Russia

Over 170 die in floods in southern Russia

By Clara Weiss, 10 July 2012

At least 170 people have died following flooding in the southern Russian region of Krasnodarsk at the weekend.

The definitive film record of the 1917 Russian Revolution

Mehring Books announces release of Tsar to Lenin in DVD format

5 July 2012

Tsar to Lenin, first released in 1937, ranks among the twentieth century’s greatest film documentaries. It presents an extraordinary cinematic account of the Russian Revolution—from the mass uprising which overthrew the centuries-old Tsarist regime in February 1917, to the Bolshevik-led insurrection eight months later that established the first socialist workers’ state, to the final victory in 1921 of the new Soviet regime over counter-revolutionary forces after a three-year-long civil war.

Protests in Russia: Liberals, pseudo-left march alongside far right

By Clara Weiss, 16 June 2012

Tens of thousands joined an anti-Kremlin demonstration in Moscow on Tuesday.

Russia prepares army for Syrian deployment

By Clara Weiss, 12 June 2012

President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian general staff to work out a plan for military operations outside Russia, including in Syria.

Increasing number of strikes in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 12 June 2012

Trade unions are attempting to stifle the wave of strikes that have broken out recently in Russia.

Russian president in talks with Berlin and Paris on Syria

By Clara Weiss, 7 June 2012

Russian president Vladimir Putin met with the German chancellor and the newly elected French president for talks centered on Syria.

Russian government cracks down on opposition

By Andrea Peters and Clara Weiss, 26 May 2012

President Vladimir Putin has responded with force to anti-Kremlin protests in recent weeks, as the new government prepares to implement a right-wing agenda.

G8 and NATO summits take place without Putin

By Clara Weiss, 19 May 2012

The last minute decision of Russian president Vladimir Putin to not attend this week’s G8 summit is an unmistakable sign of deteriorating relations between Moscow and NATO.

Russian plane crashes in Indonesia

By Clara Weiss, 11 May 2012

On Wednesday, a Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 on a demonstration flight crashed into the rock face of a volcano near the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

Vladimir Putin inaugurated as Russian president

By Clara Weiss, 8 May 2012

Putin’s third term as president will be marked by a deepening economic crisis and geopolitical tensions that threaten to escalate into a war between the major powers.

Russian general threatens pre-emptive attack on US missile defence system in Europe

By Clara Weiss, 7 May 2012

The recent threats by the Russian army chief to launch pre-emptive military strikes in eastern Europe underline the growing geopolitical tensions between the major powers.

Russia prepares for a US-Israeli military strike against Iran

By Clara Weiss, 28 April 2012

Russia has undertaken intensive preparations during the past few months for a possible military strike by Israel and the United States on Iran.

China and Russia hold joint naval exercises in North East Asia

By John Chan, 27 April 2012

Both China and Russia are deeply concerned at the aggressive US military build up in the Asia-Pacific region.

Strikes in the Russian auto industry

By Clara Weiss, 21 April 2012

Two strikes have taken place in the Russian car industry in recent weeks, showing the extremely tense social relations in the country.

Kremlin prepares austerity program

By Clara Weiss, 16 April 2012

After the conclusion of the election cycle and amid a deepening economic crisis, the Russian government is preparing major cuts in social spending

Seventeen migrant workers die in Moscow fire

By Clara Weiss, 7 April 2012

At least 17 migrant workers, apparently undocumented and from Central Asian republics, died in a horrific fire in the southwest of Moscow early Tuesday morning.

Putin wins Russian presidential election

By Andrea Peters, 5 March 2012

Vladimir Putin claimed a victory in Sunday’s presidential elections based, in a vote denounced by the opposition as fraudulent.

Economic crisis in Russia deepens

By Clara Weiss, 22 February 2012

In Russia in 2012, analysts expect economic decline and a further intensification of the capital exodus.

Appointment of new US ambassador heightens tensions with Russia

By Clara Weiss, 10 February 2012

The appointment of Michael McFaul as new US ambassador to Moscow has fueled fresh tensions between Washington and Moscow.

Russian Prime Minister Putin appeals to middle-class protesters

By Clara Weiss, 24 January 2012

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin presented his election program in an article published January 16 in the Russian daily Izvestia.

Pro-market opposition holds Moscow rally

By Clara Weiss, 27 December 2011

On Saturday, tens of thousands of people gathered in Moscow to protest the rigged Russian parliamentary elections of December 4.

