Moscow Spring?

December 9, 2011

Quite often, Russian reality is best illuminated with a joke. A couple of journalists are quizzing a candidate: “Why do you want to get elected?” “Just look what is going on in the corridors of power: officials are awash in debauchery, theft, corruption!” “So you want to fight this?” “Get serious,” the candidate replies, “I […]

Dima, Volodya and Alice

May 23, 2011

What exactly is a Russian liberal? Has this species ever been seen in the wild (by which I mean the Kremlin)? In her spot-on analysis of Russia’s ruling tandem in today’s Washington Post, Liliya Shevtsova highlights this question brilliantly: …the transformation of Medvedev into a symbol of reformist hopes has been Putin’s best trick so […]

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September 4, 2010

Russians are wearing less and will have to do with fewer mushrooms this year. President Medvedev is Russia’s Internet President (while PM Putin apparently does not even have a cellphone), but he does not appreciate it when his minions Tweet during meetings. Senior ranking spies in Russia earn more than the president. Prime Minister Putin […]

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Keep Reading, Dima

May 19, 2010

President Dmitry Medvedev says he likes the classics, but that, just recently he made a request for buying about 50 books authored by contemporary Russian writers over the past 5-7 years. “I have read some of them and I cannot say I have been excited,” he said to share his impressions. “By and large I […]

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Putin and Medvedev as Na’Vi

February 9, 2010

Avatar has become the largest grossing movie in Russian history. But, more interestingly, a spin-off photo morfing site (which seemed to be connected to McDonald’s Finland) allowed visitors to turn pictures of famous people into the blue Na’Vi. A Russian newspaper tried it with Medvedev and Putin. Here are the tinted results. First Putin: Then […]

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From Mikhail to Michael

July 13, 2009

Four years ago, in August 2005, then Senator Barack Obama was detained for three hours at a Siberian airport. Obama, with Senator Dick Lugar, was on a US delegation touring nuclear warhead storage and disposal sites. Russian border guards insisted on searching the delegation’s plane. The senators refused. The diplomatic standoff lasted three hours before […]

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A Metaphorical Net Game

June 25, 2008

Russia this spring won a series of notable victories on the international stage. Maria Sharapova (see front cover) won the Australian Open, Russia won the UEFA Cup in soccer, and the Russian squad took the World Hockey Championships in Montreal. The women’s tennis Fed Cup team also advanced to the finals of that tourney, upstart […]

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