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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The Night They Dined in Hell: Russia After Sagra

Last September, the rock group Leningrad released a controversial song about the much debated Khimki Forest. The music video featured a violent medley of famous cartoon characters fighting a grand battle royale. The recent skirmish in the town of Sagra was far more serious and deadly than Leningrad’s comic parody, but it too has inspired …

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“And to What Purpose Could Dead Souls Be Put?” PARNAS vs the Justice Ministry

On June 22, 2011, Russia’s Justice Ministry rejected the opposition’s latest attempt to register an official political party. The People’s Freedom Party “For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption,” otherwise known as PARNAS, was officially turned away for a small handful of reasons. The most discussed issue has been the presence of “dead souls” on PARNAS’ …

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The Law on the Police

  Federal legislation 446526-5, better known as “The Law on the Police,” is now sitting on President Medvedev’s desk, approved by both houses of the Russian legislature. When he signs it in the next few days, the law will take effect March 1, 2011, closing another chapter in Russia’s re-embrace of bourgeoise aesthetics, finally killing off …

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Yosemite Yuri

Oh what a amusing time it’s been in Moscow recently. Yuri Luzhkov — oligarch, kingpin, homophobe, and all-around big whig — is said by nearly everyone to be on the outs. Vedomosti claims that Yuri has about a week left to resign quietly or go down guns a-blazin’. The newspaper cites unnamed sources in the …

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The Party Nearby

In light of the recent news about Georgy Boos’, I decided to translate an article that appeared last week in Gazeta.ru by Ol’ga Bolotova. The piece is about the electoral strategies of United Russia’s local party branches in Siberia and the Far East. The gist of the text, as the title suggests, is that the EdRossy …

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