NEWSLINK: Post-interview ‘hot mic’ catches Russia’s Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

[Post-interview ‘hot mic’ catches Russia’s Medvedev – AFP – Dec. 10, 2012 – click here for full article] AFP covers Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s recent remarks against security services, caught after a televised press conference was supposed to be over, but when at least one live feed was still running (from state-controlled Russia Today): Stark divisions within Russia’s elite […]

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TV Channels Passing Blame Over Leaked Medvedev Comments

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – Dec. 10, 2012) Television channels were passing the blame Monday after unofficial footage from an interview with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was leaked Friday. Footage that appeared on YouTube showed the prime minister just after the end of an hour-and-a-half interview, chatting freely with the journalists from the five channels that […]

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TRANSCRIPT: “A Conversation With Dmitry Medvedev.” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev interviewed by five TV channels

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(http://premier.gov.ru – Dec. 7 2012) Sergei Brilyov (Rossia 1 Channel): Good afternoon everyone. Good afternoon, Mr Medvedev. Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon. Sergei Brilyov: This is “A Conversation With Dmitry Medvedev.” I am confident that my colleagues and I are ready to ask some rather serious political and economic questions. But, first, I would like to ask you about your impressions […]

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NEWSLINK: President to deliver state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly on December 12

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

[President to deliver state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly on December 12 – ITAR-TASS – RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – Dec. 6, 2012 – http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c142/590982.html] Itar-Tass covers plans for Russian President Vladimir Putin to deliver his state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly on December 12: Experts are awaiting surprises which might become “the key priority” during the new presidential term. The […]

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NEWSLINK: Medvedev discusses corruption, tighter legislation, Opposition with TV journalists

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

[Medvedev discusses corruption, tighter legislation, Opposition with TV journalists – Itar-Tass – Lyudmila Alexandrova – Dec. 7 – http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c39/592431.html] Itar-Tass covers a recent interview by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev with Russian television networks: One of the first most acute questions was about the high-profile scandals and the potential involvement in them of some very high-ranking officials, including the former […]

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Putin’s Fear of Appearing Spineless

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm – Michael Bohm is opinion page editor of The Moscow Times – Dec. 7, 2012) Speculation about President Vladimir Putin’s health problems was revived this week when he met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. Judging from a Reuters photograph, it seemed that Putin was wincing as he lowered himself […]

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NEWSLINK: Russian PM defends tough laws, stands behind Putin

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

[Russian PM defends tough laws, stands behind Putin – Reuters – Timothy Heritage – Dec. 7 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/07/us-russia-medvedev-idUSBRE8B60OU20121207] Reuters reports on Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s vocal support for President Vladimir Putin and new laws on treason, protests, defamation and NGO’s: In a live interview with five Russian television stations, Medvedev appeared determined to show he is in step with […]

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Russians Tired of Rallies But Not Politics – Analysis

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

MOSCOW, December 7 (Alexey Eremenko, RIA Novosti) ­ One year ago, large-scale street protests in Moscow seemed to overturn the indifference toward politics that had dominated the Russian public consciousness for much of the 2000s. Today, sociologists say, people’s willingness to hit the streets has waned considerably, with many voters skeptical both of the Kremlin and the opposition. But the […]

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Experts sum up results of protest year at Interfax press conference

Moscow Protest file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 6 (Interfax) – Politicians and experts, who attended the presentation of a research study of the Civil Society Development Fund at Interfax on Thursday, made interesting or even paradoxical comments on the protest movement in Russia that marked its first jubilee. The “white ribbon” movement saved Russia from a social outburst, political expert Leonid Polyakov told the press […]

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Former protesters ready to support Putin under certain conditions – VTsIOM

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

MOSCOW. Dec 6 (Interfax) – The majority of people who attended protests staged by the Russian opposition said they would be ready to support President Vladimir Putin at elections if he agreed to implement some reforms, the director of the All Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies (VTsIOM), Valery Fyodorov, said. The center’s sociologists drew these conclusions after interviewing those […]

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Russian NATO Rep Denies ‘Re-Sovietization’

