Russia Day: From independence to summer holiday

Map of Russia

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gleb Cherkasov, special to RBTH – June 11, 2013) Conceived by the founding fathers of the new Russia and in the mold of U.S. Independence Day, “Russia Day” has become just a new summer holiday ­ mainly because no one has ever managed to figure out who Russia gained independence from. For almost […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Speech at reception on Russia Day

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Kremlin.ru – June 12, 2013) The Kremlin, Moscow PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, friends, Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, I congratulate you on Russia Day. This holiday grows in importance every year. Its meaning, spirit and atmosphere reflect Russia’s development today. It is also a part of our history with all its difficult and sometimes dramatic moments. We all […]

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Only Half of Russians Can Name June 12 Holiday – Poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 11, 2013) ­ Only 50% of Russian citizens know the correct name of the June 12 national holiday ­ the Day of Russia, according to a survey by the Levada Center independent pollster. The survey, published on Monday, indicates that another 30% of Russians know this holiday by its previous name ­ the Day of […]

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Russia’s June 12 holiday: birth of a nation

Map of Russia

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova – June 10, 2013) Ask a handful of people about Russia Day, celebrated every year on June 12 since 1992, and you are likely to encounter confusion. Meant to celebrate the birth of the Russian Federation, a modern nation with a new Constitution and flag, the holiday does not have a lot of […]

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Russia Gearing Up for National Holiday

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) On Wednesday June 12 offices around Russia will empty as Russia celebrates Russia Day, one of the nation’s youngest public holidays. Since the day falls in the middle of the week, it will not be rearranged to make up a long weekend. “People will have to organize their working week to take […]

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The New Moscow: Old Style Civilization

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Chloe Schmitt – June 3, 2013) New Moscow Population:  250,000 residents in the added territory Main industries: In the past, the city of Troitsk was well known for its textile industry. But today there are no major industries in new Moscow. One of the major businesses today is real estate, with the construction of many […]

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The Fabulous 90’s: A Siberian memoir: Response to Adomanis JRL#94

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Date: Sun, 26 May 2013 Subject:  The Fabulous 90’s: A Siberian memoir: Response to Adomanis JRL#94 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> The Fabulous 90’s: A Siberian memoir in response to JRL#94 Mark Adomanis Forbes.com “The Intelligence Squared Debate: Masha Gessen Has Some Really Strange Ideas About The 1990’s” (JRL #94) Adomanis, “With the stipulation that Gessen doesn’t represent the entire Russian […]

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Putin says Russia needs to look back to move forward

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Interfax – May 25, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that to move forward Russia needs to look back at its traditions and roots, Interfax news agency reported on 25 May, quoting the Kremlin’s website. In a message on the occasion of the unveiling of a monument to Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Germogen (Hermogenes), Putin says: “Today’s […]

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Why Did Russia Let the Republics Go? Revisiting the Fall of the USSR

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(Kennan Institute Meeting Report – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Mackensie Knorr – April 29, 2013) “Why did the Russians, despite all that one would expect from them given the histories of the downfalls of empires, decide not to fight and to let the empire fall?” asked Serhii Plokhii, Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University, at a 29 April 2013 […]

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Russians don’t like idea of bringing monarchy back – poll

Romanov Family Photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 16, 2013) A poll conducted by the Levada Center shows that the majority of Russians are confident that Russia does not need a monarchy and Russia’s last emperor Nicholas II was not the best leader. The 145th anniversary of the birth of Russia’s last Emperor Nicholas II will be marked on May 19. The study shows […]

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Putin’s Patriotism: Duma May Make Criticism of WWII Illegal

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – May 17, 2013) Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series on state initiatives to promote patriotism. The State Duma has ordered an evaluation of a comment made by opposition politician Leonid Gozman in which he compared a Soviet intelligence agency to Adolf Hitler’s SS on the grounds that the comment […]

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Sacred beliefs: The painful legacy of WWII is made up of questions that cannot be answered

