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.

Civiliki

Russia as a Rhizome State

My review of Alena Ledeneva’s Can Russia Modernize? Sistema, Power Networks, and Informal Governance for Russia Direct, “Sistema: How power works in modern Russia,” In

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On Putin’s Bulldogs

This week’s Russia Magazine! column, “Putin’s Bulldogs and Their Bones,” In reference to the succession struggle after Stalin’s death, Winston Churchill famously compared the opaqueness

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Medvedev’s Generation

If history is any indication, a gerontocracy can kill a political system.  The Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc states suffered from it.  It currently

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Clan Illogic

Jeffrey Tayler takes up clanology in his article “The Master and Medvedev” in hopes to map the innards of Kremlin Inc (hat tip to James

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A Conspiracy Behind the Rumor?

The political fallout from Moskovskii Korrespondent‘s rumor about Putin dumping his wife Liudmila for contortionist extraordinaire and Olympic medalist Alina Kabaeva is taking political shape. 

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