Articles by Vladimir Ryzhkov



Usual Suspects Gobble Up Russia's Budget Pie

Adverse changes on the world scene, the loss of energy markets, the decline in oil prices, Western sanctions, a lack of domestic reforms, capital flight and diminishing investment have turned this into a chronic economic crisis for Russia.

Syrian Adventure Will Cost Russians Dearly

"Has the country run out of poor people?" is a fitting question to today's Russian leaders who, not having ended the geopolitical and military conflict in eastern Ukraine, have unhesitatingly thrown the country into a new one, jumping straight from the fire into the hellish frying pan of the Middle East.

Attitude to Stalin Reveals Russia's Considerable Divide

It is ironic that the monument to the victims of Stalin's terror Ч which the country has been waiting for since the former Soviet dictator died on March 5, 1953 Ч will be erected in Moscow at the order of President Vladimir Putin, a man who once called the collapse of the Soviet Union "the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century."

Electoral Changes Make Duma Less Legitimate

Electoral law is the most unstable area of Russian legislation.

Putin Has Russians' Loyalty, But for How Long?

President Vladimir Putin has built up huge reserves of popular support during his 15 years in power.

Direct Elections WonТt Help RussiaТs Opposition

One of the few things the mass protests in the winter of 2011-12 achieved was the return of direct elections for State Duma deputies representing single-member districts.

Gaidar's Departure Is a Sad Sign of the Times

Maria Gaidar's decision to go to Ukraine to serve as vice governor of the Odessa region under former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and to take on Ukrainian citizenship in addition to her Russian citizenship has sparked a storm of emotions in Russia.

Pivot East Won't Solve Russia's Problems (Op-Ed)

Simply moving business to the East or South cannot provide Russia with the modernized financial resources it needs, writes columnist Vladimir Ryzhkov.

Yerevan Shows Fragility of Post-Soviet Regimes

Armenia is Russia's main ally in the Caucasus and, at the same time, one of the poorest countries of the world.

Russian Orthodox Church Facing Ukraine Split

President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that he considers Russians and Ukrainians "a single people." He justified annexing Crimea and providing military and political support to the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics with the claim that he was defending the "Russian world."

Russia's Foreign Agents Law Is Recipe for Disaster

The law on international and foreign "undesirable organizations" that the State Duma adopted, President Vladimir Putin signed and that entered into force has once again radically worsened the situation for nongovernmental organizations in Russia.

Russians Must Ditch Illusions for Bright Future

Analysts traditionally classify authoritarian regimes as either successful or unsuccessful, based on their political stability, rate of economic growth and their ability to implement economic and social reforms for modernization.

Russians Must Keep Their Abhorrence of War

During the 70 years since the great victory over Nazi Germany, the interpretation of that event by first Soviet, and later Russian, authorities has repeatedly changed.

Russia's New Totalitarianism Depends on Silence

The ability of NGOS and other aspects of civil society to withstand the attacks of the Russian authorities will determine Russia's future, writes columnist Vladimir Ryzhkov.

Kremlin Doesn't Have Monopoly on Patriotism

Today, a Russian patriot is anyone who supports the annexation of Crimea and who believes that a "fascist junta" rules in Kiev, that the separatist forces fighting in the Donbass are composed exclusively of local volunteers, that President Vladimir Putin has gotten Russia up off its knees, that the West dreams of destroying Russia.

Russian Imperialism Will Unleash New Yugoslavia

Russia managed to avoid a Yugoslavia-like conflict with its neighbors in the 1990s, but it looks like Putin is now leading the country in that direction, writes columnist Vladimir Ryzhkov.

Nemtsov's Brutal Murder Benefits the Kremlin

The detestable murder of Boris Nemtsov shocked all of Russia.

The Absurd World of Russian Public Opinion

Hurray! We are attacking! Thank God! Many are dead and wounded! Thank God!" Thus exclaimed "good soldier Svejk" from the eponymous immortal novel by Jaroslav Hasek. And Russian public opinion today is no less absurd.

Russia Must Forget Yalta and Face Facts in Minsk

Today the whole world will anxiously await news from Minsk, where the "Normandy Four" Ч Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France Ч will try to reach a second agreement, a sort of "Minsk II" settlement to stop the war in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Russia Needs Europe for Reform, Modernization

Even as Russian leaders proclaim the impossibility of isolating Russia and their own unwillingness to see it happen, Russia's movement toward self-imposed isolation is gaining momentum, despite official statements to the contrary.

Marking 110 Years Since Russia's Bloody Sunday

Just over 110 years ago, on Jan. 9, 1905, a huge throng of factory workers from all over St. Petersburg converged on the Winter Palace.

Russia's NGOs Are Under Increasing Pressure

On Dec. 9, after long months of inspections and pressure from the authorities, the Justice Ministry included the Moscow School of Civic Education, or MSPS (previously named the Moscow School of Political Studies), on its list of nongovernmental organizations that "perform the functions of foreign agents."

Putin Must Change Direction or Face a Coup

As the Ukrainian crisis intensified in recent months and after Western states imposed sanctions not only on Russia, but even on close associates of President Vladimir Putin, Moscow's ruling elite concluded that Washington and Brussels are intent on achieving a regime change in Russia.

Kazakhstan Benefits From Russia's Misfortune

On Nov. 11, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev unexpectedly delivered a major speech to his people in which he unveiled a "new economic policy" that he dubbed "The Pathway to the Future."

Russia's Repression of Crimean Tatars Repeats U.S.S.R.'s Mistake

The most serious ethno-political conflict in Russia today is not the intense xenophobia found in Moscow, St. Petersburg or even Chechnya, but the rising antagonism toward the Crimean Tatars.

Paranoid Russia Now Sees Enemies Everywhere

When senior Soviet officials wanted to set down the ideological or conceptual framework by which citizens should understand current events, they issued statements that were called "attitudinal papers" to guide national policy and that came replete with ready-made definitions and formulas.

Kremlin Policies Put Economy Under Pressure

Crimea will contribute about three percentage points to inflation this year.

United Russia Wins Elections But Not Respect

On Sept. 14, 2014, Russia once again held local and regional elections throughout the country. United Russia won a landslide victory while the other "systemic" parties with representation in parliament fared badly and support for the "non-systemic" opposition parties was even weaker than usual.

Ukrainian Conflict Spells Disaster for Russia

Speaking at the Seliger 2014 National Youth Forum in late August, President Vladimir Putin said that there are people in this country who are working against Russia's national interests. But what exactly are Russia's national interests?

What Putin and Russia Can Learn From China

President Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin in 2012, his new reactionary course, and now the acute crisis concerning Ukraine have finally taken economic reforms off the nation's agenda.