Friday, November 15, 2013

Gays caused Chelyabinsk meteorite? Russian LGBT community accuses... | Can a homophobic government create a homophobic populace? On State-Sponsored Homophobia in Russia | Social (In)Queery (Nov 14, 2013 12:10) | UK-Russia Year of Culture unveiled - BBC News (Nov 14, 2013 07:24) | The crumbling Kremlin? - The Economist (blog) (Nov 13, 2013 12:32)

RIA Novosti / Anatoly Medved

» Gays caused Chelyabinsk meteorite? Russian LGBT community accuses TV ... - RT
14/11/13 23:03 from Russia - Google News
RT Gays caused Chelyabinsk meteorite? Russian LGBT community accuses TV ... RT In a reference to the Old Testament story of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, famous journalist Arkady Mamontov said on his program that the fall of the Chel...

On State-Sponsored Homophobia in Russia

Guest post by Russian sociologist, Anastasia Tsaturyan.
Can a homophobic government create a homophobic populace?
On State-Sponsored Homophobia in Russia | Social (In)Queery (Nov 14, 2013 12:10) 

LGBTQ Nation
MOSCOW — A Russian newspaper is the first organization to come under scrutiny for alleged violation of the country's anti-gay “propaganda” law after it published an interview with a openly gay middle schoolteacher... In the profile of Yermoshkin ...
Olga Bakhayeva, a 24-year-old history teacher, was pressured into resigning from her job at a school in the Urals city of Magnitogorsk following a stream of hate mail attributed to Timur and several complaints to local officials, including prosecutors ... 

Human rights activists warn these “KGB-like” tactics are an ominous escalation in the assault on LGBT rights ahead of the Olympic games. posted on November 13, 2013 at 9:41pm EST ... Since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency last year, Russian ...

BBC News UK- Russia Year of Culture unveiled BBC News Russia and the UK are teaming up ...
Financial Times (registration) (blog) The crumbling Kremlin? The Economist (blog) IN TH...
The relatively low attendance reflected the sense of weariness among the oppositionmovement, which has been losing its energy after a series of major anti-Putin demonstrations in Moscow in the winter of 2011-2012, which attracted 100,000 or more.

Chattanooga Times Free Press
People carry a banner " End Putinism, Free prisoners " during an opposition rally in downtown Moscow, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. Several thousand opposition supporters are marching through the Russian capital to demand the release of people they consider ...

American Thinker

Putin came to office promising to liquidate Russia's corrupt class of oligarchs, but what he in fact did was liquidate only those who sought to challenge the Kremlin's authority. The sun at the center of this universe ofcorruption; it's rumored that ...

Africa Intelligence (subscription)
In addition, the firm's founder, Gennadi Timchenko, a close friend of Russian president Vladimir Putin, hopes to also diversify his business by making his first acquisitions in exploration and production. Gabon, new hub - Signed in June and expected to ...

Africa Intelligence (subscription)
Brazzaville is keen to relaunch several projects with Gunvor, Gazprom, Stroytransgaz and the Russian energy ministry, including construction of a gas pipeline between Pointe-Noire and Oyo and the creation of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the oil ...

Upstream Online

The Enel deal is said to have increased tensions between Russian oil barons Sechin, a long-standing ally of Putin, and Timchenkoas the president seeks to boost the fortunes of the economically significant sector, although Gunvor denied any rift ...

Russian pop star honored by President Vladimir Putin works as a money courier for the international crime syndicate known as the Brothers' Circle, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. Grigory Lepsveridze, who goes by the stage name Grigory Leps ...
Posters of Russian President Vladimir Putinhave become a common sight around the country, with the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper even publishing photographs on Thursday of a "Thanks, Putin" poster hung by residents of Luxor. Sergey Lavrov and Nabil ...

Arab News
Earlier this year, confronted during a televised question-and-answer session that his crackdown against opponents echoed Stalinism, a bristling Putin responded: “Stalinism is linked with the cult of personalityand massive violations of the law, with ...

