JRL NEWSWATCH: “The tenth city: Rostov-on-Don; We move to Russia in our series on Europe’s second-tier cities; Ancient trading traditions have survived Bolshevism and war” – The Economist

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“… [Rostov-on-Don has] roots as a trading hub …. Russia’s gdp growth is slow at around 1.5% … [yet] the Rostov region is … at twice that … powered by booming farming, retooled manufacturing and an active citizenry. … [G]eography, tradition and mild weather make[] Rostov among Russia’s most entrepreneurial cities. … [where] 44% of the workforce is employed in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Establishes Foundation to Preserve Russia’s Native Languages” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 26, 2018) President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree that establishes a foundation to help preserve Russia’s native languages, the Kremlin announced on Friday. The measure comes in the wake of worries in Russia’s republics that their native languages are under threat. In June, the State Duma signed a bill into law that restricts […]

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Let Them East Cheese: Russian Plant Thrives Amid Sanctions

Russia Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Dmitry Lyubimov, Tony Wesolowsky – Oct. 22, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/let-them-east-cheese-russian-plant-thrives-amid-sanctions-/29557433.html) Sergei Chernych proudly points to the gleaming Western-made stainless-steel machinery at his cheese factory in Mari El, a small republic in Russia’s Volga region. Production at the plant in Sernur, some 90 kilometers east of the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Regional Elections Rundown” – Bear Market Brief (Sept. 28, 2018)

Russia Regions Map

“Moscow’s political control over regional governments is slipping, opening the door for local elites to gain greater control …. [including] greater de facto control over natural resources, creating opportunities for external investment but … increasing corruption risks …. [T]rend[s] [are] rooted in a sustained decline in living standards … also prompt[ing] unprecedented protest activity and a more confrontational … ‘systemic’ […]

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NEWSLINK: “Voronezh and the re-branding of post-Soviet Russia; The writer returns to the university she studied at in the 1970s to find a city transformed” – Mary Dejevsky

Russia Map

“… Voronezh is, in many ways, unrecognisable from its Soviet self. Even its layout has been altered to restore the 19th-century plan. A vast new church rises from what was once a scruffy park. The skyline boasts a dozen gleaming domes and crosses. Old vistas have been reopened. Voronezh is, once again, a river town. … But the history told […]

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Pundits Say Russian Vote Results Signal Protest, Not Real Change

Russia Regions Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Matthew Luxmoore – September 25, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/pundits-say-russian-vote-results-signal-protest-not-real-change/29509181.html) As exit polls from the Khaborovsk region’s gubernatorial runoff pointed to a landslide victory for Sergei Furgal, the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) candidate was asked what swayed the September 23 vote. “People are tired,” he replied to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “United Russia pledges interaction with new governors of Khabarovsk Territory, Vladimir region” – Interfax

Russia Regions Map

MOSCOW. Sept 24 (Interfax) – The ruling party is ready for the constructive interaction with the new governors of the Khabarovsk Territory and the Vladimir region, according to United Russia General Council Secretary Andrei Turchak. “The party is ready for the constructive interaction with the elected heads of the Khabarovsk Territory and the Vladimir region if people and regions benefit […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Gubernatorial elections in Russia: Stop, cancel, start again” – PravdaRu

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

(Pravda.ru – Anton Kulikov – September 19, 2018 – pravdareport.com/russia/politics/19-09-2018/141628-gubernatorial_elections-0/) The results of gubernatorial elections in Russia’s Primorsky region (Far East) have been canceled. However the situation remains too vague to hope for its coming resolution. The head of the Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, said on Wednesday that the results of the gubernatorial election of the Primorsky region are […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting with elected regional governors” – KremlinRu

Russia Regions Map

(Kremlin.ru – Sept. 18, 2019) Vladimir Putin met at the Kremlin with the newly elected governors of the regions of the Russian Federation. The President congratulated the governors on their victories in the elections -in the first round – during the unified voting day on September 9 and asked the elected regional governors to begin their work as soon as […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s CEC wishes to investigate violations regardless of ranks of those who organized Primorye electoral fraud” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Sept 19 (Interfax) – The chair of Russia’s Central Elections Commission (CEC), Ella Pamfilova, has revealed that CEC members are shocked at the extent of electoral law violations committed during the second round of the gubernatorial polls in Primorye, adding that a probe will be held “without respect of those who organized the election rigging”. “This is the case […]

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Tension Builds In Russian Far East Region After Disputed Vote Count

