Russia

Russian court convicts opposition leader Alexei Navalny

By Clara Weiss, 22 July 2013

On Thursday, a district court in the city of Kirov sentenced liberal oppositionist Alexei Navalny to 5 years in jail for embezzlement.

China and Russia hold naval exercise in Sea of Japan

By Ben McGrath, 16 July 2013

Naval drills between China and Russia, monitored by nearby US and Japan aircraft, highlight the growing tensions in North East Asia.

Nationalists stage violent protests in southern Russia

By Clara Weiss, 15 July 2013

Right-wing forces are exploiting the social crisis in Russia to divert the population’s discontent into reactionary channels.

European Union’s Nabucco pipeline project aborted

By Clara Weiss, 13 July 2013

The Nabucco pipeline project, which was to have transported gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe in order to bypass Russia, has been cancelled.

Russian government implements austerity as economy falters

By Andrea Peters, 10 July 2013

Russia’s minister of finance announced plans last week to address a $33 billion budget shortfall with cuts targeting the working class.

Russian government attacks public health system

By Clara Weiss, 24 June 2013

The Russian government is pushing through massive cuts and privatisation in the health care system.

Russian parliament passes anti-homosexual laws

By Clara Weiss, 18 June 2013

The laws are part of a campaign by the Kremlin to appeal to nationalist sentiment and exploit right-wing forces such as the Russian Orthodox Church.

Russian economy threatened by recession

By Clara Weiss, 13 June 2013

The Kremlin now claims the economy will grow by just 2.4 percent.

Russia: Deputy Prime Minister Surkov resigns

By Clara Weiss, 16 May 2013

On May 8, President Vladimir Putin approved the “voluntary resignation” of Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov, universally regarded as “number two in the Kremlin”.

Russian authorities put opposition blogger Alexei Navalny on trial

By Clara Weiss, 8 May 2013

On April 17, the trial opened against blogger Alexei Navalny, who is charged with embezzlement.

Moscow calls Obama’s human rights bluff

By Bill Van Auken, 16 April 2013

If ever there was a case of the pot calling the kettle black, the Obama administration’s indicting of Moscow for human rights violations is it.

Putin in Germany: Rising tensions between Moscow and Berlin

By Clara Weiss, 13 April 2013

The relationship between Moscow and Berlin is characterized simultaneously by growing economic cooperation and increasing political tensions.

Russia presses ahead with the rebuilding of its military forces

By Clara Weiss, 2 April 2013

President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials have repeatedly stressed that the upgrading of Russia’s military capacity is a top priority of Kremlin policy.

The strange death of Boris Berezovsky

By Joseph Santolan, 26 March 2013

Berezovsky was the personification of the plutocrats whose wealth was acquired through the looting of the Russian economy after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Brutal exploitation of immigrant labor in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 15 March 2013

A Human Rights Watch report documents the exploitation of immigrant workers employed in the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Social and political tensions mount in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 5 March 2013

Russian president Putin is using an anti-corruption campaign to reorganise the Russian ruling elite and channel the anger of the middle class.

American NGOs pull out of Russia

By David Levine, 26 February 2013

A series of events over the past two months point to a marked deterioration in US-Russian relations.

Science, society and the Chelyabinsk meteor

By Don Barrett, 18 February 2013

The meteor explosion over Chelyabinsk, Russia marks the first conjunction of a frequent and natural occurrence—the collision of the Earth with debris left over from the formation of the solar system—with a modern metropolis.

Kremlin responds to slowdown in economic growth with deeper social cuts

By Clara Weiss, 7 February 2013

The budget for 2013-2015 provides for massive cuts in the spheres of culture, education and health, while the share going to military spending will rise to 6.1 percent of GDP.

Russian government intensifies witch-hunt of migrant workers

By Clara Weiss, 18 January 2013

Against a background of growing social tensions, the Russian government is stepping up its anti-immigrant measures in close collaboration with fascist groups.

Russian President Putin’s address to parliament promotes nationalism, austerity

By Clara Weiss, 27 December 2012

President Vladimir Putin delivered the first speech of his new term in office to the federal assembly.

Russia starts construction of the South Stream pipeline

By Clara Weiss, 14 December 2012

The South Stream pipeline is of considerable political importance: it will undermine the monopoly position of Ukraine as a transit country for gas supplies and ensure that Europe continues to receive a large proportion of its gas from Russia.

Russian President Putin advocates ban on headscarves in schools

By Clara Weiss, 24 October 2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin has publicly spoken out in favor of a ban on headscarves in Russian schools.

Russian parliament expels Putin adversary

By Clara Weiss, 24 September 2012

The powerful pro-Putin faction in the Russian State Duma has banished a leading critic of the regime.

EU launches anti-monopoly suit against Russia's Gazprom

By Clara Weiss, 19 September 2012

Commercial conflicts between European Union energy firms and the Russian gas supplier Gazprom will inevitably raise political tensions.

Why Western politicians support Pussy Riot

By Clara Weiss, 25 August 2012

Western leaders are using the Pussy Riot affair to pressure the Russian government.

Russian governor deploys Cossack militia against immigrants

By Clara Weiss, 24 August 2012

The governor of the southern Russian Krasnodar region announced he intends to deploy a Cossack militia against illegal immigrants from the Caucasus.

Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot jailed for singing anti-Putin song

By Vladimir Volkov, 18 August 2012

Three members of the Russian punk rock group Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in jail for singing songs critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Record temperatures and forest fires in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 15 August 2012

Record temperatures and fires in Russia have led to the country’s worst harvest since 2010, triggering a food crisis.

Flooding in Krymsk: Kremlin covers up causes and consequences

By Clara Weiss, 20 July 2012

The reaction of the population to the flood disaster in Krymsk shows the extent of the social divide in Russia and the level of hatred for the government and the oligarchy.

Kremlin prepares for a second economic crisis

By Clara Weiss, 12 July 2012

As a result of the stagnation in the eurozone the economic crisis in Russia has worsened considerably.

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.