Karina Orlova
Contributing Writer
Wikimedia Commons
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.

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.

Back Down or Crack Down?
Putin’s Fraying Mandate

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

© Getty Images
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.

© 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

news analysis
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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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