creates all of the conditions for the transparent and free activity of non-governmental social organizations, but we

BNE: Who is Vladimir Putin?

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow, editor-in-chief – March 31, 2014) When he first assumed power in 2000, the press corps spent the first six months asking the same question: “Who is Vladimir Putin?” At first the media speculated he was merely a puppet of the oligarchs because he had clearly

Russians polled on what democracy is

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Interfax – Moscow, April 3, 2014) About half of Russians (46 per cent) think that the country is a democracy, while last year 38 per cent thought so, sociologists from the Levada Centre have told Interfax. According to the results of their survey, 32 per cent of Russians, the same number as in 2013, think

Interfax: Number of Russian citizens believing democracy grows in Russia rising – poll

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW. April 3 (Interfax) – A total of 46% of Russian citizens believe that democracy rules in the country, against 38% in 2013, sociologists of the Levada Center told Interfax. According to the survey, 32% of Russians, the same as in 2013, think democracy has not been established yet, while 13% of respondents (against 22%

Putin Relative Accuses Russian Railways of Corruption

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – April 3, 2014) One of President Vladimir Putin’s relatives, Roman Putin, has spoken out against alleged corruption at Russian Railways, a state company headed by one of the president’s closest allies. The criticism by Roman Putin, who has been accused by some of capitalizing on the president’s

In Sochi and Crimea, Cossacks Seek to Define Role in Society

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – April 2, 2014) Dimiter Kenarov, a freelance reporter working in Crimea, was surprised to see a group of uniformed Cossacks hastily carrying cables and video equipment out of an Associated Press television studio. When he and another photographer attempted to document the incident, they found themselves

RIA Novosti: Russians Regain Right to Contest Election Results in Court

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law Wednesday allowing Russian voters to contest the results of elections or referendums in court. Under the 2012 amendments to a federal law on voting right guarantees, Russians lost the right to contest the results of elections in court. Russia’s highest court ruled

25% of Russians Think Government Is Corrupt, Poll Says

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 2, 2014) One in four Russians think that the current government is corrupt and self-serving, while about one in eight have nothing bad to say whatsoever about the administration, a recent poll indicates. The most common complaint of the government, selected by 41 percent of those questioned, is its

Russia must remain true to “traditional values” – Kremlin chief-of-staff

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

(Interfax – Moscow, March 31, 2014) Sergey Ivanov, head of the Kremlin administration, is stressing the importance and relevance of Russia drawing up a state cultural policy: the scenario in Ukraine, which led to the abandoning of traditional values and a division of society provoked from abroad, must not be allowed. “The latest events in

Russia to Privatize Additional 431 Companies Through 2016

Empty Boardroom

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 1, 2014) The Cabinet approved a plan to privatize an additional 431 companies through 2016, according to a document published on the government’s website Monday. About 20 percent of Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port, the Russian Lottery, and multiple scientific-research, construction, and agricultural facilities are up for sale, in addition

Russian Cabinet Outlines Costs of Crimea

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – March 25, 2014) The costly consequences of expanding Russia’s territory became clearer Monday when Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev revealed a Crimea to-do list for the government and its corporations. Russia will need to take care of entitlements and services ranging from retirement pensions to tax rebates to

TRANSCRIPT: Putin and Lavrov at Meeting with permanent members of the Security Council

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Kremlin.ru – March 21, 2014) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council, during which a detailed discussion on the situation in Ukraine took place. Taking part in the meeting were Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, Chief of Staff of the

TRANSCRIPT: Putin at Congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – March 20, 2014) Vladimir Putin took part in the annual congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. The topics on the congress’ agenda include de-offshorisation of the economy, making business more transparent, enhancing labour productivity, improving labour legislation, and creating a better investment climate. During the congress, representatives from the Agency

The Pros And Cons Of Propaganda

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – March 20, 2014) Propaganda works. Or at least it’s working for the time being. In concluding his speech to a joint session of parliament this week, Vladimir Putin claimed that 92 percent of Russians favored the annexation of Crimea. The number was inflated, but not by much, according

New TV Show Turns Ethnic Tension Into Comedy

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – March 11, 2014) Russia’s largest television stations broadcast all over the country, bringing the same faces to Muscovites, Siberians and Caucasus natives alike. However, a new series is taking this a step further, representing Russia’s ethnic diversity in one sitcom family and confronting the controversial topic of

Russia to Select New Human Rights Ombudsman

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW, March 11 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian parliament has tentatively decided to select the country’s new human rights ombudsman next week. Russian President Vladimir Putin formally nominated Ella Pamfilova, an outspoken Kremlin critic, for the post last month. The position, established in 1994, has powers to sue state agencies and the parliament on behalf

Protest Crackdowns Illegal, Human Rights Ombudsman Says

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 6, 2014) Russian human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin called crackdowns on unsanctioned opposition protests illegal. According to Russia’s Supreme Court decisions, unauthorized protests were not necessarily illegal, Lukin said, Interfax reported. He added that often the protests pose no disturbance to citizens and that violations should only be pursued

TRANSCRIPT: Vladimir Putin replied to questions from journalists [partial transcript]

European Portion of Commonwealth of Independent States

(Kremlin.ru – March 4, 2014) Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region [Complete English translation will be here http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/6763] The President of Russia met with media representatives to answer a number of their questions, in particular with regard to the situation in Ukraine. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, colleagues, How shall we do this? This is what

Investigative Committee to Crack Down on Corruption During Coming Privatization

Empty Boardroom

(RIA Novosti – February 27, 2014) The head of the powerful Investigative Committee said Thursday that preventing corruption during a planned privatization of state assets will be a top priority for his agency this year. The government recently announced plans for an ambitious three-year program running up to 2016 to privatize a wide array of

