Will chemical weapons proliferate?

Michael Crowley | 28 October 2009 | FEATURES |  
tags: chemical weapons, Russia
The danger of security agencies, military forces and violent groups using “incapacitatant” chemical agents to disable adversaries has grown since the Moscow theatre siege of 2002. International regulation is needed.

Russia, Iran and the Biden speech

Peter Zeihan and George Friedman | 27 October 2009 | FEATURES |  
tags: Barack Obama, Biden, Iran, Russia, Stratfor
The Obama Administration's aggressive diplomacy in Eastern Europe could sink its hopes for a peaceful resolution of its conflict with Iran.

Russia champions ‘traditional values’

Carolyn Moynihan | 23 October 2009 | FEATURES |  
tags: human rights, Russia, United Nations, values
Struggling with family decay and population decline, Russia wants the UN to get down to tin tacks on the subject of human rights.

Russia looks to its religious culture

Viktor Malukhin | 30 September 2009 | FEATURES |  
tags: Orthodox Church, religious education, Russia
The Orthodox Church has won its battle to make religious education compulsory in schools, but secularists have won concessions too.

Russia, Poland and the history wars

Rodric Braithwaite | 18 September 2009 | FEATURES |  
tags: Europe, Poland, Russia, World War II
On the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Army's invasion of Poland a British diplomat understands why Poles are not quick to give the Russians credit for occasionally getting things right.

Bulging China eyes empty Russian Far East

Michael Cook | 20 July 2009 | FAMILY EDGE |  
tags: Russia
In English, Siberia is a synonym for frigid desolation. Actually, it’s much the same in Russian as well. And now that Russians are no longer forced to live there, they are emptying the vast spaces of the Russian Far East, which stretches from Lake Baikal to Vladivostok. According to an article by David Blair in the London Telegraph, only 6.7 million people live there – 14% fewer than in the late 1980s. Furthermore, over a third of these live in only nine towns. The countryside is nearly empty. By 2015 there will only be 4.5 million people in the Russian Far East.

Russia slides into a demographic abyss

Michael Cook | 14 April 2009 | FAMILY EDGE |  
tags: Russia

This is the sort of stuff that sub-editors love. Over the weekend AFP reported that a 22-year-old Russian man downed three bottles of vodka and then, to the horror of his wife, hurled himself from the balcony of his fifth-floor apartment. He fell 15 metres (about 50 feet) and landed with barely a scratch. He staggered upstairs to his home where his wife began to berate him. So once again he jumped from the balcony -- and again survived with barely a scratch. Alexei Roskov now swears that he has given up the bottle. But many Russian men are not as lucky as Mr Roskov. Nicholas Eberstadt summarises the state of Russian health in a dismaying article in World Affairs Journal.

A Muslim president of Russia?

Michael Cook | 07 April 2009 | FAMILY EDGE |  
tags: Islam, religion, Russia
For all of its differences with the West, Russia sees itself as a European country. However, the dismaying decline in the Russian birthrate and the life expectancy of Russian males means that the country will become more and more Muslim in the years to come. A detailed survey of the challenges faced by Russia produced by the Finnish Ministry of Defence says that the growing presence of Muslims in Russian society will affect both domestic and foreign policy. 

Russia at the crossroads

Nicolai Petro | 11 September 2007 | FEATURES |  
tags: atheism, Christianity, Islam, Russia
As it embraces globalisation and capitalism Russia is also rediscovering a pre-1917 religious and cultural heritage that is often at odds with both communism and capitalism.

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