Monthly Archives: October 2009

If only national stereotypes weren't self-perpetuating

Superjobs.ru asked Russians whose job they would most like to have, and the results are completely unsurprising. A majority of “economically active” Russians over the age of 18 want the job of none other than Vladimir Putin. Next on the … Continue reading

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Kremlin to give employees grammer lessons

Educated, liberal Russians have long complained that their country is run by hooligans and rubes unschooled in anything but nose-breaking and corporate raiding. And now they have proof. In November, 34 Kremlin bureaucrats will undergo 40 hours of rigorous grammatical … Continue reading

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Crashing Russia's all-cash culture

Check out my latest piece for Fortune about Russia’s cash culture and the e-money economy that has sprung up to service the payments that slip past the big banks. via Fortune

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Take everything you want, just, for god's sake, don't touch my car

This is the paradox of contemporary Russia: a nation-wide election is marred by massive, tragicomic fraud and no one — save for a few parliamentarians — so much as yawns. The government introduces a new transportation tax and a tariff … Continue reading

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Mock elections result in mock revolution

Earlier this week, I had a piece in Foreign Policy about the disputed regional elections of October 11 (they of the George Will campaign ads). It outlines how widespread reports of fraud led to the walk out and week-long boycott … Continue reading

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Celebrate good pipes

Putin’s birthday may have already passed — he turned 57 on October 7 — but that doesn’t mean he has properly celebrated it yet. For that, there’s tonight and a big private blow-out on Lake Valdai, just south of St. Petersburg. … Continue reading

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Not sure what this is about because it's in sign language

There used to be an election poster here and now there’s this thing. It says, “A city that’s comfortable for all.” I think those women — they are women, yes? — are showing the slogan on the red part of … Continue reading

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A good question

Alexandr Bastrykin, an investigative official with the State Prosecutor’s office, announced today that the number of criminal investigations for corruption had doubled in the past year. “If we keep going at this rate, in five years, we will have imprisoned … Continue reading

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Just when it was all going so well, a pedestrian jumps under a car

Remember that post I did yesterday about the road safety ministry releasing data showing decreases in accidents, drunk driving and fatalities, as well as amazingly high pedestrian deaths? Well, in Rostov yesterday night — just a few hours after the … Continue reading

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Stupid pedestrians, always jumping under cars

Russian roads are notoriously dangerous and very, very deadly. But today, the State Agency of Road Safety (the dreaded, bribe-taking traffic police) just released its statistics for the first three quarters of the year and good news abounds. Traffic accidents? … Continue reading

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