Deutsche Welle
He does not believe that Snowden is working with Russian intelligence. Putin, himself a former KGB agent, also denies Snowden is cooperating with intelligence services. Pifer vehemently disagrees. Snowden, he believes, is a defector, not a whistleblower.

Yanukovych has held at least three secretive meetings with Russian President VladimirPutin in the last two weeks, and in their wake the Ukrainian leader's enthusiasm for Euro-integration seems to be waning. "The EU has been right to say that ... So ...

Even in prison the anti-Putinist punk rock group Pussy Riot is dangerous. The Interfax news agency reported that Russia's prison ...."You should know that when it comes to politics, I am a Stalinist." Colonel Kulagin, the other head administrator ...


By which de Waal means a more prominent role for the church and the return of the Stalincult. Literally. One wonders how Georgians will take that insulting profile of ... He would rather play at ad hominem political horse-race comparisons between ...

Эхо Москвы в Санкт-Петербурге

Согласитесь, что это было коренным изменением точки зрения на путинизмчеловеком, так долго стоически стоявшим на последней линии его обороны. «Путинизм – дерьмо», – упрямо годами повторял Радзиховский, – «но он защищает нас от ...

Council on Foreign Relations

It seems only yesterday that President Vladimir Putin seized the world's attention with his proposal to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control. To many, the fancy footwork had a clear message: Russia was back in the diplomatic big ...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pope Francis on Tuesday met with the foreign minister of the Russian Orthodox Church ahead of a Nov. 25 visit to the Vatican by President Vladimir Putin | Artist Mutilates Self as Putin Paralyzes Russia - Bloomberg | Moscow is going full-out to transform itself into an international financial center

» Moscow Strives to Make Itself a Global Financial Center
12/11/13 13:16 from The Moscow Times Top Stories
Moscow is going full-out to transform itself into an international financial center, building business centers and overhauling its regulations to present an open face to investors, but the city's hopes are undermined by the lack of a ski...

» Two Killed In Russian Space Center Accident
12/11/13 12:32 from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Two soldiers died and three others received toxic burns on November 12 during a chemical spill at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwestern Russia.

» European rights body urges Russia to reform judiciary - Reuters
12/11/13 12:13 from Russia - Google News
RT European rights body urges Russia to reform judiciary Reuters MOSCOW (Reuters) - A leading European human rights body urged President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to overhaul Russia's creaking judicial system, long criticized as vuln...

» Artist Mutilates Self as Putin Paralyzes Russia - Bloomberg
12/11/13 11:51 from Russia - Google News
Bloomberg Artist Mutilates Self as Putin Paralyzes Russia Bloomberg Reactions to the radical act, which Pavlensky meant to be a "metaphor of the apathy, political indifference and fatalism of modern Russian society," ranged fro..

» Pope-Russian Orthodox Talks Precede Putin Visit
12/11/13 10:03 from The Moscow Times Top Stories
Pope Francis on Tuesday met with the foreign minister of the Russian Orthodox Church ahead of a Nov. 25 visit to the Vatican by President Vladimir Putin.

» Train To Nowhere: Russian Prison Transfers Are Secretive, Arduous Affair
12/11/13 09:24 from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
The sudden removal of jailed Greenpeace activists from Murmansk and the rail journey odyssey of Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have put a spotlight on the murky and stealthy business of prisoner transfers in Russia.

Russian and US law enforcement officers will meet in Moscow this week to discuss the joint search for criminals


FBI and Dep of Justice to visit Russia to discuss joint search for criminals

FBI and Dep of Justice to visit Russia to discuss joint search for criminals

Russian and US law enforcement officers will meet in Moscow this week to discuss the joint search for criminals, a source from the Russian Prosecutor General's Office told Interfax on Monday.