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – May 13, 2013) Anna Arutunyan is a correspondent and editor at themoscownews.com The tanks and the Topol-M missile had all passed, the booming, Soviet-era voice of the announcer was quiet, the 11,000 uniformed servicemen were at ease, and the little boy standing on the curb of the Red Square suddenly spoke up. […]

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Ban on Foreign Holdings Gives Kremlin Muscovy-Like Control, Commentator Says

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, May 10 ­ New Russia legislation to prevent officials from having cash or stock accounts abroad, promoted by the regime as a step toward “the nationalization of the elite,” brings Russia into line with countries like Bangladesh rather than the West and gives the Kremlin powers much like those of medieval Muscovy, […]

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Berezovsky buried in England

Boris Berezovsky file photo

(Interfax – LONDON/MOSCOW, May 8, 2013) Russian business tycoon Boris Berezovsky was buried Brookwood cemetery, Surrey, in Great Britain, a source close to the businessman told Interfax on Wednesday. “The burial service was conducted in the family circle, while the burial ceremony itself was attended by 50 to 70 people – the family and friends of the late oligarch,” the […]

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Bestselling writers bear witness to the devastation, and glory, of WW II

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alena Tveritina, RBTH – May 10, 2013) Many Soviet writers experienced the brutal front as Red Army soldiers and as war correspondents; others collected the accounts of everyday citizens. World War II is among the most tragic chapters in the hard book of the 20th century. Many Soviet writers fought with the Red […]

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On Victory Day, Putin Says Russian Soldiers Freed Europe

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 10, 2013) President Vladimir Putin has praised Russian soldiers as “the liberators of Europe” at a Victory Day parade with more than 11,000 soldiers and 100 military vehicles on Red Square. “We will always remember that it was the Red Army that didn’t allow the fascists to occupy the world,” Putin said a speech […]

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Debate Rages Over State History Textbooks

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – April 26, 2013) This is part of an occasional series. As part of his effort to promote patriotism among younger generations of Russians, President Vladimir Putin has proposed creating a single set of history textbooks for schoolchildren, arguing that there should be more consistency in what students are taught and that textbooks […]

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CIA Officers Advised Russia’s Privatization Minister – Putin

Anatoly Chubais file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, April 25, 2013) ­ Officers of the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency operated as consultants to Anatoly Chubais, the Russian deputy prime minister who oversaw the privatization of the country’s economy in the early 1990’s, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. “In Chubais’ entourage, it has now turned out, CIA officers worked as consultants,” Putin said […]

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Alienation of Russian Nation from Russian State Led to 1917 and 1991, Moscow Historian Says

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(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 13, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/04/window-on-eurasia-alienation-of-russian.html) A major reason for the destruction of the Russian Empire in 1917 and of the Soviet Union in 1991, a Moscow historian says, was “the alienation that existed between the state and the Russian people,” a shortcoming that unfortunately the Russian Federation has not yet overcome with […]

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All dissidents now: Russia’s protests and the mirror of history

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(opendemocracy.net – Tom Rowley – March 29, 2013) Tom Rowley is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge. His work investigates how dissidents are remembered in Russia from perestroika to the present day. THE CEELBAS DEBATE // How far does the current clash between the opposition and authorities reflect Russia’s history of dissidence?  Tom Rowley considers the importance of […]

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Russia Needs Standard Approach to Teaching History – Putin

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

ROSTOV-ON-DON, March 29 (RIA Novosti) ­ President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia needs a unified, standard approach to teaching history. “I fully agree that there should be a canonical version of our history,” Putin said Friday while meeting with his campaigners from the All-Russia People’s Front. He acknowledged that there are different opinions concerning history textbooks in high schools, […]

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Berezovsky Lives!

