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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Mitt Romney: the American Vladimir Zhirinovsky?

As a regular listener of Echo of Moscow, I took note of a July 7, 2010, episode of ‘Народ против’ (The People Versus), starring the notorious Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The subject of the show was “The New START Treaty Shouldn’t Be Ratified,” and Vladimir Volfovich came to Эхо’s studio clad in a casual, short-sleeved shirt, ready …

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Russian Defamation Law, or How Yuri Luzhkov Made 1 Million Rubles

With the death of Vera V. Trifonova, the world has again turned its attention to the Motherland’s legal system. For the most part, the current frenzy has focused on the fatal shortcomings of Russia’s pre-trial detention practices in white-collar criminal cases. Without going into the details of the stories surrounding Trifonova, Sergey Magnitsky, or Bill …

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Sex, Drugs, & Politics

The Season of Discontent keeps chugging along in Russia this spring. Kaliningrad has attracted every political gadfly and climber around, and next Saturday’s demonstration promises to be the mother of all theatre. Who will win the rallying competition: the Kremlin stooges (like Zhirinovsky), dispatched to rouse the counter-protesting rabble? Or the Muscovite liberal imports, who …

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