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Tag Archive for Politics

RIA Novosti: Russian experts speculate on why prime minister’s Twitter account was hacked

File Photo Dmitry Medvedev at Desk with Laptop Computer

(RIA Novosti – August 14, 2014) Moscow, 14 August: Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev’s Twitter account [https://twitter.com/MedvedevRussia], which was hacked on Thursday [14 August], may have been hacked in response to the law that imposes stricter liability on bloggers and the partial ban on anonymous access to the Internet via [public] wi-fi networks, or because

Crimean Boost For Putin’s Ratings Expected to Fade by Year’s End

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 14, 2014) As President Vladimir Putin touched down in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on Wednesday, a poll revealed that his support among voters has almost doubled since January, largely due to the Kremlin’s policies in Crimea and Ukraine, analysts said. The turmoil in Ukraine and

Interfax: Some 82 percent of Russians ready to support Putin in next election – poll

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

(Interfax – August 13, 2014) The election rating of Vladimir Putin has practically doubled since the beginning of the year and he would have won a convincing victory if the next presidential election were held next Sunday, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax. Some 52 percent of the respondents who intend to cast their ballots mentioned

Interfax: Russians certain Putin assisting in peaceful resolution in Ukraine – poll

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. Aug 13 (Interfax) – A total of 63% of Russian citizens believe that actions and statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the situation in Ukraine assist in the peaceful resolution of the conflict, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) said citing a poll held. This stance is mostly shared by residents of

In Russia, Iron Curtain Falls Not at the End of the Play But Much Earlier, Moscow Sociologist Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 12, 2014) Aleksey Levinson, a Levada Center sociologist, says that iron curtains like the one now being erected around Russia are a political strategy that reflects weakness rather than strength and that its appearance is not the end of the story but somewhere much earlier. In

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

After Putin, Russia Will Be Either Fascist or Federalized, Ukrainian Analyst Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 10, 2014) Ever more people around the world want Vladimir Putin to leave the scene but very few have asked themselves what Russia will be like after his departure. One who has, Sergey Klimovsky, suggests that Russia will either be a fascist state even worse than

Moscow Times: Putin’s Rating Immune to Food Ban for Now

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 8, 2014) While the ban on many food imports imposed by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday has sparked fears of Soviet-era shortages among some sections of Russian society, political analysts told The Moscow Times that it will have little effect on the level of support for

Putinism Resembles ‘a Fascist Dictatorship,’ Eidman Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 8, 2014) Putinism, Igor Eidman says, is “a combination of the practice and ideology of the authoritarian regime of Putin, which operates on a corrupt bureaucratic oligarchy and is in many respects close to a fascist dictatorship,” with its “aggressive annexationist foreign policy, state-monopoly capitalism, force

Putin’s Approval Rating Soars to 87%, Poll Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 7, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has reached a record high of 87 percent, according to the results of a survey published Wednesday by the independent Levada Center pollster. In May, Putin enjoyed an approval rating of 83 percent, its highest since 2008, according to major U.S. pollster

No Palace Coup in Sight for Russia

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 5, 2014) When the U.S. government announced its first round of sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s friends over the Ukraine conflict in May, it made no bones about their aim: Increase the cost for them of Putin continuing his course and they will influence him to

The collapse of the Soviet Union: What was it — the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century or simply a major disaster?

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

Subject: The collapse of the Soviet Union: What was it — the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century or simply a major disaster? [Adomeit's second note] Date: Sun, 03 Aug 2014 From: Hannes Adomeit (hannes.adomeit@t-online.de) The collapse of the Soviet Union: What was it — the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century or

AW: 2014-#166-Johnson’s Russia List [Adomeit's first note][re: editorial policies, Putin, Soviet collapse, translation]

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

Subject: AW: 2014-#166-Johnson’s Russia List [Adomeit's first note] Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 From: Hannes Adomeit (hannes.adomeit@t-online.de) From a senior German Russia expert: I completely agree with the observation expressed in yesterday’s issue of the senior U.S. official and the senior U.S. academic about JRL’s loss of impartiality. The bias is also amply reflected in

language, again [re: Putin and Soviet collapse, translation]

