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The case against him may be phony, but Alexei Navalny, the Russian blogger and opposition activist, faces long odds in his trial, which begins Wednesday. When Putin cannot co-opt his enemies, it seems, he has other means of crushing them.
With Vladimir Putin back in power in Russia, understanding him is more important than ever. Two recent books attempt to unravel the mystery, adding new insight into the Russian leader's life and rule. But by trying to comprehend Putin through his personal history, they miss the true heart of the story: the state he built.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's electoral victory last Sunday has left his opposition in a tough spot. Its next logical move is to step up the fight against Putin, since the Kremlin is unlikely to make any concessions now. But that strategy risks alienating the very group that gives the movement its strength: middle-class Russians.
The economic boom that took place under the watch of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gave birth to a new middle class in Russia. But now, in the run-up to Sunday’s presidential election, that very group has turned against him and taken to the streets.
Foreign Affairs hosts a talkback after a performance of the Broadway play "Time Stands Still" with cast members and journalists who cover conflict zones.
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