The Office has initiated the second session of the Russian-US working party, which was established at a meeting of Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika and US Attorney General Eric Holder in May 2012.
The working party will convene in Moscow on November 14-15.
"The sides will discuss reciprocal legal assistance and cooperation in the search for wanted criminals and in the investigation of crimes," the Prosecutor General's Office said.
The US delegation will be comprised of officers of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, while Russia will be represented by officers of the Investigative Committee and the Federal Security Service, the report said.
Sources familiar with the situation told Interfax last week that a delegation of the US Department of Justice and the FBI would visit Moscow within a few days to discuss cooperation with their Russian colleagues.
Voice of Russia. Interfax

Monday, November 11, 2013

Russia’s ‘Stalingrad’ Is a Hit on Screen

Russia’s ‘Stalingrad’ Is a Hit on Screen

Non Stop Production
A scene from Fyodr Bondarchuk's "Stalingrad," which tells the Russian side of the battle against the Germans that left more than a million people dead.

Russian oligarch Sergei Polonsky: 'Everyone in Russia has gone mad' 11/11/13 12:32 from World news: Russia |

» Russian oligarch Sergei Polonsky: 'Everyone in Russia has gone mad'
11/11/13 12:32 from World news: Russia |
Once punched on TV, fugitive property developer Sergei Polonsky has been arrested in Cambodia and faces extradition to Russia on fraud charges. Before his latest drama, he spoke exclusively to the Guardian about his mounting financial an...

Could the Bolsheviks have been defeated in 1917?

» Could the Bolsheviks have been defeated in 1917?
11/11/13 14:17 from Home
The Institute of Modern Russia continues its series of articles by a renown publicist Alexander Yanov, dedicated to the history of Russian nationalism. In this installment, the author explores the reason for the 1917 Revolution and concl...

Why Russia Is Growing More Xenophobic - Last week’s riots reveal just a glimpse of the country’s rampant nationalism.

Why Russia Is Growing More Xenophobic

Last week’s riots reveal just a glimpse of the country’s rampant nationalism.

