Tag Archive for Politics

Putin Propaganda on Ukraine Threatens to Destabilize Russia , Moscow Commentator Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 14, 2014) The Kremlin’s insistence that ethnic Russians and Russian speakers in southeastern Ukraine are acting on their own rather than under the direction of Moscow as seems to be the case could blow up in Vladimir Putin’s face by leading Russians in Russian regions to

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

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.

Three fourths of Russians would vote for Putin in presidential elections – poll

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Interfax – April 8, 2014) Vladimir Putin would win a convincing victory were presidential elections to be held next Sunday, the Levada center pollster told Interfax. Forty-six percent of respondents and 77 percent of those who have made up their minds already would vote for Putin, it said. The poll was conducted on March 21

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

Foreign funding alone not enough to define NGO as foreign agent – judge

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Interfax – April 8, 2014) The mere fact that a nonprofit organization receives foreign funding cannot provide grounds for identifying this organization as a foreign agent, Constitutional Court Judge Sergei Knyazev told reporters on Tuesday. Such an organization will however find itself in the group of foreign agents if it engages in political activities, he

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

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

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

Bill to Toughen Law on Rallies Raises Concerns

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – April 2, 2014) United Russia deputy Alexander Sidyakin late Monday submitted to the State Duma a bill introducing prison terms for repeat violations of a law on public rallies, stirring fears among analysts of a crackdown on the opposition. The move coincided with an effort by prosecutors

Most Russians Would Back Kremlin In Case of War With Ukraine, Poll Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – March 31, 2014) Almost a quarter of Russians think war with Ukraine is likely and three out of four Russians would support their government if such a war were to break out, a recent poll showed. Thirty-six percent of Russians said they would “definitely” back Moscow in

Russian president’s job approval rating stands at over 80 percent – VTsIOM

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(Interfax/Russia Beyond the Headlines – March 27, 2014) The job approval rating of Russian President Vladimir Putin has grown to 82.3 percent from 75.7 percent a week ago, sociologists of the All Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies (VTsIOM) have said following a recent public opinion survey. The sociologists have explained this result primarily by

Interfax: Most Russians were impressed by Putin’s speech on joining Crimea – poll

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW. March 26 (Interfax) – An overwhelming majority of Russians (87%) know that Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an address on the joining of Crimea to Russia on March 18, and 66% of them said they were impressed by it, shows a poll conducted by the Public Opinion Foundation. The poll, which surveys 1,500 respondents

Russians Must Oust Putin Rather than Suffer for His Imperial Ambitions, Felshtinsky Says

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 24, 2014) Russians must recognize that Vladimir Putin is “an aggressor and instigator of war,” that he is making them into “victims and participants in state crimes,” that he will eventually lose to the democratic world, and that he, they and their country will suffer and

Putin’s Crimea Move Cripples Opposition

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – March 21, 2014) During his triumphant speech on Crimea’s annexation earlier this week, President Vladimir Putin stressed that his policy was supported by an “absolute majority of Russians,” saying those who opposed it were “national traitors” acting on behalf of Western countries. While such a bold statement

Kasparov: It’s time to stop Putin

Garry Kasparov file photo

In a Washington Post op-ed, Garry Kasparov argues that Putin’s motives in seizing Crimea are shaped more by greed than Russia’s national interests, and that assessments of possible future Kremlin actions should be based on pragmatic assessments of what Putin actually does: When Vladi­mir Putin formally annexed Crimea this week, he acted in defiance of

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

Navalny Proposes Sanctions List to the West

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – March 20, 2014) Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, currently under house arrest in connection with a criminal case against him, has written an op-ed for the New York Times in which he calls for sanctions on officials and businessmen connected to President Vladimir Putin. Saying that previous U.S.

The newfound uncertainty of life in Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Lara McCoy Roslof, RBTH – March 18, 2014) The ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the exchange of increasingly politicized rhetoric has brought with it a growing sense of unease and concern about the future. RBTH’s editor for the Western Hemisphere talks about how the atmosphere in Russia has

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

Opposition planned Moscow micro-Maidan in May 2012 – activist

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW. March 12 (Interfax) – The convicted Left Front activist, Konstantin Lebedev, who is serving a prison term for organizing the mass disturbances in Moscow in May 6, 2012, told Moscow City Court that he and the other co-accused, Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev – were planning to stage a “micro-Maidan.” “We were prepared for

“Those Who Unleash a War on Ukraine Will be Damned by the Russian People.” Russia’s Opposition on the Ukraine Crisis.