Comment on Johnson’s Russia List #36/ Tennison & Ferguson [re: Post-Soviet Political Culture in Russia]

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

Subject: Comment on Johnson’s Russia List #36/Tennison&Ferguson Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2014 From: Al Weeks <Aweeks11@comcast.net> Two postings on JRL, one by Ms. Tennison, the other by Mr. Ferguson, raise some issues that in my opinion, neither writer coped with realistically. For her part, Sharon Tennison argues that post-1991 Russia has performed what she calls

Top Russian anti-corruption official nabbed in bribery case

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(RIA Novosti – February 25, 2014) A senior Russian anti-corruption police official has been detained over claims of bribery and abuse of office in a case the appears to highlight the challenges of fighting graft. Boris Kolesnikov, deputy head of the Interior Ministry’s directorate fighting corruption and economic crimes, was held for questioning Tuesday in

Putin Adopts a New Strategy for Governing in an Era of Scarcity

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 21, 2014) The stagnation of the economy is leaving Vladimir Putin without the resources he earlier had to buy off the population and forced him to try to awake in it “an unselfish love for the authorities by using massive brain washing, according to a professor

Critics Fear Post-Sochi Crackdown

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – February 21, 2014) With three days to go until the Winter Olympics in Sochi draw to a close, fears are growing among many Russians that the apparent tolerance of President Vladimir Putin toward critics of his government in the run-up to the games will dissipate after the

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] State Council Presidium meeting on family, motherhood and childhood policy

File Photo of Russian Expectant Couple with Mother in Hospital Bed

(Kremlin.ru – February 17, 2014) Vladimir Putin held a State Council Presidium meeting on family, motherhood and childhood policy, in particular with regard to implementing the May 2012 Presidential Executive Orders. Taking part in the meeting were Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, Presidential Aide Igor Levitin, the heads of federal

RIA Novosti: Russian Lawmaker Has Undeclared Luxury Dubai Apartment – Navalny

Middle East Map

MOSCOW, February 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s leading opposition activist Alexei Navalny published material Tuesday allegedly showing that a prominent lawmaker and son of nationalist firebrand Vladimir Zhirinovsky owns an undeclared $2.5 million apartment abroad with seven toilets and a balcony Jacuzzi. Igor Lebedev, deputy speaker of the State Duma, bought the property in Dubai

RIA Novosti: Powers of Russia’s Far East Ministry Set for Expansion

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

MOSCOW, February 17 (RIA Novosti) – Greater powers are to be handed over to a government department overseeing affairs in Russia’s Far East within the coming month, a top official has said in an interview published Monday. The move is in line with government designs to boost the fortunes of a vast expanse of territory

NEWSLINK: Putin and the media – Dreams about Russia – Beyond the spectacle of the Sochi Olympics is a crackdown on Russia’s media

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

["Putin and the media - Dreams about Russia - Beyond the spectacle of the Sochi Olympics is a crackdown on Russia's media" - The Economist - February 15, 2014 - economist.com/news/europe/21596580-beyond-spectacle-sochi-olympics-crackdown-russias-media-dreams-about-russia] The Economist reports on concerns over media freedoms in Russia, including actions taken in the lead-up to the Sochi Olympics: Just as Vladimir Putin’s

Putin Takes Break From Olympics to Press Ministers Over Economy

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Moscow Times – c – Anatoly Medetsky – February 13, 2014) Rresident Vladimir Putin on Wednesday held another meeting with Cabinet ministers to discuss the faltering economy, the latest ritual that might further diminish Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s stature. Putin started out by asking Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev to report on finding ways to

Sochi Marks the Return of Soviet-Style Megaprojects

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 11, 2014) Even before he was chosen to lead the CPSU and hence the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev in December 1984 said he opposed the kind of megaprojects Soviet leaders had used up to then and favored instead more balanced development, a shift in attitude that informed

Draft Bill for Postal Privatization Submitted

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 11, 2014) The Communications and Press Ministry has submitted a draft bill to the government that would reorganize Russian Post and pave the way for the flotation of the company’s shares, Interfax reported Tuesday. The move is part of an overall strategy that would not only make Russian Post

RIA Novosti: Russia’s Top Satellite Company Drops Liberal Dozhd TV Channel

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s major satellite provider stopped broadcasting Dozhd independent television channel Monday after the network became embroiled into a controversy over an opinion poll about World War II. Tricolor TV, Russia’s biggest satellite TV provider, said a week ago that its board of directors had unanimously decided to exclude the

Pussy Riot Invades America and Everything in Russia is Awful as Putin’s Olympics Begin: A Historical Perspective

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

Subject: Pussy Riot Invades America and Everything in Russia is Awful as Putin’s Olympics Begin:A Historical Perspective Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2014 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Pussy Riot Invades America and Everything in Russia is Awful as Putin’s Olympics Begin: A Historical Perspective By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Siberian-based civil society development activist] Over the last few

Writers Denounce Repressive Russian Laws in Open Letter

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – February 6, 2014) More than 200 writers from around the world have signed an open letter to the Russian authorities denouncing the introduction of gay-propaganda and blasphemy laws in Russia, which they call an attack on freedom of expression. We “cannot stand quietly by as we watch

RIA Novosti: Local NGO Fights ‘Foreign Agent’ Status

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(RIA Novosti – February 5, 2014) The St. Petersburg-based Freedom of Information Foundation has filed a complaint against the prosecutor office’s request that it register with the Justice Ministry as a “foreign agent.” The request was issued after the NGO’s founder attended a meeting of human rights activists with US President Barack Obama during the

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