Post-1990 Russia

After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Soviet Union officially disintegrated in 1991, Russia found itself thrust into a new era. A Communist dictatorship and government controlled economy were replaced with multi-party elections and private business. Not surprisingly, these major changes did not come without severe growing pains; and to this day, Russia remains in a state of political flux.

Following World War II and the commencement of the 40+ year Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union built up massive weapons arsenals. But as a part of détente, or the "relaxation of tensions," both nations signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a product of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (1972). The relative calm was short-lived, however, as tensions resumed in 1979 when the USSR invaded Afghanistan.

Over the next decade, the woes of Communism gradually chipped away at Russia’s internal structure. The arrival of Mikhail Gorbachev as general secretary in 1985 brought a dramatically different kind of Soviet leader and paved the way for a new era with the implementation of "glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring)." Although interpretation of these terms varied, it was clear Gorbachev sought a new chapter for Communism and implicitly admitted that the Soviet regime was weak.

In 1977, Ronald Reagan reportedly told a visitor that his solution to the Cold War was the following: "We win and they lose." Once in office, Reagan suspected that the USSR was more vulnerable than it let on, and encouraged a defensive buildup to cover all bases against Soviet Russia. In 1985, President Reagan and Gorbachev began a series of summits that prompted cultural exchange and a degree of trust. President George H. W. Bush continued the relationship with Gorbachev, and, after the Fall of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989, the two leaders officially declared a strategic partnership at a July 1991 summit, effectively concluding the Cold War.

Reforming the Party from within brought Gorbachev foes from both sides. Communists saw Gorbachev as a traitor who had abandoned the principles of Marx and Lenin. Others, like Boris Yeltsin, president of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, urged swifter, bolder economic reform. As Soviet republics like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania declared their independence from the USSR, the nation’s constitutional base crumbled, and in August 1991 a hardliner Communist coup ousted Gorbachev from office. Gorbachev officially resigned at the end of the year, and with his resignation, the Soviet Union formally dissolved on December 26, 1991.

Following the USSR’s dissolution, President Yeltsin introduced swift economic reforms, later dubbed "shock therapy" because of the overnight shift toward liberalization. Urged by the "Washington Consensus" of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and U.S. Treasury Department, reformers hoped for liberalization, stabilization, and privatization. By 1994, 70 percent of the Russian industrial economy had been privatized.

Despite this progress, hyperinflation, vast geographical territory, an unprepared workforce, unreformed Communist constituencies, and an over-dependence on military projects left the new Russia in a dire situation. In response, Yeltsin attempted to increase his support by unveiling a "loans-for-shares" program, in which natural resource enterprises were offered up to big businessmen in exchange for loans to balance the government’s budget. Unfortunately, this program grossly increased the size of a few main financial groups, overseen by a band of "oligarchs," who quickly became a corrupt force in Russia’s 1990s political and economic climate.

In the summer of 1993, high inflation and worker frustration contributed to conflict between Yeltsin and the Russian parliament. When Yeltsin moved to dissolve the legislature, Parliament retaliated by impeaching the President. The situation came to a head on October 3rd, when demonstrators stormed the Russian White House and a bloody street fight erupted. President Yeltsin eventually regained the upper hand in the disagreement, and the post-Soviet Constitution was ratified several months later.

When Yeltsin resigned his presidency at the close of the 20th century, Vladimir Putin was installed as interim president. Putin, an avid student of Russian history, admirer of Russian reformer Pyotr Stolypin and American president Franklin D. Roosevelt, "sees himself as a historical figure among the pantheon of those who have sought to save the Russian state," even going so far as to describe the breakdown of the USSR as "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century." His agenda would include, first and foremost, getting Russia's economy back on track, the success of which earned him extremely high approval ratings of around 70 percent.

Putin's measures to revive the Russian economy included some free market reforms such as instituting a flat tax for personal income of 13 percent (one of the lowest in the world), land and legal reforms, currency liberalization, and reducing taxes on profits. 

At the same time, Putin also strengthened state power. As one 2008 analysis finds:

"The Russian state under Putin is certainly bigger than it was before. The number of state employees has doubled to roughly 1.5 million. The Russian military has more capacity to fight the war in Chechnya today, and the coercive branches of the government—the police, the tax authorities, the intelligence services—have bigger budgets than they did a decade ago. In some spheres, such as paying pensions and government salaries on time, road building, or educational spending, the state is performing better now than during the 1990s. Yet given the growth in its size and resources, what is striking is how poorly the Russian state still performs. In terms of public safety, health, corruption, and the security of property rights, Russians are actually worse off today than they were a decade ago."

Under Putin, the Russian government has increased its control over major news outlets, reduced the autonomy of regional governments, harassed and repressed political opposition, diminished property rights, and, "under the banner of a program called 'National Champions,'" renationalized major parts of the energy and other industry sectors.

Putin has helped reinvigorate Russian nationalist sentiments, which has led to a number of controversies in terms of Russian foreign policy: military action against nationalist movements in Chechnya and Georgia; weapons sales to North Korea, Iran, and possibly Venezuela and Syria; opposition to a U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe, namely in Poland and the Czech Republic; speaking out against UN and U.S. sanctions of Iran; and, negotiation of a new version of the nuclear arms reduction treaty START with President Obama in 2009 that some say favors Russian interests over those of the U.S.

Putin has also been accused of seeking to re-install autocracy in Russia. Even though his second presidential term expired in 2008, when Putin’s successor, Dmitry Medvedev, gained the presidency, he nominated Putin as Prime Minister, solidifying Putin's power-hold and causing many to view Medvedev as a mere puppet. In fact, in December 2011, after Putin announced he would pursue a third presidential term, thousands took to the streets to protest Russia's allegedly rigged election results. 

Indeed, the election fraud of 2011 has been viewed as another indicator of the corruption that has pervaded Russia all too often in its recent history. According to some reports, cronyism and ruling class extravagance are increasingly common, as evidenced by the high cost of basic benefits such as good roads. In addition to corruption, Russia increasingly faces the struggles of a declining population and a poorly competitive business environment.

Tracing the historical record through speeches, analysis and data, this topic describes the challenges and victories Russia has faced since the fall of Communism in the early 1990s, paying specific attention to how the Russian leaders have dealt with their country’s problems.

