Search Results for "Russia" : 64

by / on September 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm / in Most Recent Column, Opinion, World

Russia’s Revolving Door

by Post-Cold War Russia has never been considered a paragon of democracy or political freedom. From bloody suppression in Chechnya to the ultra-rich oligarchs that make the economy spin, aspects of Russia and its government have always raised eyebrows in the international community. Yet even so, the Russian government – up to this point — has made a decent effort in feigning that it was a functioning democracy. Last week,…

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by / on January 6, 2014 at 4:23 pm / in Asia, Fall 2013, World

The Raucous Caucasus

…lution of the Soviet Union, declared independence. Sandwiched between oil pipelines and competing interests from Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the United States, this overlooked province and the conflict surrounding it have global implications. The conflict began with the Russian Revolution, when the Soviets conquered both Azerbaijan and Armenia, and turned them into Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs). They decided to leave Nagorno-Karabakh, then roug…

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by / on June 17, 2012 at 7:06 am / in Opinion, World

The World’s New Powder Keg

…s not wrong. Every regional power has a stake in the conflict. Any solution to the N-K issue will have to juggle Russian, Iranian, and Turkish interests in the region. Russia’s Role Russia is, of course, the regional hegemon and casts a long shadow over the South Caucasus. Russia has long since been Armenia’s patron, arming the country at discount prices or nearly for free. This strategic partnership with Russia has helped offset Azerbaijan’s hi…

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by / on March 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm / in Opinion, World

Blocked Blocs

…ld have gotten 50 percent of the vote and the victory without any fraud, closing a fairly predictable chapter of Russia’s election cycle. One unforeseen, or at least unnecessary move by Putin and United Russia was the relaxation of the requirements necessary to form political parties. The new law, which passed unanimously in the Duma, lowers the requirement for a political party to 500 members from the original 40,000. Though the law definitely s…

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by / on March 1, 2014 at 10:59 pm / in Ben Rimland, Europe, Organizations, Web Columnists, World

It’s Time to Stand Against Putin

…n by the hour, the situation in Ukraine is moving extraordinarily quickly. While only days ago the prospect of a Russian incursion into the politically-unstable nation seemed utterly unthinkable, it is in fact what has come to pass. It’s time that the West stop referring to this act as an “intervention” or another ignorant euphemism and to call it what it really is: a hostile invasion of the sovereign territory of Ukraine by the Russian Federatio…

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by / on February 17, 2014 at 9:18 pm / in Ben Rimland, Middle East, Web Columnists, World

The (invisible) Red Line

… The most dire and long-term defeat of the West in Syria, however, lies with the resurgence of the Russian Federation in the Middle East. With the adoption of the Russian-brokered “deal,” and its current unraveling, America has acknowledged Russia as a co-equal power in the Middle East, an accomplishment never managed by Russia’s Soviet and Imperial predecessors. With America’s acquiescence, Putin has provided an alternative to dict…

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by / on February 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm / in Most Recent Column, Opinion, World

Russian Defrost?

by This month, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev sent a bill to the Duma calling for the reinstatement of direct gubernatorial elections by the people of Russia’s provinces. The governors of Russia’s provinces currently are appointed by the Kremlin, which, through its dominating majorities in the Duma, did away with direct elections in 2004. The Kremlin can also fire governors essentially at will, resulting in governors who are more in…

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by / on February 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm / in Opinion, World

Russian Winter

…litical activism emerging in Egypt, Syria, Libya, and potentially even Iran and Jordan.  However, the turmoil in Russia defies the formula emerging elsewhere, in which longstanding regimes are confronted by their people and forced to either disperse the rabble-rousers or else dethrone. In Russia, Putin has chosen to deal with the widespread dissent of his people with a truly novel sentiment: ambivalence. Harkening back to the leadership tactics o…

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by / on March 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm / in Opinion, World

Don’t Rock the Boat

by On Sunday, Russians from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok will vote to decide who will be president for the next six years. If the favored Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, running in place of incumbent president and United Russia party mate Dmitri Medvedev, wins more than 50 percent of the country’s vote on Sunday, he will become president again and be able to extend his tenure at the apex of Russian political power until 2018. At that p…

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by / on January 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm / in Fall 2013, Latin America, World

Corrupting the Cup

…atter himself emphasized the importance of bringing the World Cup to new regions after awarding the World Cup to Russia and Qatar. Inevitably, this lopsided focus comes at the expense of selecting stable, prepared countries: both Russia and Qatar performed badly in the full FIFA evaluations leaked to the press. And while Russia does have a tradition in the game, Qatar has yet to qualify for a World Cup – its influence on the soccer world is for t…

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