RUSSIA DEBATE. My colleague Anatoly Karlin has created a website The Russia Debate as a repository for the healthy discussion throughout the English Russophere. The idea is that it would become the go to spot for discussions about issues pertaining to Russia arranged by topic and searchable. At the moment an enormous amount of this discussion happens on Mark Chapman’s site The Kremlin Stooge. All sorts of highly intelligent and useful information may be found there but it is not user-friendly. So I ask you to patronise The Russia Debate and build it up as a repository of the collective wisdom. And those of you who observe but do not participate should scout it too.
THE FAILURE OF PUTINISM. The Russian birth rate in 2012 actually exceeded the US birth rate. The World Bank ranks Russia as the fifth largest GDP in the world by purchasing power, displacing Germany, and eighth over all. The long-predicted collapse must be postponed. Again.
CORRUPTION. Arrests and investigations: tax officer fraud; parliamentarian extortion; regional minister bribes; gang illegal money transfer; mayor corruption; Serdyukov again and again; Armed Forces. Convictions: Khimki City official for violence. And Navalniy. And Browder. And a former Tula governor. See below.