Vladimir Putin file photo

Subject: language, again Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 From: Harley D. Balzer <balzerh@georgetown.edu> Patrick Armstrong issued a major attack on Aslund’s characterization of Putin’s comment about the destruction of the Soviet Union. He states: So it is now perhaps time to see what it was that Putin actually said. Here it is: first in Russian,

“Krupneyshaya katastrofa” translation

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

Subject: “Krupneyshaya katastrofa” translation Date: Sat, 2 Aug 2014 From: Serge Markov <semar1@comcast.net> On the matter of Putin’s 2005 characterization of the fall of the Soviet Union, any educated native Russian speaker will tell you that krupneyshaya katastrofa can be rendered either as “a major” or as “the greatest catastrophe” depending on context. Methinks the

Debate over Putin quote on the Soviet collapse

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

Subject: Debate over Putin quote on the Soviet collapse Date: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:29:30 -0400 From: Steve Shabad <steve.shabad@verizon.net> As a Russian-English translator for my entire adult life (almost half a century), I feel compelled to weigh in on the debate between Anders Aslund and Patrick Armstrong over the famous Putin quote on the

How Nationalism Came to Dominate Russia’s Political Mainstream

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 4, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s decision to annex Crimea and his treatment of the eastern Ukrainian insurgency have rallied nationalist support and altered Russia’s political landscape, politicians and analysts told The Moscow Times. The ongoing political crisis between Russia and the West over the armed conflict

Law Requiring Bloggers to Register as Mass Media Comes Into Force

File Photo of Little Girl at Computer Next to Globe

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – August 1, 2014) A law requiring popular bloggers to register as mass media took effect Friday, tightening government control over the country’s influential online voices but leaving some uncertainty as to how strict the immediate scrutiny will become. In accordance with the new law, any blog that

Putin’s ‘Russian Spring’ Idea was Invented by Russian Fascists in 1920s

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 30, 2014) Commentators in Moscow and the West ever more frequently draw parallels between Vladimir Putin’s ideas and actions and those of fascist regimes in the first part of the 20th century, but few have focused on the fact that one of the Kremlin leader’s most-cherished

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Social media alive and well despite laws

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Plyushchev, special to RBTH – July 15, 2014) Alexander Plyushchev is a popular blogger and one of the pioneers of Internet journalism in Russia. Russians flock to social networks even as the government tries to regulate the web A new law, which comes into effect Aug. 1,

Russian History Provides Five Lessons for Liberals in Illiberal Times, Makarkin Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 26, 2014) Russian liberals have lived through many periods of illiberal governance in the past, have devised various strategies to cope because the repressive regimes have been so different, but have managed to survive and see their country change course at least for a time in

Putin Now Down to One Ally – Moscow Television

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 24, 2014) Tsar Aleksandr III famously said that Russia has only two allies – its army and its fleet – but now, according to Rashit Akhmetov, the editor of “Zvezda Povolzhya,” Vladimir Putin is down to only one – Moscow television with its ability to shape

Interfax: Putin vows to avoid clampdown in fight against radicalism

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Interfax – July 22, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed that the fight against radicalism in Russia will not result in a state clampdown on civil society and said he expects the Russian public to help prevent one, Russian privately-owned news agency Interfax reported on 22 July. Putin made the statements at a meeting

Interfax: Putin says Ukrainian “scenario” won’t happen in Russia

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Interfax – July 22, 2014) The “scenario” that has been used in Ukraine by “external” forces will not happen in Russia, President Vladimir Putin has said. He made these remarks at a meeting with the Russian Security Council, as reported by privately-owned news agency Interfax. Speaking about the so-called “colour revolutions” and in particular Ukraine,

Stratfor: Can Putin Survive?