Russia Regions Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – August 14, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/tension-builds-in-russian-far-east-region-after-disputed-vote-count/29495661.html) Rival contenders for the governorship in a Russian Pacific region girded for court battles, and more protests, after an unusual last-minute vote count in a runoff election gave victory to the ruling party incumbent. Supporters of Russia’s Communist Party have cried foul […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Communists Say Election Stolen by Pro-Putin Candidate” – Reuters

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

“… With 95 percent of votes counted on Sunday night, Kremlin-backed United Russia incumbent Andrei Tarasenko was trailing his Communist rival by around 5 percent. But on Monday, the local election commission said Tarasenko had won by just over 1 percent, an unlikely turnaround that the Communists said was evidence of rigging. The scandal is awkward for Putin, who met […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia: Runoffs in Four Regional Races Reveal the Kremlin’s Vulnerability” [Excerpt] – Stratfor

Russia Regions Map

“… Putin … in his fourth and perhaps final term as Russia’s president, faced a key political test in regional elections …. though the ruling party, United Russia, won most of the races – which included gubernatorial elections in 22 regions, legislative elections in 16 regions and a mayoral election in Moscow – it faced stiffer competition and more unrest […]

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NEWSLINK: “Did Russia’s ruling political party really lose Sunday’s regional elections? No, but there is one place it’s no longer in control” – Meduza

Russia Regions Map

“Did United Russia blow the September 9 elections? It depends on how you look at it. Yes, United Russia failed to win 50 percent on party lists in 11 out of 16 races for regional legislative assemblies. But it lost in only three regions, narrowly and always to the Communists: Irkutsk United Russia: 27.8 percent Russia’s Communist Party: 34 percent […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Authorized protest against higher retirement age held in Novosibirsk” – Interfax

Cash, Calculator, Pen

NOVOSIBIRSK. Sept 13 (Interfax) – A protest against the higher retirement age took place in Novosibirsk on Thursday at the initiative of the Novosibirsk regional federation of trade unions. ‘The organizers expected a 3,000 turnout, yet the Interior Ministry counted 600 people at the rally,” Novosibirsk city administration spokesman Sergei Polyansky told Interfax. The chair of the Novosibirsk regional federation […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Fury Over Pension Changes Hurts Putin Allies in Russian Regional Elections” – Reuters

Russia Regions Map

“Russia’s ruling United Russia Party suffered a rare setback in regional elections despite winning most of the seats, a reversal its leaders and election chiefs blamed on unpopular plans to raise the pension age. … [R]esults in weekend voting for heads of about one third of Russia’s regions were the worst for United Russia … since elections for regional leaders […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin views organization of Sept. 9 elections as good, but not without some minor flaws” – Interfax

Russia Regions Map

VLADIVOSTOK. Sept 10 (Interfax) – The regional elections in Russia on September 9 passed appropriately and without serious irregularities, even though there might have been some minor imperfections, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “On the whole, the election campaign passed decently and orderly, with quite a high voter turnout, perhaps with some minor imperfections,” Putin said at a State Council […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Fury Over Pension Age Hike Clouds Moscow Mayoral Election” – Reuters

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

“Polls show … [that Sergei Sobyanin] will comfortably be re-elected Moscow’s mayor on Sunday, but public anger over planned increases to the nationwide pension age means many voters may stay away, tarnishing his win. … [in] the first test at the ballot box for the authorities since Putin, whose popularity has tumbled by around 15 percent due to anger over […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Wages in Russia’s regions are well behind the national average” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Wages are starting to grow again …. However … the recovery is clearly very mixed.  … mega-cities … Moscow and St Petersburg … had incomes … 51% and 117% more than the average national wage of RUB42,640 ($625) per month … according to Rosstat … [but] two-thirds of Russian regions have incomes well below that level. In general the poorest […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “At Asia’s heart, Lake Baikal stirs Russians to protect nature” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Lake Baikal and Environs Satellite Photo

“… [Lake Baikal] is the only natural feature in Russia … [with] its own law … which bans many types of industry, including mining, and chemical-based farming in a buffer zone around the lake that includes most of Buryatia. … that makes Baikal a double-edged sword for the economically stagnant republic. The region’s beauty and largely untapped resources give it […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Upcoming gubernatorial election in Russia to be mostly uncompetitive – FoRGO” – Interfax

Russia Regions Map

MOSCOW. Aug 30 (Interfax) – A competitive scenario will be an exception from the rule in the upcoming gubernatorial elections, the Foundation for Civil Society Development (FoRGO) said. The reasons for that are the fact that the process participants understand that there is no point in artificially stimulating competition and the low effectiveness of opposition campaigns, FoRGO said. “Competition in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov could destabilise Russia; Former warlord who answers only to Putin runs republic as personal fiefdom” – Financial Times/Kathrin Hille

