The Week: Most Recent Russia:Russia's Evolution recent posts.en-usThu, 31 Jan 2013 17:20:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Russia:Russia's Evolution from THE WEEKThu, 31 Jan 2013 17:20:00 -05008 ridiculous Vladimir Putin publicity stunts<img src="" /></P><p>When you're a&nbsp;ruthless authoritarian politician who's run Russia for well more than a decade, you have to work hard to keep up your image. Maybe it means showing off your strength. Perhaps it comes in the way of displaying your passion for animals. Or maybe it's by parading through Siberia without a shirt on. These, of course, are all methods employed by Russia's Vladimir Putin. And when it comes to Putin, one thing is very clear, says Tim Stanley at Britain's <em>Telegraph</em>: He engages in a whole lot of odd publicity stunts, and each one requires a distinct "mix of seriousness and show business...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/samantha-rollins" ><span class="byline">Samantha Rollins</span></a>Thu, 31 Jan 2013 17:20:00 -0500Why Obama must get tougher on Putin<img src="" /></P><p>State friendships are built upon common interests and shared ideals. It's strange, then, that so many commentators have reacted with shock to the new Russian law banning adoptions to American families. In today's geopolitical landscape, Russia and America simply do not share interests and ideals. And yet, for years President Obama had been showered with praise for his supposed warming of the U.S.-Russia relationship. Unfortunately, in substantive terms, this warming has been fictional. Vladimir Putin's Russia is no friend of America. The hard reality is that during Obama's first term, Russia has...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/tom-rogan" ><span class="byline">Tom Rogan</span></a>Mon, 31 Dec 2012 07:45:00 -0500Vladimir Putin's flight with migratory birds: Has he become a laughingstock?<img src="" /></P><p>Russian President Vladimir Putin is legendary for his shows of strength and bravado &mdash; riding shirtless through Siberia on a horse, shooting tigers and polar bears with tranquilizer darts, tagging whales with a crossbow, swimming laps in an arctic river. But his latest stunt has Russians scratching their heads, or even laughing out loud: On Wednesday evening, on the way to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit he's hosting in Vladivostok, Putin donned a puffy white jumpsuit, swung into a motorized hang glider, and led a flock of endangered Siberian cranes on their winter migration path...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 07 Sep 2012 17:43:00 -0400Vladimir Putin's insane riches: By the numbers<img src="" /></P><p>In public, Russian President Vladimir Putin talks up his humble beginnings and promotes himself as an ascetic, devoted public servant. "I have toiled like a galley slave, giving it my all," Putin told reporters in 2008, near the end of his first two terms in office. But Kremlin watchers and political opponents have long suspected that Putin actually&nbsp;lives like a czar, or one of&nbsp;"the monarchs of the Persian Gulf," as two critics suggest in a new pamphlet, <em>The Life of a Galley Slave</em>. Reformist former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov and Leonid Martynyuk, a Solidarity movement activist...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 30 Aug 2012 09:55:00 -0400All-girl punk band sentenced to two years in Russian jail: Too harsh?<img src="" /></P><p>Early Friday, three members of the all-female Russian punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in jail on charges of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" (the closest American equivalent is a "hate crime"). Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Marina Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, were arrested for storming Moscow's largest Orthodox cathedral back in February. In what the band termed a "punk prayer," the three donned ski-masks and bright-colored spandex while performing a noisy protest against President Vladimir Putin's close ties to the church. Free speech advocates from...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 17 Aug 2012 17:11:00 -0400The greatest threat to Putin's rule: A feminist punk band?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">When pro-democracy demonstrations broke out in Russia late last year, Vladimir Putin could have hardly expected that the most publicized protest to his rule would come from a feminist punk band named Pussy Riot. But that's exactly what happened. Three members of the band &mdash; Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Maria Alekhina, all in their 20s &mdash; went on trial this week on charges of inciting religious hatred for holding an anti-Putin protest in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior in February. Specifically, the trio is accused of hooliganism and hate crimes for conducting...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 31 Jul 2012 11:30:00 -0400Is it time for Russia to finally bury Lenin?<img src="" /></P><p>The late Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin died in 1924, and his waxy preserved corpse has been displayed in a mausoleum on Red Square ever since. But Russia's new culture minister, Vladimir Medinsky, insists the time has come to give Lenin a proper burial&nbsp;and consign the Soviet era to the past. Russians have been debating what to do with the body of the leader of the Communist revolution since the fall of the Soviet Union two decades ago. More than half the population now says Lenin should be buried, although the idea is sacrilege to the country's many Communists. Is Russia ready to say goodbye...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 15 Jun 2012 11:26:00 -0400Why America shouldn't panic over Putin<img src="" /></P><p>Contrary to what many Americans expect, Vladimir Putin's return to the Russian presidency need not cause a deterioration of relations between the United States and Russia. Many assume that Putin benefits politically from indulging anti-Americanism, and that in his new presidential term, he'll pursue increasingly adversarial policies. This underestimates Putin's willingness to strike pragmatic deals with Western governments. Putin has had a longstanding interest in cooperating with America &mdash; so long as Russian interests are respected and acknowledged. It would be foolish to ignore this in...