Putin may soon get a frostier reception. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
The Kremlin appears to be easing its hard line toward Washington. The United States and its allies shouldn’t react naïvely by simply responding in kind, but by doing more to defend their common values.
Alexei Navalny won the most number of votes for the coordination council. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia’s beleaguered opposition today announced the outcome of voting for a "coordination council" that aims to unite its disparate and often antagonistic voices. It's the latest such attempt amid criticism the Kremlin's critics have long failed to present a credible alternative to Putin. But although infighting has undoubtedly set back previous attempts, blaming the president's opponents for failing to effectively challenge the Kremlin isn’t entirely fair.
A police officer near a screen showing Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova in court on Wednesday. The case reflects the Kremlin's mounting exercise of arbitrary power. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images)
Russians in a number of regions go the polls on Sunday. Opposition leaders had hoped they would provide a political foothold to harness public displeasure with Vladimir Putin’s return as president that prompted mass protests in December.
MOSCOW — The authorities have made overt moves to eject an outspoken lawmaker from parliament, charged a key opposition leader with financial crimes, passed laws to restrict protests and summoned opposition lawyers for questioning. Turnout at the rally on Saturday will help gauge whether the moves are dampening or reinvigorating discontent.