Map of Russia and European Region of Former Soviet Union or Commonwealth of Independent States

MOSCOW, December 7 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian NATO envoy Alexander Grushko refuted on Friday claims by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Russia is aiming to “re-Sovietize” Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “Sovietization is a cliché which, in my opinion, is absolutely incongruous with the actual processes that are taking place throughout the former USSR,” Grushko said during a […]

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NEWSLINK: Vladimir Putin tries to restore monopoly of power

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

[Vladimir Putin tries to restore monopoly of power – Matthew Rojansky – Valdai Discussion Club – Dec. 4, 2012 – Valdaiclub.com interview with Matthew Rojansky, Deputy Director, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment – http://www.carnegieendowment.org/2012/12/04/vladimir-putin-tries-to-restore-monopoly-of-power/eqjp] Matthew Rojansky of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is interviewed on politics and corruption under Vladimir Putin. Rojansky notes the uptick in anti-corruption action, […]

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NEWSLINK: Purge and prejudice: What will the fate of military reform tell us about the anti-corruption campaign?

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

[Purge and prejudice: What will the fate of military reform tell us about the anti-corruption campaign? – Mark Galeotti – Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Dec. 3, 2012 – Mark Galeotti (Twitter: @markgaleotti) is Professor of Global Affairs at New York University’s SCPS Center for Global Affairs. His blog, “In Moscow’s Shadows,” can be read at http://inmoscowsshadows.wordpress.com – full article […]

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Russia Riot Prison Dubbed ‘Hell’ by Kremlin Rights Council

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW, December 6 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti) ­ A prison in Russia’s Urals region where inmates rioted last month against alleged abuse and extortion was compared to a “concentration camp” on Thursday by a member of the Kremlin’s human rights council. “We saw a splendid park and a beautiful church, marble ­ but behind the facade there was hell,” Maxim […]

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Protest movement losing steam in Russia due to disappointment in its leaders – expert Kostin

Moscow Protest file photo

(Interfax – Dec. 6, 2012) The protest movement in Russia is losing steam, Civil Society Development Fund head Konstantin Kostin said in a presentation of his report at Interfax on Thursday. “Protests were escalating from December 2011 through February 2012 and then started to subdue,” he said. Kostin put the blame on internal problems of the protest movement. “People are […]

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Political Analyst Sees No Signs Of Crisis In Russia

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, 3 December) Political analyst Aleksey Mukhin believes that the authors of the Carnegie Centre’s report “The awakening of Russia” are somewhat late with their conclusions, some of which could have been partially accepted in December 2011 – March 2012. According to Mukhin, there is no reason to talk about a crisis in the country, including a […]

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After Year of Protests, Activists Founding Political Parties

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscow.times.com – Alexander Bratersky – Dec. 6, 2012) Activists who took part in large-scale protests against the Kremlin over the last year are putting their hopes in new political parties that could be used as a platform for opposition leaders like Alexei Navalny. With public enthusiasm for protests seeming to have waned after a year of mass […]

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Russia’s top law officer defends prosecutions aiming to rout ‘destructive forces’

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 4 (Interfax) – Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika has argued that current criminal action against people featured in the documentary film “Anatomy of Protest 2” is a necessary measure against “destructive forces.” “The danger is that people may have their protest sentiments manipulated by interested persons and their associations in attempts by destructive forces to use the protest […]

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Kudrin Committee advises authorities not to irritate middle class, accelerate elite rotation

Alexei Kudrin file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 4 (Interfax) – The Civil Initiatives Committee of former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has urged the authorities not to tighten the screws on civil society regulation. “It is necessary not to tighten the screws on the regulation of civil society, free discussion and protest actions. Such measures do nothing but radicalize protests and ruin the authorities’ hope […]

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Putin’s Health and the Future of Russian Power

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov – Dec. 6, 2012 – Fyodor Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal ­ the most authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments) We have seen growing speculation about President Vladimir Putin’s health over recent weeks. A break in his foreign trips and reports of a sports-related injury […]

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NEWSLINK: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The revenge of the Soviet military

File Photo of Close-Up of Line of Russian Soldiers in Dress Uniforms for Parade

Far, far more serious than the shake-up’s implications for Russia’s military doctrine and modernization — and they are serious, because it is unlikely that Shoigu will succeed by retaining Soviet-era management practices — are its implications for the stability of the Putin regime and its reliance on clans, protection, corruption, and intimidation. The Serdyukov scandal is a hint that Putin is not in control, and that his political system has become vulnerable to fratricide.

