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Odds, Ends, And Autocrats
For months now, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been treating his numerous social media followers to a blow-by-blow account of his life. Besides posting posting pictures of mundane activities such as a trip to the dentist, Kadyrov has used the Instagram photo-sharing service to display images of him hanging out in a bathrobe with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and chatting with French actor and tax exile Gerard Depardieu. Now he has added another luminary to his collection of pix. More
How Russia Is Ruled
Vladislav Surkov just lost his job as deputy prime minister. Is he about to be prosecuted? More
Regional Smoke Detector
Ramazan Abdulatipov, whom Russian President Vladimir Putin named acting president of Daghestan in late January, has wasted no time in identifying his priorities. More
Digital Dissidents, Rogues
Governments and policy pundits frequently cite technology-penetration rates -- Internet, mobile phone, or social media -- as meaningful proxies for deeper concepts. Despite this, in fact, penetrations rates are futile. More
The rapid withdrawal over the weekend of proposed legislation to expand protections for Afghan women has highlighted obstacles facing elected representatives and others who want to bolster institutional protections for a vulnerable segment of society. More
Notes Of An Iran Watcher
The front page of Iran's "Ebtekar" daily is a good indication of how many Iranians felt when they heard the news that former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani -- one of the pillars of the Islamic establishment -- had been banned from running in next month's vote. More
Berik Zhaghyparov pleaded not guilty, saying he was at the protest in Astana as an independent journalist to cover the event. More
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