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Robert Coalson

Blog Entries by Robert Coalson

Is Russia Ready To Make Nice?

Posted March 13, 2009 | 12:46:21 (EST)

Ever since U.S. Vice President Joe Biden brought forth the "reset-button" theory of U.S.-Russia relations last month, there has been a seeming flood of goodwill between the two countries. When NATO decided on March 5 to resume contacts with Russia and then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton...

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A Reality Check for Russia's President

Posted February 5, 2009 | 08:20:53 (EST)

On January 29, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev summoned Novaya gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov and the newspaper's co-owner, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, to the Kremlin. At that meeting, Medvedev broke his long silence about the murders of Novaya gazeta journalists, particularly the brutal gunning down in broad daylight of...

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Playing Devil's Advocate for Putin

Posted January 30, 2009 | 09:56:36 (EST)

Maybe tandems are supposed to teeter.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meets with opposition journalists and makes surprisingly enlightened utterances while Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is out of the country. Medvedev's supporters in the Duma are stalling and trying to amend a draft law submitted by Putin's supporters that would expand...

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Russia's Season Of Discontent

Posted January 23, 2009 | 04:32:13 (EST)

If writing or speaking about the potential for unrest or discontent in Russia is a crime, then law enforcement officials must be pretty busy these days. It is hard to open up a newspaper or news website without finding pieces warning of potential social flashpoints.

On the most general...

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Russia's Teetering Tandem

Posted January 6, 2009 | 04:13:30 (EST)

Political analysts in Russia have been writing that the emergence of the word "tandem" into everyday usage was a key domestic development of 2008. And, inevitably, since the emergence of this unique political arrangement -- in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev have worked out some sort...

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A Test for Russia's Unity

Posted January 3, 2009 | 08:56:41 (EST)

The long winter holiday season pretty much shuts everything down in Russia for a week or 10 days, which means that there is plenty of time to read all the "results of 2008" and "predictions for 2009" articles that are out there. And this year, in a time of global...

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The Myth Of Putin's Popularity

Posted December 30, 2008 | 10:45:36 (EST)

A lot has been made of the recent public unrest in Russia and the brutality with which the authorities have responded. If you haven't seen the videos yet, there are plenty on youtube, including this one and this one. My fellow blogger Brian Whitmore has written that...

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Moscow's Unseemly Haste To Amend

Posted December 23, 2008 | 03:49:01 (EST)

Russia's Federation Council on December 22 signed off on the ratification process of the controversial constitutional amendments that will extend the presidential term of office to six years and that of Duma deputies to five.

And what a whirlwind ride it has been!

President Dmitry Medvedev first proposed the...

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