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The idea of fiscal justice – that taxes should be paid in proportion to the taxpayer’s means -can produce bloody rebellions and even revolutions. But not in Russia. What then-President Boris Yeltsin did in the 1990s was an old trick he might have cribbed from the histories of the old regimes of France if he [...]

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MOSCOW – There’s nothing more ungainly than newspapers, when their sanctimoniousness is aroused, and they try walking with their feet in their mouths. Call this the Duranty phenomenon. Walter Duranty was the New York Times journalist who won a Pulitzer prize, journalism’s highest award in the US, for his reporting on Russia in 1931. Duranty [...]

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Anatoly Chubais is the biggest factotum in Russia, and an oligarch of sorts, in part because he controls United Energy Systems (UES), the electricity utility on which the profit margins of several other oligarchs depends; and also because he was the government official who rigged the privatization schemes that created the oligarchs’ private wealth. Because [...]

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Oleg Deripaska, chief executive of Russian Aluminum (RusAI), Russia’s largest aluminum producer, and head of Basic Element, which holds his investments in other sectors of the Russian economy, has been feeling maligned for a long time now. A two-year-old lawsuit by smelting rival Mikhail Zhivilo in New York accusing Deripaska and his associates of using [...]

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Russian oil producers, pipelines and ports are certain to be badly hit if the United States forces a regime change in Iraq and, consequently, world oil prices fall sharply. And that’s only scratching the surface of the threat to the Russian economy from an American war on Iraq, and all that would follow. Understanding this [...]

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If you believe what you are told about Russia in virtually all the world media at this moment, President Vladimir Putin is an isolated savage fighting a last-ditch battle against the forces of advancing civilization, out¬numbered, out¬gunned and doomed. If Putin — and a handful of his advisors — represent the last of the Mohicans, [...]

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MOSCOW – In a well-known Russian anecdote, a police investigator is questioning the son-in-law of an elderly lady who has been found dead. “Why did she die?” the policeman asks. “Because she ate poisoned mushrooms,” the son-in-law replies. “So why is her body covered with bruises?” the policeman asks. “Because she was stupid, and didn’t [...]