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NEWSLINK: New Rules in Old Corruption Game

File Photo of Two Persons Shaking Hands and Exchanging Cash

[Yulia Latynina – Moscow Times – Dec. 5, 2012 – Yulia Latynina hosts a political talk show on Ekho Moskvy radio – http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/new-rules-in-old-corruption-game/472507.html] Yulia Latynina comments upon the shifting landscape in Russian corruption and how it is handled: Under the old rules, a public scandal involving Serdyukov would have failed to result in his dismissal. It also would have meant […]

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NEWSLINK: After a year of protest, a different Russia beckons

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

[After a year of protest, a different Russia beckons – Washington Post – Will Englund and Kathy Lally – Dec. 5, 2012 – Click here for full article] The Washington Post covers the one-year anniversary of the large protests that broke out in Russia in December 2010: The political protests that suddenly began a year ago seemingly accomplished little concrete […]

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Russia’s Anti-Putin Opposition: One Year On

Moscow Protest file photo

MOSCOW, December 5 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti) – When thousands of Muscovites swept into the streets to protest alleged vote-rigging in favor of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party at the December 4, 2011, parliamentary polls, they revived a passion for politics not seen here for some two decades and set the scene for the greatest challenge to the ex-KGB officer’s […]

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Russian opposition figure pleased with year’s work, vows to continue protest

Sergei Udaltsov file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, 4 December) Left Front coordinator Sergey Udaltsov is satisfied with the results of the year that has passed since the start of active protests and believes in dialogue with the authorities on issues of political and social reform in the country. (Passage omitted: disputed 4 December 2011 parliamentary election led to mass public protests) “It will be […]

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Opposition Council Seeks Purpose

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – Dec. 5, 2012) “Who is in favor of fair courts? Seems like no one wants fair courts. How about early elections? Don’t you want early elections?” former chess champion Garry Kasparov asked the opposition Coordination Council regarding the main slogan to be used for a Dec. 15 protest march. “For now, we […]

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Year After First Protest, Future of Movement Uncertain

File Photo of Moscow Winter Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com –  Jonathan Earle – Dec. 5, 2012) One year ago Wednesday, tens of thousands of protesters filled Chistiye Prudy, a leafy park in downtown Moscow, in a spontaneous protest against State Duma elections that they said were rigged. The participants ­ led by students and urban, middle-class professionals ­ described the event in terms of jubilation […]

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NEWSLINK: Constitutional changes possible but not yet necessary – Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

[Constitutional changes possible but not yet necessary – Putin – Russia Today – Nov. 30, 2012 – http://rt.com/politics/president-state-mps-government-962/] Russia Today covers Russian President Vladimir Putin’s positions on how members of the Federation Council are chosen. Click here for the full article: http://rt.com/politics/president-state-mps-government-962/

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NEWSLINK: Corruption scandals dominate Russian headlines; Allegations have involved Russia’s defense and agriculture ministries and even the space program. Some wonder whether the regime is cracking down or fracturing

File Photo of Two Persons Shaking Hands and Exchanging Cash

[Corruption scandals dominate Russian headlines; Allegations have involved Russia’s defense and agriculture ministries and even the space program. Some wonder whether the regime is cracking down or fracturing. – Los Angeles Times – Sergei L. Loiko – Dec. 3, 2012 – http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/02/world/la-fg-russia-corruption-20121203] The Los Angeles Times covers recently exposed corruption scandals in Russia: … the news in Russia lately has […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia Day to be held at New York Stock Exchange

