Latest Articles about Middle East

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

Hopes Fade For Quick Release Of Russians Kidnapped In Iraq

Yevgeny Loginov, director of international projects for Interenergoservis, said yesterday (May 13) that the company would evacuate all 340 of its employees working in Iraq if the fate of two of its employees recently kidnapped there is not determined in the immediate future (RIA Novosti,... MORE

Russian-Uzbek Rapprochement Evidenced In Defense Chief’s Visit

On May 12, acting Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov took part in negotiations with Uzbek Minister of Defense Kadyr Gulomov regarding the military-technical cooperation taking place between their two countries. The defense ministers also discussed regional security issues on which Uzbekistan and Russia cooperate on... 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

Russia’s Oil Boom: Blessing Or Burden?

This week world oil prices hit their highest level since 1990 - more than US$40 a barrel for Brent crude, and US$35.70 a barrel for Russia's Urals blend. This is a result of continuing strong demand due to China's ongoing boom and the US economic... MORE

Moscow Gatherings Debate Russian-u.s. Ties

As the international community finds itself in a state of flux with the unprecedented global war on terror and the deepening crisis in Iraq, leading Moscow strategists are trying to define Russia's relations with the West, and in particular with the United States. At two... MORE