Russian President Medvedev appeals to free-market parties amid protests

By Clara Weiss, 23 December 2011

In his annual address before the Federal Assembly on December 22, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced limited concessions to the liberal free-market opposition.

The Russian Socialist Movement—a political trap for the working class

By Vladimir Volkov, 23 December 2011

The Russian Socialist Movement (RSM), created at the beginning of this March, is trying to establish in Russia a culture of pseudo-left opportunism, completely hostile to the working class.

Putin dismisses election protests

By Clara Weiss, 17 December 2011

On a nationally televised call-in show Thursday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin responded to dozens of questions from callers by dismissing recent protests against election fraud and appealing to free market liberals.

Russian billionaire announces presidential run against Putin

By Niall Green, 14 December 2011

Russian billionaire oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov announced on December 12 that he would run in next year’s presidential elections against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Thousands protest against Kremlin regime

By Andrea Peters, 12 December 2011

Thousands of people joined protests on Saturday in cities across Russia in the largest antigovernment demonstrations in nearly two decades.

US officials threaten Russia amid post-election protests

By Alex Lantier, 9 December 2011

Amid deep popular disaffection and opposition protests against the regime of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin following Russia’s December 4 parliamentary elections, US officials are mounting a campaign to destabilize Russia.

Russian parliamentary elections highlight growing popular discontent

By Fred Williams, 7 December 2011

United Russia, the ruling party of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, suffered major losses in parliamentary elections on December 4.

US-Russian tensions mount

By Clara Weiss, 6 December 2011

Relations between Moscow and Washington have grown increasingly tense, with the latest dispute between the countries centering on Russian opposition to a US missile defense system in Europe.

Russia, Germany launch Nord Stream pipeline

By Clara Weiss, 26 November 2011

On November 8, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel launched the first line of the new Nord Stream pipeline.

Russian nationalists march in Moscow

By Clara Weiss, 11 November 2011

The recent commemoration of National Unity Day in Russia saw an outpouring of ultra-nationalism in Moscow, far-right sentiments that are a direct product of the promotion of Great Russian chauvinism by the Kremlin.

Russian Prime Minister Putin visits Beijing

By Alex Lantier, 13 October 2011

Putin wrapped up a two-day visit to Beijing Wednesday that focused on signing billions in contracts with Chinese firms.

Putin to run for Russian presidency

By Clara Weiss and Andrea Peters, 10 October 2011

The Kremlin’s recent decision to put forward Vladimir Putin as the leading candidate for the Russian presidency in 2012 is a response to a deepening economic and political crisis.

Russia and China veto UN resolution on Syria

By Peter Symonds, 6 October 2011

As in the case of Libya, the concern of the US and European powers in Syria is not democratic rights, but the advancement of their interests in the Middle East.

Russia officially recognises the National Transitional Council in Libya

By Clara Weiss, 8 September 2011

Following the Russian abstention in the UN resolution sanctioning NATO’s invasion of Libya, Moscow’s recent recognition of the Libyan TNC exposes mounting tensions within the Russian ruling elite.

The anti-worker program of the new “Right Cause” party in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 1 July 2011

At its June 25 extraordinary party conference, the Russian right-wing liberal party “Right Cause” elected its new leader, the Russian businessman and billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

SCO summit points to deepening global tensions

By John Chan, 22 June 2011

Ten years after its formation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is emerging as a potential rival bloc to the US and its European allies.

Pakistan’s President Zardari visits Moscow

By Niall Green, 19 May 2011

Amid growing tensions between Islamabad and Washington, Pakistan and Russia are developing close security and economic ties.

Tensions in Kremlin continue to mount

By Vladimir Volkov and Alex Lantier, 16 May 2011

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s May 6 call for a Russian National Popular Front reflects rising tensions in his relations with President Dmitri Medvedev.

BRICS summit denounces “use of force” against Libya

By John Chan, 18 April 2011

Global economic shifts are behind the push by the BRICS grouping for the Western powers to make room for the “emerging economies”.

Push for comprehensive military reform continues in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 13 April 2011

Forces allied to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev are continuing to push for significant changes to the Russian military.

China and Russia criticise Libyan bombing campaign

By John Chan, 25 March 2011

Moscow and Beijing are concerned that Washington is once again using its military might to advance its strategic ambitions at their expense.