Igor Shuvalov file photo

[Russia Day to be held at New York Stock Exchange – Itar-Tass – Dec. 3, 2012 – Russia Day to be held at New York Stock Exchange – http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c154/587860.html] Itar-Tass covers plans to hold a “Russia Day” conference at the New York Stock Exchange: Russia Day is to be held at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Monday. The […]

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NEWSLINK: In Panicky Russia, It’s Official: End of World Is Not Near

Map of Russia

[Ellen Barry – New York Times – Dec. 2, 2012 – http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/world/in-panicky-russia-its-official-end-of-world-is-not-near-664630/] Ellen Barry of the New York Times covers Russia’s response to reports about the would-be Mayan Apocalypse: There are scattered reports of unusual behavior from across Russia’s nine time zones. * * * For those not schooled in New Age prophecy, there are rumors the world will end […]

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NEWSLINK: Snow traps drivers for days in giant Russia traffic jam

Map of Russia

(Snow traps drivers for days in giant Russia traffic jam – Reuters – Dec. 2, 2012 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/03/uk-russia-traffic-idUSLNE8B201620121203) Reuters reports on a two-days-and-counting, 120-mile-long traffic jam on a major Russian highway resulting from heavy snow and involving thousands of vehicles: Thousands of trucks and cars have been stuck on a major highway, some for more than two days, in a […]

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Putin’s Anti-Corruption Campaign May Backfire

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladimir Frolov – Dec. 3, 2012) It may feel like hitting a political trifecta. You defang the political issue that energizes your opponents. You restore your standing with the military and please your core supporters long clamoring for the corrupt elites’ heads. You anesthetize your governing team with a fear of being on the hit […]

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Putin Sets Parliamentary Address for Mid-December

Duma Session file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Dec. 3, 2012) President Vladimir Putin told leaders of the four State Duma factions that he would make his state-of-the-nation address in mid-December. The address is traditionally held in November, but a Kremlin source told Kommersant in late October that the address might be delayed amid disputes about its content. The faction heads met Putin […]

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No major successes in improving Russian investment climate yet, says Medvedev

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

(Interfax – Nov. 29, 2012) No substantial improvement in Russia’s investment climate has yet come about, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said. “Unfortunately, we have had no fundamental successes here,” Medvedev said at a Thursday government meeting at which he presented the preliminary results of a half year of cabinet of ministers activity. “The task consists in the reduction […]

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Pussy Riot Clip Classified as Extremist

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – Nov. 30, 2012) A city court has declared Pussy Riot’s “punk prayer” video extremist, meaning that media outlets can face closure for publishing the all-female band’s famous performance in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. Thursday’s far-reaching decision also means that hosting platforms like YouTube must remove the video for Russian users […]

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Rumors about Putin’s back are highly exaggerated, president’s ability to work unaffected – Peskov

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

MOSCOW. Nov 30 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to participate in sports as usual and the rumors about his back problems do not affect his ability to work, the president’s press officer Dmitry Peskov said. “We continue working and intends to continue working in the same mode. He has no intention of giving up sports. Like any sportsman, […]

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A ‘Kompromat’ War Of All Against All

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(RFE/RL – Brian Whitmore – Nov. 29, 2012) Is it an anti-graft campaign? A purge of the elite? Or the start of a clan war? When police raided and searched the home of Rostelekom CEO Aleksandr Provotorov last week, it marked yet another chapter in what the Russian media has been describing as a Kremlin-backed war on corruption. The search […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gives an interview to Kommersant newspaper

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(http://premier.gov.ru – Nov. 29, 2012) Question: You’ve been Prime Minister for six months now. We can safely say that the organising phrase of forming the Government is over. Earlier you had outlined seven priority areas of the Government’s work including in the short term. What have you been able to resolve at this stage and what issues remain unresolved? Dmitry […]

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Medvedev vows both symmetrical and asymmetrical response to Magnitsky Act

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

MOSCOW. Nov 29 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev thinks that the support of the Magnitsky Act by European countries is pointless and vows that Russia will respond to such a decision by the U.S. Congress. “If we speak about this act, it will invoke both symmetrical and asymmetrical reactions on our behalf. We passed all of these in […]

