Creating the appearance of stability is the Russian political elite’s primary goal. Yet colonial-like rule over the country’s regions, combined with a lack of civic activity, harms the Kremlin’s legitimacy on the ground. Русский
Farm workers in the depths of southern Russia are hardly a protest constituency, but corruption and corporate raids have pushed them to the brink. They may even take their grievances to Moscow — by tractor. Русский
Украина находится на пороге банкротства. Выполнить бюджет на 2015 год практически нереально. Радикальные реформы затягиваются. Война на востоке страны продолжается. Что ожидает Украину в 2015 году? In English
Behind the storm ByJames Marriott At 17.40 local time on 4 December, a storm ripped through Platform 10 of the Guneshli oil and gas field, owned by the Azeri state oil company, SOCAR. What happened next is not entirely known.
Making May 17 count in Russia ByTANYA COOPER May 17 is the International Day against Homophobia. It’s a particularly pertinent day for Russia, where life is rapidly becoming unsafe for LGBT children and adults.
The American credibility trap ByJAMES KOVPAK American politicians’ attempts to look ‘credible’ when talking about Russia are hypocritical, self-serving and self-defeating. If they really want Russia to change its policies, they need to act smarter, not tougher.
Putin goes ByAlexander Morozov Until 'Black Tuesday' on 16 December 2014, 15 years after he first took power, there were no grounds for any consideration of whether Putin might resign or of snap elections. Now there are.
Putin stays ByChris Weafer The Kremlin has adopted a deliberate strategy – to let the rouble continue falling as the 'lesser of two evils'; and protect President Putin’s core support base.
Dear oDR Reader BySakharov Centre The Sakharov Centre in Moscow is currently facing unplanned inspections, with threats of closure or registration as a Foreign Agent.
By DAVID MARPLES In theory, with a new parliamentary coalition, Poroshenko can now address Ukraine’s two most pressing problems — Donbas and the economy. But his position is weaker than it appears.
By Alina Polyakova Two hundred election monitors from Russia observed the Ukrainian presidential election. They were surprised by the lack of linguistic and ethnic division.
What does it take to save Ukraine?
By Mikhail Molchanov Billionaire President-elect Petro Poroshenko has promised to sell his chocolate making concern Roshen, to ‘focus on the well-being of the nation.’ Even with the best of intentions, this might be rather difficult.
Self-rule in Ukraine
By René Wadlow There is no agreement about what ‘self-rule’ means for parts of Ukraine. Moreover, even if federalism is not a first step to the disintegration of Ukraine, neither is it a ‘magic solution.’
Taking sides in Ukraine
By Charles Turner Most commentators have turned a blind eye to some of the more unsavoury aspects of either Putin and the Maidan, depending on their ideological background. Hypocrisy is everywhere, but that doesn't mean we should be ambivalent about what's happening in Ukraine.
Crime and politics in Crimea
By Taras Kuzio The link between crime and politics in Crimea has been evident for some time. Now, crime boss Sergei Aksyonov – the ‘Goblin’ – has become its self-declared leader…
Who’s next on Putin’s list?
By Agnia Grigas Crimea is under the control of Russia’s military forces and its Moscow-backed government is voting to secede from Ukraine. Where might President Vladimir Putin seek territorial expansion next?
End of the road for populism in Ukraine
By Anton Shekhovtsov Ukrainians are having to pay a high price for the success of their revolution, and it is as yet by no means clear what exactly that victory will bring them. The problems in Crimea must be resolved and economic collapse must be averted – two very tall orders.
This August, we begin a special series devoted to the 25th anniversary of August 1991. Join us to discuss the fate of reforms, progress and the pluralist world we envisaged — and lost. Get in touch to discuss your ideas.