With the Russian patriarch and prime minister both holding big meetings abroad, this weekend presents a chance for President Vladimir Putin to soothe a world still stunned by Moscow's aggression in Ukraine and dismayed by its bombing campaign in Syria.
As Russia’s economic crisis deepens, President Vladimir Putin will need to turn his attention to keeping the lid on domestic discontent. But Putin’s understanding of the imperial nature of the Russian state could potentially hamper his ability to craft policies that give the country the best chance of avoiding a repeat of history.
Some experts in Russia are cautioning that the Kremlin’s unwillingness to address problems connected with the country’s imperial features is starting to pose a risk to the state’s territorial integrity.
With a high-profile trial in Armenia set to resume in which a Russian soldier stands accused of murdering a family of seven, observers wonder whether the loose ends connected to the case will ever be wrapped up. Russia is not eager to see light shined on systemic flaws within its military structure.
MOSCOW -- Sergei has watched in horror as Russian television has been flooded with harrowing stories about vicious debt collectors terrorizing households with threats and violence in order to recover overdue loans. He worries his family could be next.
Some Russian writers and independent journalists assert that incumbent Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin is doing an excellent imitation of long-dead Soviet party boss Leonid Brezhnev, who presided over the country’s steady decline during a period known as the Stagnation Era.