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Archive for the tag “Kremlin”

Russia’s House Of Shadows

The most striking thing about the building was, and is, its history. In the nineteen-thirties, during Stalin’s purges, the House of Government earned the ghoulish reputation of having the highest per-capita number of arrests and executions of any apartment building in Moscow. No other address in the city offers such a compelling portal into the world of Soviet-era bureaucratic privilege, and the horror and murder to which this privilege often led.

Read Here – The New Yorker

War Is Exposing Cracks In Russian Society

Having discovered that the use of force in another country does not necessarily lead to wider sanctions and deepening isolation, Russia has nevertheless learned that military operations of that sort involve a tremendous number of recurring, growing and unpredictable risks. And the main risks in this war might not be military, diplomatic or even macroeconomic in nature. As happened 100 years ago, war does not always rally the people together: Sometimes it causes a fatal split in society itself.

Read Here – The Moscow Times

The Soviet Union’s Kinkiest Collection

The collection’s story begins in the 1920s, when the Bolsheviks turned what was once the Rumyantsev arts museum  into the country’s national library. As the newly anointed Lenin Library began amassing new literature, it also opened a rare book department to house compromising materials, acquired primarily from confiscated noble libraries.

Read Here – Moscow Times

Somewhere The Mayor Is More Important Than The President

Today’s most important political battle in Russia is not for control of the Kremlin, but for power over its capital city. Indeed, the outcome of Moscow’s mayoral election campaign concerns every Russian – and everyone who is interested in Russia’s fate.

Read Here – Project Syndicate

Is Putin Relevant For Obama? Probably Not

Despite the distraction posed by Edward Snowden’s continued presence in Moscow, the  administration of U.S. President Barack Obama would like to inject some positive momentum into the flagging U.S.-Russia relationship. The Kremlin, however, evinces little interest in making progress on issues that are important to the White House. If that remains President Vladimir Putin‘s approach, the Moscow summit in early September is in jeopardy, and Putin may find he does not matter much for Obama during his remaining time in office.

Read Here – Moscow Times

Why Putin Wants U.S. Bases in Afghanistan

On May 9, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced he would allow the U.S. to keep nine military bases in Afghanistan after direct U.S. participation in the Afghan war ends in 2014. How has President Vladimir Putin responded to the possibility that Afghanistan may turn into “one giant U.S. aircraft carrier,” as Kremlin-friendly political analyst Yury Krupnov recently put it?

Read Here – Moscow Times

Russia And The Next 10 Years

Analysts have been releasing various scenarios of how Russia might develop over the next 10 years. Although each scenario is different, they all have some features in common. Below is a list of the commonalities that form a picture of what awaits Russia over the next decade. The first in a series of possible junctures emerged with the presidential election last year. Following his successful bid for the presidency, Vladimir Putin had the option of delegating some of the leadership duties to former President and current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. However, because that arrangement would have provided less room for political maneuvering, Putin appears to have decided to remain both the nominal and actual leader of the country.

Read Here – Moscow Times

Catherine the Great Ruled Better Than Putin

One year has passed since Russia awakened.

A negative trend had dominated the past 12 years in Russia: The number of freedoms decreased while abuses of the Kremlin‘s power increased. This was largely met by indifference among the people. But in December 2011, that indifference ended with the beginning of the protest movement. The country was set on a new path that will lead to either the overthrow of the regime or a revolution. A peaceful transition of authority is impossible for the simple reason that President Vladimir Putin refuses to relinquish his hold on power. He will eventually go the way of either former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini or Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, but he will never willingly hand over power to anyone.

Read Here – Moscow Times

Slaves From Head to Toe

Journalists and political analysts have been speculating about whether the Kremlin‘s anti-corruption campaign will cause a split among Russia’s ruling elite. Even if this is only a PR stunt by the authorities to co-opt the opposition’s main demand, it will not produce any serious or systemic changes. But as some analysts contend, even this “innocuous” battle with corruption might prove too much for some politicians to bear. They might react by launching counterattacks of their own against the political clans assaulting them. This could trigger a chain reaction resulting in the final collapse of Putin‘s elite and lead to the political destabilization of the country.

Until recently, the stability of the bureaucratic elite was based on certain rules of the game that permitted corruption in return for loyalty to the Kremlin. But now faith in the old rules has been undermined, and no new rules have been introduced to replace them. It is not even clear if any new rules even exist.

Read Here – Moscow Times


The Idea of European Security: The Renewed Russian Dilemma

In the post-bipolar era, the security architecture of Europe had to be adapted and the main European security actors undertook internal and external changes. The principal challenge has been the re-approximation of former enemies, namely the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Russia. The main remaining institution available to assume security and defense responsibilities was NATO. Original institutionalized frameworks of cooperation have, then, been created to deal with Moscow that is not willing to be a member. Additionally, the Kremlin has moved towards its own institutional arrangements, such as the creation of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Read Here – eInternational Relations

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