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/daniel-larison" ><span class="byline">Daniel Larison</span></a>Thu, 10 May 2012 18:10:00 -0400Vladimir Putin's third term as president: 6 ominous signs<img src="" /></P><p>Vladimir Putin took the oath of office to begin his third term as Russia's president on Monday, returning to the job after sitting out four years as prime minister. Outside the Kremlin, the streets were empty, as police hauled away opposition activists who were attempting to thwart the president's inauguration. Putin tried to defuse public anger with a series of decrees, vowing to eliminate waiting lists for nursery schools, and promising all Russians access to new housing every 15 years. But many observers warned of trouble ahead. Here, six concerning signs as Putin returns to the presidency:...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 08 May 2012 09:17:00 -0400Vladimir Putin: Russia's once and future president<img src="" /></P><p><strong>Was Putin fairly elected?</strong><br />Not remotely, but that's not to say anyone could have beaten him. Since he first took the helm in Russia, in 1999, Vladimir Putin has ruled with a modified form of Soviet-style authoritarianism that he calls "managed democracy." The idea is that weakened state institutions, including the electoral system, yield to the designs of a strong leader. That entails some outright fraud; monitors found evidence of "carousel voting," in which busloads of voters travel around casting ballots under different names, and in Chechnya, more pro-Putin votes were counted than there were...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 16 Mar 2012 10:51:00 -0400Vladimir Putin: Russia's 'greatest leader' in centuries?<img src="" /></P><p>As expected, Vladimir Putin easily won&nbsp;Russia's presidential election on Sunday, securing a fresh six-year term to bolster his 12-year reign at the country's helm. (Putin first served as president from 2000 to 2008, before assuming the role of prime minister in 2008.) Putin's opponents accuse him of rigging Sunday's vote, and a newly emboldened pro-democracy movement will inevitably protest the Russian autocrat's election. Still, Putin continues to enjoy widespread support in Russia's provinces, where many credit him with pulling Russia out of the chaos that followed the collapse of the Soviet...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 05 Mar 2012 11:48:00 -0500The imminent return of President Putin: What will it mean for Russia?<img src="" /></P><p>Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is widely expected to win his country's presidential election on Sunday, reclaiming the job he held for eight years before term limits forced him to step aside &mdash; at which point he became P.M. Despite massive anti-corruption protests, polls show that Putin still has the backing of 60 percent of his constituents, suggesting that he could win a majority in the first round and avoid a run-off. What can we expect from another Putin term? Here, four predictions:<br /><br /><strong>1. The protests will grow</strong><br />This election's outcome isn't in doubt because it's all been "choreographed...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 02 Mar 2012 14:13:00 -0500The alleged Putin assassination plot: A campaign trick?<img src="" /></P><p>Russian and Ukrainian intelligence services say they have foiled a plot to kill Vladimir Putin, just days before a March 4 election that's expected to return Putin to the presidency after four years as prime minister. Although heavily favored, Putin is facing the biggest threat to his authority since he came to power in his first presidential term 12 years ago, as thousands of Russians demonstrate in the streets to protest corruption under Putin and his United Russia party. Is somebody really trying to kill Putin &mdash; or is this just a trick to make voters sympathetic and seal Putin's victory...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 27 Feb 2012 18:45:00 -0500Could Vladimir Putin really face a 'Russian Spring'?<img src="" /></P><p>In the largest protests Russia has seen since the fall of the Soviet Union, tens of thousands of people flooded Moscow's streets in recent days demanding fair elections and the end of Vladimir Putin's "corrupt" government. Putin was president from 2000 to 2008. Barred from a third consecutive term, he has spent the last four years serving as prime minister while his hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, held the presidency. Putin is widely expected to reclaim the presidency in March elections, a scenario which one opposition leader warns could trigger "Russian Spring" protests. Is that realistic...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 08 Feb 2012 14:51:00 -0500Will Vladimir Putin be pushed out?<img src="" /></P><p>Tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Moscow over the weekend &mdash; chanting "Russia without Putin!" &mdash; in the biggest opposition demonstrations since Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rose to power 12 years ago. The protest movement has been building since early December, when rival parties accused Putin's United Russia of cheating to win parliamentary elections. Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet-era premier, joined the protesters' call for a re-vote, and now says Putin, who has already twice served as president, should get out of politics instead of running for the presidency...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 26 Dec 2011 13:16:00 -0500Mikhail Prokhorov: The NBA owner who wants to oust Putin<img src="" /></P><p>With anti-corruption protesters filling Moscow's streets, the billionaire owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team, Mikhail Prokhorov, announced Monday that he is going to run against Vladimir Putin in next year's presidential election. Does he really stand a chance against Putin, who is now the country's prime minister and has twice served as president? Here, a brief guide:<br /><br /><strong>Who is this guy?</strong><br />Prokhorov, 46, is the third richest man in Russia. <em>Forbes</em> magazine estimates his fortune at $18 billion. Nicknamed "Giraffe" in school &mdash; he's 6 feet 8 inches tall &mdash; Prokhorov started his career...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 13 Dec 2011 11:28:00 -0500