The combination of Western sanctions and the collapse of oil prices is exposing deep structural problems in Russia’s economy, and it is showing the petro-state model of governance developed by Vladimir Putin is unsustainable. Yet just because Putin’s system can’t last doesn’t mean its demise is imminent.
At their workshop in Fryazino, a small town just outside Moscow that once lived off its military industry, Boris Bazhenov and Alexander Bobin are creating a small collection of industrial sculptures inspired by the steampunk movement.
Central Asia’s dependence on remittances from labor migrants in Russia has long given the Kremlin a powerful lever to manipulate the region’s politics. Now, new regulations are making finding work in Russia more costly and difficult for many Central Asian guest workers.
Visit a Moscow market, or courtyard, or construction site, and it’s easy to forget you are in Russia’s largest city, not Tajikistan or Uzbekistan. Central Asian languages resound all over the Russian capital.
It is the holiday season in Kyrgyzstan and thousands of laborers have come from Russia to celebrate with their families. But this year, some are unsure if they will return in spring, the traditional migration season.
The year-long unrest and conflict in Ukraine that first escalated and then subsided had repercussions from Turkey in the west to Kyrgyzstan in the east, with governments attempting to stifle their own dissent at home or dealing in uncertainty with Putin's Russia. Even as the value of the ruble tumbled, Russia continued to flex its political muscles in the region, secu