Tag Archives: Politics

Putin Sounds the Alarm Over Budding ‘Color Revolutions’ in Russia

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – March 5, 2015) President Vladimir Putin urged Interior Ministry officials on Wednesday to focus on smothering budding color revolutions, thus bolstering the current political climate by reinforcing a widespread fear of domestic enemies, analysts told The Moscow Times. “We see attempts to use so-called ‘color revolution technology,’ ranging from organizing unlawful public […]

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Interfax: No “tightening of screws” after Nemtsov murder – Russian upper house speaker

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

(Interfax – March 4, 2015) The murder of prominent opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was an attempt to destabilize and discredit Russia, but it will not lead to a clampdown on the opposition, Russian Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko has said, as reported by privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax on 4 March. “I am shocked by this murder… (ellipsis as published) […]

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Russians Less Likely to Protest as Their Situation Deteriorates, Urnov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 4, 2015) It is an axiom in most countries that people will protest when their living conditions decline and that assumption underlies current Western policy toward Moscow, but Mark Urnov, one of Russia’s leading political analysts, argues that the situation in Russia is different and that Russians are less rather than […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: New law will allow NGOs to lose ‘foreign agent’ tag – on certain conditions

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yekaterina Sinelschikova, RBTH – March 3, 2015) Non-governmental organizations that were forced to register as “foreign agents” under controversial legislation will soon be able to lift that status – but only if they meet certain conditions that some NGOs say are unrealistic. Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court has taken action to free NGOs from […]

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BNE: Chart – Russians’ latest reactions to Ukraine, sanctions and Putin

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – March 3, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/bnechart-russians-latest-reactions-ukraine-sanctions-and-putin] A series of recent polls by Russia’s Levada Center has cast an interesting light on major issues surrounding Russia, such as Russians’ views on the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the effects of continued Western-led sanctions, and the general popularity of the government. Ukraine […]

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Moscow Times: “Analysts: Nemtsov Murder Won’t Consolidate Russian Opposition”

Nemtsov March of Mourning

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – March 3, 2015) Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov’s murder is unlikely to unite Russia’s scattered opposition factions, whose discordant ideologies have consistently prevented their consolidation into a coherent political force to be reckoned with, analysts said Monday. The multicolored flags of various opposition parties flew high above Sunday’s silent march to mourn the […]

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RIA Novosti: “Russian secret service cameras did not capture Nemtsov murder – spokesman”

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

(RIA Novosti – March 2, 2015) The Russian law-enforcement agency that provides personal protection to President Vladimir Putin and other top officials says its video cameras did not capture the killing of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov on a bridge near the Kremlin late on 27 February. In remarks reported by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti on 2 March, Sergey […]

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Interfax: Nemtsov murder witness Durytska allowed to return to Ukraine, say Russian investigators

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Interfax – March 3, 2015) Ukrainian citizen Anna Duritskaya, a key witness in the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, was not held in Russia against her will and, after leaving for Ukraine, promised to further cooperate with Russian investigators, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax on Tuesday. “No restrictions were imposed on Duritskaya and no personal […]

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OBITUARY: Nemtsov’s death and the opposition’s failure to change the regime

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – March 2, 2015) This is so depressing. First a proxy war that has expanded into the worst geopolitical showdown in 20 years. Then a crisis that has led to stagnation and a steep fall in the ruble. And now the murder of one of Russia’s best-known opposition politicians. Russia is […]

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NEWSWATCH: A March of Mourning for Boris Nemtsov

Nemtsov March of Mourning

[“A March of Mourning for Boris Nemtsov” – Masha Lipman – The New Yorker – March 1, 2015] Masha Lipman covers the march of mourning following the assassination of Boris Nemtsov and reacts to his killing, including recalling other assassinations during the Putin era: Boris Nemtsov was among the organizers of a mass protest action called “The Spring,” planned for Sunday, […]

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NEWSWATCH: Putin’s Culture of Fear and Death: Boris Nemtsov threw his big body, big voice and big heart into uphill battle to keep democracy alive in Russia

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

[“Putin’s Culture of Fear and Death: Boris Nemtsov threw his big body, big voice and big heart into the uphill battle to keep democracy alive in Russia” – Garry Kasparov – Wall Street Journal – March 1, 2015] Garry Kasparov reacts to the assassination in Moscow of Russian opposition figure and former Yeltsin official Boris Nemtsov. Boris Nemtsov, my longtime friend and […]