Russia and the uprisings in the Middle East

By Andrea Peters, 2 March 2011

The ongoing wave of popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa has provoked alarm within the Kremlin, which fears the destabilizing impact of these events on Russia’s national interests in the region, the world economy and mass consciousness throughout the former Soviet sphere.

Japan and Russia in diplomatic row over disputed Kuril Islands

By John Chan, 17 February 2011

Talks between the Japanese and Russian foreign ministers broke down last week—another indication of sharp tensions in North East Asia.

Russia to step up repression after Moscow bombing

By Andrea Peters, 27 January 2011

The Russian government has promised to increase state repression in the aftermath of Monday’s deadly terror attack at Moscow’s international airport.

Moscow airport bombing kills 35

By Niall Green, 25 January 2011

An apparent suicide bombing in Moscow’s main international airport Monday killed at least 35 people and injured at least another 130.

Afghan president continues building ties with Moscow

By Niall Green, 24 January 2011

President Karzai paid his second visit in six months to Moscow, hoping to drum up support for his regime.

Utility prices surge across Russia

By Andrea Peters, 22 January 2011

Rising utility prices across Russia are pushing down real wages.

The decay of Russia’s infrastructure

By Vladimir Volkov, 20 January 2011

Russia’s new year began with a series of disasters pointing to the advanced state of decay of the country’s infrastructure.

The decay of Russia’s infrastructure

By Vladimir Volkov, 11 January 2011

Russia’s new year began with a series of disasters pointing to the advanced state of decay of the country’s infrastructure.

Severe weather and lack of preparation cause chaos in Moscow airports

By David Firestone, 3 January 2011

Thousands of passengers were left stranded in the airports, some spending several days waiting for their flights, leading to protests.

Oil tycoon Khodorkovsky convicted in Moscow trial

By Patrick Martin, 29 December 2010

The politically manipulated proceedings targeted Khodorkovsky, a Russian oil tycoon who has attracted the support of all the major imperialist powers, particularly the United States.

US Senate ratifies nuclear arms treaty with Russia

By Tom Eley, 23 December 2010

The US Senate on Wednesday approved the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia, which was heavily backed by the US military and foreign policy establishment.

Ethnic violence erupts in Russia

By Andrea Peters, 15 December 2010

Tensions remain high in Russia after violent anti-immigrant demonstrations by nationalists in several cities this past weekend.

WikiLeaks cable exposes NATO war plan against Russia

By Bill Van Auken, 9 December 2010

US State Department cables released by WikiLeaks have unveiled secret NATO plans for a US-led war against Russia over the Baltic states.

Russian government warns of new arms race

By Andrea Peters, 2 December 2010

President Medvedev used his annual address to a issue sharp warning to the US, while sidestepping any discussion of economic and political problems facing Russia.

World Bank report points to deepening social crisis in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 26 November 2010

The World Bank’s recent report on Russia points to the social crisis affecting the population as the result of the global economic downturn.

US takes extraordinary steps to extradite alleged Russian arms dealer

By Niall Green, 19 November 2010

The United States has exerted enormous political pressure on Thai authorities to extradite Viktor Bout, a Russian accused of being a major international arms dealer. Both Moscow and Washington greatly value Bout as a man who knows too much to be in the hands of their rivals.

Disputed Pacific islands spark tensions between Russia and Japan

By Andrea Peters, 5 November 2010

Diplomatic tensions have erupted between Russia and Japan, following a high-profile visit by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to the South Kuril Islands.

Dismissal of Moscow mayor reveals tensions in Russian ruling elite

By Vladimir Volkov and Andrea Peters, 9 October 2010

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev dismissed Moscow’s mayor Yuri Luzhkov September 28. One of the most powerful politicians in the country, Luzhkov had occupied his post for 18 years, virtually the entire post-Soviet period.

China and Russia strengthen strategic ties

By John Chan, 6 October 2010

Amid rising tensions between China and the US and its ally Japan, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed an agreement with Chinese President Hu Jintao for closer relations.

Russian president defends authoritarian rule in the name of “democracy”

By Vladimir Volkov and Andrea Peters, 23 September 2010

At a recent international forum, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev outlined his views on the meaning of democracy.

Russia to partially privatize major industries

By Niall Green, 30 August 2010

The Russian government announced last month that it would sell minority stakes in 11 state-owned companies.

