russia

Russian media: more Trump than Putin

Recently, Scan Interfax revealed that in the month of January 2017, for the first time since 2011, Vladimir Putin has not been the most frequently mentioned individual on Russian media: Donald Trump was. The news quickly made the rounds on American media (e.g. on Washington Post, Newsweek, CNN, and others). According to an article by Konstantin von Eggert published by Deutsche Welle, on 15 February Russian state-owned media of the VGTRK group were instructed to stop talking about Trump so much.

Word frequency of ‘Ukraine’, ‘Crimea’, and ‘Syria’ on Russia’s First Channel

Just more than a month has passed since Russia started its military intervention in Syria. There has been a lot of talking about the motivations behind the Kremlin’s decision to take an active military role in the Middle East, and a number of competing explanations have been proposed. However, one element that has been frequently quoted is the Kremlin’s desire to shift attention in Russia’s media from Ukraine to something else, while maintaining the focus on foreign affairs rather than domestic issues.

Russia 2014 as imagined in 2004

In 2004, the Carnegie Moscow Center published a book titled “Russia: the next ten years” (Kuchins and Trenin, 2004). In the introduction, Kuchins makes clear that the aim of the publication is not “to predict” what would happen in the following ten years but rather “to elucidate the context for critical choices for Russian policymakers and the Russian people” (p. 10). However, many of the contributors tried to picture the Russia of 2014, often presenting both a more optimistic and a more pessimistic scenario.

Что дальше?!

Random notes on Abkhazia, October 2011

– Coming from Zugdidi, no passport control whatsoever from the Georgian side. Just a man standing near a post. On the way back, I was asked my passport, job title, and, funnily, phone number. – In Gali, roads are in terrible conditions, plenty of potholes, asphalt rarely to be seen. Just out of town, as soon as the Gali districts ends, a good recently asphalted road starts… done just a few months ago.

Gagra, Soviet war memorial

North Caucasus Youth Forum Mashuk 2010, some random notes

The basic idea of the forum is rather interesting… all participants come from the Federal District of the Northern Caucasus (Stavropolskij Kraj, Karachaj-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya, Dagestan) plus, at least in the original project, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The programme includes training and classes dedicated to “intercultural interaction” that all participants must attend. Basically, participants from different parts of the Russian Caucasus are given a chance to know each other better, to discuss about the stereotypes they have about each other, and so forth.

“Seliger’s many faces”, my feature from the International Youth Forum Seliger 2010

My feature about the International Youth Forum Seliger 2010 is now online on balcanicaucaso.org (available in Italian here). You can find some pictures there or on my Flickr page. I already shared some considerations on my way back from the forum in a previous post… And here’s another recent article about youth policies in Russia as a whole and in the Northern Caucasus in particular, that makes reference to Seliger.

Notes for an article on Seliger 2010

International youth camp Seliger 2010, July 1 – July 8, Russia. Preliminary notes written on a bus from Seliger to Moscow. Pictures will follow in the next few days. Seliger is the location where in the last couple of years the Russian government, through its Federal agency for youth affairs, has been organizing summer camps for young people from all over Russia. The same location was previously used by the much discussed youth organisation “Nashi”.

McDondald’s on the beach and a cruiser

yep, still in Abkhazia… I took this one in Novyj Afon, about 20 km north of Sukhumi…