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

“… Kadyrov said the murder of … Kungaeva had been ‘an insult to all of us, and … we will not be dishonoured and humiliated.’ Claiming … Temerkhanov had been tried and imprisoned illegally, he accused Russian law enforcement of anti-Chechen bias. ‘If we are Russian citizens, treat us as Russian citizens …. We want equality and justice.’ …. a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Buddhism flourishes in Siberia, opening window on its pre-Soviet past; Orthodox Christianity may be Russia’s most high-profile religion, but it is only one of the country’s four official ‘founding’ faiths. Another of the four, Buddhism, has been experiencing a rebirth in post-Soviet Russia.” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

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

“… For ethnic Buryats, the resurgence of Buddhism is part of a more complex awakening, as local scholars explore the Buryats’ distinctly non-Russian historical and cultural heritage, and endeavor to reconcile it with their identity as modern-day Russians. Similar processes are unfolding in many of [Russia’s] 22 ‘ethnic republics’ …. Today, there are about 1.5 million Buddhists in Russia, concentrated […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Moscow’s Newest Park, All of Russia Comes Together” – New York Times/Roslyn Sulcas

Russia Map

“[The author visits] ….Zaryadye Park, Moscow’s first new green space in 50 years, designed by … American architects Diller Scofidio & Renfro … one of the most ambitious and expensive architectural projects in Russia in decades. … [with] numerous buildings on [a] 35-acre site … tucked under curving, plant and tree-filled slopes. Each … represents an aspect of Russia’s varied […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Moscow Urban Forum Megacity of the Future: New Space for Living” – KremlinRu

Moscow Aerial View Satellite Image File Photo, adapted from image at jpl.nasa.gov

(Kremlin.ru – July 18, 2018 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/58026) Vladimir Putin spoke at the 8th Moscow Urban Forum Megacity of the Future: New Space for Living, held in Moscow’s Zaryadye Park from July 17 to 22. The Moscow Urban Forum is a major international congress devoted to the development of global spaces and megacities. The platform brings together representatives of Russian and […]

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Governors Back Moscow’s Pension Plan but Seek Exemptions for Their Own People

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 16, 2018) Caught between the demands of the Kremlin which decides whether they will be in office and the opposing views of their populations that could make their time there easy or difficult, Russia’s governors are simultaneously telling Moscow they support the pension plan but asking it to exempt their own […]

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NEWSLINK: “Saint Petersburg, Russia, Wins The World Cup Of Condensed Guides To European Culture” – Forbes/Gil Press

St. Petersburg

:… Shamlikashvili … [is] the owner of Indigo Hotel which opened in 2014 as the first of InterContinental Hotels Group’s Indigo brand of boutique hotels in Russia. Like many entrepreneurs in the U.S., Shamlikashvili is an outsider and has arrived at her venture in a circuitous way. She grew up Jewish in Tbilisi, Georgia, and received both an MD from […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Bullying the Big Cities: The Kremlin’s New Approach” – Carnegie Moscow/Andrey Pertsev

Russia Regions Map

“The regional unification of record-high presidential election results has closed the Kremlin bureaucrats’ eyes to the diversity of different parts of the country, their elites, and the preferences of their electorates. In this model, regional masters of balance and public politics are extraneous. But the expulsion of old regional barons is risky: the banner of public pushback and local patriotism […]

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No Fireworks As Putin, Officials Read From Same (Dull) Script During Call-In Show

File Photo of Putin Sitting at Desk, Looking Down, Writing, During Call-In Show, adapted from screenshot of video at kremlin.ru

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – June 7, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/no-fireworks-as-putin-officials-read-from-same-(dull)-script-during-call-in-show/29278720.html) The big innovation in this year’s rendition of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Direct Line question-and-answer program turned out to be a dud. In the run-up to the June 7 show, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that, in contrast to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Power Vertical: Governors Scramble to Fulfill Putin’s Televised Promises” – Moscow Times

Russia Regions Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 8, 2018) President Vladimir Putin hosted the 16th annual Direct Line call-in show Thursday, taking questions from citizens across the country by phone and video link. This year, the president’s phone-in, which lasted for 4 hours and 20 minutes, no longer featured a live audience and allowed the president to redirect citizens’ questions to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “To prepare for soccer’s World Cup, Russia is killing stray dogs. Animal-rights activists are fighting back” – Los Angeles Times/Sabra Ayres

