Putin Says Forbes’ Most Powerful Person Title Has Made Him ‘Cautious’

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that being labeled the world’s most powerful person by Forbes magazine this year has made him “more cautious,” his first-ever public comment on the issue. “I appreciate Forbes experts’ opinion, but I personally believe that, first, it always makes you cautious because it limits you a little bit […]

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Russians much happier than in the 1990s – poll

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – November 12, 2013)  Over three-fourths of Russians say they are happy, a figure that has grown by a third in the last two decades, a recent poll said. According to a study by the All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research (VTsIOM), 76 percent of Russians said they were happy, RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday, citing […]

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Corporate charity poised to expand

Empty Boardroom

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Maria Prikhodina, special to RBTH – November 11, 2013) Despite the lack of legislation to encourage corporate giving, social entrepreneurship is growing among Russian firms. Darya Alexeyeva, the director of a workshop for young adults with developmental disabilities, felt like celebrating when her students earned $6,000 at a recent craft fair. “It was […]

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Russia Loses, but Proud to Host Miss Universe

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Lena Smirnova – November 11, 2013) Miss Venezuela, Maria Gabriela Isler, swept aside 85 contestants to give her country its seventh Miss Universe crown during the competition final in Moscow’s Crocus City Hall on Saturday night. Although Russia’s beauty queen failed to make it into the top 16, the event left Russian organizers and celebrities […]

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Zhirinovsky Comments Trigger Outcry Across North Caucasus

Vladimir Zhirinovsky file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Liz Fuller – November 6, 2013) Not for the first time, the chairman of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) and Russian State Duma deputy speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky has incurred the wrath of North Caucasus officials by making disparaging remarks about the region. Speaking on a TV talk show late last month,  Zhirinovsky advocated  […]

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Interfax: Russia, Georgia quickly rebuilding economic ties – official

Georgia Map

TBILISI. Nov 9 (Interfax) – The Georgian prime minister’s special commissioner for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, is due to have his fifth meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin on November 19-23 in seeking to restore economic ties between the two countries. The meeting will be held in Prague . “It will be our fifth meeting, one at […]

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Interfax: Ukraine PM: EU no longer says Tymoshenko “as pure as the driven snow”

Map of Ukraine and Environs and Ukrainian Flags

DONETSK, Ukraine. Nov 9 (Interfax) – According to Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, the European Union initially claimed that his jailed predecessor Yulia Tymoshenko was an innocent victim of political scheming but no longer does so and insists on clemency for her rather than on her acquittal. Azarov puts the EU’s alleged volte-face to the credit of European Parliament monitors […]

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Russian Tech Sector Reliant on U.S. Investors and Expertise

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Guennadi Moukine – November 11, 2013) The only route to success for Russian technology firms is to launch an operation and find investors in U.S., an investment forum heard. The venture capital market in the U.S. is mature, and investors have experience that Russia, whose investment institutions are relatively young, does not have, speakers at […]

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Russia Surpasses Europe in Shopping Mall Construction

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – November 11, 2013) Russia is ranked number one in Europe in terms of building retail space but still has a lower ratio of shopping malls to people, according to research by Cushman & Wakefield. With over 456,200 square meters of retail space built in just the first half of 2013, Russia topped […]

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The Zone

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Ola Cichowlas – November 9, 2013) Ola Cichowlas is a British-Polish freelance journalist. She covers Russian regional politics and the arts in provincial Russia. The northern territory of the Perm region is known as ‘the Zone’ ­  a remote region of prison camps and correctional facilities. Ola Cichowlas came to know it quite well…. Russia’s prison camps are […]

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Cruelty at Russian hospitals: Illegal migration – red herring

Eurasia Map

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova, Acting Editor-in-Chief – November 8, 2013) An Uzbek migrant in labor was initially denied entry to a Vladivostok hospital and nearly gave birth on the doorstep. Although the Investigative Committee looked into the incident, they will not be launching a criminal case. And the head of the regional branch of the Federal Migration […]

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Interfax: Over a quarter of Russians don’t object to restoration of monarchy – poll

Romanov Family Photo

MOSCOW. Nov 10 (Interfax) – About 28% of Russian citizens do not object to the idea of restoring the monarchy, said VTSIOM pollster General Director Valery Fyodorov. “Twenty-eight percent of the respondents polled in March supported this idea, or, at least, do not object to it. But no one in this group is an active proponent of the monarchy, as […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#202 :: Monday, 11 November 2013

Map of Russia

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#202 :: 11 November 2013 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support […]

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Populations of Former Soviet Republics Have Fallen or Increased Less than Projected in 1990

