Madonna is with the gays of St Petersburg

In a week when NGOs working in Russia were declared “foreign agents”, Nicholas Maltby looks at another piece of Russian legislation that is causing controversy, the law banning “gay propaganda”. A St. Petersburg ruling that bans homosexual “propaganda” has led to 74 people being punished for the offence, according to Sergei Umnov, the chief of St.…

Moscow’s delicate balance of Europe and Eurasia

As expected, the deteriorating situation in Syria dominated discussion at the 29th EU-Russia summit in St Petersburg, given added urgency by the massacre of over 100 civilians in Houla just days before the formal talks began.  The EU delegation increased their pressure on Russia to condemn the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and call for the withdrawal…

Putin’s bizarre choice: Russian President’s first meetings with foreign leaders will be with the Presidents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The first meetings of the newly installed Russian President Vladimir Putin with foreign leaders are going to be with the Presidents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Kremlin announced that Putin will meet with his Abkhaz and South Ossetian counterparts in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday and Saturday. The decision reflects what many…

Global and Regional powers flex muscles in the Mediterranean

There are reports of intensive air and naval activity in the Eastern Mediterranean as global and regional powers flex their muscles amidst increasing tensions around the situation in Syria. Israel, the United States and Greece are currently involved military in manoevres that have been described by the Israeli media as being aimed to test a response to any…

Shoigu set to move to front line Russian politics

One of Russia’s more charismatic pro Kremlin politicians, Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shogu is on his way to join frontline politics.  Deputies  of the Moscow  Region Duma will discuss his candidature to the position of governor of the Moscow region. The vote will be secret. More than half of  deputies of the   Moscow Region  Duma (they are 50 deputies)…