Latest Articles about Middle East

Poll Discloses Rampant Police Abuse

In a poll taken among inhabitants of Russia's 12 largest cities earlier this month, 26 percent of respondents said that they had experienced mistreatment at the hands of police, ranging from rudeness, red tape and inaction to extortion, unjustified arrest and violence. The poll was... MORE

Putin Moves To Back Kyoto Protocol

At the Russia-European Union (EU) summit on May 21, President Putin surprised observers by promising to move ahead with ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 treaty under which developed nations pledge to bring their greenhouse gas emissions below the 1990 level by 2012. In... MORE

Interior Minister Paints Gloomy Picture In Chechnya

On May 19, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev addressed the State Duma in closed hearings concerning the situation in Chechnya and the investigation of the May 9 assassination of Chechnya's Kremlin-backed President Akhmad Kadyrov. According to one account, Nurgaliev told legislators that the situation in Chechnya... MORE

Russian Society: A Brake On Reform?

Most observers look at the strong economy and President Putin's high popularity rating, and assume that Russia has become a "normal" society, in the words of a recent Foreign Affairs article. But a nationwide survey on "Rich and poor in Russia" by the Institute for... MORE

Committee 2008 Announces Plans For A Democratic Coalition

Committee 2008-Free Choice, the democratic opposition group founded and headed by chess champion Garry Kasparov, has brought new members into its leadership and announced plans to broaden into a democratic coalition. One of its leading members, former Union of Right Forces (SPS) co-leader Boris Nemtsov,... MORE

Russian Government Hopes To Jump Start Housing Market

On May 13 the Russian government approved a packet of 27 laws that are intended to double new house-building by 2010. The proposed laws include a new housing construction code, changes to the civil code and new legal protection for mortgage lending. The government plans... MORE

Saratov Governor Focus Of Criminal Probe

Saratov's chief prosecutor, Anatoly Bondar, announced on May 14 that criminal proceedings have been instituted against the region's governor, Dmitry Ayatskov, for abuse of power connected to the alleged misuse of 70 million rubles (US $2.4 million) in budgetary funds. Accusations against Ayatskov, who was... MORE

Chechnya: Sorting Out The Policy Options

Having scheduled an early presidential election in Chechnya for September 5, the Kremlin appears to have opted for the continuation of its existing Chechenization policy in the wake of the assassination on May 9 of the pro-Moscow Chechen leader Akhmad Kadyrov. As many Russian policy... MORE