Analysis

Navalny Answers the Hard Questions with Hard Answers

July 27, 2013

Since being released from prison following his five-year sentence for embezzlement charges, Alexey Navalny’s campaign for mayor of Moscow has come under intense scrutiny, both from pro-Kremlin and oppositional quarters. Below, Interpreter translator Catherine A. Fitzpatrick weighs some of the controversies surrounding Navalny’s nationalism, his past comments about minorities and foreigners and his plan for barring […]

What Thursday’s Pro-Navalny Protests Mean For the Opposition

July 23, 2013

The sentencing of Alexey Navalny and Petr Ofitserov on July 18 had two immediate and simultaneous effects: in Moscow, a protest of several thousand swarmed a major intersection near the Kremlin, and in Kirov, prosecutors abruptly appealed the defendants’ arrest pending their appeal. Could it be that the prosecutors had responded to the demands of […]

The Unsurprising, Unjust Conviction of Russia’s Opposition Leader

July 19, 2013

Aleksei Navalny woke up this morning knowing that he’d be found guilty of the crime of embezzlement. What he wasn’t absolutely sure of, though probably heavily suspected, was that he’d be given a lengthy jail sentence — five years, as it turns out, which is just one fewer than the prosecutor had asked for, along […]

How Putin Uses Money Laundering Charges to Control His Opponents

July 18, 2013

Last Thursday, Sergei Magnitsky was convicted of tax evasion. The only problem was he was not there to hear the verdict read. Magnitsky was killed in Moscow’s Butyrka prison in 2009, likely as a result of beatings and a lack of medical treatment. His crime was uncovering a $230 million tax fraud involving members of […]

Migration Crisis in North Caucasus, Part 2

July 16, 2013

Yesterday, I wrote about how the unrest in Pugachev, where anti-Chechen riots broke out following the murder of a local paratrooper, was the result of the weak migration regime that has allowed ethnic resentments to grow unhindered. Ethnic tension, however, are only part of the puzzle. The bigger picture comprises the ineffective way in which […]

How Azerbaijan Is Like ‘The Godfather’

July 12, 2013

Few developments speak so well of how far Caucasian dictatorships have come since the grey days of the Soviet Union as the fabulously wealthy and incredibly investment-savvy 15-year-old male heir of Azerbaijan’s ruling family. When he was a mere 11 years old, Heydar Aliyev, the son of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, purchased $44 million in […]

Examining Russia’s Allegation of Syrian Rebel Sarin Gas Use

July 10, 2013

On Tuesday, Russia’s envoy to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, said that he had presented an 80-page report to UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon that conclusively proved that Syrian rebels used sarin gas on March 19th, 2013. According to Churkin, the rebels fired a “Bashar 3 missile” that was armed with sarin gas at the […]

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 […]

Interior and Justice Ministers Meet with Officials in Magnitsky List

June 5, 2013

[Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev and Justice Minister Aleksandr Konovalov met on April 27 with their employees who have been included in the so-called Magnitsky List. The list includes 18 judges and representatives of law-enforcement and other government agencies whom American authorities believe are complicit in the death in pre-trial detention at Matrosskaya Tishina Prison of […]