Latest Articles about Middle East

Is Putin Out To Destroy Civil Society In Russia?

Human rights groups in Russia and in the West have reacted strongly to President Vladimir Putin's state of the nation speech last Wednesday, in which he darkly warned Russian civil society that it was too dependent on foreign money. Clearly, when Putin talked about civic... MORE

Putin Summons The Nation, Sort Of

The presidential address which Vladimir Putin delivered to the Federal Assembly on May 26 was bound to be anti-climatic. Wednesday's oration was overshadowed by more dramatic political events this spring, such as Putin's re-election as president in March and the firing of Prime Minister Mikhail... MORE

Prosecution Amidst On-going Crisis In Russia’s Navy

International naval exercises in the Baltic Sea, which begin on June 2, will see 15 European nations and the U.S. joined by the landing ship Kaliningrad and the escort vessel Neustrashimy, representing the Russian Baltic Fleet. These high-profile exercises will showcase the Baltic Fleet and... MORE

Crooked Traffic Cops Busted For Car Theft

On May 25, head of the Interior Ministry's internal affairs department Konstantin Romodanovsky briefed Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev on the involvement of officers from the State Road Safety Inspectorate (GIBDD) in an auto-theft ring. Romodanovsky reported that as many as 100 people, including more than... MORE

Moscow Hitmen Prefer Car Bombs

An explosion took place in central Moscow on May 25, injuring seven passers by, none of them seriously. The blast, which was caused by an explosive device that had been attached to a lamppost on Zvengorodsky Chausee (Zvengorod Highway), slightly damaged a Saab 9000 standing... MORE

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

The Istanbul Summit And Nato’s Two Flank Struggle Over Cfe

In the run-up to the NATO summit in Istanbul (June 28-29), Russian President Vladimir Putin is signalling that he might honor the event with his presence "[if] the conditions will be right" (NATO press release, May 17). Putin's conditions apparently include NATO acceptance of Russia's... 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