Demonstrators protested and scuffled with police in Moscow after the killing of a young man that residents blamed on a migrant from the Caucasus. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)
Yegor Shcherbakov probably didn’t expect to become Russia’s newest national figure. But on October 13, the 25-year-old ethnic Russian turned into just that after he was stabbed to death by an assailant from the Caucasus following a personal dispute in Russia’s capital, Moscow. A full-blown race riot followed, complete with chants of “Russia for the Russians” and “White Power” and the destruction of a shopping center. In all, Moscow police ended up arresting some 400 people, most of them far-right nationalists seeking revenge against foreigners in Russia, and launching a city-wide dragnet for the perpetrator.
The incident was hardly an isolated one, however. Recent years have seen a marked increase in xenophobia, racism, and violence against non-Slavs within the Russian Federation. The reason, experts say, is widespread anger over economic stagnation and corruption. It is also a reaction to a surge of migrant workers from Russia’s “near abroad” of the Caucasus and Central Asia. With foreign arrivals now totaling 13 to 14 million, Russia’s migrant labor force ranks second only to the United States.
But whereas the United States largely assimilates its immigrants, Russia does not. According to research conducted by Mark Ustinov of Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, nearly 70 percent of Russians exhibit negative feelings toward people of other ethnicities, and one in five believes that they have no place in Russia at all.
Most Russians, moreover, want their government to do something about it. A nationwide opinion poll carried out by Moscow’s respected Levada Analytical Center in November 2012 found that nearly 65 percent of respondents favor some form of restrictions on labor migration.
Not surprisingly, race-related violence in Russia has surged in recent years, especially in Moscow and other cities. Last year alone, 18 people were killed and nearly 200 were injured in racist attacks throughout Russia, according to estimates by SOVA, a Russian human rights watchdog group. But experts say the real number is probably much higher, since most attacks go unreported.
The rise of ethnic violence in Russia has been propelled by a surge in extreme right-wing nationalism. Historically, nationalist ideas and rhetoric have pervaded Russian politics, empowering derzhavnost—the idea of Russia as a great power—and helping to define a sense of self among the country’s citizens during turbulent economic and political times.
Yet today’s far right in Russia goes far beyond the nationalist rhetoric espoused by parties like Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) and Dmitry Rogozin’s now-defunct Rodina (Motherland) faction. It is made up of an assortment of small, violent neo-Nazi groups and “political nationalists,” such as the Russkiye movement and the Novaya Sila party, that promote an ethno-nationalist agenda in Russian politics.
These right-wing groups, moreover, are growing in influence. “Although the extreme right remains a marginal phenomenon in Russian politics up to now,” Alexander Verkhovsky of SOVA has written, “it is a widely held view in Russian society that nationalism is an ideology with a future and will gain more popularity in the years to come.”
The Kremlin has been a willing accomplice to these trends. The government of Vladimir Putin has sought to harness nationalist sentiment for its own ends, and so—even as it has cracked down on the most violent offenders—has nurtured and cultivated nationalist ideas among the Russian population. In the process, it has spawned youth groups like Nashi, Walking Together, and the Young Guard; groups whose members, experts say, tend to share a common vision with Russia’s ultra-right.
But such nationalism isn’t simply a far-right notion. More and more, Russians from across the political spectrum are identifying with (and organizing around) a national identity tinged with racism. “The level of xenophobia today is rising among various social groups,” Russia’s Civic Chamber, an official civil society oversight body created by Putin in the early 2000s, noted in its 2012 annual report. “An especially sharp rise can be observed among the citizens of major cities and among those people with a high level of education. Their phobias relate first and foremost to migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia, and are motivated by ‘insurmountable’ cultural differences.” The result has been the creation of what one specialist has dubbed a “fashion for xenophobia” throughout the country.
Against this backdrop, this weekend’s violence in Moscow provides everyone watching with a telling glimpse into the true state of ethnic and religious relations that now predominates in Putin’s Russia. It isn’t a pretty picture.

The Kremlin Is Losing Control of the Nationalist Movement It Helped Create - The Atlantic | Iran backed out of nuclear deal - John Kerry - BBC News (Nov 11, 2013 11:00) | Two Russian nationalists who threw a tomato at visiting Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima at a concert in Moscow have been charged with petty hooliganism and may face 15 days in prison | Dutch offer political asylum to Russian gays Russia Beyond The Headlines - 11:20 AM 11/11/2013

11:20 AM 11/11/2013

Iran backed out of nuclear deal - John Kerry - BBC News (Nov 11, 2013 11:00) 
BBC News Iran backed out of nuclear deal - John Kerry BBC News US Secretary of State Jo...

Israel: Iran Recognizes and is Exploiting America's Weakness - Israel Today (Nov 11, 2013 10:59) 
Israel: Iran Recognizes and is Exploiting America's Weakness Israel Today As Israel...

Pair Who Threw Tomatos at Dutch Royalty Charged With Hooliganism
Two Russian nationalists who threw a tomato at visiting Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima at a concert in Moscow have been charged with petty hooliganism and may face 15 days in prison, officials said.
Dutch Royals Pelted With Tomatoes In Russia - Huffington Post (Nov 11, 2013 07:57) 
Dutch Royals Pelted With Tomatoes In Russia Huffington Post MOSCOW -- MOSCOW (AP) — A R...

Pair Who Threw Tomatos at Dutch Royalty Charged With Hooliganism - The Moscow Times (Nov 11, 2013 07:56) 
Pair Who Threw Tomatos at Dutch Royalty Charged With Hooliganism The Moscow Times Two R...
Dutch King pelted with tomatoes in Moscow - Herald Sun (Nov 11, 2013 07:27) 
Dutch King pelted with tomatoes in Moscow Herald Sun ACTIVISTS from a Russian oppositio...

