Karina Orlova
Contributing Writer
news analysis
The Siloviki Shuffle
Putin Cuts Legs Out from Under Medvedev

Another week, another reshuffling of the deck: Having already coopted his sources of financial support, Vladimir Putin starts to cull Medvedev’s siloviki support network, just to make sure his likely successor is as weak as possible.

news analysis
Russia Fights Itself
The Kremlin Comes Around. A Little.

Putin defended his import ban on European foods as necessary for “protecting national interests”. Now, even as he struggles to loosen Western sanctions, he is introducing wider and wider loopholes in his retaliatory measure.

news analysis
China Steps In To Help... Itself
Beijing to Take a Bite Out of Rosneft?

China is ready to invest in a major Russian oil firm—but only if one significant pre-condition is met.

A Conversation with Stanislav Belkovsky
“Putin Is a Local Bully with Nuclear Weapons”

Is the Russian President an opportunist or a master strategist? And what is his game plan for Ukraine?

news analysis
Putin's Personal Safety
The Siloviki Shuffle

Power struggles and shakedowns among Russia’s security services help explain why and how Putin has decided to shuffle the deck.

news analysis
A Token Reformist
Kudrin, Half-Restored?

Vladimir Putin convened his Council of Economic Advisors for the first time in two years this week, with his former Finance Minister on board. But it was only for a “brainstorming session”, the Kremlin said, suggesting that serious reforms were not about to be unveiled.

news analysis
Maybe he's just a nice guy
What Lies Behinds Putin’s “Humanitarian Gesture” Towards Savchenko?

It wasn’t exactly a prisoner swap, as most media are reporting. Did Putin get something else, or is he just trying to improve his image abroad during challenging times?

news analysis
Election Slogans
“There is No Money. Cheer Up!”

Russia’s PM speaks to disgruntled Crimean pensioners.

news analysis
Crony Capitalism
Putin Looks Out For His Friends

One of the Russian President’s closest friends, sanctioned by the West, just won another huge no-bid contract to build part of a gas pipeline to China.

Corruption & Propaganda
The Snake Eats Itself

Putin’s propaganda machine, pushing on an open door in the West, is weaker than it seems, due to endemic corruption at home. Let’s try to fight him in Russia instead.

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