File Photo of Dog at Animal Shelter Jumping Up on Person in Winter Clothing, With Beseeching Look

“… with the FIFA World Cup starting June 14, the issue is again in focus after seven of the 11 host cities issued calls to kill street dogs ahead of the games.  Russia has a problem with strays … Rostov-on-Don, like a majority of Russian cities, conducts an annual culling of the packs …. Government contracts pay as much as […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “World Cup to Have Little Impact on Russia’s Economy: Moody’s” – Reuters

File Image of Soccer Ball, Field, Stadium with Lights, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“The 2018 soccer World Cup will have little lasting impact on the Russian economy … Moody’s Investors Service said …. Russia will host [the tournament] … in 11 cities … having spent billions of dollars on preparations. … Moody’s finding is at variance with an assessment … by former deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich …. [S]ectors expected to benefit most […]

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‘This Is Only The Beginning’: What’s Next For Russia’s Brash (Former) Mayor Of Yekaterinburg?

Yekaterinburg file photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – May 22, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/this-is-only-the-beginning-what-s-next-for-russia-s-brash-(former)-mayor-of-yekaterinburg-/29243624.html) In a political system tightly controlled by the Kremlin, Yevgeny Roizman was an outlier: a brash, independent mayor of a major Russian city who openly criticized President Vladimir Putin and offered support for opposition leader Aleksei Navalny. Now, Roizman […]

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Behind the wire: pride and paranoia in one of Russia’s closed towns; Thousands of Russian citizens live in “closed towns.” I visited one of them, Lesnoye, to find out how people live today.

Montage of Radioactivity Symbol and Russian Map with Russian Flag, adapted from images at .gov sites

(opendemocracy.net – Ivan Chesnokov – May 16, 2018) Ivan Chesnokov is a Russian freelance journalist specialising in social issues and conflicts. His work has appeared in Takie Dela, the Moscow Times, RBTH, and other publications, and he is engaged in several multimedia journalism projects. [opendemocracy.net/od-russia/ivan-chesnokov/behind-the-wire] A shabbily dressed older man in a cap with ear flaps, looking like a character […]

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Moscow’s waste wars; The “rubbish riots” that are taking place in the Moscow area demonstrate Muscovites’ distrust of their regional government.

Moscow Aerial View Satellite Image File Photo, adapted from image at jpl.nasa.gov

(opendemocracy.net – Natalya Paramonova – May 3, 2018) Natalya Paramonova is a journalist. Since graduating from Moscow’s Maxim Gorky Literature Institute, she has worked in the Science, Environment and Technology department of the RIA Novosti news agency, written for the GEO Rossiya and Ecology and Law journals and worked for the Colta.ru, +1 and LookBio internet portals. She is also […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Meeting of the State Council on promoting competition” – KremlinRu

Russia Regions Map

(Kremlin.ru – April 5, 2018) In the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin chaired a State Council meeting on priority areas of activity of the Russian regions to promote competition in the country. Head of the Republic of Udmurtia Alexander Brechalov, Head of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service Igor Artemyev, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin and Governor of the Ulyanovsk Region Sergei Morozov […]

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NEWSLINK: “Direct mayoral elections are abolished in Yekaterinburg” – Meduza

Yekaterinburg file photo

“A day after a protest in the capital, legislators in the Sverdlovsk regional parliament adopted a third and final reading of a law that abolishes the direct election of Yekaterinburg’s mayor. … Instead of the popular vote, Yekaterinburg’s mayor will now be selected by city deputies from a list of candidates determined by a ‘competition committee.’ …”

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Pride, Loneliness in the Deep North: The Russians Who Refuse to Leave Dying Arctic City

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Henry Ridgwell, Ricardo Marquina Montañana – March 25, 2018) VORKUTA, RUSSIAN ARCTIC – In Russia’s far north, the city of Vorkuta is slowly being reclaimed by the Arctic tundra. The front lines of this battle between the urban and natural worlds are in the suburbs, where abandoned apartment blocks emerge from the towering snowdrifts. […]

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On the Russian Presidential Campaign Trail in Siberia: Part Two: Putin, Grudinin, Titov and the Meaning of Life

File Photo of Car on Road in Siberian Town

Subject: Part Two Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2018 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> On the Russian Presidential Campaign Trail in Siberia Part Two: Putin, Grudinin, Titov and the Meaning of Life By Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Founder, Siberian Civic Initiatives Support Center 1995 – 2014. Helped to establish this as the hub for the first civil society development support network in the former […]

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Russians Increasingly Blasé about Major Corruption Cases But Infuriated by Local Ones

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 4, 2018) The anti-corruption cases Moscow has launched in recent months no longer shock most Russians who view them as a kind of theater or surrogate for a genuine struggle against corruption because it is hard for them to view money in the capital as if it were their own, Aleksey […]

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If Russians are ignoring their upcoming presidential election, what are they talking about? This year, local issues are the hidden focus of Russia’s presidential election.

