Tag: Boris Yeltsin

Last week, BBC Panorama exposed President Putin, and allegations of corruption against him. At first the programme focuses on Putin’s lifestyle – his expensive watches and tracksuits – and quickly moves on to hearing journalists, former allies and politicians dredge up old accusations: $40 billion in assets and the Cape Idokopas palace. It notes that the CIA and the FBI agree that Putin may be worth $40 billion in assets. (More…)

Former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov was shot dead as he walked from Red Square arm-in-arm with Anna Durytska, a 23 year-old Ukrainian model, just days before he was set to appear before an anti-war rally. The assassination has opened up an array of questions for Russian society, none of which will easily be ignored. (More…)

The reactions were predictable. Putin perfunctorily denied it was an invasion, while the media wondered whether it was even right to even call it a war. That Russian forces were already occupying a third of Ukraine was still insufficient evidence. Nearly 15 years from the day when he first too took the reins of the presidency, the ex-KGB agent was living out the wildest of Cold War fantasies (More…)

Today’s tensions with Vladimir Putin probably make American policymakers nostalgic for the days of Boris Yeltsin. If we wish to understand today’s Russia, we have to look at the way the Federation emerged from the tumultuous collapse of the USSR. Putin’s allegiances were clear from the beginning. He was not a mindless KGB thug, as he is often portrayed. (More…)

As the Ukrainian revolution continues, the spectre of “The Jew” has once again reared its head. Rather than on the streets of Kiev, though, it is being seen a bit more subtly in Putin’s official homophobia. It has been made especially obvious by Russian-language assertions that the Euromaidan revolt was part of a larger “international gay conspiracy.” (More…)

Last October, a Russian private military contractor, the Moran Security Group, shanghaied another PMC, the Slavonic Corps, by promising recruits $2,000-5,000 a month if they went to Syria to guard strategic facilities (military bases and power plants) to free up the regular Syrian Army guards for the front line. (More…)

President Lukashenko appealed to the apparatchiks. They were fearful of the literati calling for human rights reforms, and raising the divisive issue of whether or not Russian should be Belarus’ official language, an issue that rankles to this day. He also seemed to rise above the intrigues of the post-1989 legislature, with his anti-corruption agenda, though post-mortems of his first campaign show that it was light on actual investigations, but high on image management. (More…)