Map of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 10, 2013 – Chart here: http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/11/window-on-eurasia-populations-of-former.html) The former Soviet space had 48 million fewer people living on it in 2010 than Soviet demographers in 1990 had predicted for that year, with all 15 of the states having smaller populations than were was projected for them and 10 of the 15 having […]

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Russia Hinders East Europe Growth Rebound, Development Bank Says

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Agnes Lovasz – November 11, 2013) Russia’s deepening economic slowdown is impeding eastern Europe’s recovery as lower oil prices hurt the world’s largest energy exporter, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said. Russia, the largest of 34 economies from Morocco to Mongolia where the London-based EBRD invests, will grow 1.3 percent in 2013 and 2.5 […]

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Young Russians in Northwest Overwhelmingly Say They’re Europeans and Don’t Want to be Part of Putin’s Eurasian Union

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 11, 2013) More than two-thirds of university students in northwestern Russia identify as Europeans, nearly half would like to live in a Unified Europe, and only about one in six want to become part of the Eurasian Union, a pattern that suggests Vladimir Putin’s efforts to archaize the country will fail […]

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Shoigu Says NATO and Terrorism Russia’s Top Challenges

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimws.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – November 11, 2013) Terrorism and NATO’s expansion at Russia’s borders are the country’s two main security threats, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Saturday, hinting at a renewal of the armed forces’ strategic and doctrinal direction after years of failed reforms. During an interview broadcasted on Rossia 1, Shoigu cited Syria, Afghanistan, Mali […]

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‘Tribal Consciousness Turning Russians into a Small People,’ Moscow Commentator Says

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 7, 2013) This week’s Russian March was addressed at and attracted to its ranks “the bearers of only a single aspect of consciousness, a tribal view of the world” in which one’s own is always more correct, better, and closer than the other, according to a Moscow commentator. That is why […]

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Interfax: Prosecutor’s office cannot suspend proceedings of civil cases regarding several NGOs

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 7 (Interfax) – The Prosecutor General’s Office cannot satisfy the request of the presidential Human Rights Council to suspend probes of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). A letter from Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Malinovsky to head of the council Mikhail Fedotov says Russian law does not give prosecutors such rights. “Proceedings in a concrete case can be suspended pursuant to […]

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Romancing the Revolution; Russians may not celebrate the start of the Revolution officially, but that has not stopped them from finding ways to revel in revolution.

Romanov Family Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Chris Fleming, special to RBTH – November 7, 2013) Dr. Chris Fleming is a senior lecturer in Humanities and Communication Arts at the University of Western Sydney. For much of the twentieth century, Russians celebrated the October 1917 Revolution ­ the event which brought Lenin and his party to power. Russia no longer […]

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Interfax: Russian Communists celebrate 1917 revolution, call for dismissal of government

Romanov Family Photo

(Interfax – November 7, 2013) The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) marked the anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution on 7 November with rallies in Moscow and other towns of Russia, privately-owned Interfax news agency reported the same day. The CPRF has collected over two million signatures asking for the dismissal of the government, the leader of the […]

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RIA Novosti: Scientists See Increased Asteroid Threat

Stylized Satellite View of Globe Highlighting Russian Impact Location for Meteor

WASHINGTON, November 8 (RIA Novosti) ­ Asteroid strikes like the one that occurred over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February are much more likely to happen than previously thought, scientists said in a report published in the scientific journal Nature. A team of researchers studied two decades’ worth of data gathered by US government-run infrasound sensors positioned around the […]

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Interfax: Two thirds of Russians take positive view of police, many ready to help – poll

Russian Riot Police file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 8 (Interfax) – The attitude of Russians to police has improved lately, the Public Opinion Foundation said. “There has been an improvement of every essential parameter of personal security and police performance during nationwide monitoring; the situation looks better in 2013 than it was throughout the entire period of monitoring since 2009,” the Foundation said in a press […]

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Miss Universe 2013 Competition Kicks Off in Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Lena Smirnova – November 7, 2013) Miss Universe pageant’s arrival in Moscow, the first time the contest has been hosted here in its 62-year history, brought out all the glitter and sequins that the 87 contestants could pack in their suitcases. Matching the contest’s galactic theme, the local organizers said that they plan to “impress […]

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Russian brands find it tough to compete in global value survey

Empty Boardroom

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Tatyana Lisina, special to RBTH   – November 8, 2013) The most expensive Russian brands are conceding significantly in value to brands from developed countries. Experts believe this is because of a lack of investment into brand marketing. Brand consultants Interbrand recently presented ratings for the top 40 most expensive brands of 2013. Gazprom […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Dismisses US Doubts Over Syrian Chemical Arms Data

