Russia

The panellist who disappeared

The panellist was cut out but you can still see his legs.

Last October a political analyst well known for his critical attitude towards the Kremlin took part in a pre-recorded debate on the Russian TV channel TV Centre. Were the authorities ready to get slated on telly? Apparently not. When the show was broadcast a few days later, the opponent magically disappeared from the set. Read more...

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After counterfeit Levi's, counterfeit fighter jets

It started some 30 years ago with fake Levi's jeans and Versace bags. Then the market became more sophisticated, with faux iPhones on the racks. Now, the Chinese counterfeit goods trade has gone even further, with the production of identical copies of Russian-designed fighter planes. Read more.

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Russia celebrates Nazi Germany – by accident

A bank inadvertedly advertises the Nazi code for a fellow fighter.

The end of WWII is celebrated on May 9 in Russia. Since Putin came to power, the event has become increasingly more commercial. But this year, it went a step too far, when eager party-goers put up Nazi symbols in place of Soviet war imagery. Read more...

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"Medvedev is the one who’s really in power"

The Western press reacted cynically to the inauguration of Russia's new president, Dmitry Medvedev, who has been considered a puppet of outgoing president - and now Prime Minister - Vladimir Putin since being elected in March. However, a political analyst in the country and harsh critic of the ruling party, tells us why the idea is entirely speculative. Read more...

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"The West has a twisted vision of Russia"

Dimitri Medvedev was inaugurated as Russia's new president today. Evguenia Obitchkina, an international relations lecturer in Moscow, explains that the conflict between Russia and the West might have more to do with the hydrocarbon trade than human rights. Read more...

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The world's tackiest tombstones

Looming above a hundred grey headstones in a Russian cemetery, tacky monuments like these - with the tomb's incumbent and his faithful sports car etched onto the stone - appear on the horizon. Read more...

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Can Russian police really do that?

This video, supposedly filmed by the Russian police, emerged on the internet on Monday. We don't know where it came from, nor is it possible to know exactly where it was filmed. But our Observers confirm that this type of cruelty is not unusual. Read more and see the video.

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Our Observer beaten up after exposing electoral fraud

A Russian election observer who exposed several accounts of mass rigging following last December's Duma parliamentary poll has been assaulted outside his home in Moscow, just weeks before the date of the court case against the election riggers. In hospital with cerebral concussion, it looks as though Grigori Belonuchkin might not be well enough testify in the case. Read more...

Vote-riggers can’t break their habit

Vote-rigging, banning candidates and censorship are all part of a traditional Russian election, according to many of the country’s bloggers. But this year, despite a clear front-runner, tales of even more ingenious methods are emerging on the blogosphere. Caught vote-rigging red handed? Just scream “terrorist”. Read more…

This protester was forcibly removed by the police for calling the election a "farce".

Even school children support Medvedev

Russian tabloid Express Gazeta organized a drawing competition all across Russia to support President Valdimir Putin's successor, Dmitry Medvedev. These drawings, published three days before the presidential election, are strangely reminiscent of personality cults from the Soviet era. See the other drawings.

"Dmitry Anatolyevich is a worthy successor" by Valeriya Emelchenkova, 10, Chelyabinsk region. Medvedev is lifting weights that are labelled "housing", "children", "school", "village", "nature", and "sport".

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