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – March 6, 2014) According to the state-owned All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion, 73 percent of Russians are against intervention in Ukraine. All the leading opposition forces in Russia have condemned the military invasion and the planned annexation of Crimea. The Institute of Modern Russia publishes

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

Pussy Riot Attacked at McDonald’s

File Photo of Russian McDbnald's Crew with U.S. Diplomat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 6, 2014) Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina have been attacked by five young men at a McDonald’s in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday. The attackers threw metal objects at the women as they were eating, leaving Alyokhina with “a cut to her forehead,” their lawyer said, Interfax

Kremlin Uncertain How to Connect with Rising Generation, Sociologist Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 27, 2014) Kremlin strategists now recognize that the themes of stability and modernization will not allow them to connect with the rising generation in Russia as such ideas did in the last election with slightly older people, but they have not yet figured out what themes

Russians Increasingly Nostalgic for Soviet System, Poll Finds

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 27, 2014) An increasing share of Russians say they are nostalgic for the Soviet system with the number indicating that they support for democracy and free markets or the political system they now live under has fallen in recent years, according to the results of a

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

Interfax: Major sporting events boost Russians’ sense of dignity, nation’s openness to world – Putin

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

SOCHI. Feb 24 (Interfax) – Events such as the Sochi Olympics demonstrate to the whole world that Russia is no stranger to hospitality and success, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “Events such as this are certainly of a nationwide nature, uniting people around absolutely positivity, boosting our sense of dignity while at the same time

Kremlin to tighten screws in wake of Kiev unrest

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – February 24, 2014) A Moscow court sentenced seven people on Monday to prison terms ranging from one to four years for their roles in protest riots on the city’s Bolotnaya Ploshchad in May 2012, in a ruling seen as an indicator of whether government pressure would increase

Russians Overwhelmingly Oppose Moscow Intervention in Ukraine but Also Say There Won’t be a Maidan in Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 24, 2014) More than seven out of ten Russians say that Moscow should not intervene in Ukraine, but at the same time, a slightly larger number say that events like those which have taken place in Ukraine are impossible in the Russian Federation, according to results

Unless Kremlin Learns Lessons of Ukraine, a Russian Maidan is Inevitable, Nemtsov Says


(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 23, 2014) Viktor Yanukovich was “100 percent” responsible for the rise of the popular movement that overthrew him, Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov says, and unless the Kremlin learns the lessons from what has taken place in Ukraine, “a Russian Maidan is inevitable” and it will

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: Russians Consider Their Country Free, Developed, Rich – Poll

Map of Russia

MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) – The majority of Russians believe their country is developed, rich and free, according to a survey published by a state-run pollster Wednesday. Fifty-seven percent of respondents told the Public Opinion Foundation that their country is developed, 58 percent described it as rich and 60 percent said they live in

Ecologists Suspect Opposition Leader Navalny of Poaching

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 19, 2014) The All-Russian Nature Conservation Society will ask prosecutors to check whether opposition leader Alexei Navalny is guilty of poaching. The ecologists’ suspicions were raised by a picture published on the Internet that shows Navalny posing beside a dead moose. “If you look at the photograph, it’s clear

Fearing Persecution, Bolotnoye Suspects Flee Abroad

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – February 19, 2014) When a judge delivers a verdict Friday in the high-profile Bolotnoye case, the defendants’ cage will contain eight people. It might have held dozens more if some of the potential suspects had not fled abroad, fearing unfair prosecution in what many observers call a

More Pressure on Liberal Media as Ekho Moskvy Gets New CEO

file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – February 19, 2014) Yekaterina Pavlova, a former deputy head of the pro-Kremlin Voice of Russia radio station, has been appointed chief executive of opposition-leaning radio station Ekho Moskvy. The decision Tuesday triggered speculation that the Kremlin was seeking to bring the station under its control. The news

Rossiya Segodnya Head Given Presidential Award

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 18, 2014) State television host Dmitry Kiselyov, known for his strong opposition to gay rights in Russia, has been awarded the Order of Service to the Fatherland by President Vladimir Putin. A presidential decree published on the government’s legal documents website said the honor was bestowed on Kiselyov for

Three Statistics with Long Shadows for Russia

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 18, 2014) Three newly released statistics – one on births in Kazakhstan, a second on how Russians understand events in Ukraine, and a third on where websites of the .ru domain are hosted – say more about where the Russian Federation is heading than do more

RIA Novosti: Poll Reveals Widespread Intolerance for Gays in Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) – The vast majority of Russians find same-sex relationships unacceptable, according to a survey published Friday by a state-run pollster. VTsIOM found in its poll that lesbian couples were deemed inappropriate by 78 percent of respondents, with only 3 percent answering that relationships between two women were normal. Relationships between

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

NEWSLINK: Sochi Olympics – Tolstoy’s words ring true as Putin goes for Sochi gold


["Olympics - Tolstoy's words ring true as Putin goes for Sochi gold" - Reuters - Timothy Heritage - February 14, 2014 - http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/14/us-olympics-halfway-idUSBREA1D0VN20140214] Reuters covers the Sochi Olympics, commenting that at least some concerns voiced prior to the Olympics seemingly have been mitigated: For all the talk of war from Islamist militants before the Sochi

Russians Uniting Around Sochi Offer Putin Return on Games


(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stepan Kravchenko, Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer – February 14, 2014) Even Vladimir Putin’s Russian critics are rallying around the president to revel in the country’s first Winter Olympics, dismissing western complaints about facilities, security and graft. As the competition in Sochi enters week two, Russia is swelling with pride over

Interfax: Senior One Russia MP dismisses Navalny party as serious political rival

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Interfax – February 12, 2014) Sergey Neverov, secretary of One Russia’s general council and State Duma deputy speaker has said that for the time being he does not consider both Russian protest leader Aleksey Navalnyy and his unregistered Progress Party (former People’s Alliance) serious political competitors. He made these remarks when speaking to journalists on

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