Earlier this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Russia of providing helicopters to assist the Assad regime. Is Putin fighting the last battle of the Cold War in Syria?
The Russian government appears to be worried about a mass anti-government rally planned in Moscow today. People want to express their outrage directly at President Vladimir Putin for the first time since his inauguration. Yet Putin may be trying to preempt the rally with some intimidating moves of his own. Ellen Barry is the Moscow Bureau Chief for our partner The New York Times.
Vladamir Putin secured six more years as President of Russia after yesterday's presidential election. Putin, who served as president from 2000-2008, received more than 63 percent of the country's vote. Questions remain, however, about the fairness of yesterday's vote. The head of the major international election observer mission in Russia says there were "serious problems" in the vote, reports the AP.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hopes to return to the president's office in Russia, but he never really gave up any of the power that went with the office. Putin rules Russia with an authoritarian hand and has never been shy about raising it against his enemies, or those he perceives as enemies. William F. Browder knows that perhaps better than anyone.
A week after allegations of election fraud sent thousands of Russians into the streets chanting "Russia without Putin," two prominent men have stepped forward to challenge Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in next year's presidential election. Mikhail Prokhorov, a billionaire oligarch best known to Americans as the owner of the New Jersey Nets, and Alexsei Kudrin, a former finance minister who was fired after publicly clashing with President Dmirti Medvedev, have both announced their candidacies. Prokhorov, who said the decision to run was the most serious of his life, said he would offer his political platform in coming weeks.
Amidst reports of election tampering by international monitors and Russians via social media sites, Vladimir Putin's party, United Russia, just barely carried 50 percent of the votes. United Russia will now hold 238 seats in the Duma, down from 315. An exit poll also revealed that Putin's approval rating shrank from 64 percent in 2007 to 48.5 percent.