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Telegram, launched in 2013, has long bothered the government not just because of its sophisticated encryption technique, but also because it quickly became an important platform of political discussion.
US and EU sanctions against the Chinese telecoms group have bolstered Sino-Russian co-operation
Putin has chosen the local governors to play the bad guys responsible for the health-care failures and personal constraints. For himself he has chosen the role of benefactor, bestowing gifts in the form of nonworking days and financial assistance.
The foundation of the current Kremlin ideology is a defensive narrative: that we have always been attacked and forced to defend ourselves. Another line of defense is history.
The pandemic has revealed a truth of the Russian government. Vladimir Putin has become increasingly disengaged from routine matters of governing and prefers to delegate most issues.
Whereas Mikhail Gorbachev granted his people freedom and suffered a crushing personal defeat, Vladimir Putin is doing exactly the opposite. But, in the end, it is Putin's legacy that will suffer, and Gorbachev who will be redeemed.
Despite border closures, Russia and others may be pushed even closer to Beijing.
In recent decades Russia has been too focused on the United States. On the eve of the third decade of the 21st century Russians should arm themselves with patience, set their eyes on the domestic affairs, and establish smooth and balanced relations with far stronger China.
Amid a coronavirus pandemic and looming global economic crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin has suddenly revealed how he intends to remain in power beyond 2024, when what should be his final term in office ends. In doing so, Putin seems to have bet – not incorrectly – that there is simply no one who can stop him.
Those looking at Russia’s foreign relations would soon discover that the country is essentially a loner. It is not part of any international large family, whether Europe, the Atlantic community or the West. Asians do not recognize Russia as Asian, either.