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"Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has been overthrown after a coup by Communist hardliners.

Mr Gorbachev is reported to be under house arrest at his holiday home in the Crimea.

News of the coup was broken in an announcement on state radio earlier on Monday."

"Michael McFaul, the recently appointed US ambassador to Russia, has already gotten off to a pretty rocky start. I’m not terribly interested in the somewhat cold reception McFaul has received from official Moscow, there are pretty clear elements of self-interest that explain why Russian state television would suddenly discover his academic background in democracy promotion, but I do think that...

"On Saturday, Russia will host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit for the first time.... Vladivostok will be the epicenter of business and politics among the 21 nations in the Pacific Rim, including the United States. APEC is a platform for leaders to discuss the most pressing global and regional problems."

"Moscow and Washington are calling their recent summit a success. But to move beyond cosmetic agreements, the United States will have to think of Russia as a strategic partner and not just a negotiating one."

"No nation state has ever been definitively linked to an act of cyber warfare, but the internet is certainly being used as a battlefield. Even though governments are not owning up to it, two recent events make state involvement look more likely than ever."

"In his last state of the nation speech before leaving office, Mr. Medvedev recommended returning to the direct election of governors, removing officials' wives and children from the leadership of lucrative corporations, and creating a public television station protected from the Kremlin’s manipulation, among other changes. If carried out, the proposals would be a step toward dismantling the...

"Back in the Bad Old Days when the Romanovs ruled the country, power usually devolved onto the Crown Prince or Heir Apparent, just as soon as the Tsar died. The Tsar did not always die of natural causes. Back in the Really Bad Old Days, when the Soviets ran the place, the order of succession was a bit less orderly and a lot more brutal. When Lenin had his stroke, when Stalin died, when...

"YESTERDAY Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minster, called Mikheil Saakashvili 'a pathology and anomaly of the Georgian people'. Georgia's president, Mr Lavrov added, was 'ill-bred'."

"Guided by President Dmitry Medvedev, Russia appears to be slowly refashioning its foreign policy to favor better relations with the West. Moscow would like to exchange closer ties for investment and technology -- a trade that Washington would be wise to support."

"Chechens are an ethnic minority living primarily in Russia's North Caucasus region. For the past two hundred years, they have generally been governed by Moscow, though they have had varying degrees of de facto autonomy. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Chechen separatists launched a coordinated campaign for independence, which resulted in two devastating wars and an ongoing insurgency in...

Currently, thousands of Russian protestors challenge Vladimir Putin's government and dispute the results of the most recent parliamentary election.

"After nearly eighty years, the New York Times reports that Russia may now finally be moving to de-collectivize and privatize its farmlands. From 1928 to 1933, Stalin pursued a ruthless drive to collectivize all agriculture in the Soviet Union, and implemented a series of events in the Ukraine ('the breadbasket of Europe') to crush the people seeking independence from Russian rule."

"Détente is a popular catchword in international relations; while it now perhaps has passed from official favor, ... it still serves to convey instantly a well-understood attitude toward complex world relationships. Will détente prove advantageous to the West in the long run? This continues to generate significant and heated debate, both within and outside the U.S. military community. In any...

"Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials.

The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven't sought...

"Many of the attacks have come from Russia and are being hosted by Russian state computer servers, Tallinn says. Moscow denies any involvement.

Estonia says the attacks began after it moved a Soviet war memorial in Tallinn. The move was condemned by the Kremlin.

A Nato spokesman said the organisation was giving Estonia technical help.

'In the 21st century it's not just...

After intelligence reports suggesting Russia may be in part responsible for a bomb blast at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, Carafano questions the effectiveness of the Obama Administration's "reset" policy with Russia.

"Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has asserted that his recent visit to the United States raised US-Georgian strategic ties to a 'new level.' American officials have been much more reticent on bilateral defense issues, raising questions about what exactly was discussed in Washington."

"The following graphic lists the ten most/least corrupt countries based on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2011. The Corruption Perception Index assigns countries and territories with scores between 0 (highly corrupt) and 10 (very clean). New Zealand tops the list as the least corrupt country, while North Korea and Somalia are all the way at the bottom."

"The end of the 20th century witnessed an apparently irreversible wave of democratization in several parts of the world. But until the recent dramatic events in Egypt, democratization seemed to have waned - even given way to a new wave of authoritarianism around the world. Except in the promotional plans of professional democratizers, the 'romance' disappeared from the news and commentary...

"This was not the first botnet strike ever, nor was it the largest. But never before had an entire country been targeted on almost every digital front all at once, and never before had a government itself fought back. 'The attacks were aimed at the essential electronic infrastructure of the Republic of Estonia,' Aaviksoo tells me later. 'All major commercial banks, telcos, media outlets, and...

"In a recent trip to Moscow, I learned that many people within the Russian foreign-policy establishment were surprised that some in Washington circles see the reset policy variously as a great achievement and a huge concession to Russia. Thus, they seem disappointed that Russia isn’t blindly following the U.S. lead on Iran. Russians aren’t inclined to underestimate the improvements, but they...

"In the 1960s and 70s, the Soviet Union sponsored waves of political violence against the West. The Red Brigades in Italy and the German Red Army Faction both terrorized Europe through bank robberies, kidnapping, and acts of sabotage. The Soviets wanted to use these left-wing terror groups to destabilize Italy and Germany to break up NATO. State-sponsored terrorism was a deeply Soviet...

"There was disbelief this week when Arkady Dvorkovich, adviser to President Dmitry Medvedev, told journalists that Russia was close to joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Russia has been 'close' for ages, but the timing has always slipped. Yet after 18 years of talks, it seems that membership now beckons."

"The impending cyber threat requires the immediate attention of Congress, according to a top intelligence official who singled out China, Russia and a failure of policy keeping up with the speed of technology as top threats to the nation’s critical networks."

"The foundation of Iran’s nuclear program can be traced to extensive Chinese and Russian cooperation in the 1990s, according to a former U.S. intelligence official who specialized on Tehran’s program."

"The Russian military was clearly superior to that of a small country in its 'near abroad'—Georgia—but is a 'resurgent' Russia a threat to the United States? If the United States insists on expanding its informal empire into Russia’s nearby sphere of influence, it has to expect some pushback from a Russia that is no longer as weak as it once was and is resentful at having been trampled on...

