Less than 24 hours after Alexei Navalny, corruption fighter and President Vladimir Putin’s fierce opponent, was handcuffed and led away to serve a five- year prison sentence, he was free again to run for mayor of Moscow. Guessing at the reasons for the turnaround has become the Moscow political community’s favorite game in recent days, showing that no one really understands the workings of the nation’s Byzantine government.
The three members of the female punk group Pussy Riot set out merely to protest the return to power of President Vladimir Putin. Now, their show trial is threatening to become a turning point in Russian history.
The Russian government plans to investigate a decade of unsolved crimes in two southern regions after the murders of 12 people focused attention on allegations that local officials aided a gang terrorizing the region.
The Obama administration released a list of 18 Russians who will be subject to financial sanctions and banned from entering the U.S. for playing a role in human rights abuses, prompting Russia to impose its own ban.