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Today’s The Day The Teddy Bears Have Their Protest

Thanks to years of practice, an armory of draconian laws and a fistful of weapons, Russia’s law enforcement brigade have just about perfected the art of protest squashing.  They have had their work cut out for them of late, with the rallies which have mushroomed across the country since December.  The opposition are however proving […]

Russia’s Human Rights Joke

As many readers know, Russia decided to play a bit of a gag by releasing a scathing “human rights report” aimed at criticizing the United States over Guatanamo and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while leaving aside anything having to do with Russia, China, or any other authoritarian regimes that are known as the […]

RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – Dec 9, 2011

TODAY: Putin-Clinton election fraud row continues; FSB tries to disable social network ahead of mass rally; tomorrow’s 30,000 gathering sanctioned by Moscow authorities; Amnesty urges Russia to respect right to assemble.  Prokhorov sees no option other than Putin; on Navalny’s ascent.  Interior Ministry rejects Magnitsky report; Investigative Committee claims corruption crackdown a success.  The imprint […]

Navalny Arrest – Playing With Fire?

A week ago, Yulia Latynina described Alexei Navalny, who coined the term ‘the party of crooks and thieves’ as ‘the only electable Russian’.   She called the tireless anti-corruption blogger the ‘single public figure who has a good chance of winning support from either a radical uprising or a moderate revolution.‘  His arrest at the anti-Putin […]

Inertia of Russia’s Women’s Movement

One could easily be forgiven for thinking in certain respects, the approach of Russia’s leadership to gender appears to be somewhat retrograde.  Recent strategies to drum up support for the ruling tandem have heavily featured the use of scantily-clad women, as if the presidency needed to be draped in female forms like a sports car […]

Luke Harding On The Mafia State

On Friday, Luke Harding published a lengthy article detailing some of his experiences as the Guardian’s correspondent in Russia, which culminated in his deportation in February of this year.  His involvement in covering the Litvinenko case, the war in Georgia and the exile of Bors Berezovsky made himself and his family the victims of an […]

RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – Sept 26, 2011

TODAY:  Vladimir Putin announces he will stand for President, ending months of conjecture; could remain in power until 2024; fears of stagnation, repression abound.  Medvedev tipped for PM post; Alexei Kudrin vows to quit if such is the case.  Reactions range from extreme disappointment to resignation, some welcome ‘stability’.  Sergei Magnitksy’s mother asks for murder […]

RA’s Daily Russian News Blast – Sept 23, 2011

TODAY: United Russia Congress begins; expectation mounts that Putin will announce his plans; Prokhorov spin doctors claim unpaid wages. Chechens in Istanbul killed on Kremlin orders?  Russia plans sea-based missile defense; defends its conduct in 2008 war with Georgia; Russian ‘diplomacy’ in Belgrade.  Poll says more than half of Russians find life ‘difficult’; nuclear sub […]

Burnt By The Sun Sparks Oscar Battle

Nikita Mikhalov’s Burnt By The Sun won best foreign film at the 1994 Oscars, the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival and was feted internationally for its epic portrayal of a Red Army Officer struggling through the Great Purges of the 1930s.  Burnt by the Sun 2, Citadel, was almost panned by many critics […]

Neutralising Russia’s Tycoons

This weekend the Internet was awash with the video of Independent owner Alexander Lebedev livening up a pre-recorded TV debate by thumping verbal aggressor and property developer Sergei Polonsky, who once gained ignoble notoriety for branding anyone with less than $1 billion a ‘loser’.   As the bespectacled Lebedev leaped to his feet to smack his […]