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – July 21, 2014) There is a general view that Vladimir Putin governs the Russian Federation as a dictator, that he has defeated and intimidated his opponents and that he has marshaled a powerful threat to surrounding countries. This is a reasonable view, but perhaps it should be re-evaluated in the

Interfax: Patrushev says Russian decision-makers must heed opposition

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

MOSCOW. July 22 (Interfax) – The Russian Security Council Secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, has spoken of the need to draw conclusions from what is going on in Ukraine and heed the opinion of the Russian opposition. “The events occurring in Ukraine – their role for us is this: we must draw the right conclusions from them,”

Russian Blog Post Decrying Government’s Internet Crackdown Goes Viral

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – July 14, 2014) Is this an updated version of Aldous Huxley’s classic antiutopian novel, “Brave New World”? Not exactly. If you live in Russia, this will be your world by September 1, according to a blog, “A Guide Through Your Life: What the Duma Has Banned in

A Kremlin ‘Reset’ – Putin from ‘Defender of the Russian World’ to ‘Peacemaker’

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 10, 2014) Russian public opinion “is being prepared for a change in Kremlin policy” toward Ukraine, Moscow commentators say, with central government media now downplaying the need for and utility of force and playing up the ways in which Vladimir Putin can serve as “peacemaker.” But

Having Failed to Stage ‘Short Victorious War’ in Ukraine, Putin Faces Problems at Home

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 8, 2014) Both those Russians who continue to press Vladimir Putin to intervene militarily in eastern Ukraine and those who say that his policies in Ukraine have been a disaster are increasingly reviving an old Russian metaphor that cannot be encouraging to the current incumbent of

Putin versus the NGOs

Vladimir Putin file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Pavel Chikov – July 3, 2014) Pavel Chikov is chair of AGORA, an association of human rights organisations based in Kazan. Agora, founded in 2005, provides legal advocacy for victims of suspected human rights abuses, in particular for journalists, political activists and NGOs. Since 1999 Chikov has been a leading human rights lawyer

Putin’s Authoritarianism Now Self-Re-Enforcing, New Book Concludes

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 4, 2014) That Putin has intervened in Ukraine at least in part to overcome the political challenges he faced in 2011-2012 and that he has made Russian more authoritarian in the process is largely common ground. But a new book gives remarkable details about these links

Russians Failing to Notice Ways Their Country Becoming Like Hitler’s Reich, Portnikov Says

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Paul Goble – Staunton, July 5, 2014) “Putin’s Russia has already long been a Reich” much like Hitler’s Germany, but ordinary Russians now, like ordinary Germans 75 years ago, have not taken note of the fact because so far the state’s repressive attentions have not been directed primarily at them, according to Vitaly Portnikov. Portnikov,

Kremlin Moves Away From Aggressive Youth Policy

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – July 4, 2014) President Vladimir Putin signaled a switch Thursday from the government’s previous youth policy of aggressive political groups toward a more traditional approach to instilling patriotism. “We need to give young people more knowledge about Russia’s historical, cultural and natural riches back in school,” Putin

Putin’s Successor May Be ‘Already in His Entourage,’ Kryshtanovskaya Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 30, 2014) Olga Kryshtanovskaya, head of the Center for the Study of Elites at the Academy of Sciences Institute of Sociology and Russia’s most distinguished student of elites and their rotation, says that “Putin’s successor is already in his closest entourage” and that Putin may even

Why Putin Is in Trouble With 86% Approval

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com –  Evgenia Pismennaya, Henry Meyer, Brad Cook – June 27, 2014) One month he wins the Olympics and kudos from world leaders. The next he grabs Crimea and gets kicked out of their most exclusive club. Now he’s facing a recession with few tools to fight it save the public’s love. Even

Interfax: Approval rating of Russian authorities on rise – poll

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Interfax – June 26, 2014) A record growth of the approval rating of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his political course continues, sociologists said. The approval rating of President Putin stood at 86 percent in June, Levada Center told Interfax. The approval rating of the president grew 3 percent from 83 percet in May and

Putin’s Popularity Near 2008 Peak on Ukraine Actions

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov – June 26, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s popularity continued to rise near its 2008 peak this month amid the unrest in neighboring Ukraine, Moscow-based polling company Levada Center said in a statement. The Russian leader’s approval rating is 86 percent, up from 65 percent in January and compared

NEWSLINK: No more little green men? Putin takes military option in Ukraine off table.