"As has been widely reported, Mallesons partners voted last Wednesday to approve the merger with Chinese firm King & Wood. Not that we thought they’d do otherwise, despite our controversial editorial to the contrary."

"Russia’s comfortable middle class turned to the streets for the first time this month to fight Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s rule over their country. But long-aggrieved nationalists have helped give the protests their crackling energy, in an alliance of forces that usually are disdainful of each other, if not openly hostile.

Combined, liberals and nationalists are trying to appeal to...

Is Russia a fundamentally liberal or illiberal nation?

"Liberalism in Russia is on its last legs. On this general observation, Allen Lynch, Lilia Shevtsova and Paul Dibb agree. As to why liberalism in Russia has faltered, however, they differ. Their fears about the consequences of liberalism’s failure also range considerably. Who’s right?"

"Russians will go to the polls on March 26 and are almost certain to make the temporary presidency of Vladimir Putin official. A key factor driving Mr. Putin's rosy electoral prospects is the fact that the Russian economy has improved measurably over the past 18 months. Thanks in large part to the devaluation of the ruble and rising oil prices, Russia's economy is on more stable footing. Gross...

"Tens of thousands of people poured onto the streets of Russia's capital to protest what they claim was a rigged parliamentary election.

'The falsifications that authorities are doing today have turned into a big theater, with clowns like in a circus,' Moscow demonstrator Alexander Tromifov told the Associated Press.

As many as 50,000 people showed up to protest in Moscow, the...

"In his strongest criticism of the Kremlin yet, the father of perestroika said he was shocked and disappointed by the glib way that Mr Putin had reacted to unprecedented anti-Kremlin protests in recent weeks.

'This is shameful. And embarrassing. I, for example, am ashamed,' he said of Mr Putin's dismissive attitude after the prime minister sarcastically likened the protestors' white...

"Russia sprawls across Eurasia, contains 148 million people, possesses more than 3,000 strategic nuclear warheads, is the world’s second-largest exporter of oil and armaments, is the foremost exporter of natural gas, and is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Any country with these attributes will have strategic heft. But a scrutiny of its power reveals that Russia is...

"Russian lawmakers are under fire for adopting a tough new bill that opponents say will allow the Kremlin to jail its critics on charges of high treason."

"The New START treaty represents an obsolete approach to national security, a holdover from the Cold War when the Soviet Union was the primary threat to the United States. Today, America has more reason to worry about actual and potential nuclear-missile threats from Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, and China. North Korea’s latest hostile acts against South Korea and reports that Iran has signed...

"On April 8 in Prague, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a new strategic offensive arms agreement to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), which expired in December 2009.

If the Senate and the Russian Duma consent to ratification of the treaty, the United States and Russia each will be limited to 1,550 deployed strategic warheads...

"Poland seeks to develop relations with Russia further, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said at the President's Palace on Wednesday evening during a meeting with the diplomatic corps.

'Poland has made efforts for normalizing relations and reconciliation with Russia,' he said. 'We have seen and continue to see in this our contribution to the rapprochement of the peoples of Europe...

"The president’s decision to reverse Bush-era foreign policy in Eastern Europe by scrapping plans to build a missile defense shield and radar system in Poland and the Czech Republic resulted in disparate and polarized responses last week.

Seventy years ago to the day that the Red Army invaded Poland, the Obama administration announced the major foreign policy shift to cries of 'betrayal...

"Last month I revisited three post-imperial cities: Moscow, Berlin and Istanbul. They had a remarkable resurrection since I had first visited them, which is the subject of this column.

I first visited Moscow in the early 1990s just after Yegor Gaidar's prime ministership; East Berlin a week after the fall of the Berlin Wall; and Istanbul in the late 1960s. All three were suffering from...

"At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have 'more flexibility' to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him 'space.'

The exchange was picked up by microphones as reporters were let into the room for remarks by the two leaders...

"Although global trade talks are going nowhere, the ministerial meeting of World Trade Organization members in Geneva next week will accomplish at least one item of major importance: admitting Russia to the club. Whether U.S. companies can reap the benefits of a more open Russian market will depend on the repeal of a U.S. law that has become an awkward relic of the Cold War."

"Under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, people who fraternized with foreigners or criticized the Kremlin were 'enemies of the people' and sent to the gulag. Now there's new legislation backed by Vladimir Putin's government that human rights activists say could throw Russia back to the days of the Great Terror.

The legislation, outspoken government critic and rights activist Lev Ponomaryov...

"As the 2012 State of the Union approaches, the public continues to give the highest priority to economic issues. Fully 86% say that strengthening the economy should be a top priority for the president and Congress this year, and 82% rate improving the job situation as a top priority. None of the other 20 issues tested in this annual survey rate as a top priority for more than 70% of Americans...

"Putin is back, or almost assuredly will be back, as Russian president in 2012. Notwithstanding all his time as Russian president or as the stealthy power behind the presidency, Putin remains a shadowy and inaccessible figure. This is not by accident, given that he has invested extraordinary efforts into hiding his true identity. There are large discrepancies in his official narrative—not...

"As the Russian protest movement expands and radicalizes in the lead-up to the March 4 presidential election, the key question is not whether Vladimir Putin -- and Putinism -- will survive. They will not. Apart from its so obviously dysfunctional political system, Russia is facing growing problems of enormous complexity -- economic, social, demographic, ethnic -- that are impossible to solve...

"Throughout his presidency, informed observers have maintained that President Dmitry Medvedev has been the puppet to Putin’s puppeteer. In several areas of foreign policy however, Medvedev wielded a substantial degree of independence until recently. Medvedev’s ascension to the presidency coincided with Obama’s arrival in Washington and the new leaders enjoyed decidedly more amicable relations...

Time Magazine featured Vladimir Putin as its 2007 "Person of the Year," announcing, "When this intense and brooding KGB agent took over as President of Russia in 2000, he found a country on the verge of becoming a failed state. With dauntless persistence, a sharp vision of what Russia should become and a sense that he embodied the spirit of Mother Russia, Putin has put his country back on the...

"Russian President Vladimir Putin told the nation Monday that the collapse of the Soviet empire 'was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century' and had fostered separatist movements inside Russia.

