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Analysis & Opinion
09.07.12 The Blame Game
By Dan Peleschuk
The destructive floods that wreaked havoc in southern Russia this weekend, killing more than 170 people, have set off a characteristically Russian blame game. Within days of the tragedy, local residents are blaming authorities for failing to warn them, and even for instigating the flood, while the authorities themselves are looking for scapegoats to ease the criticism.  Read more 
18.06.12 Messing With History
By Dan Peleschuk
Tampering with historical memory in Russia has always been a dangerous pastime. So when newly installed Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky proposed to finally bury Vladimir Lenin’s embalmed body and rename Moscow’s streets to honor Tsarist rather than Soviet figures, his comments naturally caused a stir. But they also highlight just how touchy even the recent past can be in a divisive and historically damaged Russia – especially when historical memory is mobilized for political purposes.
 Read more 
15.06.12 Putin Seeks To Cement A Strategic Alliance With China
Introduced by Vladimir Frolov
Having paid brief visits to Berlin and Paris (after ditching the G8 summit in Washington), Russian President Vladimir Putin embarked on a full-fledged state visit to Beijing last Tuesday that led into the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional cooperation forum dominated by Russia and China. Is Putin really seeking a “strategic alliance” with China? If so, for what purpose and at what cost? Does the SCO provide the institutional basis for the Russian-Chinese alliance? Read more 
07.06.12 Springtime Surprises
By Tai Adelaja
The eurozone crisis is creating problems for Russians planning to vacation abroad. For a carefree vacation this year, Russian tourists may need more than a bit of luck with their travel agencies. As fear of the European debt crisis spreads, Russia's currency – the ruble – also comes under increased pressure, forcing many agencies to raise ticket prices by as much as 20 percent. Read more 
01.06.12 Russia Profile Weekly Experts Panel: Putin Creates Two Parallel Governments
Introduced by Vladimir Frolov
After a protracted pause, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the composition of his new government last week and surprised observers by creating two parallel and competing cabinet structures. Why does Putin need two governments instead of one? How effective or inefficient could such an arrangement be with two competing governing teams? Read more 
31.05.12 She Who Cast The First Stone
By Dan Peleschuk
An 18-year-old protester has come to symbolize the intense battle between the Kremlin and opposition forces over the future of mass public demonstrations. As the first person arrested for allegedly inciting violence, she, along with several others, seems set to become a new test subject for the authorities’ harsh treatment of protesters, accented recently by a draconian bill in Parliament that would set sky-high fines for unsanctioned demonstrations. It’s a course, observers say, which may be set for potential disaster. Read more 
30.05.12 Growth Without Gain
By Tai Adelaja
Many business people seem increasingly disillusioned with the Kremlin, which keeps its guns drawn with the country’s middle-class protesters while sending mixed messages to investors about its long-awaited economic reforms. A series of economic indicators published by Russia’s Economic Development Ministry on Monday show that economic activity is declining, a further indication that investors' appetite for the country's assets is also waning. Read more 
28.05.12 Warning Signals
By Tai Adelaja
Economists once again sound an alarm bell about the shaky state of the Russian economy, warning that the country is much more unprepared for a new wave of economic crises than it was in 2008. In the event of a new episode of global financial turmoil, Russia's $60 billion Reserve Fund will not be enough to meet Russia's enormous needs for a year, according to a new report published by leading Russian economists on Friday. Read more 
25.05.12 Russia Profile Weekly Experts Panel: Europe Shuns Ukraine As A Dictatorship
Introduced by Vladimir Frolov
Ukraine’s President Victor Yanukovich and his friends are finding themselves and the country they govern increasingly isolated internationally, with the EU and Russia demanding that they free former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Is Ukraine ready to abandon its aspirations for membership in the EU? Is it a strategic shift toward integration with Russia within the Customs Union and the future Eurasian Union? Is Europe pushing Ukraine into Putin’s embrace? Is Ukraine really a “dictatorship” on par with Alexander Lukashenko’s Belarus? Read more 
24.05.12 Take Me To Your Leaders
By Dan Peleschuk
Key opposition leaders Alexei Navalny and Sergei Udaltsov were released from prison on Thursday after serving 15-day-long sentences for their roles in leading the anti-Kremlin protests earlier this month. Their release not only serves as a reminder of the all-too-regular jail terms served by opposition leaders in Russia, but also raises the question of whether their brush-ups with the law boost their marketability and attract an even greater following. Read more 
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