Russia

The Russian in Turkish Public Consciousness

The young man across from me is leaning back in his chair, stretching his chest. “After all these years, we’ve shot down a plane.” His eyes widen. “And brother, it’s a Moskof plane!” He looks up to the blue sky, smiling, letting the thought sink in.

Russian truckers protest massive fee hike

Russian long-haul truck drivers have been staging demonstrations across the country since mid-November to protest the imposition of a new transit fee on federal highways that is devastating their earnings. The government's recently instituted electronic system Platon tracks truckers' movements and requires them to pay about 3 cents a kilometer for the use of government roads, a rate that is scheduled to rise to 6 cents in March 2016.

Putin the Risk-Taker

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s entire career, from the Soviet KGB in Dresden to the Russian presidency in Moscow, has displayed bold risk-taking. In situations where he has been under great pressure to make difficult decisions, he has repeatedly demonstrated a propensity or ability to act promptly, decisively, and with considerable effectiveness. A few examples from key turning points in Putin’s political life will suffice to demonstrate these points.

Russia's Military Is Catching Up to the West by Fighting in Syria

There has been much sensational media attention over Russian president Vladimir Putin’s decision to shore up Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, with hints that it could even be the start of a second Afghanistan for Russia. But there are strong incentives for Russia to fight in a limited role in Syria. The New York Times recently highlighted this, detailing how Russia under Putin has been keen on advancing its military prowess and Syria has therefore become Russia’s proving ground.

Russia Is Using Syria as a Training Ground for Its Revamped Military and Shiny New Toys

Following the 2008 war in Georgia, Russia projected an air of victory. Georgian forces were crushed, and the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia were bolstered. But the win was clouded by the poor performance of Russian ground and air forces in what had turned out to be a far messier and bloodier campaign than the Kremlin envisioned. And in the aftermath, Vladimir Putin, then Russia’s prime minister, launched a massive program to trim the country’s bloated military, beef up training, and replace its outdated hardware.

Putin's winter fairy tale

Vladimir Putin's position on Syria and Ukraine may have been criticised in the West, but Russia's president is adored and admired by many at home, as Steve Rosenberg discovers on a visit to Volokolamsk.
In Russia, there is something magical about the early winter snow. It transforms muddy fields and dilapidated farmhouses into a fairy tale - a snow globe you want to pick up and shake and could stare at for hours.
Of course, every fairy tale has its heroes. And, 70 miles from Moscow, so does this one.

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