Russia will never fully abandon military draft – defense minister - RT (Nov 11, 2013 06:08) 
Fars News Agency Russia will never fully abandon military draft – defense minister RT T...

Russia jails four over 2011 Domodedovo airport bombing - BBC News (Nov 11, 2013 06:04) 
Indian Express Russia jails four over 2011 Domodedovo airport bombing BBC News A Moscow...

» Space Crew Returns Olympic Torch to Earth
11/11/13 10:22 from The Moscow Times Top Stories
A Russian spacecraft brought three astronauts and the Olympic torch back to Earth on Monday after the torch was taken on its first spacewalk in the run-up to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.


» Russia's Gay-Friendly Schoolteachers In The Crosshairs
11/11/13 07:36 from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
A St. Petersburg schoolteacher is battling to keep her job after coming under fire for participating in gay-rights demonstrations. At least three more teachers have been harassed this year over their ties to the gay community amid a wide...

CNN International
(CNN) -- Lyudmila Romodina and Oleg Klyuenkov, LGBT activists from the northern Russian port city of Arkhangelsk, hateRussia's anti-gay "propaganda" law but they don't support the idea of a boycott of the Sochi Olympics in Russia as a way of ...

Gunmen assault Russian gays - ‎Nov 4, 2013‎
One person has been hospitalised after an apparent attack on an LGBT group in St. Petersburg, reports say. The attack occurred late Sunday evening when two men entered the Laskai LGBT centre and opened fire from traumatic pistols — high powered, ...


» Artist nails his testicles to ground in Red Square
11/11/13 05:45 from World news: Russia |
Performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky stages protest at 'apathy, political indifference and fatalism of Russian society' Red Square has seen a lot over the centuries, from public executions to giant military parades, but a performance artis...

» Russian Businessman Polonsky Detained
11/11/13 04:53 from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Russian property developer Sergei Polonsky -- wanted in Russia on embezzlement charges -- has been detained in Cambodia and may be handed over to Interpol.

Saugus Advertiser

Carved from black granite, the memorial features a picture of David Tartikoff—aRussian immigrant who relocated to Malden and later became one of the first U.S. Marines to serve in France in World War I. Tartikoff died ... of the Russian Empire. The ...

Phantom Pain in Russia's Amputated Limbs

New York Times - ‎4 hours ago‎
PARIS — When the Russian foreign minister, Yevgeny Primakov, was trying to warn Poland against joining the NATO military alliance in the 1990s, he laced gallows humor with veiled menace. “We know we can't stop you joining NATO. And you know that we ...

Washington Post
In mid-October, ethnic Russians rioted at a vegetable market in the southern Moscow neighborhood of Biryulyovo, hunting down mostly Muslim migrants from within Russiaand without to attack. The unrest was set off by the killing of an ethnic Russian ...

PARIS (Reuters) - When Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov was trying to warn former Soviet satellite Poland against joining the U.S.-led NATO military alliance in the 1990s, he laced gallows humor with veiled menace. "We know we can't stop you ...

The Atlantic

But to get a grip on what is really happening in Russia now, we need to look beyond the dramatic and violent manifestations of nationalism—the race riots in Moscow's Biryulevo district, the attack on a Moscow-Dushanbe train, or marchers calling for ...

Putin says Islamic radicals whipping up separatism in Russia

London South East - ‎Oct 22, 2013‎

"Some political forces are using radical Islam to weaken our state and to set up conflicts controlled from outside on its territory, which polarize ethnic groups and whip up separatist sentiment," Putin told a meeting with Muslim leaders in Ufa, in Bashkortostan, ...

Violence feared during Russian Unity Day

Deutsche Welle - ‎Nov 3, 2013‎

On November 4, Russia celebrates its annual Unity Day. For years, the holiday has been overshadowed by right-wing extremists, who protest against immigrants. This year, the atmosphere is particularly explosive. Russian nationalists shout as they attend a ...



