A Real Bellwether of Russian Attitudes and Kremlin Fears: Zhirinovsky’s Party Moves to the Left

May 16, 2016

Staunton, VA, May 16, 2016 – For obvious reasons, polls of Russian attitudes are anything but a good indicator of where Russians are heading; but there is a more reliable bellwether: the way that the Kremlin uses its pocket opposition figures such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) as elections […]

Zhirinovsky Calls for Ending Direct Election of Russian President

October 19, 2014

Staunton, October 17 – Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the frequently outrageous leader of the wildly misnamed Liberal Democratic Party of Russia who nonetheless often serves as a bellwether of Russian politics, says that Russia should dispense with direct elections for the Russian presidency because “the democratic costume is too tight for Russia.” In remarks to the Second […]

Duma Deputies Want to Block Media Outlets from Doing Stories Outside Their Stated Purpose

October 3, 2014

Staunton, October 2 – There are many ways to destroy media freedom, but members of the Russian Duma have come up with a new one that may prove far more insidious than anyone may now imagine: They are calling for legislation that would preclude media outlets from carrying stories about subjects not defined as part […]

Russian Duma Deputy Wants California and Alaska Back

September 29, 2014

Staunton, September 26 – Mikhail Degtyarev, a LDPR Duma deputy, has asked the Russian foreign ministry to clarify the status of land that had belonged to Russia in what is now the US state of California because he believes that Washington did not pay for it as required by a nineteenth century bilateral agreement. As […]

Russia Becoming a Dangerous Nation of Zhirinovskys, Levinson Says

August 25, 2014

Staunton, August 19 – Vladimir Zhirinovsky has become notorious for saying what must not be said and doing what must not be done, but now his approach has spread to the Russian people as a whole, a development that cannot last forever but one that will end badly, according to Aleksey Levinson. In an article […]

Moscow Must Abolish Regions and Republics, LDPR Duma Deputy Says

July 23, 2014

Staunton, July 21 – Mikhail Degtaryev, a Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Republic of Russia (LDPR), is preparing legislation to replace the current administrative-territorial division of the Russian Federation in regions, territories and republics with the tsarist-era one of provinces (guberniya) and districts (uezd), an action he says would restore “historical justice” and end […]

New Arrest in 15 Year-Old Political Assassination in Russia

November 11, 2013

Galina Starovoitova was a pro-democracy activist in the 1990s, a prominent member of the Moscow Helsinki Group and a defender of ethnic minorities. She was assassinated in 1998, soon after becoming the leader of “Democratic Russia,” a registered opposition party, she was assassinated outside her apartment building in St. Petersburg. Two men were arrested for […]

As United Russia Takes On Water, Russia’s Elite Jump Ship

September 6, 2013

While most eyes have been on the Moscow mayoral race as the September 8 election, a greater drama is playing out in Russia’s regional elections. Across the country, from Zabaikalsky Krai to Arkhangelsk, the fate of United Russia is being decided. After nearly two decades as the prevailing power of a dominant party system, United […]

“United Russia” is Losing Sponsors

August 22, 2013

The Central Election Commission (CEC) published data on financial flows to the accounts of political parties for the second quarter of 2013. It turned out that the largest party in the country [United Russia – Ed.] is rapidly losing sponsors. Now it takes only the fifth place in the list in terms of monetary contributions […]

Even Hospitals Contribute to United Russia

June 4, 2013

[According to the Central Election Commission data for 2012, the ruling United Russia party is the Russia’s wealthiest political party: its earnings amounted to 3.9 billion roubles ($122 million), most of which were received from the state budget. The emptiest coffers were those of RPR-PARNAS, that will have to finance its election campaign not from […]