Russian President Vladimir Putin has told the annual military Victory Day parade in Red Square that the country will continue to strengthen its armed forces.The parade on Thursday marked the 74th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany.It included about 13,000 servicemen and women and 130 pieces of military equipment, ranging from a T-34 tank - renowned for its effectiveness in World War II - to lumbering Yars ICBM launch units.Putin said in his speech that "we have done and will do everything necessary to ensure the high combat capability of our armed forces."He added: "At the same time, Russia is open for cooperation with all who are ready to resist terrorism, neo-Nazism and extremism."Dozens of other cities also held parades for Russia's most significant secular holiday. … [Read more...] about Putin: Russian military to be strengthened
The Russian public’s trust in the institution of the presidency went down significantly between 2017 and 2019, as did, to a somewhat lesser extent, trust in the Federal Security Service (FSB, successor to the KGB). Trust in the military remains strong. Still, these three agencies, in the order of the presidency, the army, and the security agency, remain Russians’ most trusted institutions, new survey data published by the independent polling organization Levada revealed on Monday. But as Vladimir Putin enters the second year of his fourth and possibly last term as president, how the Russian state will respond to the loss of public support becomes a matter of high salience. It is important at the outset to disentangle trust in the presidential office from Vladimir Putin’s personal approval rating, though the two are easily conflated. Someone other than Putin occupying the post is such a distant memory (Medvedev’s 2008–2012 stint is not … [Read more...] about When Trust Fails: How Long Can the Russian State Withstand Waning Public Support?
The Atlantic Council, the venerable U.S. think tank, recently released a report on the latest wave of Russian emigration, which it calls the “Putin Exodus.” As an emigre, I usually welcome this kind of research, but this study has reached the wrong conclusions. The report, by retired U.S. Ambassador John Herbst and Sergei Erofeev of Rutgers University, makes a novel and important point about the most recent Russian emigres. “There is a distinct disparity between those who emigrated before 2012 and those who left later: among other things, the latter demonstrate a growing pro-Western and liberal orientation and greater politicization in general, including stronger support for the anti-Putin ‘non-systemic’ opposition.” It’s true that 2012 was a turning point for some of my peers in Russia. Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency after Dmitry Medvedev kept the seat warm for him while initiating what was perceived by some intellectuals as … [Read more...] about New Russian Emigres Aren’t All Dissidents
UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has spoken about his propulsion to global stardom after he defeated Conor McGregor last year, discussing his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and dinner with Leonardo DiCaprio. In a wide-ranging interview with Russian channel Match TV, Nurmagomedov spoke about the levels of fame he has reached since he submitted Irish MMA megastar McGregor in Las Vegas at UFC 229 in October. Nurmagomedov has since been feted in his Russian homeland, as well as embarking on global trips to meet politicians and adoring fans. Despite the attention, the undefeated fighter refused to label himself "a superstar." “I wouldn't call myself a superstar, I don’t feel like a superstar,” he told Match TV. “If you think about it too much, it’s very bad… it can change your outlook on life. “[But] I feel the [increased] popularity, I get recognized where I didn’t before, and asked for photos.” … [Read more...] about ‘Hockey with Putin? Why not…?’ – Khabib on fame, Russian president & meeting DiCaprio
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has visited the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, firing the traditional daily howitzer shot, which marks noon. Putin has routinely got up-close and personal with various arms – from fighter jets to high-power sniper rifles. This time, Russia’s president got his hands on one of the two D-30 howitzers located in – the St. Petersburg stronghold – the Peter and Paul Fortress. “You’ve scored a hit,” the onlookers exclaimed as Putin fired the howitzer. “Certainly, you can’t miss with this,” the president replied. The round, however, was merely a blank, since the two howitzers are used solely for ceremonial firing. The tradition of making the daily ‘midday shot’ in the fortress dates back to the 19th century. As a rule, only one howitzer is fired, while the second one is in reserve. Yet, on special occasions, both guns are used, sometimes even firing in volleys. Also … [Read more...] about ‘You can’t miss with this’: Putin fires HOWITZER in St. Petersburg (VIDEO)