The Evictors

Around Moscow, there’s a whole industry of so-called “black creditors” — microfinance institutions (or MFOs) that swindle and seize debtors’ homes. Ivan Golunov’s investigation for Meduza has discovered that almost 500 apartments have been seized from their owners over the past five years without so much as a court order. In fact, this scheme involves more than simply “squeezing” people from their homes. It is possibly part of a wider, international money-laundering system. Here’s Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov on the ins and outs of this industry.

Book Reviews

The Materiality of Russian Oil

I review Doug Rogers’ deconstruction of oil—not to uncover its relations of production—to trace the dispersion of its value in shaping the post-Soviet province of Perm.

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Putin’s World

I wrote a review of Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy’s newly expanded edition of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin for OpenDemocracy. Here’s an excerpt:

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Pussy Riot’s Passion

My review, “Demystifying the media caricatures of Pussy Riot” of Masha Gessen’s Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot has been published in

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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

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Five Books on Putin

Stephen Kotkin, Professor of History at Princeton University, reviewed five recent books on Putin in the 2 March issue of the Times Literary Supplement. Kotkin

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Red Autobiographies

I recently published a review of Igal Halfin‘s Red Autobiographies: Initiating the Bolshevik Self in the journal NEP Era: Soviet Russia, 1921-1928 (vol. 5, 2011).

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