From Putin’s staged call-in show to Medvedev’s "citizens vs. officials" program, Russia’s virtual politics provides only the illusion of government transparency and improvement.
As violence in the North Caucasus surges, Kremlin policies and its loyal, but brutal, local leaders have played a critical role in causing the situation.
A suicide bomb attack that killed 19 people and wounded at least 58 in Ingushetia was likely intended as retaliation for President Yevkurov’s determination to intensify his fight against Islamic extremists.
Questions remain whether Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov ordered the recent murders of human rights activists in Chechnya, or whether the crimes were an attempt by his opponents to discredit his leadership.
Federal and regional authorities in Russia are abusing new amendments to the federal law on local government to centralize power and dismantle whatever still remains of the separation of powers.
The recent spike in violence in the North Caucasus undermines the Kremlin's claim that its anti-terrorism policies in the region are succeeding.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s consolidation or power, and Moscow’s pre-occupation with Russia’s economic and political crisis will force the Kremlin to reconsider Putin’s policy of appeasing Chechnya.
President Obama spoke brilliantly and powerfully at Russia's New Economic School during his Moscow trip. Unfortunately, few Russians heard his speech or got more than a glimpse of the American president on the television news.
A recent poll showing that 60 percent of Russians support the return of direct elections for regional governors, indicates a growing realization that the authorities are in no condition to fulfill their obligations.
The agreements reached between U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvedev at the U.S.-Russia summit showcased a great deal of positive rhetoric, but they are unlikely to lead to a substantial improvement in overall relations.