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Eric Kraus: Reflections on the murder of Boris Nemtsov

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

Subject: Reflections on the murder of Boris Nemtsov. Date: Tue, 03 Mar 2015 From: Eric Kraus <krausmoscow@yahoo.com> Reflections on the murder of Boris Nemtsov. By Eric Kraus Eric became well known in global financial circles in the 90s and naughts as the author of a widely read monthly investment strategy newsletter: Truth and Beauty (…and Russian Finance), prized as much […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NEWSWATCH: The Nemtsov Murder and the FSB

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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Nemtsov Murder Corners Kremlin

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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Boris Nemtsov: ‘We Must Free Russia From Putin’

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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Nemtsov’s Murder Defines Putin’s Russia

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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Gorbachev: Nemtsov murder a scheme to provoke political trouble in Russia

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Interfax – February 28, 2015) Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev has expressed confidence that Friday night’s assassination in the center of Moscow of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov is a scheme to “provoke aggravation, and maybe even destabilization, of the situation in the country, increase the confrontation.” “It’s hard to say now which side is responsible for this. One mustn’t hurry […]

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

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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Putin’s ‘Hybrid’ Great Terror

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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Interfax: Moscow admin allows Nemtsov mourning procession

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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Nemtsov’s Murder Shakes Russian Opposition

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Eli Lake – February 28, 2015) The murder of a high-profile Russian opposition leader has already sent a chill among President Vladimir Putin’s beleaguered political foes. Putin’s opponents have turned up dead before. Russia’s president has sent rival oligarchs and punk bands to prison camps. He has shut down television stations and banned nongovernmental organizations. But […]

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

Boris Nemtsov file photo

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

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Interfax: Over 73 percent of Russians admit crisis in Russia

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(Interfax – February 27, 2015) A public opinion poll conducted by the Institute of Priority Regional Projects in February 2015 4 showed that three-fourths of Russians see the situation in the country as a crisis, Nikolai Mironov, general director of the Institute, said. The poll surveyed 1,600 Russian citizens aged older than 18. It was conducted in 120 populated areas […]

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A third of Russians back opposition demands, only 22% believe rallies can be effective – poll

File Photo of Moscow Protest with Riot Police

(Interfax – February 26, 2015) Russians are skeptical about demonstrations and many have not heard about the opposition rally scheduled for March 1 but a considerable part of them back the demands to be made during the March 1 action irrespective of the event per se and its organizers, General Director of the Institute for Priority Regional Projects Nikolai Mironov […]

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Interfax: Putin’s job approval rating reaches 86 percent

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(Interfax – February 26, 2015) The job approval rating of Russian President Vladimir Putin has grown one percentage point in the past month, rising to 86 percent in February against 85 percent in January, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax on Thursday. Thirteen percent of respondents to the center’s latest survey criticized Putin’s work at the post of Russian president. The […]

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It’s the economy, stupid

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MACRO ADVISER: Chris Weafer – February 17, 2015) Chris Weafer is Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory, which offers bespoke Russia-CIS consulting. Bill Clinton famously won the first of his two presidential elections using the slogan: “It’s the economy, stupid”. He recognised that while support for the first Gulf War had been strong, people were starting […]

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Russia in Far Worse Shape than Most Assume, Moscow Commentator Says

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 15, 2015) Vladimir Putin’s bombast and aggressiveness both is rooted in and helps conceal the underlying reality: “the situation of Russia is much more difficult than it appears,” as even the most superficial examination of Russian realities demonstrates, according to Moscow political analyst Vasily Zharkov. In a commentary in yesterday’s “Novaya […]

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Embattled Teatr.doc Proudly Returns to the Stage

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – February 16, 2015) “I always thought this democracy stuff was, you know … ,” Alexei Yudnikov said, his voice trailing off with disgust still ringing in it. “Yes, yes! No, no!” A couple hundred people burst into laughter. The joke was both subtle and obvious. Yudnikov was emceeing the reopening of the […]

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Ex-Finance Minister Kudrin Steps Into Spotlight as Russia’s Crisis Grows