Yekaterinburg file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Dmitry Kolezev – February 13, 2018) Dmitry Kolezev is deputy editor of Znak.com. He lives in Ekaterinburg. If you follow events in Russia on the Internet, newspapers or TV, you may think that the country has been seized by the most important election campaign in a while. Russia is going to elect its president, the most influential person […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s federal election commissioner is peeved about all the non-binding referendums planned on March 18” – Meduza.io

Russia Regions Map

“… More than 100 local non-binding referendums are planned on March 18. Volgograd wants to poll voters on daylight savings time, and localities in the Kirov region have a whole array of questions for the public. In Moscow, City Hall pushed the idea of ‘school referendums.’ Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has insisted that the concept was not designed to boost voter […]

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Local Referenda Could Become the Black Swans of the Upcoming Election, Galyamina Says

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, February 6, 2018) Local referenda both where they can be held because opposition parties hold enough seats in local legislatures to authorize them and where people want them but are opposed by the power vertical can become an important means of challenging the regime by teaching people about the virtues of genuine democratic […]

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Belykh case reveals flaw of Russian law enforcement: lack of mercy for the ill – Kudrin

Nikita Belykh file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 2 (Interfax) – The case of Nikita Belykh, the former governor of the Kirov region, who has been sentenced to eight years in jail, is a manifestation of the absence of mercy for sick people, Russia’s former finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, said. “Among other things, the Belykh case revealed the most anti-humane flaw of our law enforcement system: […]

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Tyumen city hall approves Navalny supporters’ Jan 28 rally

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Marching on Street with Others in Background; adapted from image at commons.wikimedia.orgadapted from image at commons.wikimedia.org with credit to Evgeny Feldman, subject to Creative Commons license; original image at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEV_1795_(cropped1).jpg, with license information at creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en and creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

TYUMEN. Jan 19 (Interfax) – Supporters of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny have been permitted to hold a rally in Tyumen on January 28, a city administration representative told Interfax on Friday. “We have issued permission for the rally, which will take place at Zarechny Park,” the representative said. The opposition originally sought permission for a procession along Tsvetnoi Boulevard […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Regions Strike Back: Provincial Leaders Want More From Moscow” – Carnegie Moscow/ Andrey Pertsev

Russia Regions Map

“Russian regional leaders are rediscovering their power and their ability to fight with Moscow over budgets and autonomy. Discontent over Moscow siphoning off regional funds has reached a breaking point, while Tatarstan is in a new contest with the center over regional language rights. …”  

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Russia’s Regions Ask Moscow for Financial Help

Russia Regions Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vladimir Kozlov – November 7, 2017) Against a backdrop of the Russian economy gradually coming out of recession and oil prices on the rise, the country’s far-flung regions have been feeling financial strain and are now asking the center for help. Udmurtia, a small republic east of Moscow, and its newly appointed governor Alexander Brechalov […]

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Two-Thirds of Russia’s Villages have Disappeared or Soon Will, Statistics Show

Russia Regions Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 5, 2017) Most discussions of migration in Russia focus on the arrival of gastarbeiters from Central Asia, the Caucasus or elsewhere; but two other population flows may be even more important for the country’s future: the flight from villages to the cities and the exit of people from the north and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “What Does the Decline of Clans in the North Caucasus Mean for Moscow?” – Carnegie Moscow/ Konstantin Kazenin

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

“Recent speculation that Russia wants to topple the ‘traditional’ clan system in the North Caucasus misses the point: the clan system is in no way traditional, and it is collapsing on its own. The real question is whether the federal center will find other allies in the region when it falls. …”  

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RUSSIALINK: “Waking the Russian Spirit of Urbanism; Urban renewal could become a new doctrine of patriotism” – Moscow Times/ Sergei Kapkov

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

“… They’ve looked around and realized that Russian cities are not nearly as beautiful as they could be, and in addition to amusement park rides and shish kebab stands, they can build skate parks and dance floors. And the harsh Russian climate is no obstacle to developing urban cycling. …”  

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