The Bell

Amnesty for Entrepreneurs Mooted—But Khodorkovsky’s Release Looks Doubtful

May 15, 2013

It was reported today that Vladimir Putin will meet with business leaders next week to discuss the possibility of granting amnesty to imprisoned entrepreneurs—prompting speculation about whether such a measure would extend to former Yukos CEO and Putin nemesis Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Formerly one of the most powerful men in Russia, this October will mark ten […]

Brutal Murder Casts Light on Homophobia in Russia

May 13, 2013

On Sunday, Russian investigators revealed that a 23-year old man (subsequently identified by activists as Vladislav Tornovoi) was tortured to death, in what the authorities believe to have been an anti-gay attack. Tornovoi was brutally beaten and raped during the Victory Day celebrations on May 9th, and two men have been detained in connection with […]

Russia Celebrates Victory Day With Soviet-Style Pomp

May 9, 2013

Today Russians celebrated Victory Day, commemorating the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany. The day was marked by muscular displays of military might— including fighter jets and tanks streaming over Red Square—in scenes redolent of the height of Soviet power. The celebration of Victory Day offers Russians an opportunity to reflect upon the tremendous loss […]

Surkov ousted as Kerry faces pleas for help from dissidents

May 8, 2013

Yesterday, Vladimir Putin berated his Cabinet for their failure to execute the decrees to fulfill his campaign promises. He specifically attacked the Cabinet for failing to provide adequate support to regional authorities on various matters including the provision of funds—touching on a longstanding sentiment that the regions have been neglected under Putin. Whatever the sincerity of this […]

Putin Branded Press “Predator” as Doctors Challenge US Adoption Measures

May 3, 2013

The international press freedom NGO Reporters Without Borders vigorously criticised Vladimir Putin this week, listing him among its top 39 “Predators of Freedom of Information.” This updated list, released in honour of World Press Freedom Day, said of Putin: “If just one word were needed to describe Vladimir Putin, who was catapulted into the presidency […]

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? […]

Putin’s Compromised Anti-Corruption Campaign

April 25, 2013

Putin’s raids on the Skolkovo financial center outside of Moscow, and his recent push outlawing state officials from owning foreign assets-including precious metals-are just two of the most recent examples of Putin using anti-money laundering and financial laws as a means of control. The traditional view of anti-money laundering laws is that they are designed […]