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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

03/11/2008

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Vodka, Erotic Dreams and One-Liners

Staff Writer
Few people had heard of former KGB officer Vladimir Putin when he became prime minister in 1999. But with his taciturn, slightly intimidating face, one thing seemed certain: He didn't look like a comedian.

Merkel Told Not To Expect Changes

Staff Writer
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was greeted with flowers on her arrival in Moscow on Saturday, along with the assurance from President Vladimir Putin that Russia's foreign policy stance would remain tough under his successor, President-elect Dmitry Medvedev.

Yaroslavl Hunger Strike Gets Cold Shoulder

For the past two weeks, Vladimir Vinogradov has slept in a tent outside his former workplace, surviving on a diet of water, tea and vitamin pills.

Russian Bests Own 1,500 World Mark

Reuters
Russian middle-distance runner Yelena Soboleva stole the show on the final day of the world indoor championships when she smashed her own indoor world record to take gold in the 1,500 meters.

Detroit of the North

Another week passes and another automotive company has set up shop in St. Petersburg. Last week, Hyundai finalized a December agreement to build a plant in the city. The buzz created by General Motors CEO Richard Wagoner dubbing St. Petersburg the ""Detroit of the North"" has yet to subside here, almost two years later. The city, now home to Ford, General Motors, Toyota and Nissan, in addition to the Korean newcomer, now brims with optimism over the economic possibilities of its new role as an automotive center, and rightly so. But if the city wants to maximize its growth and truly become a global center of the automotive industry, it should heed Detroit's lessons, both in growth and decline.

Crude Propaganda vs. Human Capital

However touching the friendship might appear between Russia's second and third presidents, life's vagaries will constantly place Dmitry Medvedev into situations that require him to make hard choices. The result of these choices will determine his own political future as well as the future development of the country.

NATO Should Protect Ukraine and Georgia

The Washington Post
The April NATO summit meeting in Bucharest, Romania, could well be dominated by debate over how the alliance can succeed in Afghanistan. But another topic, barely discussed so far, may be almost as important: whether NATO can extend its last major mission of expanding Europe's zone of security to former communist countries.

An Army With No Troops

The official Kremlin line is that President Vladimir Putin will hand the country over to Dmitry Medvedev in excellent condition. Upon closer examination, however, it turns out that the country's problems are approaching a crisis point in almost every area. This is because what the Kremlin calls modernization is nothing more than pumping petrodollars into ineffective and outdated institutions, without using those resources to improve or replace them.

A Trip to the Library

Although easier to enter than during the Soviet era, visiting the Russian State Library is still an adventure.

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