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"We Are from the FSB"

Gershkovich’s arrest is just one more piece of evidence that Russia’s security services are out of control, violating norms of civilized behavior, and so desperate in their efforts to prove...


Vladimir Putin: War Criminal

In charging the Russian leader, the ICC becomes the latest international institution to go public with well-documented evidence of his culpability for the war against Ukraine.


Vladimir Putin: Pauper or Princeling?

If Vladimir Putin did indeed come from a family with ties to the Soviet nomenklatura, that would illuminate the role of personal connections in an allegedly egalitarian and meritocratic society....


Gorbachev and Putin

In the outpouring of commentary following the death of Mikhail Gorbachev at age 91 there seems to be a broad consensus about his varying historical legacy, East and West: he...


Do Russians Care About the War in Ukraine?

Polling in an authoritarian regime is a tricky business, all the more so when the country is at war. People are understandably wary of expressing an opinion to a random...


Workers Against the Workers’ State, Part II

"Dear Comrades!" won a special jury prize at the Venice film festival in September 2020. A one-hour promotional video follows Konchalovsky and Vysotskaya as they cavort through luxury locations in...


Workers Against the Workers’ State, Part I

The artistic qualities of "Dear Comrades!", along with its superficial willingness to confront a tragic chapter of Russian history, have attracted glowing reviews from some Western critics and may win...


Dueling for the Soul of Russia

It looks unlikely that Navalny will succeed in his quest to topple Putin in the near future. He will probably remain a prisoner, a modern-day equivalent of Alexandre Dumas’ “Man...


Putin's Game of Thrones

The poisoning of Aleksei Navalny is a grim reminder that Russian politics seems to operate by its own set of rules.


History Matters

Amid the pandemic, Russia, China, and others find time to debate the timing of the beginning and end of World War II and other details of years long past.


Russian Government Reshuffle: Plus ça Change

Vladimir Putin’s surprise announcement during his annual presidential address on 15 January that the constitution will be rewritten, and the subsequent resignation of his government, caught everyone by surprise. Like...


Putin’s Y2024 Problem

There is no doubt that Putin has a succession plan – but he has not yet revealed what it is. During his June 2018 call-in program, Putin said in response...


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