I would like to pour a spoonful of legal tar in the barrel of political honey presented at the United Russia party congress. To paraphrase Hegel: not all that is politically possible is legally valid.
For some reason, people think that Vladimir Putins third term is entirely constitutional as long as there is a gap between the second and third terms in the form of Dmitry Medvedevs single term. As if this one interim term totally alters the political and legal reality.
Read Vladimir Pastukhov, doctor of law, St Antonys College, University of Oxford
In answering writer Zakhar Prilepin's question on how oil trader Gennady Timchenko became a billionaire, Vladimir Putin retorted, Whatever has to do with his business interests is his own business. I have never got involved in it and dont plan to. At the same time, I hope he will ever stick his nose into my business...
Read Alexey Polukhin
Feigned intrigue 564
A fake issue of Novaya Gazeta made its way around Moscow on Friday. On the front page was a giant portrait of Vladimir Putin. The intrigue of anticipating a second term for President Dmitry Medvedev also turned out to be feigned: everything proceeded according to a scenario that could be described as extremely banal, not to mention humiliating for the current head of state. Putin is running for president, and thats not all he has been nominated by Medvedev, who is running for prime minister, as he tentatively heads the pre-election list of United Russia...
Read Andrey Kolesnikov
By not allowing their projects to free themselves from the corridors of the presidential administration, housed in the same building that was once home to members of the Politburo and regional committee secretaries, the inspectors from the administration are not giving controlling politicians the chance to become elected politicians. An example is Pravoye delo party from Leonid Gozmans times. But as soon as a politician like Prokhorov stops playing by their rules, builds up charisma that, theoretically, would allow him win elected office, he is liquidated...
Read Andrey Kolesnikov
The Russian Supreme Court dismissed the cassation appeal filed by the attorneys of Nikita Tikhonov and Yevgenia Khasis, thus upholding the Moscow City Court's initial verdict. Both Tikhonov and Khasis watched the proceedings by video feed from the Lefortovo pre-trial detention centre as the fateful ruling was handed down.
On 6 May Federal Judge Aleksandr Zamashnyuk, drawing on the jury's verdict, sentenced Tikhonov to life in prison and Khasis to 18 years behind bars...
Read Nikita Girin
Putin, who is associated with certainty may accelerate the processes of decay. For his part, Medvedev, with his diffuse position and penchant for mimicry, might slow them down. But what is better for Russia? Putin's regime, relying on security structures and their control of property, is inherently repressive and incapable of modernisation.
Another factor of decline is the obsession of the power apparatus, above all security men, with their personal enrichment. All civilisations perished when their elites started thinking about their own purses. Sparta and the Ottoman Empire were invincible until the Spartans and the Janissaries engaged in trade...
Read Lilia Shevtsova
The second term would definitely be Medvedev's last. He has nothing to lose. Maybe he will develop genuine modernisation, democratisation, and globalisation policies.
In fact, the opposite is true: we were waiting for the terrible end - the official accession of Putin but now we are faced with a never-ending horror. That is, the same inert arrangement with the nation's leader, who does everything himself, while the head of state permanently restrains his impulse for modernisation...
Read Andrey Kolesnikov
By Natalya Radina, Charter 97
The situation in Belarus is a repeat of 2008 when, after the EU and the USA imposed sanctions, Lukashenko began to release political prisoners he had arrested during the 2006 elections. As a result, in early 2009, the dictator got an IMF loan that saved the country from default. For two years, the West tried to tame the Belarussian strongman by inviting him to all sorts of summits, and EU officials shook hands with Europes last dictator.
Since the Bloody Sunday of 19 December, the situation has been developing in the same direction. Faced with an economic crisis, Lukashenko again is trading off his political prisoners.
In recent months, TV channels have been full of so-called primaries and of Putin, wearing his usual suit or working overalls. Such publicity for one of the members of the tandem makes the fate of the tandem irrelevant. Yet Medvedev suddenly announced that he would attend the governing party congress in September, breathing new life into the topic. What if Medvedev announces his decision to run for president during the congress? What if he becomes co-chairman of the United Russia party together with Putin?
The European Court of Human Rights ruled on two high-profile Russian political cases in May. First, the government was penalised for the “spy” Igor Sutyagin and then for Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Khodorkovsky’s aquarium The European Court of...
On Tuesday, 14 June, the former press secretary of the Khamovnichesky Court, Natalia Vasilyeva, who stated in February that pressure had been put on Judge Viktor Danilkin in the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once again provided more...
Give me what I want or else you’re the enemy To sum up all of Mikheil Saakashvili’s influential opponents in one phrase: They have not been given what they want. Here is a typical example: Erosi Kitsmarishvili, a current opposition member...
- Mikhail Khodorkovsky: Hes just afraid of competition When Putin says that he never does his friends in, this is because he is afraid to get on the wrong side of the siloviki who are close to him. From the correspondence between the editors and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, inmate of Correctional Facility 7 of the Federal Penitentiary Service Directorate for the Republic of Karelia, the city of Segezha
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