Stalinist Patrimonialism

My review, “Russian politics has always been patrimonial,” for Russia Direct of J. Arch Getty’s new book Practicing Stalinism: Bolsheviks, Boyars, and the Persistence of Tradition: What is striking about J. Arch Getty’s excellent new book, Practicing Stalinism: Bolsheviks, Boyars, and the Persistence of Tradition, is how little Stalin is in it. Sure, he’s there, but […]

Sochi’s Exploited Labor

My new Russia Magazine column, “Sochi’s Workers: Invisible and Expendable,” “The final stage in such a massive undertaking is always difficult,” Putin told officials in a meeting during the waning days of November. “A lot has been done, but it’s still a long way from perfection… [there is] still work to be done. We have the […]

Putin to Pardon Khodorkovsky

Putin is pardoning Mikahil Khodorkovsky. “In regard to Khodorkovsky, I’ve already said that Mikhail Borisovich must submit the corresponding papers [for a pardon] in accordance with the law. He didn’t do this, but just recently, he wrote such a document to me with a request for a pardon. He’s been in prison for ten years […]