Occupy Lermontov!

Yesterday, the town of Lermontov (located in Russia’s North Caucasus) experienced what some are calling “a small revolution.” As the state municipal building was preparing to close for the evening, a collection of townsfolk and former members of the city council gathered and eventually forced their way into the main lobby. Once inside, reporters accompanying …

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The Splendid Victory: Russia’s 2011 Duma Elections

The votes are in, the violations are online, and Moscow’s oppositionists are out on the streets, gathered at dawn in Kitai Gorod, chanting at cops to release their most beloved celebrity, Aleksei Navalny. Russia’s best known activist-blogger found himself in police custody earlier tonight, when Sunday’s parliamentary election results confirmed for many that the authorities …

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Mikhail Prokhorov’s Truth

[Прочитать статью на русском языке здесь.] Roughly eleven years ago, as Boris Yeltsin departed the Kremlin and Russia’s love affair with American culture turned sour, film director Aleksei Balabanov released a sequel to his 1997 hit “Brother.” Capturing the changing mood of the era, “Brother II” took place primarily in the United States, where the hero, …

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Tactical Democracy

On July 13, 2011, Aleksei Navalny shared a link to an interesting “Instruction Manual” on “Tactical Democracy” by Mikhail Zhivov, a Volgograd IT specialist who recently started a LiveJournal blog. Zhivov has just a handful of LJ ‘friends’ and even fewer followers on Twitter. Even Navalny didn’t bother to follow him. And yet, despite this …

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A House Divided: the Russian Opposition & the 2011 Elections

As chatter among observers of Russian politics reaches a crescendo on the ‘Putin or Medvedev’ presidential question, another tournament quickly approaches. On December 4, 2011, the 450 seats in Russia’s parliament are up for grabs in national elections. Now that the Justice Ministry has rejected the official registration of the liberal party PARNAS, Russia’s democratic …

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Who Is the Face of the Russian Opposition?

[Прочитать статью на русском языке здесь.] This last Sunday, Russia held its latest round of local elections. Ninety-three percent of the country’s regions (77 of 83) went to the ballot box to vote on mayors, regional parliaments, municipal authorities, and so on. Not surprisingly, United Russia won nearly everywhere, taking slightly more than half of …

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