Latest Articles about Middle East

PUTIN SETS NEW GOALS FOR RUSSIA’S NATIONAL IDENTITY

At the core of its national identity, Russia is neither a nuclear super-power nor a spoiled petro-state, but a country of hopeless football fans. The Soviet leadership sought to measure athletic prowess by the total number of Olympic medals and ice hockey in particular, but... MORE

MOSCOW DEFYING OSCE ON THE DEMOCRACY FRONT

Russia has enlisted its supporters among CIS countries to oppose the OSCE's election-monitoring missions and contradict OSCE election assessments. This Russian policy is not in itself new, but was reactive and mostly pro-forma until now. It turned proactive and brazenly aggressive in the parliamentary elections... MORE

DAGESTAN: FIGHTING CLANS AND ADVANCING ISLAMISTS

With more than 100 ethnic groups in the republic, Dagestan has a quite complicated structure of government. The republic is ruled by the State Council, in which all major indigenous ethnic groups are equally represented. Members of the State Council and deputies to the republican... MORE

RUSSIA LAUNCHES NEW SUBMARINE, BOOSTING NAVY’S IMAGE

Russia rarely experiences good news in the narrative of its declining naval power, but its introduction of a new submarine has come close to representing a breakthrough in the monotony of negative developments. On October 28 a new submarine named St. Petersburg, honoring the 300th... MORE

RUSSIA’S POLITICAL ELITES WANT BUSH RE-ELECTED

Long before Americans go to the polls today, Russian political elites had made their choice: the Kremlin wants to see George W. Bush in the White House for another four years. Of all the major world leaders, only the Russian president demonstrated such unambiguous support... MORE

PROSECUTOR GENERAL: LET’S TAKE TERRORISTS’ RELATIVES HOSTAGE

Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov's proposal that Russia's law-enforcement agencies be permitted to detain terrorists' relatives as a "counter-hostage-taking" measure has elicited criticism from human rights activists and law-enforcement personnel alike. That proposal, however, was just one of several put forward by his office that observers... MORE

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO RUSSIA’S ECONOMIC POLICY?

Russia has seen controversial political initiatives, acute security crises, and bitter electoral battles in the last half-year. What it has not seen is a series of consistent economic steps or proposals for economic reforms; even debates in this area have dried up. Nobody in Moscow... MORE

POLL INDICATES WEAK RUSSIAN SUPPORT FOR MANY DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS

A poll conducted October 15-18 by the Levada Center, the independent polling agency headed by the eminent sociologist Yuri Levada, delivered a mixed message concerning Russians' attitudes towards various types of rights and freedoms. The poll's results suggested, on the one hand, that more Russians... MORE

MOSCOW RUNS INTERFERENCE FOR TEHRAN

Iran's nuclear program, especially its recent launch of a uranium enrichment process, could trigger a massive international crisis. Tehran has hitherto ignored European, Israeli, and American pressure to desist enrichment activities and terminate its program, fanning concern that it seeks a nuclear weapon that would... MORE

RUSSIAN MEDIA MULLS GROWING ETHNIC INTOLERANCE

A recent wave of apparently racist attacks, including the murders of an Uzbek migrant worker in Moscow and a Vietnamese student in St. Petersburg (see EDM, October 15 and 18), has sparked discussion in the media and among politicians about rising ethnic tensions in Russia.... MORE