Articles by Yevgenia Albats



Why Governors ShouldnТt Be Appointed

Would Mayor Yury Luzhkov have vacationed while Moscow was under heat and smog if he knew that he would be facing re-election? Of course not. But neither Luzhkov nor his replacement needs to worry about voter approval thanks to the power vertical.

Teaching the Teachers

It hardly even merits repetition, but yes, education matters. It is not just about the literacy rate, which political scientists view as a key predictor for development of democratic politics in a country.

Rallying Real Political Power

It was almost a scientific experiment with a clear-cut civic goal. The question was whether it was feasible for a group of private citizens to organize a democratic rally with a reasonably good turnout in a largely politically apathetic city -- and in the middle of a long weekend -- without any support from established parties or party leaders and with almost no financial resources.

State Leaves Us in the Dark

Last week's blackout in Moscow and four neighboring regions has become a hot topic of nationwide debate.

No Greed Without Power

What is the real motivation of those currently in the Kremlin, and of the chekists in particular, greed or power?

No Thank You to Veterans

May 9, Victory Day, used to be a sacred day in my family.

Smothered by State Care

Whenever the Russian state announces that it is going to take care of me as a citizen, my heart skips a beat.

A Resounding Message for Russia

They say that back in 1978, when Karol Wojtyla was elected pope and the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Yury Andropov, then head of the KGB, warned the Politburo that there could be trouble ahead.

2008 Battle Begins With a Bang

There is no lack of theories about the who and the why behind the attempt on the life of Anatoly Chubais, the CEO of the nation's second-largest monopoly, Unified Energy Systems.

Unsolved for Lack of Political Will

It takes regime change to uncover politically motivated crimes. And it takes radical regime change to bring the true culprits behind these crimes to justice.

Inept Policy Has Made Bush Powerless

The upcoming meeting in Bratislava on Thursday between President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush will perhaps be the most useless summit in the history of U.S.-Russia interactions since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Free Speech Does Not Fit the Script

It was a rather unexpected phone call for these days. The producer of a talk show at one of the major television channels called to invite me as an expert on an upcoming program.

Law 122 Is Kremlin's Catch-22

The Kremlin is trapped in a Catch-22 of its own making. This became deadly evident last week with the nationwide wave of protests against the notorious Law 122, the law that strips millions of poor Russians of the little support they previously received from the state.

The Irrepressible Spirit of New Year's

For the first time in history, Russians woke up to the new year in a country run by representatives of the KGB.

Doomed to Repeat History

The other day my 16-year-old daughter was completing a paper on the politics of Josef Stalin when she admitted that lately she had been feeling increasingly ashamed in her high-school history class.

Fear Makes a Comeback

The Kremlin is about to make the single biggest mistake in the nation's post-communist history.

The Case for Yushchenko

I'm writing this column the morning of the runoff in Ukraine's presidential election. The result will not be known for at least 24 hours, and it's hard to predict who will win: opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko or Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

The End of Liberalism

Fifteen years ago, in the summer of 1989, Francis Fukuyama published his most famous article, ""The End of History?"" in which he claimed the worldwide victory of ideas of liberal democracy over other rival ideologies.

Demonstrating Resilience

aturday was an ultimately gray day, with low clouds and no sun at all. Moreover, the rain started at 4 p.m., exactly the time that an antiwar demonstration was scheduled to begin on Pushkin Square -- the venue for many perestroika-era demonstrations (if for no better reason than the fact that Alexander Pushkin wrote, almost 200 years ago, in his poem ""To Chaadayev"": ""Russia will start from her sleep ... "")

Earning the People's Trust

A few days ago I made a 24-hour visit to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, as part of a group of Russian journalists at the invitation of the Georgian government and President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Putin's Days Are Numbered

In the midst of all the bad news coming out of Russia, last week offered some hope.

Painted Into a Corner

President Vladimir Putin is caught in a trap of his own making.

Anti-American Frenzy in Olympics Coverage

Anti-Americanism is a state-sponsored version of Russian nationalism. I never realized this so clearly before watching the Athens Olympics on television.

The Winning 'Spirit' of the 1930s?

Two seemingly unrelated events happened last week, which taken together explain a lot about the essence of Russia's current domestic and foreign policy.

The Kremlin Shows Its True Face

I have never been so concerned about the future of this country as I am today. I donТt expect the government to start rounding up dissidents, a practice stopped by Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-1980s. And I donТt think theyТll reactivate the gulag.

News You Can Use to Save Lives

I can't think of another profession in the world as frustrating as journalism. Yet there is a popular perception of reporters as celebrities based simply on the fact that their bylines appear on the front page and their faces are familiar to us from the nightly news.

Sovietology Strikes Back

President Vladimir Putin's meeting with the oligarchs in the Kremlin last week was a real blast from the past.

The Case Against Optimism

In Tashkent last Thursday, President Vladimir Putin announced that the ""official authorities of the Russian Federation, the government and the country's economic authorities are not interested in the bankruptcy of a company like Yukos.""

Wielding the KGB's Tools

In government, what goes around comes around. In his annual state of the nation address last week, President Vladimir Putin made clear that he selects his tools of governance from the same shed as his Soviet predecessors once did.

Exposing a Kremlin Myth

There is a growing trend in reports about Russia, both here and abroad, to explain President Vladimir Putin's increasingly authoritarian regime as the product of the country's historically illiberal political culture.