Interview: Viktor Ivanov

Russia's top antinarcotics official, a former KGB officer and ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, speaks about why his country must help its southern neighbors fight drugs.

Protesters Cry Shame, but Verdict No Surprise

Angry protests underscored that even after 22 months of hearings, not many in Russia understood how prosecutors could accuse Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his codefendant of stealing billions of dollars' worth of oil from their own company.

Beefing Up the Russia-China Connection

America's coming withdrawal from Afghanistan will leave a large power vacuum in Central Asia—one that both Russia and China are keen to fill. China has the overwhelming economic clout, while Russia has the longstanding political and cultural ties to its former empire.

Ramzan Kadyrov Talks About Chechnya's Future

In 2004, Chechnya's president, Ahkmad Kadyrov, the face of the Kremlin Chechenization project, was assassinated and his son Ramzan took power. Ramzan went much further than his father: human-rights groups have accused him of ordering torture, abductions, and killings, both inside Chechnya and on dissidents abroad. At the same time he has brought a brutal peace to his troubled republic, introducing morality police and strict Islamic dress codes. Kadyrov spoke to NEWSWEEK's Anna Nemtsova at his...

How Moscow's War on Islamist Rebels Is Backfiring

The video shows a gun barrel jutting from the rear window of a shiny black Lada sedan as it cruises slowly down Putin Prospect, a new boulevard of designer shops in the Chechen capital, Grozny. Spotting a pair of young women in long skirts but without headscarves, the vehicle's occupants open fire.

Rediscovering the Political Power of Rock and Roll

Rain poured over the crowd gathered for a rock concert in Moscow's central Pushkin Square last month. Police sealed off the square, searched everyone coming in, and infiltrated the crowd with plainclothes officers. The musicians were only slightly more obvious than the police. They could barely be seen, performing from a stepladder in the center of the crowd, and singing into a megaphone in place of loudspeakers. Moscow city hall did not permit them to use real microphones, because the...

Domestic Violence Pervades Russian Homes

Russian women are habitually beaten with legal impunity—in a country with no support system for victims of domestic violence. So it was horrible but hardly surprising when my friend's husband got drunk and killed her.

How Russia's FSB Colonized Abkhazia

Abkhazia, one of the breakaway provinces over which Russia and Georgia fought in 2008, has been colonized by Russia's state security services. And the locals are hardly thrilled.

Ella Pamfilova on Human Rights in Russia

Between 2004 and the end of July, Ella Pamfilova served as the Russian president's adviser on human rights. But she left that post to protest a wave of violent attacks against human-rights activists. In the past year three of them have been murdered, and four others have had to flee the country.

Russia's Activists Lose Hope in President

When Dmitry Medvedev was elected president of Russia, he publicly criticized the country's human-rights record and called for reform. But last week, he was dealt a stunning blow when his chief adviser on human rights resigned over a new wave of attacks on activists.

Bringing Peace to Battered Kyrgyzstan

Roza Otunbayeva became Kyrgyzstan's acting president in April after the violent ouster of Kurmanbek Bakiyev by angry crowds. Last week, after an explosion of interethnic violence in the country's south, she appealed to Russia to send peacekeeping troops. She spoke to NEWSWEEK's Anna Nemtsova by phone from Bishkek.

Russia's Terror Fighter

Viktor Ivanov is one of Russia's leading Siloviki, a group of ex-KGB officers close to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Since 2008 he's been a senior member of Russia's National Antiterror Committee. He also heads Russia's Federal Service for the Control of Narcotics, where he's focused on breaking the links between the heroin trade and Islamic insurgencies in Russia and Central Asia. Ivanov spoke to NEWSWEEK's Anna Nemtsova in Moscow. Excerpts: Will there be a crackdown in the North...

Mikheil Saakashvili Says He's Been Abandoned

In the largest opposition demonstration in Georgia since November 2007— WHEN President Mikheil Saakashvili tested his democratic credentials by sending in riot police to quash the protests—tens of thousands of people filled Tbilisi's leafy Rustaveli Avenue last Thursday to demand Saakashvili's resignation. The president retreated to his residence, where he spoke with NEWSWEEK's Anna Nemtsova about the crowds on the street, his difficult relationship with Russia and how the West has largely...

Fast Chat: Yuri Schmidt, Yukos Lawyer

A crisis-stricken Kremlin is courting Western investors, and activists hope this may lead to the release of high-profile political prisoners, like the Yukos Oil executives. (Last month, a terminally-ill Yukos man was allowed the option of dying at home.) Anna Nemtsova spoke to lawyer Yuri Schmidt about the likelihood of a pardon for Yukos oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky: Would the release of Khodorkovsky be a positive sign for Western investors that Russia is becoming a rule-of-law...

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