Is he doomed to play the role of Mikhail Gorbachev to an organisation long as secretive as the Kremlin?
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Sunday 22 February 2009
Thursday 22 January 2009
40th president - 1981-1989
Sunday 18 January 2009
Friday 16 January 2009
Friday 05 December 2008
Patriarch Alexiy II, the head of Russia's powerful Orthodox Church, has died at his residence at the age of 79, a church spokesman said today.
Sunday 30 November 2008
Wednesday 06 August 2008
Hundreds of Russians braved driving rain in Moscow to bid farewell to the writer and Soviet-era dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose body lay in an open coffin at Russia's leading scientific institute.
Tuesday 05 August 2008
Tuesday 05 August 2008
Russians piled flowers outside the gates of the home of Alexander Solzhenitsyn as they mourned the death of Russia's leading anti-Soviet dissident and Nobel laureate who chronicled the Stalin terror.
Friday 13 June 2008
Raul Castro's decision to abolish the sacrosanct principle of equal pay for all is another small step along that trickiest and most treacherous of paths for a communist regime – how to liberalise and streamline a centrally planned system without losing control and destroying it. That Fidel's younger brother is determined to change Cuba is beyond doubt. The move to pay higher salaries and bonuses for better workers and managers follows several other reforms. Whether they work – or merely hasten the demise of one of the world's very few remaining communist states – is another matter.
Tuesday 10 June 2008
Zoya Krakhmalnikova may have looked grandmotherly in her later years, her distinctive white hair making her easily identifiable at events in Moscow intellectual circles, but she was quietly determined in defending what she believed was right.
Monday 09 June 2008
But for some smart footwork one winter night in 1985 by Mikhail Gorbachev's supporters, the Soviet Union might have had a Romanov restoration – not of the former dynasty of tsars, but of Grigory Vasilyevich Romanov, long-time Leningrad regional party boss, and until 1985 seen by many as a future leader of his country.
Wednesday 30 April 2008
Saturday 12 April 2008
Sport, like life, moves in long slow circles. Back in the late 1980s, as this newspaper's first correspondent in Moscow, I used to watch Sergei Fedorov play ice hockey for the legendary CSKA, the Central Army Sports Club. He was a raw kid, just starting his career with what may have been the greatest hockey team ever assembled. Now, two decades later, in the capital of what used to be the Soviet Union's mortal foe, I am watching him again, a veteran superstar girding up for a last epic campaign, this time in the colours of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League.
Tuesday 26 February 2008
For a Soviet musician thrown into a mental asylum by the KGB in the mid-1980s because of his anti-Communist lyrics, it was never the best idea, on release, to sing a song about Lenin "rotting in his mausoleum". But that is what the Siberian rocker Yegor Letov did, and it is partly why he was known as "the father of Russian punk" and "the Russian Sid Vicious".
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