The political and social roots of Russia’s wildfire disaster

By Andrea Peters, 21 August 2010

The wildfire disaster in Russia, which is now abating, has exposed the decay of social infrastructure resulting from the restoration of capitalism and the vast chasm that separates ordinary working people from the ruling elite.

Moscow suffocates as wildfires continue burning

By Andrea Peters, 10 August 2010

Moscow health department reports a near doubling of the city mortality rate, as heavy smoke caused by burning wildfires continues to blanket the area. The public health crisis is a product of the dismantling of Russia’s public infrastructure and the semi-privatization of the country’s forestlands.

Russia bans grain exports, world wheat prices soar

By Andrea Peters, 7 August 2010

The Russian government has banned all grain exports, in response to widespread crop failures caused by a severe drought. The agricultural crisis has sent wheat prices soaring in Russia and internationally.

Forest fires kill 50 in central Russia

By David Firestone, 6 August 2010

Forest and peat fires, resulting from sustained record high temperatures and unusually dry weather, have been raging across central Russia for over a week.

Russia to expand military aid to US occupation of Afghanistan

By Niall Green, 30 July 2010

The Kremlin has announced plans to begin shipping arms to support the US occupation of Afghanistan along the Northern Distribution Network that passes through Russia.

Russian government to slash budget deficit

By Andrea Peters, 21 July 2010

In recent weeks the Russian government has announced its intention to slash the country’s federal deficit by half by 2013, a move that will require drastic reductions in government spending.

Russian-EU summit produces few agreements

By Niall Green, 5 June 2010

The Russian-EU summit held last weekend produced no significant agreements as both sides attempted to shore up their relative positions in the face of Europe’s deepening financial crisis.

Tensions build in wake of Russian mine disaster

By Fred Williams, 18 May 2010

In the nine days since two explosions killed scores of miners at the Raspadskaya mine a political crisis has been building in the Kemerovo region in southwestern Siberia.

Ninety feared dead in Russian coal mine explosions

By Fred Williams, 11 May 2010

As many as 90 miners and rescuers have died in a Siberian mine disaster. As in the recent West Virginia disaster, the causes are bound up with increasing productivity and a lowering of safety standards.

Moscow underground bombings linked to crisis in North Caucasus

By Niall Green, 7 April 2010

The Moscow underground double suicide bombing, March 29, in which 40 people were killed, was a tragic and reactionary product of two decades of brutal warfare and repression by the Kremlin in the North Caucasus republics.

Train bombing in Moscow kills dozens

By Andrea Peters, 30 March 2010

Bombs exploded in two Moscow metro stations on Monday morning, killing at least 38 people and injuring dozens more. The Kremlin is blaming separatists from the north Caucasus and is using the incidents as an opportunity to step up repression.

Russia and India improve relations

By Deepal Jayasekera, 23 March 2010

A short visit by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to India on March 12 resulted in a slew of bilateral agreements and improved strategic relations.

Russian President Medvedev signs strategic, business deals in France

By Kumaran Ira, 10 March 2010

France and Russia signed energy, military, and industrial deals as France tried to rally Russian support against Iran and develop its influence in eastern Europe.

Rising unemployment fuels social tensions in Russia

By Andrea Peters, 20 February 2010

A sharp rise in unemployment in Russia, which now stands at 9.2 percent, is leading to growing social discontent.

Russian economic crisis fuels political tensions

By Andrea Peters, 8 February 2010

The Russian economy declined dramatically over the course of 2009, according to recently released data from the federal statistics service.

Egor Gaidar (1956-2009): Architect of capitalist restoration in Russia

By Vladimir Volkov and Andrea Peters, 18 January 2010

One month ago, Egor Gaidar, a leading figure in the restoration of capitalism in Russia, died of a heart attack. The policies he implemented had a disastrous impact on the country and resulted in an immense growth in social inequality.

Russia announces expansion of nuclear capabilities, sanctions pre-emptive nuclear strikes

By Andrea Peters, 7 January 2010

In late December, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev announced that his government intended to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons.

Great power rivalries inflame Nagorno-Karabakh dispute

By Niall Green, 23 December 2009

The scramble for control of access to the oil and gas riches of Central Asia threatens to reanimate the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

China opens a major gas pipeline from Central Asia

By John Chan, 21 December 2009

The opening of a gas pipeline linking Turkmenistan to western China is another sign of rivalry among the major powers for domination of energy-rich Central Asia.

