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Putin's Plummeting Popularity
Don’t Shoot The Messenger

It’s not just that Putin’s “trust” numbers are in free fall. It’s that his most trusted pollsters appear to be in a panic about it.

own goal
Don’t Play The Russian PR Game

Neither the delisting of Rusal nor the allowing of sanctioned Russian persons to attend Davos is a capitulation.

Intelligence Failure
Bumbling Russian Spies and Clumsy Russian Spy Services

As a high-profile Russian suspect prepares to plead guilty to conspiracy charges, Putin appears to clean house at home.

Putin's Retirement Plan?
The Privatization That Wasn’t

New reporting confirms that the “privatization” of Russia’s oil giant Rosneft was the kleptocratic fraud we suspected all along.

Politics 101
Russia Shows Us Where Political Violence Leads

Hatred is a universal feeling—and is used as a political tool universally.

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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.

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.

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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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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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