Federation Council file photo

["No more little green men? Putin takes military option in Ukraine off table" - Christian Science Monitor -  Fred Weir- June 24, 2014] The Christian Science Monitor covers Russia’s legislative move to formerly rescind an authorization for additional military intervention in Ukraine. Almost four months after Russia’s upper house of parliament granted Vladimir Putin blanket permission to

Support for Putin’s Policies on Ukraine Broad but Not Deep, Gudkov Says

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 23, 2014) Public support for Vladimir Putin’s policies in Ukraine is broad but not deep and is likely to dissipate quickly rather than become the basis by itself for any new imperial adventures, accordin to Lev Gudkov, the head of the independent Levada Analytic Center. In

Russia Further from Superpower Status than When Putin Came to Power

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 22, 2014) With the occupation of Crimea and with the encouragement of the Kremlin, many Russians believe they are on their way to becoming a super power once again, but the most thoughtful among them recognize that Russia lacks two if not three of the elements

Russians Unfazed by Nudists But Outraged by Transsexuals, Poll Shows

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 23, 2014) While a majority of Russians feel a sense of outrage toward transsexuals, most could not care less about nudists, a somewhat questionable poll concludes. The poll, published Monday by independent pollster Levada Center – presumably testing Russians’ attitudes to non-traditional behavior – showed roughly equal numbers of

Happy in Yakutia and Russia

Map of Russia

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – June 23, 2014) Could you be happy living somewhere where temperatures drop below 50 degrees Celsius in the nine-month-long winters? It seems hard to imagine, but the residents of Siberia’s Yakutia in the heart of the Asian part of Russia – the coldest place

Ukraine Shows Liberal Project in Russia in Even Worse Shape than Nationalist One, Khramov Says

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 18, 2014) Responding to suggestions that the possibilities for the promotion of an “enlightened” Russian nationalism” have been undermined by Vladimir Putin’s policies in Ukraine, Aleksandr Khramov says that the real problems lie with Russian liberals who behave in ways that alienate the population and make

New reforms aim to make regions more independent

Map of Russia

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH- June 18, 2014) Russia is reorganizing the system for electing local government bodies and redistributing powers between federal and municipal authorities. However, the reforms are the latest in a long line of attempts to make regional government more effective, and some experts are sceptical. A

Interfax: Russians losing interest in political opposition, say it is still needed – poll

Russian Duma Building

MOSCOW. June 17 (Interfax) – Over a half of Russians (57%) believes Russia needs political opposition, Levada Center told Interfax. Yet their number has reduced significantly since 2012 (72%), the sociologists said. Twenty-three percent of respondents say Russia does not need political opposition and 20% are undecided. The need for opposition was mostly expressed by

Fifty-Eight Percent of Russians Oppose Russian Nationalist Groups inside Russia after Ukrainian Events

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 16, 2014) In what might seem counter-intuitive but which in fact underscores the way Moscow media coverage of one thing may cause Russians to draw conclusions about others, 58 percent of Russians say that as a result of developments in Ukraine, they are more negative about

Putin’s War in Ukraine Marks Rebirth of Stalinism in Russia, Chubais Says

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 16, 2014) The Russian authorities have unleashed and are conducting a war in Ukraine, “a new type of war without declaration or a front line” and one that is simultaneously “destroying all official Soviet and post-Soviet myths and clarifying the real nature of the political regime

Russia Day: The country’s most misunderstood day off

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – June 12, 2014 Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – June 12, 2014) On June 12, Russia celebrates one of its youngest national holidays, Russia Day. Nominally a celebration of Russian statehood, the significance of the day is widely misunderstood, even within the country itself. What is the history of the

Russia Beyond the Headlines: What is the link between economics and Putin’s popularity?

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Denis Volkov, special to RBTH – June 9, 2014) Denis Volkov is a sociologist with Levada Center. The analysis is based on data provided by the independent pollster Levada Center. A recent opinion poll by the Levada Center indicates that amid tensions over Ukraine and the takeover of

As Putin Pursues Imperial Goals, Fewer Russians Regret End of USSR

Map of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 11, 2014) Even as Vladimir Putin pursues what many see as an effort to restore an empire centered on Moscow, polls show that ever fewer Russians regret the end of the Soviet Union – something the Kremlin leader has said was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of

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