Like a crippled Dreamliner, the Russian economy is slowing to a standstill; the bureaucrats are ignoring instructions; even the scientists are in revolt. Andrei Kolesnikov asks, if Putin is governing on autopilot, will the passengers take over?
The unique Baikal seal has a beautiful coat, which is its undoing. Poachers make good money by killing the babies and selling the furs in China. Despite a government ban, the seal’s numbers are declining dramatically. Gayane Petrosyan asks,“what is to be done?”
The Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev,
doesn't like his online nickname “Dimon,” but whatever we think of Dimon’s
playground problems how does one stand up to online bullies? And why are so
many of them Russian?
Byzantine system of government has long been a rich subject for study. Could it
change? Might it suddenly have to? Possibly, but there are so many vested
interests and the upheaval would be considerable. Sergei Guriev reviews the
most recent of Alena Ledeneva’s books on the subject
Alexandr Bastrykin, head of Russia’s
influential Investigative Committee, is one of the most powerful individuals in
the Putinite power system, but his biography is relatively unknown. Richard Sakwa
has, however, been tracking the rise of this shadowy figure.
THE CEELBAS DEBATE// In 2009 Sergei
Magnitsky died in police custody, causing a commotion inside Russia and
abroad. A year later, theatre company Teatr.doc staged ‘One Hour Eighteen’, a theatrical trial of those involved in Magnitsky's last days.Molly Flynn considers the significance of this striking new form of
The death of Boris Berezovsky created a storm of
speculation and reminiscences in the world press. But for most Russians Berezovsky was a forgotten
figure, so why the explosion of interest there too? Because it’s a classic
Russian fable, thinks Zygmunt Dzieciolowski
or spider web shawls have been knitted in Orenburg for
generations. The tradition nearly disappeared, but folk crafts are in the
ascendant again — there is money to be made from them, after all, says Elena
Russian law banning US adoptions has been roundly criticised at home and
abroad; a toddler’s unexplained death has been held up as justification. For Daniil
Kotsyubinsky, it is all a case of history repeating: Russia’s past is full of
tragic cases where children have become innocent victims.
Many aging Russian
WWII veterans live in appalling conditions, and some die before they can cash a
government rehousing grant. By law, families should inherit the money, but some
regions deny them it. In Sergei Gogin’s native Ulyanovsk, authorities seem to
prefer spending the money on vanity projects abroad.
Pushkin House is hosting a retrospective of Russian director Marina
Goldovskaya’s documentaries under the heading ‘Russia since Perestroika'.
Masha Karp reflects on Goldovskaya’s distinctive art and the issues raised in her films.
Continuing oDRussia's debate on the future for Russian NGO funding, now a view from the coal face. Pavel Chikov is chair of one of the country's most respected NGOs: he argues that foundation grants remain the simplest way to let human rights activists get on with their work.
Russian NGOs have traditionally looked abroad for their
funding, and are dismayed at recent legislation setting up new barriers to this
practice. Almut Rochowanski argues, however, that this should be seen as a
challenge to increase the involvement of the Russian public in the development
of civil society.
In Putin’s Russia, NGOs funded from
abroad are now officially considered ‘foreign agents’. However a recent poll
suggests that the Russian public’s attitude to them is rather less one-sided.
Vladimir Zvonovsky reports from Samara.
Celebrated Russian activist Valery Abramkin has died aged 66. Here we republish extracts from a lecture delivered in 2006, which contains many fascinating insights into the rules of behaviour, hierarchies and relationships within Soviet and Russian prisons. (With a foreword by Mary McAuley.)
Russian lawmakers have given
preliminary approval to a law to allow governors to be appointed in the
country’s 83 regions, reversing last year’s move to restore direct elections.
As Daniil Kotsyubinsky reports, this issue is unimportant in itself, but it
exposes the regime’s soft underbelly, unrest in the Caucasus.
How will Russia react
to China’s rapid ascent as a global power? Will it develop its eastern links to
spite the West, or join a USA led attempt to freeze Beijing out? Pavel Salin
argues that this is a simplistic view of things and that Moscow may choose a
Primorsky Territory is seven time zones away
from the capital and has the largest economy in the Russian Far East. There is justifiable irritation at Moscow’s
insistence on a one-size-fits-all model of government oriented towards Europe
and levels of frustration are forcing people to leave, says Olesya Gerasimenko.
are flooding in to the renowned Russian human rights lawyer Yury Schmidt, who has died aged 75.
Schmidt devoted much of his career to defending critics of the Russian
government and others accused of political crimes, from environmental
whistleblowers to oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Kristina Gorelik celebrates
Since the collapse of the USSR investors have flocked to Russia, tempted by the high rates of return and the Alice in Wonderland atmosphere in Moscow, where everything seems possible. But the Russian business community has rather less faith in the future promised them by their government, says Pavel Usanov
The collapse of the USSR replaced the perennial shortages of goods and services with the problem of low incomes and rising prices. Today management is grossly inefficient, but rampant corruption blocks any moves to improve the situation. People complain, but they still vote as they’re told at elections, says Vladimir Gryaznyevich