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Simon Shuster
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Entries by Simon Shuster

Russian Workers Protest Pussy Riot, Their Boss Explains Why

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2012 | 5:05 PM

In early October, the employees of Russia's largest ammonia manufacturer, TogliattiAzot, staged a demonstration against the members of Pussy Riot, whom everyone with a TV or an Internet connection has probably heard of by now. Just to remind those who haven't (but are somehow still reading this on...

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No More Laughs: Russian TV Yanks Putin Cartoon on NYE, Mocks Obama Instead

(1) Comments | Posted January 4, 2012 | 4:30 PM

Two years ago, on New Year's Eve of 2010, the Kremlin loosened the gag on its central television network just enough for Putin to appear on-screen as a tambourine-jangling cartoon. The butt of the joke was mostly Putin's sidekick, President Dmitry Medvedev. But still, no such idolatry had...

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Russia's Revolutionaries are Walking Into a Trap

(3) Comments | Posted December 30, 2011 | 12:15 PM

With the holiday stupor nearly upon us, the Russian opposition movement is sinking into the state of suspended animation that besets most of the drinking Russian world between Dec. 31 and Jan 14. Although small rallies and pickets persist, nobody is talking much anymore about the rigged elections...

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The Big Chechen Horse Trade: Murder in Dubai Made Easy

(3) Comments | Posted December 23, 2010 | 4:49 AM

In February, I remember being impressed with how Dubai police handled the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the Hamas commander who got whacked by Mossad. Although their headgear would probably get snagged on a fence if it ever came down to an alley chase, the local cops took less...

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Russian Shootout: Gangsters Raid Farm in Siberia, Police Shrug

(6) Comments | Posted December 10, 2010 | 4:56 AM

In August, a group of ten masked gangsters armed with Kalashnikovs stormed a farm in a hollow of Siberia. Its owner did his best to fight them off with a shotgun, and survived the forty gunshot wounds he reportedly sustained. But his son got an axe to the head, his...

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Putin and Medvedev's Confusing Breakfast (PHOTOS): What the Hell Are They Trying to Say?

(9) Comments | Posted October 3, 2010 | 12:55 PM

Kremlinology can be a lot like astrology, or like holding your ear to a box that emits all kinds of random tunes and gurgling noises, but never opens to let you see what's inside, or what any of it means. It's enough to drive a person mad. And on Friday,...

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Putin, ask yourself: Where did Medvedev get such chutzpah?

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2010 | 8:26 AM

In the fall of 2007, when Vladimir Putin was choosing his stand-in for the Russian presidency, my editor at The Moscow Times got the idea to profile every one of the candidates. It was a pretty long list, maybe eight people in all, and nobody wanted Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedev was...

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The Kremlin Continues Shaping a Group-Think Generation

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2010 | 6:24 PM

Even the cynics might have felt a sputter of optimism when the Kremlin youth group Nashi, Vladimir Putin's militant pep squad, announced its plans for this year's doctrinal summer camp at lake Seliger. It would be a kinder, more open Nashi, they told us. There would be foreigners...

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Putin's Pee Joke: It Would Be Funny if it Weren't so Sad

(17) Comments | Posted July 24, 2010 | 8:16 PM

Say what you will about the guy, but Vladimir Putin is a master of the populist farce. On Friday, in the middle of the worst heatwave Russia's ever had, he paid a visit to one of the country's shabbier beaches in one of its shabbiest towns, Chelyabinsk, a porcupine of...

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Iran's leader calls Russia an American stooge

(18) Comments | Posted July 24, 2010 | 11:49 AM

On Friday, Russia drew the kind of fire from the Iranian President that he usually reserves for the worst of the kafirs in the United States. As reported today by Iran's Fars news agency, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his Russian counterpart had joined the show "written and...

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Putin's Paranoia: Moscow Protest Reveals a Fanatical Fear of Dissent

(13) Comments | Posted May 31, 2010 | 9:15 PM

If a visitor to Moscow had just one day to see Russia's political system in action, Monday would have been as good as it gets. In part that's because riot police were again hoisting protestors up like human battering rams and throwing them into paddy wagons. But that's...

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Obama's Betrayal of Georgia Kind of Makes Sense

(90) Comments | Posted May 18, 2010 | 8:54 AM

Leading into the office of Mikheil Saakashvili, the president of Georgia, there is a room lined with more than a hundred photographs. Bill Clinton is there, and so are John McCain, Condoleezza Rice and, quite prominently, Richard Gere. Right beside the door, at center stage, there's a shot of George...

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Katyagate: Russia's Hooker Trap Snags Another Kremlin Critic, and This Time it Hurts

(14) Comments | Posted April 23, 2010 | 12:14 AM

It was funny at first, but now a Kremlin critic with some actual moral standing has gotten caught up in the latest Russian honey trap, which has been baiting one opposition figure after another with hookers, coke, weed, dildoes and hidden cameras, or some sloppy combination of these,...

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Obama's Russian Miracle: How the Kremlin Backed Down on the Nuclear Treaty

(11) Comments | Posted April 10, 2010 | 7:47 PM

The treaty Barack Obama signed with his Russian counterpart on April 8 is an astounding victory for the White House, perhaps the greatest one to come out of Obama's foreign policy so far. On the face of it, it may not have looked all that revolutionary. The treaty promises to...

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Russia's Osama bin Laden: How the Most-Wanted Terrorists Escape Capture for So Long

(9) Comments | Posted April 1, 2010 | 1:25 PM

How is it that with all of our spy planes, satellites, precision bombs and special forces, we still cannot capture or kill one Muslim fundamentalist hiding out in a single stretch of mountains? It is a question that has troubled Americans for almost a decade since the attacks of September...

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