In his annual state of the nation address to parliament and the country’s top political leaders, Putin said the Soviet collapse also was a tragedy for Russians."

"The Carter-Reagan military buildup did not defeat the Soviet Union. On the contrary, it prolonged the Cold War. Gorbachev's determination to reform an economy crippled in part by defense spending urged by special interests, but far more by structural rigidities, fueled his persistent search for an accommodation with the West. That persistence, not SDI, ended the Cold War."

"In 2001, George W. Bush cut taxes for the super-rich in the USA–and added $1 trillion to the national debt. His wars in Iraq and Afghanistan added another $1 trillion to the national debt, borrowing most of the money from mainland China. GW Bush’s conservative champions and policy advisers made bold predictions about what the tax cuts would do — massive job growth, vast new wealth, higher...

"Hackers in China are the world’s 'most active and persistent perpetrators' of economic cyber espionage, and Russian spy agencies are actively seeking to steal U.S. technology, according to a report released by American intelligence services on Thursday.

The 2011 report by the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (ONCIX) included a focus on cyber threats for the first...

This article from Gallup polling contains a variety of charts on the public's opinion of Russia from 1989 to 2011.

"The directive refers specifically to the European Union and western Europe and appears to be signed by the head of counter-intelligence of the FSB, the successor to the KGB.

It is dated March 19, 2003 - four years before the killing of the former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London. It sets a provisional deadline of May 1 2004 for the new units' work to begin."

"20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. and Russia are far from the trusting partners that we perhaps should be."

Hart attempts to draw a parallel between the United States and Russia and their security, energy, and leadership interests in 21st century leadership.

"Iran may be under United Nations sanctions for nuclear arms technology, but Russia has recently sold Tehran new conventional weapons. This week, Moscow said it has completed deliveries of anti-aircraft missiles — and it is ready to sell more arms to Iran.

Iran may be under United Nations sanctions for nuclear-arms technology, but Russia has recently sold Tehran new conventional weapons...

"Corruption in Russia is on a baroque scale. Two Chechen suicide bombers boarded a plane in 2004 (which they blew up killing 87 people) after slipping the security guards a 5,000 Ruble bribe. Russian domestic aviation is so unsafe that foreign contractors tell staff to use foreign airlines to reach Russian destinations. The pilots are drunk, the ground crew incompetent, and planes can (and do...

"Russia opposes new sanctions against Iran and believes negotiations with Tehran on its disputed nuclear program can be resumed, Moscow's U.N. ambassador said Friday.

Vitaly Churkin told a news conference that Russia also believes the 'threats and insinuations of possible military action against Iran' over its nuclear program are not helpful. He urged the international community to...

"Russia threatened on Wednesday to deploy missiles to target the U.S. missile shield in Europe if Washington fails to assuage Moscow’s concerns about its plans, a harsh warning that reflects deep cracks in U.S.-Russian ties despite President Barack Obama’s efforts to 'reset' relations with the Kremlin.

President Dmitry Medvedev said he still hopes for a deal with the U.S. on missile...

"In an apparent move to stifle dissent at home, Russia lawmakers voted to expand that country's definition of treason to include 'those seeking to damage Russia's security.'"

"After more than a decade of Vladimir Putin's rule, Russia has become a 'KGB state.' ... Although the KGB was abolished in 1991 after its chairman, Vladimir Kryuchhov, participated in the failed coup d'etat against USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev, the KGB mentality still thrives. Russia is run by former KGB officials and Kremlin-friendly oligarchs. They control industry, commerce, media, and...

"The United States had SOPA, and Britain has the Digital Economy Act. China is -- well, in a league of its own.

Russia is next on the list of developed nations pushing for widespread Web site blocking and censorship capabilities in the wake of an online uprising prior to the inauguration of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Thousands of protesters took to the streets, set up blogs, and...

"Russia's parliament has voted to widen the definition of high treason in a move critics say is a further attempt to stifle dissent in the country."

"The richest slice of Russian society has doubled its wealth in the past 20 years, while almost two-thirds of the population is no better off and the poor are barely half as wealthy as they were when the Soviet Union fell, according to researchers."

"Last year, Russia surpassed the United States as the developing world’s leader in arms deals, according to a new report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). But Russia has increased military shipments to anti-U.S. states like Iran and Venezuela, not to mention potential adversaries like China, which concerns U.S. policymakers far more. Experts say Iran—as well as Syria—may have...

"Russia's lower house of parliament on Tuesday quickly rubber stamped a new bill widely expanding the definition of high treason. Critics alleged the legislation is part of a wider crackdown on dissent by President Vladimir Putin, who has already pushed through laws targeting street protests, aid organizations and opposition leaders."

"Vladimir Putin's approval rating climbed three percentage points to 68pc, its highest level in five weeks, while President Dmity Medvedev's rating climbed four points to 58pc, its highest level in a month.

The poll came two days after Mr Putin vowed to fight Islamist rebels in a four-hour televised call-in show. He also demanded tough measures be taken against those responsible for the...

"As the final tallies of the Russian parliamentary elections trickled in, the surprise victory of the populist nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party emerged as the most important result after the adoption of the constitution. The message it has sent will, and should, dominate strategies and actions of the Russian political class for at least a few months.

Societies...

"One of the enduring problems with Russian-American relations is the mainly negative approach.

Russia and America know very well what the other side should not do. In Moscow’s opinion, Washington should not deploy its missile defence shield in Central Europe, should not press ahead with Nato expansion to the East and should not rearm the Saakashvili regime."

"In a recent interview on the Keiser Report I found myself casually mentioning that Russia had now surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the number one oil producer in the world. This is not an event that happened last month, either. The leap forward emerged as far back as 18 months ago, in October of 2008. It seems in Russia, big things often unfold in October."

"The Obama Administration has been pursuing missile defense cooperation agreements between the U.S. and Russia and between NATO and Russia as part of its policy to 'reset' the U.S.–Russia bilateral relationship. The Administration’s efforts to reach these agreements have not advanced very far because Russia is demanding a lopsided agreement that will give it direct control—and therefore a veto...

"More than a decade and a half after the Cold War ended, the world's combined stockpile of nuclear warheads remain at a very high level: more than 20,500. Of these, some 4,800 warheads are considered operational, of which nearly 2,000 U.S. and Russian warheads are on high alert, ready for use on short notice."

