Archive for January, 2009


Good cop/Bad cop: the new Russian order

medvedev_putinPeople either describe the relationship between Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the President Dmitry Medvedev as purely hierarchical, or on the other hand as a potential struggle for power.

I believe the trend of their relations is somewhere between, perpetually swinging between loyalty and ambition. Not to forget Russia’s vital interests which are sacred for both Putin and Medvedev.

I sometime have the feeling that no one in Western countries take in consideration the fact that they are both true patriots (not to say nationalists!!!).

Im being voluntarily provocative in my posts title. Putin/Medvedevs relation can not be reduced to this Hollywood type duet.

Of course, Vladimir Putins popularity rates abroad have been seriously harmed by the wars in Chechnya and in Georgia, as well as by his steady and aggressive desire to bring Russia back to the front of the international scene.

On the contrary, Dmitry Medvedev is well known in Western chancelleries to be a moderate and somehow liberal man, with whom they believe, it will be easier to work with.

But what are we starting to experience? When it comes to Russia’s strategic interests and greatness, there are no any differences between the two men.

Whenever dealing with a matter touching the very heart of power, the two get perfectly along.

On another hand, we have also witnessed these past weeks a number of hints showing that Medvedev does not intend, if he has ever, to remain any longer in Putin’s shadow.

Few weeks ago, while Putin was at the World Economic Forum in Davos struggling against the US financial imperialism (for once, I think he gave this day a very iinspiring speech), Medvedev met the director of Novaya Gazeta.

It might seem a insignificant gesture, but people shall know that in todays Russia, Novaya Gazeta is the most (if not the only) critical newspaper against Russian authorities. 

Medvedev also ousted four governors since the beginning of the year, who had been appointed by… Putin. It might just be a coincidence, but these are signs in Russia of a more flexible and balanced relationship.

Will it last? Will it succeed? Only future can tell, but it is ignorance to believe that Russia is a monolithic country, fully devoted to Putin.


Gary Kasparov’s interview

I like this guy! I think this video is a perfect introduction to Russian politics (from an opposition’s perspective of course). Kasparov gives some of the keys of the current struggles in today’s Russia and makes it clear for an American public (not that easy I guess!!!)

I particularly love his way to take examples out of American politics to explain his point, it’s brilliant (but who would say Kasparov is not one of the most brilliant mind of our time).

Once that said, I also think that unfortunately, Kasparov has a very American perception of politics. I’m affraid he’s been out of the country for too long and that the standards he promotes can not fit with Russia.

I and many people in Russia who respect and admire Kasparov, believe that he goes too far comparing Putin’s administration to the Soviet era.

Kasparov is however a very ambitious man and we shall continue hearing about him in the months and years to come.


Welcome to my blog!!!

Hi everyone,

Let me introduce my blog. An expat for almost ten years in Moscow, I’d like to share with people my perception of Russia.

I’m getting a bit upset whenever I see news from Russia and I would like to give to my readers a more complex and yet more accurate vision of Russia and especially of Russian politics.

I hope you’ll enjoy this site.