Amsterdam & Partners LLP Retained by Russian Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev

LONDON, 1 June 2015 – The law firm of Amsterdam & Partners LLP has been retained as international counsel to represent Russian State Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev. The Honorable Mr. Ponomarev has led a distinguished political career representing the constituents of Novosibirsk by introducing legislation with conscientiousness and fair deliberation despite the hostile, rubber-stamp environment […]

Russian Logic on Putin’s Health

Here’s a good one making the rounds on social media: – Putin can’t die? – Why? – Because he doesn’t benefit. An explanation for everything… – Путин не может умереть. - Почему? - Это ему не выгодно. — Ales Pilecki (@alespilecki) March 11, 2015

Yes, Blame Putin for Nemtsov’s Murder

In the days following the brazen murder of opposition figure Boris Nemtsov directly in front of the Kremlin, Russia watchers have been agog with rumours, theories, and warnings of the darkness to come. But in as frequently as we have come to use terms such as “new low” and “turning point” with regard to political […]

How Europe Still Doesn’t Understand Russia’s Identity

Like many readers of this blog, I’ve been following closely the embarrassing fallout which took place following the publishing of Federica Mogherini’s issues paper on EU relations with Russia, which, to put it lightly, was a frighteningly naive conception of the situation from what should be a very important governing body. I strongly agree ECFR’s […]

Russia’s Gradual Return to Statism

Interesting note by Leonid Bershidsky in BloombergView: Herman Gref, head of Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, yesterday warned that $45 oil could be deadly for the Russian financial system. According to Sberbank calculations, such a low oil price — and the ruble’s commensurate low value — will require forming additional reserves of 3 trillion rubles ($45.8 billion) in […]

Russia’s ‘Irredentism’

This week Strobe Talbott has an extensive piece in Politico on the background of Vladimir Putin’s worldview. Despite Talbott’s past myopia on Russia, there are some interesting arguments in the long article, including the following issue of “irredentism” as a driving force for Russia’s habit of invading neighboring nations. The best word for what might […]

Defning Modern Authoritarianism

Writing in Bloomberg View, Leonid Bershidsky argues that more and more emerging economies are led by people modelling themselves after the leadership style of Vladimir Putin – Narendra Modi, Najib Razak, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to name a few. Bershidsky ventures into the phenomenology of modern authoritarians – which, contrary to old school dictators, rely on […]

$50 Billion Yukos Ruling Could Change Russian History

The case is not only one of the largest ever rulings against a sovereign, it also means that Yukos shareholders could start seizing assets across Europe.

‘Oligarchs’ Are Not a Unitary Class

Allow me a moment to register shock and disdain for the front page of today’s Times of London, which broadly declares, “Cameron Under Pressure to Punish Putin Oligarchs,” lending to other misleading coverage ramping up unchecked Russophobia in Britain in response to the horror of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. We have seen before the dangers […]

MH17 and the Legal Theory of Control

Writing on Opinio Juris, Jens David Ohlin raises the important issue of the theory of control in international law given the possibility of Russia’s involvement (or the “creating of conditions,” as phrased by Washington) and what level of responsibility there can be for the activity of the rebels. If this story is true, it reveals […]