"Why the hurry, Mr. President? It’s a question we’ve asked twice before. There was a rush to pass his $787 billion 'stimulus' to hold unemployment below 8 percent. Congress obliged, and now we are saddled with higher unemployment and crushing debt. Then there was his health care assault: no time for our representatives to even read the bill. As ObamaCare has been revealed, it has frightened...

"Since 1991, Russia has been a major supplier of modern arms to Iran.

The Russian-built nuclear power plant in the southern Iranian city of Bushehr is due to finally come on line this year.

In advance, Russia has shipped more than 100 tonnes of low-enriched uranium reactor fuel rods to Bushehr.

Moscow has earned billions, helping Iran bypass US and European Union (EU)...

"It is true that Russia has its share of troubles, but the country is not finished as a major power. On the contrary, it is making a comeback and will very likely continue to do so in the years ahead. The ingredients of Russia’s comeback consist of both the will and the way. As far as its will to be a great power once again, Russia’s leadership and elite class—arguably the broader population,...

An overlooked but ongoing issue from the Cold War is the question of laws governing private property and investment. Today, even in communist nations like China, foreign investors do not face the degree of property seizures, land redistributions, or natural resource monopolies.

"Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s speech to the State Duma on Wednesday had the ring of a political manifesto ahead of the 2012 presidential elections, politicians and analysts said. In an apparent dig at President Dmitry Medvedev’s image as a reformer and force for modernizing Russia, Putin warned lawmakers against 'liberal experiments' that could mar Russia’s drive to become one of the top...

"Ten years ago I was standing in front of the Moscow mayor's office feeling horror and despair. The space around me was filled with an infuriated crowd that looked ready for violence. Suddenly a heavy truck burst through the glass doors of the Moscow municipal offices, smashing everything in its way. People in the crowd cheered, hailing the destruction. The day was Oct. 3, 1993. Two years...

"On the evening of August 22nd 1991—16 years ago this week—Alexei Kondaurov, a KGB general, stood by the darkened window of his Moscow office and watched a jubilant crowd moving towards the KGB headquarters in Lubyanka Square. A coup against Mikhail Gorbachev had just been defeated. The head of the KGB who had helped to orchestrate it had been arrested, and Mr Kondaurov was now one of the most...

"As in Reagan’s times, only a tough diplomacy, which focuses on real U.S. national interests and values, and combines cooperation where possible with countermeasures when necessary, can put U.S.-Russia relations back on track."

Perle ponders if President Obama's foreign policy missteps with regimes such as Russia stem from inexperience or a different worldview.

"The tragedy of Russia lies in the fact that there has been too little shock in its shock therapy, and too much inconsistency in its application. Russian economic reform has followed a pattern of 'one step forward, two steps back.'"

"Throughout history new technologies have revolutionised warfare, sometimes abruptly, sometimes only gradually: think of the chariot, gunpowder, aircraft, radar and nuclear fission. So it has been with information technology. Computers and the internet have transformed economies and given Western armies great advantages, such as the ability to send remotely piloted aircraft across the world to...

"On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet."

"Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the richest man in Russia when he dared confront then president Vladimir Putin, criticizing state corruption at a meeting with Putin in February 2003. Arrested that fall, then convicted in two Kafka-esque trials, Khodorkovsky has been imprisoned ever since, the once powerful oligarch now an invisible hero for the growing opposition to Putin’s tyranny. From Moscow, as...

"The Obama administration accused Russia of sending attack helicopters to Damascus, linking Moscow to Syria's deadly unrest on a day the United Nations' top peacekeeper said the conflict now bears the hallmarks of a civil war."

"American intelligence agencies, in an unusually blunt public criticism of China and Russia, reported to Congress on Thursday that those two foreign governments steal valuable American technology over the Internet as a matter of national policy."

"President Vladimir Putin issued a warning over the fragile state of the global economy on Friday as he set out plans for Russia to build economic ties with Asia at a time when Europe is battling a debt crisis.

Looking relaxed, Putin fielded questions from businessmen for 90 minutes before a summit with Asia-Pacific leaders, portraying Russia as a reliable energy supplier for Asia and...

"In a ferocious verbal tirade broadcast on state TV that lasted more than four and a half hours, the Russian prime minister made it clear he was determined to return to the Russian presidency next year, scornfully dismissing recent demonstrations against him."

"The shot opens at the top of a flight of stairs and zooms in shakily on a gray-haired man, who sits at a desk furtively checking off what appear to be ballots — a stack of them.

The video is shot with the grain and chop of an amateur. But it is apparently sharp enough.

'A big hello to you,' says the cameraman, Yegor Duda, a 33-year-old volunteer election observer. 'This is a...

"A rigged election, a jailed popular blogger, an arrogant leader and quiescent television: in the past week the Kremlin has used all of these to trigger Russia’s deepest political crisis in years. This may not be the beginning of a revolution, but it is the end of Vladimir Putin’s era of alleged stability, which started over a decade ago."

"Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin as Russia’s President next spring will once again align real and formal power in Russia, as they were during his earlier two terms in office. Although the Russian Prime Minister is nominally subordinate to the President, Putin has dominated Russian politics throughout Dmitri Medvedev’s presidency. As if to underscore that point, both Putin and Medvedev...

"As far as the actual voting was concerned, the only real question in Russia's parliamentary election this week was the winning margin of the 'party of power,' United Russia (or, as it is known by much of the public, partiya vorov i zhulikov, the party of thieves and swindlers). Would it again receive around two-thirds of the votes or rather—despite ballot-stuffing, forced voting by...

"Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Wednesday criticised a liberal radio station for serving US foreign policy interests and going overboard with the notion of freedom of speech.

At a meeting with Russian media directors in his out-of-town residence, Putin took issue with the way Ekho Moskvy, which provides generous air time to opposition figures, handled the US plans to deploy a...

If there was ever a moment for a Communist comeback, it would seem to be now. The Communists were big winners in recent parliamentary elections, capturing nearly 20 percent of the popular vote and cementing their place as the most formidable opposition bloc, as voters began to express their exhaustion with United Russia, the governing party of Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin.

Meantime...

"Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, known as APEC, are meeting in Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok this week. Russia has the rotating presidency this year and has spent over $12 billion getting the city ready for the summit. Its organisers say the event will bring more billions in investment to Russia's underdeveloped Far East and, more importantly, improve international...

"While Lithuania was cozying itself up to Russia’s pending membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russia’s apparent other pursuit - establishing the Eurasian Union, which is said to be the brainchild of incumbent PM Vladimir Putin - has taken it aback, making high echelon politicians newly speculative about Russia’s true goals."

"For the best possible illustration of why Islamic terrorism may one day be considered the least of our problems, look no further than the BBC's split-screen coverage of Friday's Olympics opening ceremony. On one side, fireworks sparkled, and thousands of exotically dressed Chinese dancers bent their bodies into the shape of doves, the cosmos, and so on. On the other side, gray Russian tanks...

"President Boris Yeltsin tonight dissolved the parliament, a focal point of opposition to his economic and political reforms, and ordered December elections for a new legislature.

The dramatic and unexpected announcement threw Moscow into political chaos. Hours after Yeltsin's televised address, his arch-rival, Vice President Alexander Rutskoi, declared himself president of Russia and...

"President Boris N. Yeltsin on Tuesday took the gamble of his political life by dissolving the obstructionist Russian legislature and moving to replace it with a new elective body.

The audacious step created an instant uproar and plunged this country into its deepest governmental crisis since the August, 1991, attempted coup, which led to the breakup of the Soviet Union. Yeltsin said he...

Chart or Graph

"On average, each person in a business spends 44.8 days dealing with government per year, which effectively reduces the productivity of Russian business by that amount."

This map gives us a picture of cyber-attacks by country.

"Certain countries are emerging as clear sources of threats to sensitive data, in particular to intellectual property."

"Table 2 presents a summary of those and other key political events during the 1990-91 upheaval and death of the Soviet state.""

"Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's popularity rose after a national televised address on December 3, curbing a 5-week slide, according to a poll by the Public Opinion Foundation."

"When asked which country represents the greatest danger to the U.S., more Americans volunteer Iran (28%) than name any other country, though nearly as many (22%) name China."

"On a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 indicating the least free, Freedom House has given Russia a Civil Liberties score of 5 and a Political Score of 6."

Compared to Brazil, China, and India, Russia's economy plummeted in the financial crisis of 2008.

"The following graphic lists the ten most/least corrupt countries based on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2011. The Corruption Perception Index assigns countries and territories with scores between 0 (highly corrupt) and 10 (very clean)."

Gallup polling documents American opinion regarding Russia's impact on American and international affairs.

"The recent tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and disputes between the U.S. and Iran in the Persian Gulf have garnered a good deal of public attention."

"Once the door was open for political and economic liberalization in East and Central Europe, the process spread rapidly."

"Fig. 4 presents the nationality composition of migration to Russia during the period 1989-2003."

"Broadly speaking, the U.S.-Russian energy relationship has not received priority proportionate to what is at stake for the United States."

"In fact, more migrants have been entering Russia than leaving since the late 1970s (see Fig. 3)."

"According to the chart… above, Russia has performed abysmally in new business formation, which is crucial to unleashing the forces of creative destruction that are needed to reshape the Russian economy."

"The overriding priority of U.S. national security policy must be to prevent the use and spread of nuclear weapons."

Russia's population is in decline--from 147.9 million people in the mid 1990's, to 146.7 by 2000. Population is expected to continue dropping more quickly. Many are concerned that Russia's shrinking demographics are a poor sign of times to come.

"With the most recent EIA data out for April crude oil production, I made up charts for Saudi Arabia, and Russia, and thought it might be instructive to pose a few questions."

Gallup polling data displays American attitudes toward Russia from 1989-2010.

This chart compares American attitudes toward Russia priorities to the attitudes of Russians themselves.

"Total life expectancy at birth in Russia at 66 years lags behind that of Japan by as much as 16 years and the European Union average by 14 years. ... The changing birth rates and death rates in Russia are presented in Fig. 2."

"The chart above indicates that Russia is performing well below the OECD average for country competiveness, and in some areas well below its BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) peers."

"Another huge advantage for Russia in the global economy is its defense industry."

Russia's population has declined throughout the 1990's, prompting a host of domestic policy concerns for the future.

"An amazingly telling statistic is that only 14.3 percent of citizens in the Russia Federation have deposits in credit bureaus."

"[P]ublicly available information and occasional leaks make it possible to make best estimates about the size and composition of the national nuclear weapon stockpiles...."

"The figure above demonstrates that Russia graduates sufficient numbers of students in natural science and engineering and technology fields, and has the highest concentration of science and university degrees per person of any country in the world."

"The chart above demonstrates one of the most obvious effects of Russia’s poor political and institutional framework: The high cost of building a road."

The graph contrasts freedom with GDP Growth in Russia Freedom Versus GDP Growth in Russia over the course of Putin's rule. Contrary to popular belief, the decline in political rights and civil liberties has not prompted a more robust economy.

A chart showing the locations and numbers of the world's nuclear arsenals.

As of 2009, the U.S. and Russia had roughly the same number of military personnel, with about 1.5 million each. Both are sizably outnumbered by China.

Table 1 presents the basic aspects of the Washington Consensus, a broadly shared plan for economic transition out of socialism.

Analysis Report White Paper

"During the 1990s, Russia underwent extraordinary transformations. It changed from a communist dictatorship into a multiparty democracy in which officials are chosen in regular elections. Its centrally planned economy was reshaped into a capitalist order based on markets and private property. Its army withdrew peacefully from eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics, allowing the latter...

"Russia’s leaders pursue modest economic and political liberalization to mitigate pressures for more comprehensive political and economic reforms. The political authorities tolerate groups that have non-political agendas and mobilize to address specific problems, but repress groups, by social manipulation when possible but with force if necessary, that seek to overturn the existing political...

"A series of high-profile events in 2010 and 2011 highlighted the increasing and multifaceted threat of cyberattacks. These include the espionage hacks on Google and Western energy companies (WSJ), the Stuxnet (VanityFair) infiltration of Iranian nuclear sites, and the targeting of government networks in South Korea (BBC). U.S. cybersecurity policy continues to evolve to meet these challenges...

