I have been reading so much Russia-related stuff since last Friday, when Chechnya (and therefore Russia) burst onto the national stage in this country due to the revelation that the Boston marathon bombers were Chechen.
The Runet (an affectionate portmanteau for the Russian-speaking internet) is blowing up. Famous oligarch Boris Berezovsky has died today in London (where he’s lived for the past thirteen years). I’m not sure if the news is officially confirmed yet, but it appears to be real. A few links (all in Russian) below:
The Kremlin, center of Russian politics since Soviet times
I used to be a hardcore Russia watcher. I started a blog in high school and after starting university, it slowly morphed into a Russia-watching blog, where I wrote about news concerning Russia and expressed my many opinions relating to the country and its neighbors. Writing that blog was fun, but then something happened. I was far away from home, on a year-long study abroad, when I realized I didn’t want to write that blog anymore. I wanted a fresh start, so I started a new blog (and lost the vast majority of my readers – I still feel a bit bad about my sudden abandonment of the old blog, but I wanted to make a clean break). Continue reading →
As you’ve probably heard, Russia’s second president, Vladimir Putin, was sworn in on Monday, May 7, for a third presidential term that will last six years. Here are some interesting news articles I found relating to the subject.
Russian stock futures climbed as Vladimir Putin returned to Russia’s presidency for a third term promising to forge ahead with state asset sales and improve the nation’s investment climate.
Futures expiring in June on Moscow’s dollar-denominated RTS Index added 0.6 percent to 143,745 in New York trading. American depositary receipts of OAO Gazprom (OGZPY), Russia’s biggest company and the world’s largest natural gas producer, rallied from their lowest level this year, while OAO Mobile TeleSystems (MBT), the nation’s biggest mobile-phone operator, gained the most in more than a week.
Putin, whose first eight years in the Kremlin saw average economic growth of 7 percent as oil prices rose fivefold, signed at least a dozen decrees after being sworn in yesterday and said the world’s biggest energy exporter was beginning a “new stage” in its development. Russia’s Micex Index has tumbled 20 percent since Putin passed on the presidency to Dmitry Medvedev in May 2008 because of term limits….
…or why I sometimes wish I lived in a big city like New York or Los Angeles
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m an inveterate Russia watcher. I have been since about the time I started studying Russian. As a result, I have an insatiable appetite for Russia-related films. There are three documentaries in particular that I really, really want to see.
First: Cyril Tuschi’s recent film about Mikhail Khodorkovsky. It is available on DVD in the UK, but unfortunately has not been shown very much or released on DVD here in the US. I really want to see this, so if anyone knows where I can see it, I’d be grateful.
I heard about Putin’s Kiss but then promptly forgot about it. My mom reminded me recently. It also looks fascinating.
Finally, I read about My Perestroika on Lea Zeltserman’s blog, forgot about it, and recently remembered it.
And yes, I realize that there are places, shall we say, where I could acquire these films by less than legal methods. But honestly, I do not mind paying for them. I am perfectly willing to pay for a streaming rental or something like that. Any suggestions?
Russian lawyer Vasily Aleksanyan was arrested five years ago today in connection with the Russian government’s prosecution of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Yukos oil company. He allegedly embezzled money from the company, though many have had their doubts over whether this was true or not.
Shortly after being imprisoned, Aleksanyan found out that he was HIV-positive. He also contracted tuberculosis. He was denied medical treatment until Khodorkovsky’s hunger strike on his behalf prompted authorities to move him to a hospital. Eventually he was released in December 2008 (though he was repeatedly summoned to court hearings) and he died recently in Moscow, on 2 October 2011, due to complications from AIDS.
Aleksanyan attended Moscow State University to study law and then received an LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree from Harvard. This link has a decent article about him and his time at Yukos.