Syria Map

MOSCOW, November 8 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia considers unfounded US skepticism over the sincerity of Syria’s declaration of its chemical weapon stockpiles, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday. US envoy to the United Nations Samantha Power said earlier this week that Washington was closely reviewing Syria’s declaration of its chemical weapons stockpiles, in light of a history of “years […]

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Putin Moves to Re-Establish Nationalities Ministry He Abolished in 2001

Migrant Workers file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble, Staunton, November 6, 2013) Apparently operating on the principle that if there is a problem, there should be a government structure responsible for it, President Vladimir Putin is moving to recreate in fact if not in name a ministry to oversee the Russian Federation’s increasingly intense nationality problems. But for the same reasons that […]

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Gays who decide to move abroad will have hard time – State Duma

EU Map

(Interfax – November 6, 2013) The State Duma has criticized the statement made by the Dutch foreign minister on the readiness of the Netherlands to provide asylum to Russian homosexuals. “Such statements are bad propaganda against the Russian Federation. I don’t see anything else in that,” Yelena Afanasyeva, deputy chairman of the State Duma committee on labor, social policy and […]

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Business Leaders Ask Putin to Review Tax Case Authority

Russian Duma Building

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – November 7, 2013) Prominent members of the business community have sent an appeal to President Vladimir Putin asking for a reevaluation of amendments to the Criminal Code, which Putin himself submitted to the State Duma on Oct. 11, Vedomosti reported Thursday. The amendments would authorize investigators to open tax cases at their […]

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My Two Days Working Undercover at Moscow’s Sadovod Market

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eradzh Nidoev – November 7, 2013) [Photos here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/my-2-days-working-undercover-at-moscows-sadovod-market/489045.html] It’s 6 a.m. and still dark outside. I am standing inside the sprawling Sadovod market on the 14th kilometer of the Moscow Ring Road in southeast Moscow. A sweeper is working one of the deserted rows of shops, trying to put things in order after yesterday’s […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Accepts Khodorkovsky’s Damages Claim

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

MOSCOW, November 7 (RIA Novosti) ­ The Russian government said Thursday it had not appealed a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that could prompt a rollback of the Yukos case. The Strasbourg-based court ruled in July that the rights of former Yukos oil company head Mikhail Khodorkovsky were violated during his trial and continuing imprisonment in Russia […]

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Putin Tells Zhirinovsky to ‘Tone it Down’

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 7, 2013) President Vladimir Putin has urged Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky to show more restraint in his speeches, most likely in reference to the lawmaker’s recent remarks about the North Caucasus that provoked outrage in the region. Zhirinovsky said during a television show last month that the North Caucasus should be surrounded […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Putin tops Forbes power ranking thanks to a lack of strong rivals

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yevgeny Shestakov, International Affairs Editor at Rossiyskaya Gazeta, special to RBTH – November 7, 2013) There are a number of reasons why the U.S. edition of Forbes magazine nominated Russian President Vladimir Putin as the most powerful person in 2013. It is difficult to gauge the accuracy of those experts who say Putin’s […]

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Interfax: Russians recognize need for political opposition but don’t believe in it coming to power – poll

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

(Interfax – November 7, 2013) In the last eight years the opinion of Russians about the place and role of the opposition in the world today has changed, studies of VTsIOM public opinion center indicate. The share of Russians believing that the objective of opposition forces is to work out their own course and come to power has grown from […]

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Interfax: Russian Olympic Committee says gay hysteria over Sochi Games ‘whipped up’

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

(Interfax – Sochi, November 8, 2013) The Russian Olympic Committee thinks the scandal around the sportsmen of non-traditional sexual orientation is artificially whipped up, while the athletes themselves will be taken up with a competition, not political issues. “I think that is just the whipping up of the atmosphere around the Olympics on purpose; when the Games start, the athletes […]

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Putincare: Russia’s Alternative to Obamacare

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Voice of America – James Brooke – October 31, 2013) James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR With Obamacare dividing the U.S., I thought it my patriotic duty to do an undercover investigation of “Putincare.” My weekend did not have the drama of Solzhenitsyn’s 1967 novel “The Cancer Ward,” but it had its moments. […]

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Road rage: Reality in Russia; 10 facts about Russian roads that will make you weep

Moscow Traffic file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – November 7, 2013) Common wisdom has it that all of Russia’s ills originate in two simple things: fools and roads. Indeed, one of the biggest factors holding back the country that occupies one-sixth of the world’s landmass may be its transportation arteries – or lack thereof. 1) Some better off on horses […]

