In August, Russian President Vladimir Putin flew to the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where his country is spending a record $48 billion on the 2014 Winter Olympics. A regular visitor, with an official residence in town, Putin watched mixed-martial-arts contests at Oblaka nightclub with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The firing of Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov will create new opportunities for real estate developers in the capital as Luzkhov’s wife, billionaire Yelena Baturina , and other established builders lose influence at city hall.
Russian authorities have started a tax probe against Ksenia Sobchak, a member of the opposition that organizes the protests against President Vladimir Putin that sparked searches of protest leaders’ homes.
Anyone with an Internet connection can easily see why throngs of protestors have been clashing with riot police in the wake of Russia's Dec. 4 parliamentary vote. Check out the map, posted by independent monitor Golos, showing the number of election violations in cities and towns throughout Russia. Or search Youtube for "vote rigging 2011" (фальсификация выборов 2011) and take your pick from clips displaying everything from pre-stuffed ballot boxes to election officials furtively filling in votes.