"On April 8, a front page article was published in the Wall Street Journal on the dangers posed by cyberspies to the U.S. electrical grid. According to senior intelligence officers who spoke with the Journal, 'Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system.' No action has been taken so far to disrupt the electrical...

"In 1987 two nations of critical importance to the United States, Russia and Mexico, embarked on the path of ambitious economic reform. Though marked by different historical, cultural and political legacies, both nations were impelled to act by global political and economic movements that have placed market mechanisms at the center of an increasingly integrated and competitive international...

"Russia is back on the global strategic and economic map. It has transformed itself from a defunct military superpower into a new energy superpower. Energy revenues no longer support a massive military-industrial complex as they did in the Soviet period. New oil wealth has been turned more into butter than guns. And after five years of economic growth, Russia has a new 'soft power' role that...

"Corruption is one of the key problems facing the Russian state as it seeks to evolve out of its socialist past. Naturally, regional patterns of corruption exist across a country as large and diverse as the Russian Federation. To explain these variations, we analyze 2002 data from Transparency International and the Information for Democracy Foundation that provides the first effort to measure...

"This paper analyses the fertility decline in Russia during the early and mid 1990s from both a macro- and micro-perspective and presents a striking divergence between these two empirical viewpoints. While the former suggests that the fertility decline after 1989 is associated with the economic hardship accompanying the transition to a market economy, the micro-evidence using the Russian...

"The collapse of the Soviet empire freed hundreds of millions of people from communism. In most of the post-communist world, political freedom was followed by economic liberalization. The transition from central planning to the free market was uneven, however."

Written shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, this paper briefly explores some of the reasons why Communism fell. The paper then explains the necessary elements Russia needed in order to make a profitable switch to the free market system.

"The Russian cyber crime underground has evolved into a sophisticated, if loose-knit community with its own periodical literature and cultural mores. The 'Russian hacker' has become a stereotype. But as with many stereotypes, there is some truth involved. Russia does have a large population of talented hackers that are under less pressure from the law than their counterparts elsewhere. Western...

"Russia is pursuing a Middle Eastern policy that is designed to reduce U.S. and Western influence in the Middle East, even at the risk of Islamist terrorism, which is a growing problem in Russia."

"President George W. Bush's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Kennebunkport, Maine, on July 1-2 may be the last opportunity to improve U.S.-Russian relations before the two leaders leave office in 2008-2009. In Kennebunkport, President Bush may find out whether Putin's proposal at the G-8 summit to cooperate on missile defense with the U.S. is real or a sham. The U.S. should...

"The Soviet legal system has proven ill-suited to the demands of capitalism, even in the nascent and arguably distorted form found in Russia today.... Anecdotes abound of Western firms, having devoted significant resources to potential investment, pulling out in frustration over their inability to secure the most basic legal guarantees. Such frustrations have not been limited to international...

In the aftermath of the Cold War, no consensus has emerged in American political circles on a replacement for the containment geopolitical code of the 1945-1990 era. Various geopolitical paradigms are on offer, each emanating from a world-view that is heavily colored by domestic political ideologies.

"Descriptively we are still in the first decade of the post-Cold War era, but conceptually the security preoccupations are already very different from the possibilities envisaged in the first few years after the Berlin Wall was brought down. In analysing what went wrong, I give priority to the implications for arms control policy debates and the choices for the United States, which, as the...

"Immigration laws or lack of laws in the former Soviet Union have led to a large migration of workers from Central Asia and other former Soviet republics into the Russian Federation. Economic theory would predict that, other things being equal, real wages in Russia would fall while real wages in the other republics would tend to rise. At the same time, it is sometimes argued that a significant...

"Based on a close monitoring of the election campaign and the reports of Russian political scientists, the author analyzes the remarkable rise to power of President Vladimir Putin. Putin's ascent is a logical outcome of certain systemic features of the Yeltsin regime, such as patronage, populism, and the concentration of power in presidential hands. At the same time, Putin has a reformist...

"One Western leader above all others forced the Soviets to give up the Brezhnev Doctrine and abandon the arms race, brought down the Berlin Wall, and ended the Cold War at the bargaining table and not on the battlefield: President Ronald Reagan."

Unafraid to label the Soviet Union an "evil empire," Ronald Reagan fortified America's stance against the only other world superpower. Suspecting that the Soviets were not holding up their agreements in the SALT II Treaty, Reagan pursued a U.S. defense buildup. Reagan was not content to contain communism. He believed it could be pushed back.

"Perhaps the greatest foreign-policy challenge on the European continent is how to achieve a more productive relationship with Russia while developing policies toward other former Soviet states that would be true to European and US values and advance European and US interests."

"Two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia’s emergence as an independent state, Moscow is no longer America’s strategic rival. Yet, while Russia is not our enemy, neither has it become a friend. Washington and Moscow have succeeded in overcoming Cold War confrontation, but have not developed sustainable cooperative relations. A better-managed bilateral relationship is...

"In the beginning of the 1990s, Russia had to deal with a double challenge. Firstly, it was moving from the command system to a capitalist market economy, and secondly, from a relatively closed economy towards integrating the globalizing world economy."

"Russia and the United States have been unable to establish a common understanding in their bilateral diplomacy on most aspects of cybersecurity. In spite of a 1998 declaration of their interest in joint leadership of global responses to cybersecurity challenges, the two countries have acted more often than not like enemies guarding sensitive national security secrets rather than as allies...

"The Kremlin is using anti-Americanism as a strategic tool for pursuing domestic and foreign policy goals. Through media controlled or owned by the state, the Russian government is deliberately spreading poisonous anti-U.S. propaganda at home and abroad, blaming many of Russia's problems on the West, particularly the United States. The partial success of this policy exposes a number of serious...

"The Russian Republic of Chechnya started a small, localized revolution on 21 August 1991, two days after the August coup in the former Soviet Union, and declared its independence from Russia on 6 September 1991. A former Soviet Air Force General, Dzhokhar Dudayev was invited to the post of president by the Amalgamated Congress of the Chechen People from Estonia (where some Chechens were in...

"After Boris Yeltsin won the presidential elections in Russia last June 13, the reformers faced two main tasks in dismantling the communist system. The first objective was to eliminate the political and ideological dominance of the Communist Party. The second goal was to replace the inefficient state-owned economic system with one based on private property."

