Articles by Pavel Aptekar

Moscow Imam's Arrest Risks Possible Protests

The July 12 arrest of Moscow imam Makhmut Velitov on charges of publicly justifying terrorism marked a new first for Russian authorities.

What's Next for Assad?

The sudden announcement that Syrian President Bashar Assad is ready to hold early elections obviously comes at Moscow's urging.

Putin's New Diplomacy: Act Now, Talk Later

Russia has invented a new type of diplomacy that defies easy categorization. It might be called "post hoc diplomacy" because Moscow begins negotiations with partners and adversaries not before taking action, as is customary, but only afterward, and with the goal of either consolidating the results of that action or using it as leverage in subsequent negotiations.

Doing the Math on Import Substitution

From the outset, the import substitution campaign was a simple story about rubles and percentages. Now officials and ordinary Russians are beginning to understand that.

Moscow's New Mosque Is Good News for All

The opening of Moscow's new mosque last week Ч after the old one at the site was demolished and a much larger one built in its place Ч was an event of national importance.

Keeping Up With Russia's New Laws

The story of how judges and experts at the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Municipal Court in Russia's Far East misread sacred Muslim texts does deserve attention, but it was probably more of a misunderstanding than an irreconcilable conflict between secular authorities and religious perceptions.

Budget Cuts Hit Russian Orphanages Hard

Budget cuts and inadequate incentives for local officials might threaten reforms on Russian orphanages, including the transition to a "family" form of upbringing and the children's public school education.

Russia's Food Rules Are in Bad Taste

President Vladimir Putin probably ordered the destruction of sanctioned foodstuffs to demonstrate that Moscow is serious: With the West implementing sanctions against this country, Russia imposes retaliatory sanctions of its own.

The Kremlin's Guide to Budget Cuts

In an effort to economize, the Finance Ministry encroached on sacred ground by suggesting that the country celebrate anniversaries of major historical events only once every 100 years.

Rewriting Russia's History With 'Iron Felix'

The decision to hold a referendum on the restoration of the monument to Soviet secret police chief Felix Dzerzhinsky on Lubyanskaya Ploshchad in Moscow was probably made at the highest political level.

Why Tolstykh Is Out and Blatter Is In

Only two days separated the re-election of incumbent FIFA President Joseph "Sepp" Blatter and the dismissal of Russian Football Union (RFS) President Nikolai Tolstykh.

Russian Health Care Is Dying a Slow Death

Russia is attempting to reform its health care system, but these reforms are doing serious damage and Putin seems oblivious to the reality of the situation.

A Partial Picture Distorts the Criminal Past

June 12 was the 70th anniversary of the execution of the members of the ""Red Army military-fascist conspiracy"" -- Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky, army commanders Ieronim Uborevich, Avgust Kork, Yona Yakir and other Soviet military leaders.