The Tale of How Aleksandr Pochkov Quarreled with Vladimir Vladimirovich

The wild fires catastrophe has made this first week in August rather unpleasant for many in Russia. The death toll climbed to fifty people today, and more are likely to perish before the week’s end. Russia’s agriculture production is so threatened that the government is allegedly planning to ban grain exports. Hundreds of homes have …

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The Putin-Shevchuk Commentary Roundup

As expected, figures in the Russian liberal community reacted harshly to Vladimir Putin’s comments in an exchange with Yuri Shevchuk last Saturday. Also unsurprising, journalists unfriendly to the opposition responded as they do by defending the actions of the authorities and questioning the motives of the liberals. All in all, it was another day in …

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"Excuse me, but what's your name?" (The Full Translation of the Putin-Shevchuk Showdown)

Yesterday, Vladimir Putin met with the participants and organizers of charity event for sick children. The event included various famous members of the Russian artist and intellectual community. The most animated guest at the table was Yuri Shevchuk, lead singer of the rock band DDT and well-known liberal activist. Just a few months ago, Shevchuk …

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From Gdańsk to Katyn

This morning, Vladimir Putin is meeting his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk, in Smolensk at the site of the Katyn massacre, which is 70-years-old today. In my next post, I’d like to survey the public reaction to and interpretation of today’s event, but – for now, until all the commentary is in – let’s look back …

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Spinning the Attacks

Today’s attacks in the Moscow metro appear to have killed about forty people. As many people died a little more than six years ago in the tunnel near Avtozavodskaya station in a similar suicide explosion. Today and tomorrow are days of mourning, but the smoke had hardly cleared before the speculation and accusations started. The …

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