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Tag Archive for Politics

Interfax: Putin says calling for overthrow of Russia’s system of government “extremism”

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(Interfax – Moscow, November 20, 2014) Calls to overthrow the existing system [of government in Russia] are a manifestation of extremism and anti-popular thinking, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “In standing up for freedom of elections, assembly, marches, rallies, you should not forget responsibility for your words and actions. You must know and understand

Moscow Times: Putin Warns of Color Revolutions and Uncontrolled Migration in Extremism Speech

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 21, 2014) President Vladimir Putin called on law enforcement agencies, religious leaders, institutions of civil society and Russia’s education system to join together to prevent the rise of extremism. Describing the threat of extremism, Putin pointed to color revolutions. “In the modern world extremism is often used as a

Protecting the Motherland: Russia’s Counter-Color Revolution Military Doctrine

File Photo of Russian Military Conscripts Boarding Train with Gear

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 206 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Roger McDermott – November 18, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s order to revise Russia’s 2010 Military Doctrine by the end of this year prompted speculation in the Russian media and raised varying opinions about the revision process’s possible motives and its timing. It

Magazine Pays Homage to Embattled Russian Activists With Global Thinkers List

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber- November 19, 2014) Two Russian rights advocates have been included on Foreign Policy magazine’s list of the top 100 leading global thinkers for their roles in raising contentious issues surrounding this year’s Sochi Olympic Games. LGBT rights defender Yelena Klimova and environmental activist Yevgeny Vitishko were included in

VIDEO: Is Putin intentionally provoking the West?

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

PBS News Hour interviews Russia scholar Kimberly Marten about Russia’s unfolding relations with the West. [click here for transcript] Said Marten: I think part of what’s going on is that Putin is trying to take attention off of the problems that the Russian economy is facing.  The sanctions are working much better than … predicted … they’re having real impact

Ten Kremlin Moves That Hurt Russia’s Economy

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – November 19, 2014) As the Russian economy ambles toward recession, the government grapples with how to explain the downturn – no easy feat after 15 years of slowly mounting prosperity and President Vladimir Putin’s campaign promises of lavish social spending. So far, the authorities have been inclined

Putin, Now Marginalized Internationally, May Become Even More Dangerous, Oreshkin Says

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 18, 2014) The G-20 meeting in Brisbane demonstrated that “the marginalization of Putin is a fait accompli,” that he has failed to split the West, and that its leaders have no intention of acting as Neville Chamberlain did in the late 1930s, according to Dmitry Oreshkin.

Embattled Ekho Moskvy’s Long Record Of Riling Officials

File Photo of Interview on Ekho Moskvy Radio

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – November 18, 2014) The doggedly independent Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy is facing an existential crisis this week, with its editorial leadership and its operations due to be scrutinized in a snap shareholders meeting on November 21 called by state-owned Gazprom-Media, which holds a controlling stake in the

Interfax: Putin backs proposal to devise procedure for NGOs’ removal from foreign agents register

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Interfax – November 17, 2014) President Vladimir Putin has backed Human Rights Commissioner Ella Pamfilova’s proposal to devise a procedure of removing nongovernmental organizations from the register of foreign agents after their foreign funding ends. Pamfilova told Putin that the Justice Ministry cannot remove NGOs, no longer financed from abroad, from the foreign agents register

Profile: Elvira Nabiullina, Woman at Center of Russia’s Ruble Collapse

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – November 15, 2014) Reaching the climax of a personal attack on Russia’s Central Bank chairwoman Elvira Nabiullina in a debate in the State Duma early last week, Communist deputy Vyacheslav Tetyokin did not hold back. Nabiullina, he said, was “the most expensive woman in the history of

Stratfor: A Struggle Over Russia’s Interior Ministry Could Emerge

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Stratfor.com – November 11, 2014) Summary In recent weeks, rumors that Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev will be replaced have been circulating among Russian media and pundits who watch Moscow. Stratfor has been monitoring the Russian government’s coherence and the strength of its leader, President Vladimir Putin, as the country faces a series of crises involving

Launch of Sputnik Comes Amid High Stakes in Media War

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – November 12, 2014) The Kremlin strengthened its position in the drawn-out media war with the West this week with the launch of Sputnik, an international multi-platform news agency meant to provide a pro-Russian alternative to Western media coverage, as Russia’s independent media outlets struggle to stay afloat.