US ambassador to Russia rumored to resign after Kremlin reception

US ambassador to Russia rumored to resign after Kremlin reception

The US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul is apparently losing a fight against mounting rumors predicting his untimely resignation before the year’s turn.

The diplomatic community expects the chief of US diplomacy in Russia to announce his resignation on November 16, which will mark the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations.
McFaul has recently refuted this claim, but the rumor still persists.
An influential Russian newspaper Izvestia has cited its sources in Putin’s administration as saying the announcement will be made during some formal reception in the Kremlin, although there have been no suggestions as to its nature. The paper said however the Kremlin meeting may ultimately focus on McFaul’s future in Russia.
Maxim Minayev, of the Moscow-based Foundation for Civil Society, told the Voice of Russia that only President Obama was in the position to nominate ambassador candidates.
“Career diplomats usually head diplomatic missions for three to four years. None of US ambassadors in modern American history has stepped down of their own accord. Obama has the exclusive right to revoke ambassadors, something he has never done before.”
“Even if it was his [McFaul’s] initiative to quit, it will be Obama who will in the end announce the decision to replace him. He will also have to find a solid ground to do that, because the discharge of an ambassador who was appointed in 2011 is a heavy blow to the President and his choice of candidates,” Mr. Minayev said.
The ambassador appointment process in the US is quite a complicated one. A candidate for the position of an ambassador must first be endorsed by several committees with the US Department of State before he or she is voted on by the Senate.
If the Senate doesn’t confirm the appointment within three months, the President’s nominee is removed from the waiting list.
Michael McFaul was appointed as the US ambassador to Russia only after the second try, following his defeat by Republicans who accused him of sharing too much of European defense shield details with Moscow.
The US media have not commented on the resignation rumor.
US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has refuted Interfax reports that he is going to resign soon.
According to earlier media reports, McFaul may leave Russia before the year's end.
US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul is going to leave his post in Russia, reports referring to sources close to the Russian power structures. Perhaps McFaul will leave around Christmas. However it is not clear yet which post he will receive in the United States.
US officials do not confirm the reports about McFaul completing his diplomatic mission in Russia in December, but Russian sources report that the Stanford scientist appointed Ambassador to Moscow by Barack Obama is returning to the US.
According to some data, McFaul is tired of fighting with situations out of his control. For example, he has difficulties with stating his position on Russian television. On the other hand, outside of television, the Ambassador has recently shown no activity, too, and, as they say, it is connected with the fact that Washington overshadows the activities of its diplomats in Russia. They say it is better to be silent in order not to anger Russia. Last year's ban on the adoption of Russian orphans by Americans, which turned into a nightmare for both Americans and many Russians, despite all efforts of diplomats from both sides, has brought no loosening up.
There is also another version: McFaul's old friend Susan Rice has invited McFaul to return to a decent position in Washington.
Finally, one more version is that McFaul just wants to go home, to his family, to calm scientific work. Before joining the diplomatic service, the 50-year-old McFaul was a Professor at Stanford University specializing in Russian politics.
If McFaul leaves the post of the Ambassador, this will be the shortest term of tenure in recent years.
Voice of Russia,, Interfax, RBK Daily, 

the Idea of American Exceptionalism - GS

November 9, 2013

Why Russia Critiques the Idea of American Exceptionalism


FSB: Vladimir Putin's immensely powerful modern-day KGB

Russia's security agency has a wide remit, guarding borders, catching spies and arresting activists deemed subversive