Boris Berezovsky file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – March 29, 2013) The oligarch is dead. Long live the oligarchy. Boris Berezovsky’s death in London last week has been called the end of an era, and in some ways it sort of was. The man who once controlled swaths of the Russian economy and was called everything from the Godfather of the […]

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Prague Spring Comes to Moscow

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – March 25, 2013) “A lot of people these days are finding parallels between the present and the 1930s, but the real connection I see is between the present and 1968.” Playwright Mikhail Durnenkov made that comment to me as we chatted Friday prior to the beginning of an evening called “1968. Prague […]

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Russia moving away from totalitarianism but destination dim – minister

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. March 25 (Interfax) – Russia is moving away from its totalitarian past but it is unclear what kind of political system it is heading for, the justice minister has argued. “It needs to be realized that we are getting through an inevitable period of transition from a totalitarian society to another form of society. At the moment, it’s hard […]

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New history textbooks may promote conservative values in Russia

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Stanislav Kuvaldin, special to RBTH – March 22, 2013) A single textbook is being drafted in Russia, following Putin’s call for a single concept of Russian history. The Russian government has tasked scholars with preparing a single textbook of the history of Russia, to replace the host of Russian history manuals on the […]

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136 National Languages Now at Risk in Russia, UNESCO Says

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 22, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/03/window-on-eurasia-136-national.html) Some 136 national languages of the Russian Federation are at or already beyond “the edge of extinction,” according to UNESCO. Many of these languages are subgroups of others, but the danger of disappearance exists for groups as large as Avars, Bashkirs and Chechens. According to the United […]

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Russians don’t want return to monarchy, see no contender for throne – poll

File Image of Czar Alexander II

MOSCOW. March 20 (Interfax) – Over a quarter of Russians have nothing against the restoration of monarchy in the country but cannot name a person who could become the tsar now, a poll has indicated. In a choice between two forms of government – monarchy and republic – 11% of Russians opt for the former. Moscow and St. Petersburg have […]

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Stalin’s national policy helped Soviet demise

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Sergei Markedonov, special to RBTH – March 18, 2013) Sergey Markedonov is a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. The 60th anniversary of the death of Joseph Stalin (March 5, 1953) has galvanized the debate about his role in both Russian and world history. The desire […]

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Russian schools could switch to single history textbook in a year – education minister

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Interfax – March 17, 2013) Russian schools could switch to a single history textbook in a year, Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov said on Pozner program on Chainmen One. “A good history textbook, just one, will always give room for analysis, for assessing various theories of what actually happened, and for different historical concepts,” Livanov said. The history manual […]

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Hatreds of Deeply Divided Russian Population ‘Saving’ Putin, Commentator Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 11, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/03/window-on-eurasia-hatreds-of-deeply.html) The hatreds Russians feel toward others past and present domestic and foreign are an important reason why Vladimir Putin has been able to maintain himself in power even at a time when polls show that an increasing number of the citizens of his country do not actively […]

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Stalin: Still a Dividing Legacy Among Russians

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(www.opendemocracy.net – Alexei Levinson – March 5, 2013) Alexei Levinson is sociologist and senior researcher at the Levada Center, Russia’s leading polling organisation, Moscow On the 60th anniversary of Joseph Stalin’s death, with Russian and international TV news bulletins showing old footage of his life and his funeral, Alexei Levinson looks at how his legacy still divides Russians today. Why […]

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The Romanovs’ 400-Year Reign Triumphant Again

Romanov Family Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alex Grant – March 6, 2013) KOSTROMA ­ Russia’s last royal dynasty was honored Saturday in the ancient city of Kostroma in northern Russia. The first Romanov tsar was elected in this city in 1613, the year that put an end to the Time of Troubles in medieval Russia. The enthronement of tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich […]

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New book “Midnight in the American Empire”

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2013 From: Robert Bridge <robertvbridge@yahoo.com> Subject: New book “Midnight in the American Empire” I have just published a book entitled, “Midnight in the American Empire,” which deals with the United States in the post-Soviet era. Much of the book deals with US corporate power, but there is a section devoted to Russia, which I think would […]

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Jewish Library Not the Only Thing Russia Isn’t Giving Back

