between the giants of Russia and China, Mongolia is looking to
develop its vast mineral wealth. How will this affect one of the most
stable democracies in the region, and what will happen to the
benefits of development?
Dvortsevoy’s films may have won plaudits internationally, but his
uncompromising observational style and ethical stance keep them out of the
multiplexes in Russia. Zygmunt Dzieciolowski interviewed this
THE CEELBAS DEBATE // Since the collapse of the USSR the Tajik government has striven to establish
a new historical narrative. Statues of Lenin may have disappeared, but for many
the difficulties of post-Soviet life are a poor substitute for their previous
life, says Eleanor Dalgleish
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
The west's contribution to building more democratic and open societies in the post-Soviet region leaves much scope for improvement. Orysia Lutsevych draws lessons and offers recommendations to both public and private donors.
Vladimir Putin’s attempts
to draw the countries of central Asia into his fledgling Eurasian Union creates
a dilemma for some of them: if they take up his offer, they might lose their
valuable trading links with China. Li Lifan and Raffaello Pantucci discuss their options.
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
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
Owning a business in Russia today is a hazardous affair: each year thousands of companies close after their owners are accused of ‘economic crimes’ and face either prison or protection payments to government officials. Andrey Zaostrovtsev describes a system reminiscent of an equally lawless period in Russia’s past (photo: RIA Novosti Agency).
The first eight years of the last decade were incredibly successful for Russia’s economy, but the crisis of 2008 hit hard and growth remains decidedly sluggish. Dmitry Travin wonders whether the country’s economy will ever be able to regain the Midas touch.
A mutiny at a prison camp in the Chelyabinsk region of central Russia has just shaken the country. Olesya Gerasimenko is one of the few journalists whom its director allowed into the penal zone, and to date the only one to interview him.
The Sixth London Russian Film Festival, which took place in London earlier this month, introduced 11 new feature films and 7 documentaries to the British public. Masha Karp went to watch the documentaries, hoping to see a true picture of Russia today.
Officially, the Russian government is above politics. While this stance worked well during the boom years, since the financial crisis it has been paralysing government. Reform is urgently needed. But how can these be pushed through without recourse to politics? Russia’s non-political period is drawing to a close, Dmitry Butrin reckons.
The election victory of Bidzina Ivanishvili has reconfigured Georgia's political landscape, dominated by Mikheil Saakashvili since the "Rose Revolution" of 2003. But there are already concerns over what the billionaire leader is doing with his power, says Donald Rayfield.
Last month, a number of slave migrant workers were discovered in the cellar of a Moscow store. It was, alas, just one example of a much a wider practice exploiting vulnerable groups across the country. In a special oDRussia investigation, Grigory Tumanov reports on the worrying prevalence of modern-day enslavement within Russia.
Traditionally, Soviet and Russian Defence Ministers have carried the military rank of General. Anatoly Serdyukov, recently dismissed by President Putin, was an exception, and his civilian status reflected a desire to make the MOD more subject to political control. Aleksandr Golts discusses the implications of his successor Sergei Shoigu once again accepting his General’s epaulettes (photo: RIA NOVOSTI AGENCY).
President Nazarbayev has been
head of state in Kazakhstan for 23 years (before, and since, independence in
1991). The 2011 election effectively confirmed his life tenure, which has put
the country into a state of suspended animation and stagnation. Change will
have to wait, says Luca Anceschi
On 6 November, the Russian top brass’s dream came true: President Putin dismissed Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, whose ongoing and fundamental reform of the Military has perhaps been the only real reform of the last ten years. Military analyst Aleksandr Golts looks at the issues that confront his successor (photo: RIA NOVOSTI Agency).
Many of the Soviet Gulag camps are now deserted, but Vyatlag is still in operation, though now most of the prisoners are there for criminal rather than political offences. But as Ekaterina Loushnikova has found, memories of the cruelty and hardship of those terrible years remain.
The imminent withdrawal of Radio Liberty from medium wave broadcasting has dented the image of American public democracy, which is perceived as kowtowing to the autocratic will of the Kremlin. The outcry has, predictably, been ferocious. Kristina Gorelik looks back at the Soviet and more recent past.
The Russian regime may present a united front to the world, but behind the scenes the cracks are beginning to show. In the week when Putin fired a senior government member, Dmitry Travin looks at the people and the issues that divide them.
US-funded Radio Liberty started broadcasting to the USSR in 1953. Now Russia’s new media law has led to the mass firing of the station’s journalists and the appointment of a new editor, Masha Gessen. But she’s unlikely to find many journalists prepared to work with her, thinks Anastasia Kirilenko
October is Russia’s local election month, and some regions have just elected governors for the first time in seven years, part of an electoral reform designed to appease the opposition. But as Mikhail Loginov reports, another aspect of this reform will antagonise the regime’s most loyal supporters – its own bureaucrats.
President Putin’s popularity has been dented by the open opposition of two celebrities, hitherto ardent supporters: Lyudmila Narusova and Kseniya Sobchak, respectively widow and daughter of his former political mentor, Anatolii Sobchak. A real stab in the back and evidence that things are hotting up, thinks Daniil Kotsyubinsky.