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  • Russia

    Russia’s Muzzled Media: Confronting Economic Crisis in the Age of Authoritarianism

    Russia’s increasingly authoritarian system, with the vast majority of the media under government-control, discourages the free flow of information. It partially bars reporting on corruption or exposing ill-conceived policies—that could contribute to Russia weathering this economic storm. The information dams are hindering those in the Russian government who are trying … More

    Russia-NATO Relationship Worsened, Missing Chance to Normalize

    This past April saw signs that Russian-NATO relations, frozen in the wake of the Russian-Georgian August 2008 conflict, might start looking up. A diplomatic meeting in the Russia-NATO format even took place in Brussels. But parallel to this event the Russian news media unleashed an unprecedented campaign protesting the NATO  … More

    Russian Economy Dramatically Impacted by Economic Downturn

    Unemployment is increasingly raising its profile in Russia’s crisis-hit economy. Last March it was at a record 40-percent high. The official data show that its level over the first quarter jumped from 6 to 7.5 million people, which is around 10 percent of Russia’s labor force. According to independent assessments, … More

    Russia’s Muzzled Media: Confronting Economic Crisis in the Age of Authoritarianism

    On Thursday, April 30, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty held an event “Muzzled Media: Coverage in Russia of the Financial Crisis.” The panel focused on the freedom of the media in Russia during the financial crisis. According to Kommersant Washington Bureau Chief Dmitry Sidorov, “the media in Russia is free only … More

    Risky Cuts

    In the past year, Russia’s defense spending has risen 34 percent. China’s defense spending has risen 15 percent. Within the past four months, Iran and North Korea have tested missiles that could someday carry warheads to Europe or the United States. With such conventional and asymmetric military capabilities rising around … More

    The Russians Are Coming!

    The Russians are coming! – to Capitol Hill, led by propagandists and PR experts. What on earth is going on here? Today the 28th Annual World Russia Forum opened in Washington DC. Attending the forum will be numerous Russia experts, diplomats, lobbyists, businessmen, scholars and US politicians. The forum will … More

    Counter-terror Operation in Chechnya Completed: What Next?

    Last week the Kremlin formally announced its decade-long anti-terror operation in Chechnya over. In practical terms, it translates into puling out the federal forces and repealing stringent restrictions related to freedom of movement for civilians in Chechnya. This measure aroused little enthusiasm in Russia, though. In point of fact, the … More

    Medvedev Flirting with Democracy: What Stands Behind

    The past week saw an unprecedented number of President Dmitry Medvedev’s public acts towards civil society institutions. He was interviewed by the opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, met with representatives of civil rights NGOs and had a protracted televised talk on NTV channel deemed the most liberal of the government-run television … More

    Russia-Georgia: Doth the lady protest too much?

    Leading Russian officials are loudly protesting the forthcoming NATO staff exercise in Georgia. The exercises do not involve any armed troops and are essentially a crisis management drill. Yet, as the Bard said, “the lady doth protest too much.” Since March 25, the Russian Federation has significantly increased its military … More

    Taxation amid Crisis: Statist and Market Approaches

    Amid a severe economic crisis Russia, along with many other nations, is facing grave difficulties in replenishing the federal budget. With the government continuing to task the government agencies in charge of the budget with ensuring maximum revenues, Federal Tax Service, the Economics Development Ministry and the Finance Ministry are … More