Soccer's 2014 FIFA World Cup came to an exciting conclusion on July 13 with Germany's 1-0 victory over Argentina in extra time. Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the final, sitting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
Judging by the long line outside the Russian Embassy in Tashkent one recent afternoon, new Russian legislation offering citizenship to Russian-speakers is prompting lots of individuals in Uzbekistan to ponder emigration. Some see a chance to escape economic woes; others, stymied by Uzbekistan’s own Byzantine bureaucracy, want to seize on an opportunity to obtain a proper passport.
A new Russian law criminalizing the failure to declare foreign passports has raised fears of a fresh Kremlin crackdown on opponents at home, but Russian expatriates technically excluded from the statute are now scrambling to determine whether they must comply as well.
As it turns out, they may not be off the hook quite yet.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation recently offering fast-track citizenship to Russian speakers anywhere within the former Soviet Union. Analysts believe the law is motivated by a desire to enhance Moscow’s influence in Ukraine and elsewhere, but it may have unintended consequences for the Kremlin in Central Asia.
With the Kremlin’s attention fixated on Ukraine, the Caucasus Emirate, a terrorist group fighting to establish an independent Islamic state in the North Caucasus, threatens to undermine Russian domestic security in new ways.
MOSCOW -- It will take some time to revise Russia's history textbooks to reflect the annexation of Crimea. But that's not preventing the authorities from moving quickly to ensure the country's school curriculum sticks to a politically -- and patriotically -- correct line on the issue.
As the reality of the Vladimir Putin’s Crimean land grab sinks in, the most alarming aspect of it all is not the ease with which Russian troops seized the peninsula, but the way the Kremlin mobilized Russian public opinion behind its agenda.