Three weeks ago, when it became clear that Russian military supplies were being sent to Syria, the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the United Nations in New York could be reasonably considered a hostile attempt of Russian autocrat to challenge Western countries and claim his own power in the world.

Continue reading Syria forces Obama to talk with Putin again

Free Russia Foundation has asked Ksenia Kirillova, a Russian journalist, and contributor of the “New region” newspaper  to analyze the main characteristics of Russian general mentality and the ways Kremlin is playing with it.

Continue reading Main Features of the Russian Mentality

On Wednesday night, Americans tuned into the second round of Republican Party debates. It didn’t take long for the simmering tensions between the United States and Russian Federation to be brought up.

Continue reading The GOP debate: attention shifts from Ukraine to Syria

Russia’s regional elections, held Sunday, proceeded more or less as expected for this pseudo-democracy. Election season began with specious disqualifications of the opposition Democratic Coalition parties from the majority of the regional contests, with the exception of Kostroma.

Continue reading Russia’s Elections: Pantomime for the Establishment, Practice for the Opposition

Vladimir Putin is coming to the General Assembly (GA) of the United Nations this month. This visit has sparked a discussion about his motives and intentions among Russian-speaking opposition figures and experts in international affairs.

Continue reading Putin’s values pose old and new existential threats to the West

At the end of September, Vladimir Putin will attend the 70th General Assembly of the U.N and has asked to make a speech. He will speak amid the possibility he will be snubbed by his peers for his authoritarian rule and the invasion of Ukraine. The fact that Putin will still go to New York means that he has a trump card and feels there are more political gains than risks for him. We asked Ilya Ponomarev, Russian MP, to give his take on the reasons of Putin’s upcoming visit to the U.N. and recent increased Russian activity in Syria.

Continue reading Manipulating the U.N. Putin’s flight to New York has to stop in Damascus

With so many presidential candidates in the U.S., there is a great deal of media attention and public discussion. There hasn’t been too much said about where the candidates stand on relations with Russia, Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian crisis, but we have asked our columnist Kyle Menyhert to take a look at their statements and say what kind of actions we should expect after 2016.

Continue reading U.S. – Russia relations after 2016: isolation, engagement or confrontation?

For nearly a week now, food products that fall under sanctions have been destroyed in Russia. Obviously, such a decision has provoked massive dissatisfaction among Russians and for the first time in the last year and a half, has shaken the government’s authority.

Continue reading Will the Burning of Food Lead to a “Conflagration” of Russia?

After a total wipe-out of Democratic Coalition candidates in this year’s Russian regional elections, questions arise as to the further political strategy of Russian Democrats confronting Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Continue reading Democratic Coalition: what next?

A conversation between Irina Kosterina and Sergei Oushakine, Princeton, New Jersey, 2015. Part 2.

Continue reading We are good at keeping quiet — about many things…

A conversation between Irina Kosterina and Serguei Oushakine, Princeton, New Jersey, 2015.

Continue reading We do not learn from the past, we live in it

The prolific spread of the Islamic State’s (ISIS) propaganda effort has become an obsession among national security experts, but there is another urgent threat much closer to home.

Continue reading Warning: Russia Today May Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health

A few days ago, Russia’s Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian Parliament, adopted a new federal law. It was quickly coined the “law on undesirable organizations.” The new legislation is a collection of supplements and amendments to several Russian laws, including the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Offenses.

Continue reading Undesirables

Regime and motives have changed, but again, same as 70 years ago, the Kremlin is trying to solve the Crimean Tatar problem with force.

Continue reading Crimean Tatars – fishbone in Moscow’s throat

She was supposed to be a symbol of a Ukrainian war criminal according to the Kremlin’s plan. Instead, she has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance to Russia’s aggression and for its European choice.


May 6, 2015 marks the third sad anniversary of the events on Bolotnaya Square in Moscow.

Continue reading The Bolotnaya case. Three years with no right for justice

Freedom of Speech is undoubtedly a universal value. There is the First Amendment in the U.S. Bill of Rights adopted back in 1789. In Russia, Article 29 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation guarantees this freedom, though this and many other rights are not respected in today’s Russian reality.


One of the biggest questions following the horrible murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov goes to the impact it will have on the Russian opposition. Will the tactic aimed at sowing fear among opposition politicians yield its results? Will the opposition be able to coordinate better in the new “wartime” reality? Will Russian society be more responsive to opposition ideas now? Continue reading Is Putin really that popular and what is next after Nemtsov’s murder?

We asked several compatriots of different professions about their reasons for moving from Russia to the U.S. What was the final straw that caused it? What in their opinion is the current state of Russian society? Here are some of their responses: Continue reading Putin’s Russia vs. Free Russia: a view from the distance