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Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#201 :: Friday, 8 November 2013

Map of Russia

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#201 :: 8 November 2013 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support […]

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Indo-Russian Summit Highlights Emerging Trends in Asian International Relations

India map

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 199 – Stephen Blank – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – November 6, 2013) Indian Premier Manmohan Singh’s October 21–22 visit to Moscow not only reaffirmed traditional Indo-Russian amity, it also revealed significant trends in Asian developments that affect both parties as well as other key players like the United States, China and Pakistan. In […]

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A memorial day few Russians want to remember

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Julia Reed in Moscow – November 7, 2013) “Who was killed in your family?” A man in a beret in his early 60s asked me as he joined the long queue of people. We were both attending the annual recital of the names of the victims of political repressions in Russia by the Solovetsky […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with heads of constitutional law faculties

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Kremlin.ru – November 7, 2013) Faculty members and researchers from more than 20 universities and institutes attended the meeting, held ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, friends. We are holding this meeting in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the adoption of Russia’s Constitution. I will not lecture you […]

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Ex-MP Glushchenko will be charged with Galina Starovoitova’s murder – lawyer

Russian Duma Building

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 7 (Interfax) – Investigators are preparing to charge former Russian parliamentarian Mikhail Glushchenko with masterminding the assassination of State Duma member Galina Starovoitova in 1998, Glushchenko’s lawyer Alexander Afanasyev told Interfax on Thursday. “Both defense lawyers representing Mikhail Ivanovich [Glushchenko] were officially notified that at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow he will be charged under Part 3 of Article […]

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Russian MP says Europe’s outrage over U.S. phone tapping will not last long

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 7 (Interfax) – State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov believes that the scandal sparked by revelations that U.S. special services monitored European leaders’ phone conversations will soon fizzle out because the European leadership is dependent on Washington. “The administration of [U.S. President Barack] Obama does not seem to be particularly troubled by Europe’s anger over this […]

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Investigative Committee Seeks to Formalize Criminality of Tax Avoidance

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 6, 2013) The Investigative Committee has developed a bill criminalizing tax optimization transactions, Vedomosti reported Wednesday. The proposed bill is set to amend the Tax Code by introducing definitions for “imaginary” and “fictitious” financial transactions. These terms refer to transactions which business either did not complete, or have completed, but fudged the description and […]

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The writing on the wall?

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(opendemocracy.net – Daniil Kotsyubinsky – November 5, 2013) Daniil Kotsyubinsky is a Russian historian and journalist based in St. Petersburg On Friday, a Russian news agency had its publishing licence revoked, supposedly for publishing two ‘profane’ Youtube clips. For Daniil Kotsyubinsky, however, the episode was but the latest example of a ‘summary execution’ ­ intended as a warning to any […]

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Russian Nation Said to Have Lost Its Ability to Assimilate Others

Migrant Workers file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 6, 2013) For most of modern times, ethnic Russians have assimilated members of other nations living among them because they represented a more advanced community, but now, a Moscow blogger says, they have “lost the ability to assimilate other peoples,” something that makes the influx of non-Russian migrants even more disturbing […]

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Interfax: Russian March assesses degree of public discontent – policy expert

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Nov 5 (Interfax) – The relative serenity of the Russian March was based on the wish of its organizers to avoid “rocking the boat” and instead to assess public sentiment about migration and inter-ethnic relations, policy expert Nikolai Mironov said. “It seems the March organizers did not want to disturb the peace. I think it was a test; they […]

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RIA Novosti: All-Time Record Set for Warmest Fall Night in Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

MOSCOW, November 6 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian weather experts have said that Tuesday night was the hottest ever recorded in Moscow during the fall season. Mayak radio station cited the Moscow Weather Bureau as saying that overnight temperatures in the city stood at around 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). Temperatures in Moscow typically hover around freezing point by November, […]

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RIA Novosti: Russians’ Quality of Life Improved Over Last Decade – OECD

OECD Logo

MOSCOW, November 5 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia has “made progress” in improving the quality of life of its citizens over the last decade, though the country’s scores in some areas are lower than the international average, a new study by an international economic organization says. The average Russian household net-adjusted disposable income is about $15,300 a year, according to the […]

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A Fresh Wind of Optimism; A New Mindset for Russia in the Changing World

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Russia in Global Affairs – eng.globalaffairs.ru – Andrey Bezrukov – October 26, 2013) Andrey Bezrukov is an expert in strategic planning and an associate professor at Moscow University of International Relations (MGIMO). Resume: While the American elites take time to debate and prioritize their national interests, there is no similar dialogue going on within Russian elites. As society at large […]

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