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – February 16, 2015) Former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin took part in an anti-crisis meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin on Friday in the latest sign that the Kremlin insider turned government critic is playing a more prominent role in economic decision making. The gathering at Putin’s Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow also […]

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Getting Ready for President Putin’s Successor

Putin at Desk

Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2015 From: David Law <davidmurraylaw@gmail.com> Subject: Getting Ready for President Putin’s Successor David Law, www.davidmlaw.com, is Senior Associate at the Security Governance Group and Senior Fellow at its partner organisation, the Centre for Security Governance. President Putin’s current mandate runs out in 2018. It has long been expected that he will go for a second six-year […]

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There are Alternatives to Putin and Not All of Them are in the Kremlin, Satarov Says

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 4, 2015) In any political system, there is always “an alternative” to the current leader, Georgy Satarov says, and consequently, when Vladimir Putin leaves his position, a new head of Russia will emerge — and it won’t necessarily be someone from the current Kremlin entourage or happen peacefully. But it is […]

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A Coup Against Putin?

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Donald N. Jensen – February 4, 2015) As Russia’s economy enters recession and its political stability starts to weaken, there is increasing speculation about the possibility of a regime change in the country. Donald N. Jensen, resident fellow of the Center for Transatlantic Relations, discusses Russia’s political climate and the options currently confronting […]

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Interfax: Putin proposes bill on removing NGOs from foreign-agents list

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, Feb 4, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed a bill on how to remove nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from the register of foreign agents. The bill has been registered in the lower house’s electronic database. Under the federal laws concerning public associations and NGOs functioning as a foreign agent, public associations which are legal entities and other […]

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Victory for Memorial in court ruling but survival battle is only half-won

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Timofeichev, RBTH – February 3, 2015) Russia’s Supreme Court has thrown out a lawsuit filed by the Justice Ministry against the country’s oldest human rights organization Memorial, seeking its closure. However, despite the court’s decision, the ministry has refused to abandon the lawsuit and is now pursuing legal action against Memorial’s international […]

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NEWSWATCH: ‘Putin’s brain’ says he doesn’t have Putin’s ear. Do we know who does?

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

[“‘Putin’s brain’ says he doesn’t have Putin’s ear. Do we know who does? As fighting in Ukraine flares up again, one influential voice says that Putin has sidelined him. And Putin’s oligarch allies, smarting from Western sanctions, have reportedly lost influence as well.” – Fred Weir – Christian Science Monitor – January 27, 2015] The Christian Science Monitor considers the question […]

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NEWSWATCH: Inside Putin’s Head: The Crisis in Russia and Ukraine and Worst-Case Putin Scenarios

Kremlin and Environs Aerial View

[“Inside’s Putin’s Head: The Crisis in Russia and Ukraine and Worst-Case Putin Scenarios” – Gordon M. Hahn – gordonhahn.com – January 31, 2015] Gordon Hahn considers the impact of the conflict in Ukraine and economic repercussions on the stability and viability of Russia’s Putin regime. The … Russian-NATO proxy war in Ukraine along with the Russian-Western economic cold war could destabilize Russia’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: How Russia props up Putin in the polls

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

[“How Russia props up Putin in the polls” – Christopher Walker and Robert Orttung – Washington Post – January 30, 2015] Christopher Walker and Robert Orttung scrutinize Russian President Vladimir Putin’s domestic political popularity ratings. … Despite the price of oil sinking below $50 a barrel and the Russian economy falling into a tailspin, Putin’s approval ratings hover above 80 percent, seemingly […]

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BNE Conference Call: West needs new tactics to deal with Russia over Ukraine (Erik Berglof, Edward Lucas, Sir Andrew Wood, Ben Aris, Professor Michael Ben-Gad, Pippa Malmgren)

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – January 29, 2015) Participants at a bne IntelliNews debate in London expressed frustration with the failure of Western sanctions over Ukraine to modify Russia’s behaviour so far, and some suggested it is time to try new tactics. “We are reinforcing all the bad traits in Russia,” said Erik Berglof, director of the Institute for […]

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Turf War Seen at Heart of Russian Space Industry Shake-Up

International Space Station file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – January 23, 2015) An ambitious drive by a friend of President Vladimir Putin’s to take control of Russia’s defense industry may be behind a shock announcement this week that Russia would merge its federal space agency with a major industry group, analysts said. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took industry observers by surprise […]

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