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Karina Orlova
Contributing Writer
news analysis
On Putin's Guest List
Mr. Juncker Goes to Russia

The President of the European Commission is off to meet Vladimir Putin at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum—a sign of how tepid Europe’s support for extending sanctions against really is.

news analysis
A Friend in Need...
The ‘Emperor’ Has No Clothes

Construction on the Kerch straits bridge, meant to connect Crimea to mainland Russia, has been halted. Putin’s close friend needs some more money.

news analysis
Fighting Fraud
Russia’s Election Commission Gets Its Guns

The new head of Russia’s Central Election Commission announced the formation of a task force comprising several branches of the security services to prevent election rigging. Just whom they will actually be fighting remains an open question.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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