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Karina Orlova
Contributing Writer
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Sloppy Spycraft
Russia’s Intelligence Failures

A series of high-profile mishaps have exposed the incompetence of Russia’s intelligence services. And yet the main threat to Putin’s rule would still come from the siloviki.

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RT screengrab via YouTube
Skripal Poisoning
The Spies Who Came in from the Cold

The two men accused of poisoning Sergey Skripal are ready for their close-up.

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Back Down or Crack Down?
Putin’s Fraying Mandate

Rigged elections and brutal crackdowns cannot disguise the public’s falling trust in the Kremlin.

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Of Pensions and Sanctions
Putin’s Perfect Storm

An escalating sanctions war, a series of unpopular economic reforms, and elite discontent threaten to embolden Putin’s critics and discredit his “besieged fortress” narrative.

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© Getty Images
Putin's Next Play
From Penalty Kicks to Pensions

With the World Cup winding down, Putin has a far more difficult task ahead: selling the public on deeply unpopular retirement reforms.

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Getty Images
Follow the Money
Russia’s Kleptocracy Laid Bare

New revelations from Panama expose the inner workings of Russia’s kleptocracy—and the hollow underpinnings of Putin’s regime.

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Kremlinology
Putin 4.0: It’s All in the Family

As rival clans seek to pounce, Russia’s Yeltsin-era elites are going out of their way to signal their fealty to Putin.

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Unintended Consequences
The Great Sanctions Split

Whether by mistake or design, Western sanctions have created both winners and losers in Russia, setting up an inter-elite competition that Putin may find hard to control.

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A Fight Over Sanctions
The Great Oligarch Whitewash

A strange campaign is afoot to cleanse the reputations of several oligarchs targeted by the latest round of Russia sanctions. Don’t buy into it.

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Putin's Inauguration
Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

Putin’s fourth term is shaping up to look a lot like his third—but with even more state repression and violence.

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