Monthly Archives: December 2007

Mission Impossible, McFaul Style

In their article, “The Myth of the Authoritarian Model” (Foreign Affairs, January/February 2008), Michael McFaul and Kathryn Stoner-Weiss have set out for a remarkable, if questionable, feat: to prove that Russia and Russians were better off in the 1990s under … Continue reading

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The Audacity Of Common Sense

Barack Obama’s critics often refer to his inexperience, and nowhere does this inexperience looks so obvious as in international affairs.  This criticism doesn’t seem to resonate with the American public, which is well aware of the fact that the presence … Continue reading

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The Matter Of Trust

Why do Western pundits and media have such a difficulty trusting President Putin’s words?  So far, he hasn’t broken any promises.  He promised to step down after the second term in office — and he will.  He promised to endorse … Continue reading

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Kasyanov’s Headstart

The cascade of decisions to abandon presidential bids — by Garry Kasparov, then Vladimir Ryzhkov, and, finally, by Grigory Yavlinsky — is a clear victory for Mikhail Kasyanov and his People’s Democratic Union.  It is also a testament to Kasyanov’s … Continue reading

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His Holiness Patriarch Vladimir?

When people writing about Russia have nothing else to say, they speculate about the job President Putin will assume after leaving the office in May 2008.  The list of options is impressive: the prime minister, the Speaker of the Duma, … Continue reading

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Russia in Crosshairs (2): Apocalypse Now?

The West’s reaction to the results of the December 2 Duma elections in Russia strikes me as irrational.  "In Russia, the backward march to czarism continues", cries out the headline of Washington Post‘s editorial on Tuesday. Why such an Apocalyptic … Continue reading

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Russia in Crosshairs: Duma, Kasparov and Bol’shoi Ballet

Russia is back in the news again.  In the run up to the Duma election on December 2, two events have particularly stood up in the spotlight. First, there was a decision by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human … Continue reading

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