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Russia to Weigh Taxing Individuals on Investments, Deposits

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – Nov. 28, 2012) Russia will consider taxing individuals who earn more than 1 million rubles ($32,200) a year from financial holdings to narrow income inequality, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said. “We could collect tax on additional income from wealthy citizens who have larger bank deposits and more investment income using such a mechanism,” […]

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Better Business Climate Gets New Impetus

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – Nov. 29, 2012) Business executives are urgently calling on the government to improve conditions for entrepreneurship, which they say remains massively underdeveloped because of stifling bureaucratic and administrative hurdles. If the country’s leaders do not act soon, they might put themselves in jeopardy, participants in a business conference said Wednesday. “Without […]

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Russian deputy PM says democracy depends on innovative economy

Skolkovo File Photo

(Interfax – Skolkovo, 28 November) Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov has described innovative work as a priority political task because high technologies contribute to the development of democracy. “I think innovative work is a priority political task. It precedes party building, it precedes elections, it comes before everything else, because there will be no democracy without high technologies and […]

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Putin’s Repressive Power Is Tested and Found Lacking

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 9, Issue 217 – Pavel K. Baev – Nov. 28, 2012) A capacity for unleashing targeted repressions is crucial for the survival of authoritarian regimes, and President Vladimir Putin finds it increasingly difficult to demonstrate that he has such a capacity­or that he controls it. Health problems keep him confined to […]

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Prison Revolt Yields More Questions Than Answers

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – Nov. 29, 2012) There were either 250 participants or about 1,000. They demanded improved conditions or nothing at all. Their protest was plotted by criminal masterminds or it was spontaneous. Almost nothing is clear about last weekend’s revolt at a maximum security prison in the Urals, as official statements, media reports and […]

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Medvedev: Repression Charges Are Pure Politics

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nov. 29, 2012) Saying the “repressive” label given to new laws on treason and other civil issues is “a pure political tactic,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev voiced support for the State Duma’s reinstating of criminal charges for libel ­ which overturned one of his own initiatives as president. In a wide-ranging interview published in Kommersant […]

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Russia’s Leadership ‘Tandem’ Losing Appeal – Poll

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin with Heads Bowed Over Microphone

MOSCOW, November 29 (RIA Novosti) – The two men who form Russia’s ruling tandem – President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev – have seen their credibility and approval ratings drop over the past 11 months, the Levada polling agency said on Thursday. Putin’s credibility ratings fell from 41 percent in January to 34 percent in November, and Medvedev’s […]

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Number of Russians viewing authorities as corrupt continues to grow

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

(Interfax – 11.29.12) Corruption in Russia remains high, and citizens are worried about it, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) told Interfax on Thursday. Seventy-five percent believe that the corruption level is high or even very high. The indicator was the same in 2007-2008, the sociologists said. Sixty percent claimed high corruption in their home towns in 2007. The […]

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NEWSLINK: Rostelecom Is Forever in Debt to the Kremlin

Empty Boardroom

(Rostelecom Is Forever in Debt to the Kremlin – Yulia Latynina – Moscow Times – Nov. 28, 2012 – Yulia Latynina hosts a political talk show on Ekho Moskvy radio – http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/rostelecom-is-forever-in-debt-to-the-kremlin/472094.html) Yulia Latynina comments in a Moscow Times op-ed on alleged corruption and repercussions entangling Rostelecom, Marshall Capital and VTB Bank, yet another Russian scandal ending up in the […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia says plans no switch out of euro reserves

EU Map

(Russia says plans no switch out of euro reserves – Reuters – John Irish – Nov. 27, 2012 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/27/us-russia-forex-idUSBRE8AQ0ND20121127) Reuters covers Russian plans to continue having foreign exchange reserves having almost as many Euros as U.S. Dollars: Russia has no plans to switch euro-denominated foreign exchange reserves into other currencies as Moscow believes the euro zone situation will improve, […]

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