Whose Idea Was It to Build a Winter Resort in the Warmest Part of Russia?

June 17, 2013

Boris Nemtsov has occupied many roles in post-Soviet Russia, both in government and in the parallel polis that is oppositional politics. He was first elected governor of Nizhny Novgorod, whose successful economic reforms in that region carved a political pathway that would ultimately take him into the deputy premiership under the Yeltsin government. Nemtsov has […]

Hard to Shill: Steven Seagal in Chechnya

May 30, 2013

The late Gore Vidal once said that the three saddest words in the English language were Joyce Carol Oates. Now here are the ten saddest: “The CODEL’s visit to Chechnya was facilitated by Steven Seagal.” CODEL stands for Congressional delegation, and the speaker here is the spokeswoman for Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California. […]

Oh, You Silly Man

May 10, 2013

The photographs showing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry smiling and slapping palms with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are being circulated by many Syrians opposed to the Bashar al-Assad’s regime as visual obituaries of their cause. Weren’t these men supposed to be on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict? And why does the Herman Munster-ish Lavrov […]

The Kremlin “Beat” the Opposition and Irish Parliament Beat Magnitsky

May 2, 2013

Vladislav Surkov, the architect of Putin’s “sovereign democracy” idea, and now the deputy prime minister for economic modernization, gave talk at the London School of Economics yesterday in which he said that the Kremlin “beat” the Russian opposition after the December 2011 Duma election protests: Do you really think that the old system collapsed after the protests in December 2011? […]

Caucasus Causality

April 24, 2013

So far, and in spite of the American media’s best effort to acquaint its audience with a country called Chechnya (and the Czech embassy’s best efforts to remind that audience of the excellence of Bohemian pilsner), there is little evidence linking the Boston marathon bombings to any jihadist organization or cell headquartered in the North Caucasus. CNN cited an […]