Moscow Times: Most Russians Say State-Run Media ‘Objective’ in Ukraine Coverage

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – November 13, 2014) Most Russians believe that the country’s state-run news agencies have provided objective coverage of the events unfolding during the Ukraine conflict, a poll by the Levada Center revealed Wednesday. Fifty-nine percent of respondents to the poll, conducted between Oct. 24 and 27, said they

A Russian Maidan Could Take Place Outside of Moscow

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 11, 2014) The Russian political system is so hyper-centralized and Russian political culture is so Moscow-centric that almost all discussions about radical change in that country focus on the capital city and its residents rather than on the rest of what remains the largest country on

Kommersant Editor Steps Down Amid Rumors of Pressure From Above

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – November 11, 2014) The editor-in-chief of business daily Kommersant has resigned, triggering speculation Monday that he was forced out over a recent article in the newspaper about oil giant Rosneft. While theories behind the move multiplied and media reports fluctuated between calling it a dismissal and a

Does Putin’s Russia Have a Future?

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – November 7, 2014) Russia’s present is too unbalanced to discuss, and President Vladimir Putin prefers to rehash the past. That increases the temptation to talk about the distant future, to fathom where the country’s current trajectory is leading. Some smart commentators in Moscow have also given in to

Has Russia Abandoned the Path to Democracy?

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org) On October 30, the National Endowment for Democracy held a round table discussion entitled “Is Democracy Possible in Russia?” According to participants, in light of current political developments, it appears unlikely that Russia will become a democracy anytime soon. Participants in the National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) October 30th round

Russians Dream of ‘Soviet Empire without Communists,’ Commentators Say

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 8, 2014) What Russians now have in the Russian Federation is a Soviet system without communism and its administrative arrangements, and what they dream of is “a Soviet empire without communists,” an entity not equivalent to the tsarist empire as some think but one that reflects

Firing of Ekho Moskvy Reporter Prompts Speculation Over Fate of Editor-in-Chief

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – November 7, 2014) A state-controlled media holding has fired an Ekho Moskvy radio journalist, citing ethical norms, and threatened to dismiss the radio station’s long-standing chief editor who has led it as one of the final strongholds of media freedom in the country. The dismissal of Alexander

Take a Vacation to Crimea at Embattled Teatr.doc

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – November 6, 2014) To be or not to be, that is the question these days for Teatr.doc. A move by city authorities to oust the famous little theater from its basement in the center of Moscow will probably be successful. The chances are better than good that

Russian Tabloid Deletes Article Claiming Navalny Received Kremlin Funds

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 6, 2014) Russian tabloid LifeNews removed a report from its website Thursday that claimed prominent opposition activist Alexey Navalny had secretly been receiving state funds after the Kremlin vehemently denied the allegations, the TASS news agency reported. “Reports about the Kremlin financing [Navalny] are absolute nonsense and a stunt

RIA Novosti: One Russia not keen on recognizing Ukraine’s separatist regions

Russian Duma Building

(RIA Novosti – November 5, 2014) The One Russia and A Just Russia factions in the State Duma believe that the LDPR’s initiative to recognize the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics (DPR and LPR) is not relevant at the moment, the Russian RIA Novosti reported on 5 November. Even the Communist Party, although it

Putin Forever

Vladimir Putin

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – November 5, 2014) As one of his activities marking the Unity Day holiday, Vladimir Putin joined Patriarch Kirill to view an exhibition commemorating the Rurik Dynasty, which established tsarism in Russia and ruled for seven centuries. What kind of message was he trying to send? If you look

Putin’s new foreign policy rulebook

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(opendemocracy.net – Anna Arutunyan – November 3, 2014) Anna Arutunyan is an independent journalist and author of ‘The Putin Mystique.’ She lives in Moscow As the Ukraine crisis drags on and as the transformative effects of Crimea’s annexation become increasingly apparent, every time Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, opens his mouth, the bewildered world looks to

National Unity Day March Shows Decline of Anti-Kremlin Nationalism

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexey Eremenko – November 5, 2014) Russia marked National Unity Day on Tuesday with a remarkable show of disunity, with three major distinct rallies taking place across Moscow, including the infamous nationalist Russian March. Nationalism in Russia has long been reviled because of its proponents’ penchants for violence and acrid