Violence escalates in Russia’s North Caucasus republics

By Niall Green, 15 December 2009

Russia’s North Caucasus republics continue to experience ongoing insurgent attacks and abuses by government forces, as the region remains mired in instability and corruption.

At least 118 killed in Russian nightclub fire

By Andrea Peters, 9 December 2009

A fire at a nightclub in Perm, Russia on Saturday night has taken the lives of 118 people so far, with over a hundred more still hospitalized and dozens among them listed in critical condition.

Russia proposes new organization of European states

By Niall Green, 9 December 2009

Reflecting tensions and antagonisms building up in Europe, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev is calling for a new European treaty to replace the existing structures of NATO and the OSCE.

Russia: Economic crisis fuels differences within Kremlin

By Andrea Peters, 25 November 2009

The impact of the global financial crisis on the Russian economy is fueling conflicts within the country’s ruling elite over the administration of state resources.

Russia: Workers at AvtoVaz protest against mass layoffs

By Vladimir Volkov, 24 October 2009

Following a wave of labor actions across Russia in the summer and early fall, workers at auto giant AvtoVaz are protesting mass layoffs.

EU report states Georgia started 2008 war with Russia

Georgian attack unjustifiable under international law

By Niall Green, 2 October 2009

Following a 10-month investigation, a European Union report has found Georgia the aggressor in its 2008 war with Russia, directly refuting claims made not only by the Georgia government, but also by its backers in Washington and the US media.

Mass sackings in Russia

AvtoVAZ to lay off 28,000, Aeroflot 2,200

By Niall Green, 1 October 2009

Russia’s largest car maker will axe more than one quarter of its total workforce, destroying 27,600 jobs. In a double blow, Aeroflot airline announced that it plans to cut 2,215 staff.

Economic crisis, geopolitical rivalries overshadow Ukrainian election campaign

By Niall Green, 23 September 2009

As in the disputed presidential election of November 2004, bitter disputes between rival sections of the ruling elite—and the interests of foreign powers—are dominating the campaign for Ukraine’s presidential election to be held in January.

Venezuela, Russia in $2.2 billion arms deal

By Bill Van Auken, 15 September 2009

Sunday’s announcement by President Hugo Chávez that Venezuela has reached a $2.2 billion deal to purchase Russian tanks and missiles is symptomatic of the growing international tensions in Latin America.

Georgian crisis heightens US-Russian tensions over Ukraine

By Niall Green, 29 August 2009

The crisis in the Caucasus provoked by Washington’s belligerent policy toward Russia may soon be eclipsed by growing tensions over the future of Ukraine.

Putin’s ten years in power

By Vladimir Volkov, 28 August 2009

The tenth anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s accession to the summit of political power in Russia—first as prime minister, then president, then again as prime minister—is an occasion for an overall evaluation of the past decade and its place in modern Russian history.

Hydroelectric catastrophe in Russia

Latest industrial accident points to serious infrastructure failures

By Niall Green, 24 August 2009

An explosion at Russia’s largest hydroelectric power station August 17 has killed or injured scores of workers, while exposing the breakdown of basic Infrastructure.

The failure of Russia’s free-market pension reform

By Vladimir Volkov, 17 August 2009

The dismal failure of Putin’s pension reform is having a profound impact on the social consciousness of the Russian working class.

One year since Russian-Georgian war

Georgia remains focus of Washington-Moscow tensions

By Niall Green, 7 August 2009

On August 7 last year, long escalating tensions between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia erupted into full-scale war. One year on from the war, tensions between the two sides remain high.

Great power rivalries and the Nabucco pipeline project

By Niall Green, 1 August 2009

The Nabucco natural gas pipeline will traverse Turkey to supply Western Europe, bypassing Russia.

Violence increases in Russia’s Caucasus republics

By Niall Green, 31 July 2009

A recent spike in violence between Russian security forces and local militants indicates that Moscow has no plans to loosen its military grip in the North Caucasus.

Journalist critical of government killed in Chechnya

By Niall Green, 18 July 2009

Human rights activist Natalia Estemirova, a prominent critic of the pro-Kremlin government in Chechnya, was abducted and shot Wednesday while investigating alleged abuses by government-backed militias in the province.

Limited concessions and unresolved tensions after US-Russia summit

By Niall Green, 8 July 2009

The US-Russia summit marked an attempt to improve relations between the two countries, but did not resolve any of the fundamental differences between them.