Greenpeace action Against Gazprom's Arctic Drilling
A Russian officer is seen pointing a gun at a Greenpeace member as activists try to climb an Arctic oil platform run by Gazprom. Photograph: Denis Sinyakov/Greenpeace
The FSB is much more than just an ordinary security service. Combining the functions of an elite police force with those of a spy agency, and wielding immense power, it has come a long way since the early 1990s, when it was on the brink of imploding.
Today's agency draws a direct line of inheritance from the Cheka, set up by Vladimir Lenin in the months after the Bolshevik revolution, to the NKVD, notorious for the purges of the 1930s in which hundreds of thousands were executed, and then the KGB. As the Soviet Union disbanded, the KGB was dismembered into separate agencies, and humiliated. The security services were forced into a new era of openness and researchers were allowed into the archives for the first time to investigate the crimes of the Stalin period.
Many of the brighter or entrepreneurial KGB operatives left the agency in the chaos of the 1990s, using their contacts and know-how to enter the business world as security consultants, fixers or businessmen in their own right. They included the current owner of the Evening Standard and the Independent, Alexander Lebedev, previously a junior officer working out of the Soviet embassy in London, who used his knowledge of how international financial markets to make his fortune.
As the 1990s wore on the agency got back on its feet and in 1999 Boris Yeltsin asked its then director, Vladimir Putin, who had recently been catapulted into the top job after a career in the service's lower echelons, to become prime minister.
With Putin as PM and then president, much of the FSB's power was restored. Many of his former KGB colleagues ended up in senior positions in government or at the helm of state-controlled companies. Lower down the chain of command, a blind eye was turned to FSB generals enriching themselves: it was no longer necessary to leave to earn a good living. One top officer complained that the secret service "warriors" had become "traders".
Despite its reputation as a slow-moving bureaucracy, the FSB has long taken on geeks who can help it stay ahead of the game technologically. In a time-honoured tradition, the agencytrawling the final-year students of the country's top technology institutes and inviting the best graduates to apply.
The agency has its own special institute known as IKSI, the Institute of Cryptography and Protection of Information, which used to work on code breaking but now focuses on information security. Its page on the FSB website boasts that more than 200 professors work at the IKSI, teaching students everything there is to know about computer systems and security. The only downside for computer whiz-kids is that salaries in the FSB, officially at least, are far lower than they would be at major tech firms.
Unlike the KGB, the FSB is not in charge of foreign spies. The responsibility for running agents likesuch as Anna Chapman and the nine other spies caught by US authorities, has passed to a separate agency, the SVR. But internally, the FSB has an extraordinarily wide remit.
When alleged CIA operative Ryan Fogle was caught with a blond wig and a compass, apparently attempting to recruit Russian counterintelligence officers for the US this year, it was the FSB who picked him up, interrogated him and released a humiliating video.
Its border guards, who have been under FSB control since 2003, stormed Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise in September, descending from helicopters wielding guns and knives. The agency is also strongly involved in combating "economic crimes", and is responsible for most counterintelligence operations. Western diplomats report a huge rise insurveillance and harassment from people they presume to be FSB agents, with foreign journalists and businesses also targeted.
The agency still operates from the Lubyanka, the central Moscow building notorious during the Soviet era for interrogations in its basement cells. There are no official figures on how many people the FSB employs, but the security services expert Andrei Soldatov estimates the number to be at least 200,000.
After the 2006 death of former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko from polonium poisoning, in which Scotland Yard strongly suspected some level of state involvement, Britain announced a moratorium on all co-operation between the FSB and British security services. This stayed in place until May, when David Cameron paid a call on Putin at his summer home near Sochi. The leaders agreed that with the Sochi Olympics approaching, Britain would resume "limited" co-operation to ensure the security of competitors and spectators.

RIA Novosti
MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti) –Russia's top anti-drug official said Monday his agency had helped a team of international law enforcement agencies catch a Mexican drug kingpin suspected of trafficking at least 30 tons of cocaine. On October 28, a ...