Interfax: Russian church leader calls on people to join forces amid sanctions

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Interfax – November 4, 2014) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has criticized the West over attempts to play havoc with the minds of the Russian people through the sanctions it had imposed against Russia, Gazprom-owned Russian TV channel NTV reported on 4 November. “One should make the economic situation worse to play havoc

Nationalism in action: the Russian March

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yevgeny Levkovich, special to RBTH – November 3, 2014) Yevgeny Levkovich is a journalist and civil activist. There is more potential than usual for scandal in the Russian March held annually on Nov. 4 as nationalists have split over the situation in Ukraine. The Russian March will take

Ukrainian Crisis has Split Russia Just as Collapse of USSR and Chechen War Did, Gudkov Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 2, 2014) Lev Gudkov, the director of the Levada Center, says that the ongoing Ukrainian crisis is dividing Russian society to an extent comparable to the ways in which the demise of the Soviet Union and the war in Chechnya and that as such this crisis

Putin’s Popularity Rooted in Nationalism

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

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Daniel Schearf – November 1, 2014) Russia’s economy was struggling even before it was hit with western sanctions for annexing Crimea from Ukraine. Despite the downward trend, President Vladimir Putin’s popularity has reached an all-time high on a wave of nationalistic fervor. But analysts say the high numbers are

Putin’s Colossus Will Crumble, Kremlin Foe Navalny Says

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – October 30, 2014) As President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating with Russians returns to a record, the man who would oust him from the Kremlin sits isolated at home under house arrest. Alexey Navalny remains convinced that he can bring about the downfall of Russia’s “authoritarian” ruler. “The regime

RIA Novosti: Russian pundits link Putin’s high ratings to Valdai speech, external pressure

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, October 30, 2014) Experts polled by RIA Novosti have linked President Vladimir Putin’s consistently high approval ratings, as documented by the Public Opinion Foundation [FOM], to socioeconomic instability, external pressure and the president’s powerful speech at the Valdai [Valday] forum [on 24 October]. According to the results of a FOM survey

Russian Elites Still View Putin as Their Defense Against Russian People, Skobov Says

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 30, 2014) Members of Russian elites see Vladimir Putin as the only person who can maintain the existing system in which they are beneficiaries and protect them from having to go head to head with the Russian people as a whole, Aleksandr Skobov says. Consequently, they

Vast Majority of Russians Think Foreign Media Criticize Putin to Weaken Russia

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 30, 2014) The overwhelming majority of Russians view negative foreign media coverage of President Vladimir Putin and of Russia in general as an attempt to destabilize the country, pollster VTsIOM revealed Wednesday. The poll revealed that 87 percent of respondents see such ulterior motives in critical

Number of Russians ready to support Putin in presidential polls falls from 66% to 38%

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2014) 38% of Russian citizens interviewed by the Levada Center in September said they were ready to vote for incumbent President Vladimir Putin if the presidential elections were to be held this coming Sunday, as compared with 66% at the beginning of the year, center sociologists told

Half of Russians Expect Repeat of Soviet-Era Repression, Poll Says

File Photo of Prison in Russia with Wall, Barbed Wire, Guard Tower

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – October 30, 2014) Nearly half of all Russians believe that a return to Soviet-era repression is possible within their lifetime, a poll by the state-run Public Opinion Foundation revealed Wednesday. The poll, titled “Mass Repression in the Soviet Union,” examined the public’s perceptions and interpretations of Soviet-era

Navalny Wins Court Case Against Federal Media Watchdog

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 29, 2014) Opposition activist Alexei Navalny announced his victory Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging the Russian federal media watchdog’s refusal to register his news outlet as an official media outlet. Navalny filed an application with the agency on June 2 to set up the “Alexei Navalny Information Agency,” a

Interfax: Moscow Helsinki Group, but not Memorial, gets Russian presidential grant

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Interfax – Moscow, October 27, 2014) Leading human rights organizations Moscow Helsinki Group and the For Human Rights movement were among the recipients of presidential grants as a result of a bid process held by the Civil Dignity organization. “Among well-known organizations, Moscow Helsinki Group received R1.8m [about 34,000 dollars at the current exchange rate]

