The Bell

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 […]

“One for All and All for One”: A Dispatch from Navalny’s Trial

April 23, 2013

Kirov, Russia — The date of the first session of the trial against Alexey Navalny has been on people’s minds for a while. Both, the Russian opposition and pro-Kremlin groups see this trial as symbolic, although for very different reasons. The opposition view it as an attempt to lock up one of the most well-known […]

Magnitsky List: A Failure, But not Fatal

April 16, 2013

On April 12 the U.S. government published the so-called Magnitsky List—names of individuals who are believed to be responsible for “gross violations of human rights” in Russia.  The 18 people included in the list will be denied entry to the United States and have their assets and property in the country frozen.  There is also […]

Kremlinologie à la Française

It’s no secret that in 2013, just like during the Soviet era, Russian agents are operating in Europe. But today, no one calls them “agents” anymore. Spies have been displaced by professional lobbyists, members of parliament, journalists, writers, PR experts and economists. That’s one of the ways in which the Kremlin promotes its agenda in […]