Russian Politics

Protest Movement Shows Signs of Turning Local

March 10, 2012 by

Much has been said in the recent days about the imminent decline of the protest movement after Vladimir Putin’s undisputed victory in the presidential elections. But a whole new trend has emerged during the rally on Novy Arbat on Saturday – a shift of the emphasis to local politics in the city of Moscow where a number of young independent candidates have been elected to municipal councils on the same day as Putin won the national poll.

Video: RT interview with Daniel Wagner

March 8, 2012 by

Below is RT’s interview with Daniel Wagner, CEO of Country Risk Solutions, and a regular contributor to International Policy Digest. Daniel Wagner is author of “Managing Country Risk” which is available for sale on Amazon. Daniel discussed the recent presidential elections in Russia that witnessed Vladimir Putin’s victory by significant margins.

The Russian Winter: A Warm-up

March 5, 2012 by

All over Russia voters cast their ballots for President this Sunday. Despite the unprecedented public demonstrations over the last few months, Vladimir Putin claimed a convincing first round win. The “Russian Winter” protests nevertheless represent a milestone in post-Soviet culture and set the stage for next chapter of Russia’s political development.

Is Putin Capable of Crafting a Pragmatic Foreign Policy?

February 26, 2012 by

The soon to be re-elected president of Russia, Vladimir Putin’s glorious ‘great power pragmatism’ will quickly be put to the test. Russia finds itself in the center of the convulsing Eurasian landscape and has also placed itself at the heart of the Iran and Syrian quagmires.

The Post-WWI Years and the 21st Century

February 24, 2012 by

The world today and the world immediately before the Second World War are strikingly similar. The military and foreign policy of the United States today is comparable to the close-minded introversion of isolationism. European countries are teetering on the brink of economic collapse. The German industrial juggernaut has reignited. The announced rearmament of Russia resembles that of the former Soviet Union, during and immediately after the First World War.

The Kremlin’s Version of Russia Without Fools

January 26, 2012 by

It’s a new website that seems befitting of the angry mood amongst Russians over the last month’s Duma elections and the coming March Presidential elections, which have all but promised the return of Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin. Called “Russia Without Fools” (Rossia bez durakov), the website begins with the following words: Friends, everyday we are faced with stupid standards and laws, decisions far from elementary logic, and complex regulations and unexplainable restrictions…And so we personally offer to you a real opportunity to find and destroy specific stupidities.

Moscow’s Leadership Gamble in Syria

January 9, 2012 by

Yesterday, Syrian Minister of Defense, Dawoud Rajha, visited Russia’s one and only aircraft carrier Kuznetsov, which was docked in his country’s port city of Tartous. The visit comes at a time when the ruling al-Assad regime is gripped in a ten-month civil uprising, which has recently verged on civil war. The U.S., the European Union, and the UN have all accused Damascus for attacking its own people and refusing to take necessary political reform demanded by protesters.

Russia and the War on Terror: The Multiplicity of Roles

January 9, 2012 by

The current geopolitical situation is quite different from that during the Cold War. One of the salient characteristics of the period is that there are few stable geopolitical marriages, so to speak. During the Cold War, global alignments were clearly divided between the West, with the USA as leader, and the USSR, with its proxies and allies.

START may be sunk by a nuclear torpedo

December 28, 2011 by

Washington has once again signaled its desire to negotiate reductions in Russia’s tactical nuclear arsenal. According to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, the United States wants Russia to reenter the tangled web of interdependence spun around the issues of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and antimissile defense. There will be no further progress on nuclear disarmament unless the countries can cut this Gordian knot.

Russians United against United Russia

December 23, 2011 by

In the past two weeks a number of different rallies took place in Russia. The most memorable of these, on December 10, was the biggest protest in Russia since the fall of communism. People in cities all around Russia went onto the streets. In Moscow, estimates of the number of protesters ranged from 25,000 to 100,000. Although organized by a range of groups and political parties with few common goals, the protests are united around one issue: the alleged vote rigging by the United Russia party.

Managed Democracy in Russia

December 22, 2011 by

The unprecedented wave of public protest, visible in the continuing anti-government popular demonstrations that emerged in Russia following the recent and largely orchestrated election results to the Duma, are unlikely to subside in the near future. Russians are demanding reforms and the Kremlin has been slow to address the concerns of the voters.

Russia and the WTO: The Politics of Economics

December 18, 2011 by

After a nearly two-decade accession process completed, the World Trade Organization has welcomed Russia as a member, pending formal ratification from the Duma that is expected to be completed next June. The Kremlin has been struggling to achieve membership in the WTO since 1993. The process was slowed as interest has been mixed over the past decade under the Putin administration, which desired the growth achieved by China but was reluctant to cede any power to the private sector or foreign interests.

Analysis: Russian state TV gingerly breaks silence on dissent

December 15, 2011 by

Russian state television, long known for omitting coverage of political dissent in news broadcasts, moved recently into new territory when it covered the largest anti-government protests here for nearly two decades. In light of that shift, which caught many by surprise, the question people are asking now, analysts say, is: Was that coverage a one-off event or might it signal an easing in government management of news broadcasting on state networks?

Russia protests elections but Putin is safe…for now

December 13, 2011 by

The lead-up to the elections for the State Duma in Russia on December 4 gave no hint of the turmoil that was to follow. In the days after the voting, large numbers of Russians took to the streets in cities and towns across the country to protest against what they saw to be a fraudulent electoral process, and to demand the cancellation and re-running of the elections.

Putin enters the dragon’s den

October 7, 2011 by

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin heads to China for a two-day visit at an important time for relations between the counties, and at an even more critical junction for the United States’ “Silk Road” project to extend its influence in greater Central Asia. Beijing and Moscow will certainly want to hammer out an energy deal, while working on a viable counter-strategy to Washington.

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