Russia Helps Nab Mexican Drug Kingpin

Topic: Struggle against drug trafficking

14:36 11/11/2013
Tags: drugsViktor IvanovNicaraguaRussia
MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's top anti-drug official said Monday his agency had helped a team of international law enforcement agencies catch a Mexican drug kingpin suspected of trafficking at least 30 tons of cocaine.
On October 28, a joint team of officers from Nicaragua, El Salvador, the United States and Russia tracked the movements of the internationally wanted trafficker from Costa Rica to El Salvador, Russia’s Drug Control Service head Viktor Ivanov told reporters Monday.
The suspect was later arrested at an airport in El Salvador’s capital and deported to Nicaragua, Ivanov said.
He said that the alleged drug lord is suspected of trafficking some 30 tons of cocaine from Costa Rica, mainly to Guatemala, profiting at least $200 million.
Two Russian nationals have been added to the FBI cyber criminals most wanted list. One is wanted for hacking US based firms and stealing confidential data including employee identities, while the other one for infecting PCs in more than 100 countries.

The Moscow Times
Uralkali chief executive Vladislav Baumgertner was directly responsible for acrime that has damaged the Russian budget, the Investigative Committee said, leveling charges that could see the central figure of an international potash dispute jailed for ...

Daily Beast
According to a WikiLeaks cable sent to the State Department from the U.S. embassy in Moscow about Lieberman's visit to Russia in 2009, Israeli deputy foreign minister Yuval Fuchs “cemented Moscow's impression that the Russian-speaking Lieberman is one ...

The Times of Israel
Government sources are worried that any crack in the sanctions could open the Iranian economy to those who want to do business with the Islamic Republic, such as China andRussia. Shalom Yerushalmi weighs in on the negotiations and concludes ... Just ...

(From a video posted by WikiLeaks). Mr. Myers quotes me correctly. Unfortunately, the immediately preceding sentences quote aRussian journalist, who “cautioned” that the appearance of a “happy, open asylum” could be “propaganda,” and that the Russian ...

Huffington Post
According to Russian law, even a suspended sentence would eliminate Navalny frompolitical office for life. Navalny lambasted the trial, saying during the Wednesday session that the original sentence had been handed down "on instructions from Moscow" ...

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The Australian
Alexei Navalny, President Vladimir Putin's most charismatic critic, has transformed himself from a hard-hitting anti-corruption blogger and street protest demagogue into a polished political campaigner with designs on the presidency. However, his ...


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“The statement of the minister of The Netherlands is a major blow to the reputation of Russian politicians,” said Lev Gudkov, the director of Levada Center, a Moscow-based, independent polling organization. “For now, though, their greater part prefers ...

Mikhail Khodorkovsky - Google News

Khodorkovsky: 'Russia Heading For Revolution'

Yahoo News UK - ‎Oct 25, 2013‎
Ten years ago, Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested at gunpoint 
on board his private jet. In the decade since he has gone from being Russia's richest man, 
to its most famous political prisoner. From inside the prison camp where he is being ...

Anniversary of Arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky

US Department of State (press release) - ‎Oct 25, 2013‎
Ten years ago today, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, then head of the Yukos Oil Company, 
was arrested in Russia and charged with multiple financial crimes. Mr. Khodorkovsky 
and his colleague Platon Lebedev remain in jail after being convicted in 2010 on new ...

Putin must choose reform or revolt, jailed oligarch Khodorkovsky tells RFI

RFI - ‎Oct 25, 2013‎
Russian President Vladimir Putin faces a choice between political reform or social upheaval, jailed oil tycoon 
Mikhail Khodorkovsky told RFI on the 10th anniversary of his arrest on tax evasion charges. 
Khodorkovsky's suporters believe he was punished for ... 

Russia's Khodorkovsky Mistake

The National Interest Online - ‎Oct 24, 2013‎

On October 25, it will be ten years since a Russian SWAT team arrested oil tycoon
Mikhail Khodorkovsky in a Siberian airport. It was a watershed moment for Russia,
defining the Putin era as one in which the Russian oligarchs were subjugated to the Kremlin.