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. Last Updated: 10/24/2014
Articles by Nikolai Petrov

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Watch Out for the Post-Olympics Syndrome

The question is not whether the Kremlin will start a crackdown on the opposition, now that Russia is out of the international spotlight following the Sochi Olympics.

Davos and Russia's Regions

Recent events in Ukraine and the differences between its east and west force us to take a new look at the role regions play in the process of political and societal development.

Who Profits From Terrorism?

The end of the year was marred by a series of high-profile terrorist attacks both within the North Caucasus and close to its borders. First, a car packed with explosives blew up in Pyatigorsk. That was followed by two major explosions in Volgograd.

The Merging Mania Has Reached the Courts

Arguably the most important event taking place within President Vladimir Putin's regime today is the merging of the Supreme Court with the Supreme Arbitration Court.

Mayors Beware

A funny message has been circulating on Russian social media networks. If you do a search using the words "mayors arrested," you will get multiple results for the cities of Rybinsk, Berdsk, Yaroslavl, Makhachkala and Astrakhan.

The Pioneering Far East

Russia has taken a more confrontational approach toward Europe and is attempting to turn instead toward Asia. A particularly revealing evidence of this shift is the new Far East policy adopted by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during a recent government commission session held in Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

Open Season on Governors

No sooner had one election ended than the Kremlin began preparing for new elections to be held one year from now. Former Yamal-Nenets autonomous district Deputy Governor Vladimir Vladimirov has been appointed as the new governor of the Stavropol region, replacing former Governor Valery Zerenkov.

Medvedev's Usual Patter in Sochi

The 12th Sochi International Investment Forum brought together numerous senior officials and dozens of regional governors.

Authorities Use Fair Means in Rigged Elections

Elections will definitely reappear in Russia at some point, but it is still too early to say it has already happened. The recent elections in Moscow and Yekaterinburg were more of a test run, and although they did not cause any radical changes in the country overall, they do serve as positive examples to be emulated elsewhere.

Elections Show the End of One-Party System

The Kremlin is clearly worried, and not just about the mayoral race in Moscow. The anxiety can be seen in the fact that President Vladimir Putin skipped his vacation in order to spend two weeks meeting with a dozen senior politicians from regions where elections will be held.

Migration Service Boosts Russia's Police State

On Aug. 1, а tent camp was set up in Moscow for several hundred Vietnamese and Tajik illegal migrants detained in raids.

Navalny as an Icebreaker

After a Kirov court sentenced opposition leader Alexei Navalny to five years in prison on July 18, an unauthorized rally of about 10,000 Navalny supporters gathered in Moscow.

Failed North Caucasus Policy

Events of the last few months have created the strong impression that something serious is brewing in the North Caucasus.

Putin's Economic Reshuffle Won't Help

The recent reshuffle among the government's top economics officials was intended to stimulate economic growth and push the country out of its current stagnation.

Putin on the Front Burner

Two full years after it was first created, the All-Russia People's Front gained official status only last week under the new name of the People's Front for Russia.

The Fall of Dagestan's Political Legend

Moscow maintains a delicate balance of power among ethnic clans in Dagestan by essentially buying their loyalty in return for relative calm.

United Russia Primed for Primaries

United Russia started primaries last week in most of the regions that will hold elections on Sept. 8.

What Lies Ahead for Russia in the Next Decade

After Putin's re-election, Russia faces two more key junctures. The Kremlin will have to deal with limited revenues and an election cycle.

Putin's Well-Scripted Chat With the People

President Vladimir Putin's recent televised call-in show forced the country to recall the almost forgotten entertainment genre in which the national leader speaks directly with his people.

How Did Putin Conjure Up $1Bln for NGOs?

During President Vladimir Putin's visit to Germany last week, he gave a television interview in which he stated that 654 nongovernmental organizations in Russia had received a total of $1 billion in foreign aid in the four months since the State Duma had passed a new law on NGOs.

Why the Kremlin Is Targeting NGOs

The authorities have initiated an unprecedented campaign against nongovernmental organizations, conducting burdensome inspections of their offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Perm, Krasnodar, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don and dozens of other cities.

Why Putin Should Dissolve the Duma

The latest fashion for Russian officials is to cite political roots stretching as far back as possible.

Switching Governors in Midstream

The Kremlin continued its campaign of replacing regional heads in the run-up to gubernatorial elections in September with the dismissal of former Zabaikalsky region Governor Ravil Geniatulin, who has held that post for almost 20 years, and the appointment of Just Russia State Duma Deputy Konstantin Ilkovsky as acting governor.

Putin Continues to Feed the Siloviki

According to tradition, Russia's law enforcement officials started off the year by summing up the previous 12 months and making plans for the coming year at board meetings of the Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service.

The Siloviki's Front Man in Dagestan

One year before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and 12 months before the term of former Dagestani leader Magomedsalam Magomedov was to expire, the Kremlin appointed a new leader in the volatile republic.

More Protests in 2013

The first weeks of 2013 have already shown that relations between Russian authorities and society will be no better this year than they were in 2012.

Putin and the Regions

Although President Vladimir Putin's state-of-the-nation address last week was largely an amalgamation of vague promises devoid of strategic vision, his comments on the regions were concrete and meaningful.

Putin's Undemocratic Federation Council

Even when the Kremlin introduces a modest legislative initiative geared toward political reform, it often becomes ­watered-down and ineffective by the time it gets put into practice. This is precisely what happened with the new bill on amending how Federation Council senators are selected. The bill passed both chambers of parliament and now awaits the president's signature.

Kremlin Filters Will Change in Next Elections

The gubernatorial elections held last month in five regions were important primarily as a test run of the Kremlin's new system of "filtering" the selection of governors. The experiment was largely successful. But right after those elections, presidential administration head Sergei Ivanov announced that the municipal filter was too strict and would have to be significantly relaxed.

Putin's Political Volcano

The Kremlin had hoped that after the March presidential election gave President Vladimir Putin a decisive victory, the protest movement would die down, the regime would gain political legitimacy for another six years, and Putin would have a free hand to continue with business as usual. But that didn't happen.
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