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Medvedev talks tough on terror

President Dmitry Medvedev won plaudits from Russia's liberals in the wake of the twin bombings on the Moscow metro that killed 39 people earlier this week. In its immediate aftermath, Medvedev eschewed the rough language that remains a hallmark of his predecessor, Vladimir Putin, now prime minister.

Moscovites familiar with atmosphere of terror

MOSCOW, Russia — Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up inside the Moscow metro at the start of rush hour Monday morning, killing at least 39 people and injuring dozens more.  The coordinated attack, which struck two trains as they pulled into stations in the very heart of Moscow, shattered the calm that had reigned in the Russian capital during the last half-decade, raising the specter of further attacks. 

Moscow calm — before the storm

Despite the horrific suicide bombings that struck the center of Moscow this morning, a sense of eerie calm hung over the city.  In the morning, I rushed to Park Kultury metro. It must've been about a half hour after the bomb there went off. In the streets, the only thing to alert you that something was off was that traffic was thinner than usual and the sound of sirens intermittently filled the air. 

US and Russia (finally) reach new arms deal

It looks like at long last the U.S. and Russia have come to an agreement on a new treaty that will see both sides reduce their nuclear arsenals by a quarter. Neither side has issued an official statement, but strategic leaks to Russian and U.S. press have made it clear that U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are planning one last telephone call before announcing the move.

YouTube campaign smears Russian liberals

MOSCOW, Russia — Three leading Russian liberals have come under attack in a smear campaign reminiscent of Soviet-era tactics against those who went against the grain of official thought.  Ilya Yashin, a leader of the opposition Solidarity movement, Mikhail Fishman, editor of the Russian edition of Newsweek, and Dmitry Oreshkin, an independent political analyst, found themselves playing starring roles as bribe-givers in a YouTube video that went viral last week. 

Georgia, Russia take fight to the field

TRABZON, Turkey — “Georgia! Georgia!” the fans screamed, their voices jarring the seats of the 6,000-spectator stadium in Trabzon, Turkey, where Georgia and Russia faced off. With only a handful of Russian supporters in attendance, the stadium formed one large, flowing Georgian flag.

The "reset" malfunctions

 Top News: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to Moscow this week for two days of talks on bilateral relations and a meeting of the Middle East Quartet. The trip opened on a sour note. Despite declarations by Clinton and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the U.S.-Russia relationship had been successfully reset, the two publicly clashed over Russia’s stance on Iran.

What do Russia's protests mean?

Someone asked me on Twitter if Russia's widespread protests could turn into another velvet revolution. That's a big question to answer in 140 characters. There are several questions to answer: are Putin's detractors growing or do people who long disagreed with him feel freer to take to the streets to protest? (If it's the latter, does the liberal rhetoric of President Dmitry Medvedev play a part?) Who would the protesters like to see in Putin's place?

Color in Kaliningrad

I've gone to more opposition protests than I can count in Moscow and the scene is always the same. The same 40 or 50 people gather, the riot police react with predictable brutality, and everything is over before you can think to ask people why they gathered in the first place.

Russia's "day of wrath"

KALININGRAD, Russia — They gathered under rainy gray skies — men and women, young and old — demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a man long seen as untouchable in Russia’s tightly controlled political scene.
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