It's hard to say what's most impressive about Russia's latest round of regional and local elections -- the shameless rigging or the apathy of the voters. Either way, the October 14 polls sent an unmistakable message: Electoral democracy as we know it is dying a slow, painful death under President Vladimir Putin.
In 1938, Joseph Stalin commissioned the gadfly author Mikhail Bulgakov to write a play. The subject was to be the Soviet leader’s early years. A professional hangman couldn’t have fashioned a neater noose.
When Alexander Gan fled the demise of Soviet-era industry in Siberia’s Jewish Autonomous District in 2000, it was a swampy backwater seven time zones east of Moscow. A decade later, its border with resource-hungry China is bringing work with iron-ore, copper and coal producers.
Anthony Stidham, a 48-year-old third-generation rancher from Oklahoma, is at the forefront of President Vladimir Putin’s plan to cut Russia’s $3 billion annual bill as the world’s biggest beef importer.
OAO Severstal, Russia’s second- largest steel producer, is among four companies planning mines and a state-backed railroad in the Siberian region of Tyva that would double the country’s metallurgical coal exports by 2020.
Poland interred President Lech Kaczynski and his wife in the ancient capital of Krakow yesterday in the presence of Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev amid signs the historic enemies may reach a reconciliation.
President Dmitry Medvedev gets an opportunity today to lay out his vision for remaking Russia, after a summer in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin dominated TV screens amid preparations for the 2012 presidential election.