Richard Sakwa‘s new book, The Crisis of Russian Democracy: The Dual State, Factionalism, and the Medvedev Succession (Cambridge University Press, 2011), comes at a moment in Russian political history when uncertainty is once again in the headlines and on the lips of experts and journalists. While Sakwa’s book is principally about how Dmitri Medvedev became Russia’s third President, The Crisis of Russian Democracy is more importantly an analysis of the institutions and dynamics that animate Russian politics today.
Investigating striking emails of Stratfor's Senior Eurasia analyst and former Director of Analysis Lauren Goodrich. Who shapes Stratfor reports and U.S. foreign policy - “the darling of a powerful man in the Kremlin” or a pathological liar?
What follows is a preliminary attempt to map the changing shape of Russian society in the last two decades, the better to understand its present condition, and its likely future trajectories. One of the fundamental enigmas this essay will seek to explain is why a society that has suffered so dramatic a series of reversals has nonetheless remained relatively stable.
ussia has traditionally been conceptualised as a single entity, albeit divided into many regions, but is this approach appropriate given the country's stratified population? Natalia Zubarevich argues that for a better understanding of Russia and where it is going we need to think not geographically, but arithmetically.
Among US business angels, Esther Dyson is probably the one who has invested the most to date in Russia. Her portfolio includes no fewer than 15 Russian startups as well as Yandex, the search giant which she advises as a member of its board of directors.
Since yesterday, the following image from an article by liberal journalist Evgenya Albats has been making the rounds on the Internet. It shows that whereas Putin’s official tally was 65%, independent observers put it close to or below the 50% marker that would necessitate a second round, such as Golos’ 51% and Citizen Observer’s 45%. Predictably, these figures were seized upon by the liberals to condemn the legitimacy of the elections. As Putin ended up getting 63.6%, while the average of all observers was 50.2%, one could conclude that the level of fraud was 13% or more.
I am sorry – I simply don't believe it. This morning, February 27, Russian media reported that Ukrainian and Russian security services had foiled an assassination plot to kill Prime Minister Vladimir Putin shortly after the presidential election due this weekend.
Assessment: Kolokoltsev is a career cop with a reputation for being an effective investigator (of the ‘brute force’ rather than ‘inspired’ variety — by which I mean not a propensity to use violence so much as a dogged use of protocol, time and manpower to work through a problem) and a tough manager.
It won’t be long before the police will evict the Occupy Abai protestors on some pretext. Yet this smallish rebellion is a social revolution. It is a lesson for the new Russian civil society on how it can act together. Street protests have been off limits to Russians since 1993. Passive until recently, a growing number of people no longer expect the government to solve their problems. There is a growing interest in social initiatives organised, supported and conducted by the ordinary people. It is a revolution of nobodies.
The new organisational structure of the government will likely be announced within two to three days of the formal appointment of Medvedev as PM. Ministerial appointments, according to Vedomosti, will happen in steps in the subsequent 2 weeks, so do not expect a one-shot type of event.
On Friday, Gazeta.ru dropped a bomb concerning the future of Nashi, the Putinphiliac youth organization. According to unnamed sources, Vasilii Yakemenko, Nashi founder and soon to be outgoing head of Rosmolodezh, met with Nashi’s four Commissars, Maria Kislitsina, Artur Omarov, Alexkasnder Gagiev, and Sergei Blintsov, and told them “the history of [Nashi] in the present form is over.” The youth organization was to be “disbanded,” with Yakemenko telling his loyal servants, “thanks for everything, you’re all free.” All current Nashi initiatives were to be shuttered, the ruble spigot plugged, the marquee clicked off, the doors bolted. Good night, y’all.
Since Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs introduced the idea of the Brics in 2001, there has been an ongoing debate over which of Brazil, Russia, India and China is the best one to invest in. China's 10% GDP growth and mountain of foreign exchange reserves has mesmerised the world, but last year Brazil's star was in the ascendant amongst global emerging market investors. However, regardless of which of the Brics is currently in vogue, it's safe to say that Russia tends to be the least loved of the four.
The protest movement didn’t achieve its ultimate goal at Sunday’s presidential elections, but Yuri Saprykin, a prominent member of the protest movement, believes it has already achieved a lot and its best work lies ahead. Here he provides a ten point analysis of the protest movement’s situation in the wake of Putin’s return to power, and how it might move forward in the future.
Twenty years ago, 15 new states emerged from the wreck of the Soviet Union, uneven shards from a broken monolith. One story turned into 15. Most Soviet watchers have been struggling to keep up ever since. How to tell these multiple stories?
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