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 26, 2013) President Vladimir Putin said last week that returning a Jewish book collection confiscated after the Bolshevik Revolution was impossible because it would open a “Pandora’s box” of claims on such property. “[If Russia] starts satisfying these sorts of claims, there would be no end to them and no telling […]

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One More Try

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Institute of Modern Russia – www.imrussia.org – Alexander Podrabinek -February 14, 2013 – click here for original posting of article) Despite its unfortunate historical experience, Russia is not destined for despotism. According to author and analyst Alexander Podrabinek, the liberal opposition still has a chance of success­provided it maintains its political identity and appeals to the “man from the street.” Russia’s […]

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Tsipko Asks ‘Which Will Die First — the Russian State or Liberal Hatred of It?’

Map of Russia

[Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 15, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/02/window-on-eurasia-tsipko-asks-which.html] Aleksandr Tsipko, who helped found the Gorbachev Foundation but in recent years has promoted the revival of the traditions and values of pre-1917 Russia, says that his country today faces a most serious question: “Which will die first ­ the Russian state or liberal hatred of it?” […]

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In Russia, Reasons To Fear Year Of The Snake

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RFE/RL – www.rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – February 8, 2013) Many people enjoy the fireworks and celebrations that come with Chinese New Year. Not everyone, however, is enthusiastic about the upcoming Year of the Snake, which begins February 10. For one thing, the Year of the Snake is traditionally considered a less fortuitous cycle in the 12-year Chinese zodiac than […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Putin Speech at a concert marking the 70th anniversary of victory in the Battle of Stalingrad

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

(Kremlin.ru – February 2, 2013) Volgograd PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon. Dear friends, dear veterans, Over these days our entire country, our entire nation is celebrating a glorious date, the 70th anniversary of our army’ victory in Stalingrad. This is one of the best examples of courage and heroism in international military history. It is no accident that […]

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Life goes on in Russian ghost towns

Map of Russia

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Daria Gonzales – February 5, 2013) Today, the provocative label of “dead town” smothers a thousand human tales of departure, relocation, and long waits in the hopes of a flat in a new city. Yet, not all residents of these nearly uninhabited places have the desire to leave. RBTH explores the lives of […]

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NEWSLINK: Putin’s Artful Jurisprudence

File Photo of Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

[Putin’s Artful Jurisprudence – The National Interest – William Partlett – January 2, 2012 – http://nationalinterest.org/article/putins-artful-jurisprudence-7882] Writing for The National Interest, William Partlett examines aspects of rule of law issues in post-Soviet Russia within the broader context of Russian political and economic power, including unfolding developments under the Putin regime(s). First recalling some of the events of 1993: AT 8:00 […]

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Russians think Soviet breakdown could have been avoided, many have no regrets – poll

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

MOSCOW. Dec 29 (Interfax) – Fifty-six percent of Russians regret the disintegration of the former Soviet Union. The indicator stood at 65% a decade ago, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) told Interfax on Saturday. Mostly, the Soviet Union is mourned by people older than 45 (70-83%), people with little education (72%), non-Internet users (75%), Muscovites and St. Petersburg […]

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Interview: Legendary Russian Journalist Says ‘People On Top Are Scared’

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

(RFE/RL – November 17, 2012) As one of the most recognizable personalities on Russian television, Vladimir Pozner is no stranger to the spotlight. But the 78-year-old veteran journalist found himself in the midst of a controversy last month after lambasting the state of justice in the country during his popular show on state-controlled Channel One. Pozner harshly criticized the abduction […]

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NEWSLINK: Museum at heart of Russia’s Jewish culture revival

File Photo of Torah Scrolls

(Museum at heart of Russia’s Jewish culture revival – AP – Nataliya Vasilyeva – November 16, 2012 – click here for full article) AP takes a look at Moscow’s new Jewish Museum and Center of Tolerance: The museum, which opened this week, tells the history of Jewry through people’s stories, which come alive in video interviews and interactive displays. The […]

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