Red Square Exhibit Sheds New Light on Soviet Cult of Lenin

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Kevin O’Flynn – October 28, 2014) [Photos here themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/article/leniniana-returns-to-red-square-to-dispel-myth-of-beloved-leader/510079.html] Everyone knew what was in the redbrick 19th-century building by Red Square in Soviet times. It was the Lenin Museum, the home – together with the nearby mausoleum – of the Lenin cult, to which a visit was a rite of

Fewer Russians Ready to Re-Elect Putin, Poll Shows

Putin Descending a Staircase file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 28, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s rating has fallen for the first time this year, with a substantial drop in the number of those who say they are ready to re-elect him, a poll by the Levada Center showed Tuesday. While a poll in August showed 57 percent of respondents

Interfax: Poll: Western-style democracy won’t work for Russia

Map of Russia

(Interfax – October 28, 2014) Russians are prone to describe the Western democratic model as unviable under the Russian conditions but exhibit an interest in the life and work in Western countries, sociologists told Interfax. Fifty-five percent of 1,630 respondents polled by the Levada Center in 134 populated localities in 46 regions in September said

RIA Novosti: Gorbachev says Putin’s latest speech questioning U.S. dominance best ever

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, October 26, 2014) The first president of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, thinks that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Valdai [Valday] speech was one of the strongest of his period in power. On Friday [24 October] the head of state gave a speech to participants in the Valdai discussion club in Sochi, in

Russian Intellectuals Ask State-Run TV to Admit Falsehoods in Ukraine Reports

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – October 24, 2014) A congress of Russian intellectuals has appealed to the head of state-run Channel One television to acknowledge “falsifications” in its reporting on Ukraine, holding the network accountable for the deaths of young Russians who were moved to go and fight there. The congress told

List of ‘foreign agents’ grows thanks to Justice Ministry

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Galiya Ibragimova, RBTH – October 21, 2014) Since Russia’s Justice Ministry received the right to declare organizations “foreign agents” without their consent, the number of NGOs on the list has grown substantially In the two years since the passage of Russia’s controversial law on NGOs in July 2012,

Does Russian Liberalism Still ‘End at Ukraine’?

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 14, 2014) Since at least the time of the Russian Civil War, it has been common ground among many observers in Moscow and the West that Russian liberalism “ends at Ukraine,” a notion for which Aleksey Navalny’s statement that Russia will retain Crimea whatever happens appears

Russia’s ‘Era of Freedom’ has Come to an End, Academician Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 19, 2014) Russia’s 25-year-long era of freedom, which began in 1989 with the Congress of Peoples Deputies, has come to an end and the prospects for the future are extremely bleak, according to Academician Yury Pivovarov. If Russians do not transform themselves, their country risks becoming

Censorship Fears Mount as Officials Move to Tackle ‘Negativity’ in Russian Media

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 18, 2014) Days after President Vladimir Putin signed a law forcing foreign companies to sell stakes in Russian media, members of Russia’s upper house of parliament have advocated applying state pressure to combat a glut of “negative” news that is poisoning the country’s image, a news report said Friday.

For the Russian elite, loyalty is all: Life has changed for Russia’s elite – and not just their holiday destinations…

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

(opendemocracy.net – Yelizaveta Surnacheva – October 16, 2014) Yelizaveta Surnacheva is a journalist at Kommersant. In the last six months, Russian officials, oligarchs, CEOs of state-owned businesses, parliamentary deputies, and regional governors have found themselves in a new world, with new missions, new economic circumstances, and new mechanisms for decision-making. Not many are comfortable with

Putin’s Class Of 2014

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – October 17, 2014) The iPhone-toting hipsters hanging out in their trendy downtown Moscow office are just the high-profile part of the Kremlin’s new youth strategy. Founded in November 2013, the youth group Set — which means “Network” in Russian — has organized patriotic fashion shows and film festivals,

Navalny Wouldn’t Return Crimea, Considers Immigration Bigger Issue Than Ukraine

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – October 17, 2014) Prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said in an interview this week that he would not return the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine if he had the power to do so, and that the issue of illegal immigration was more important for Russia than anything

Kremlin-Run Generational Change in Regime Reproducing Soviet-Era Nomenklatura, Pastukhov Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 14, 2014) A revolution is taking place in Russia, but it is not in the streets but in the halls of government where the Putin regime is bringing into positions of power a new generation of officials who are more like the Soviet-era nomenklatura than like

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