"Russia today is in the grip of an eerie, far-reaching, and in some respects historically unprecedented population crisis. Since the end of the Soviet era, the population of the Russian Federation has fallen by nearly 7 million. Apart from China’s paroxysm in the wake of Mao’s catastrophic Great Leap Forward, this is the largest single episode of depopulation yet registered in the postwar era...

"The U.S. should collaborate with individual European allies as well as the European Union to set an agenda that better defends transatlantic interests from Russian aggression."

"This paper explains the IMF’s impact on economic policies in Russia, focusing on where the IMF made a difference. The Russian economic and political leadership essentially determined economic policies. The IMF’s influence was modest...."

"In fact, the reverse is much closer to the truth: to the extent that Putin’s centralization of power has had an influence on governance and economic growth at all, the effects have been negative. Whatever the apparent gains of Russia under Putin, the gains would have been greater if democracy had survived."

"[S]ince the very creation of the new Russian state political leaders in Moscow have been committed to returning Russia to the status of a great power, including the reestablishment of much of the imperial political order that seemingly collapsed in 1991."

"A relatively small number of Russian industrial tycoons, or 'oligarchs,' control a substantial share of Russia’s economy. Are these oligarchs likely to be agents of economic and political change or opponents of such change? Some consider the oligarchs to be the engine of Russia’s economic recovery and institutional reform since 1999.... As oligarchs are the only currently feasible...

"Russia today is on the verge of a demographic crisis. The combination of falling birth rates and rising death rates among a post-communist population poses a serious threat to the country’s long-term economic, health, and development prospects. While most countries are prone to experience such demographic shocks under conditions of instability or other disaster (e.g., war, famine, natural...

"This article focuses on the Russian Federation’s demographic crisis and the implications it holds for the ability of the Russian government (or the Russian people through their own efforts) to generate enough funds to provide a reasonable level of old-age economic security. Although Russia’s overall population profile structure stands to be broadly similar to that of other more-developed...

"There is much speculation that Russian business is coming through an age of 'wild market' with no well-established rules and conventions shared by entrepreneurs today. In this memo I consider the spread of violence in Russian business and specific relationships of business protection from an empirical viewpoint."

"Since the Collapse of communism in 1989, most of the formerly socialist countries in Central and Eastern Europe have been experiencing a human security crisis as reflected by a marked upsurge in the levels of mortality. This crisis has been particularly severe in Russia, where average life expectancy has dropped to levels lower than those found in many developing countries with relatively...

"Russia is poised to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), solidifying its transition from a closed communist economy to a full participant in the global marketplace. The only question is whether the United States will embrace Russia as a fellow WTO member or forfeit the benefits for the sake of an outdated policy rooted in the Cold War."

"As we face one of the worst recessions in recent memory, protecting a company’s critical information assets like intellectual property and sensitive data has never been more important, yet challenging. A single breach or loss can cause irreparable financial damage to a company’s reputation, its share price and customer confidence. It’s a risk companies can’t afford in the current climate.

...

"This paper studies the effect of regional unemployment rates on subjective well-being in post-Soviet Russia. Research conducted in Europe and the United States has documented that higher unemployment rates lead to lower reported life-satisfaction. By contrast, our Russian study finds a small but significant effect in the other direction. We estimate that during the period of our study (1995-...

"An intensive study of economic change in Poland and Russia since the late-1980's concludes that, in both countries, shock therapy failed in its goal of implementing top-down reforms that by-pass existing political and social forces."

"Support for governmental redistribution tended to be greater for the poor than the rich in a representative sample of Russian adults in 1996. However, support for redistribution is higher amongst those who expect their welfare to fall, and this effect is strongest amongst the currently well-off."

Video/Podcast/Media

Baker Spring argues that START II re-codifies "an old adversarial relationship between the United States and Russia" and that Moscow wants to "return to some of the Cold War tensions."

As the title suggests, this podcast discusses Russia's friends, some of which are hostile to the United States, particularly Venezuela. Stanley Kober also discusses the fact that Russia holds a great deal of U.S. debt, a fact which could cause problems for America in the future.

This podcast discusses the strained relationship between Russia and the United States. Carpenter declares, "it's important to recognize that the United States and Russia have a lot of interests in common." Carpenter goes on to explain Russia's important role in deterring the Iranian missile program, as well as many other areas where the U.S. would benefit from a positive relationship with...

"Charlie Rose and Erica Hill speak with Steve Kroft about a cyber attack that crippled the Iranian nuclear program for a time."

"Following the 2008 war, the United States has struggled to redefine its relationship with Georgia. While the Bush administration deemed Georgia a 'beacon of democracy' and identified it as a key ally, the new administration has changed the rhetoric, stripping Georgia of its special status even as policy has remained largely the same."

"Proclaimed an energy superpower, Russia under Vladimir Putin received more than $1 trillion in revenues from oil and gas. The bonanza brought the country's elite Swiss watches, villas on the Cote-d'Azur, and British football clubs. The Russian president has thirteen private residences and is building a dozen more. Julia Latynina, one of Russia's leading independent journalists, will explain...

"In this address, Bruce examined the future of cyber war and cyber security. Mr. Schneier explored the current debate on the threat of cyber war, asking whether or not the threat had been over-stated. He then explored the range of attacks that have taken place, including the Latvian DOS attack and the Stuxnet worm. The address concluded with an exploration of the future of international...

Sen. Wyden (OR-R) and the Senate Intelligence Committee, ask an intelligence panel about Iran's nuclear threat and U.S. terrorists threats, particularly with regard to the theft of 'intellectual property' and 'economic secrets.' Bottom line: US. must expand intelligence and military agency policies to prevent 'corporate espionage.'

A panel of experts discuss the state of cyber-security in the United States and certain measures that may be taken to improve the system. At time 1:18:00 the discussion becomes especially relevant.

"The U.S. government is about to declare a new war, but this time the enemy is a virtual one. A string of attacks on government websites by hackers has driven American policy-makers into a state of high-alert over a so-called terrorist threat. But some doubt the danger even exists, as RT's Lucy Kafanov reports."

This video clip shows a Russian official secretly filling in election ballots.

"Brazen-faced parliamentary elections fraud at the election centre # 2501! Chairman of the commission fills the ballots!! Article 142 of the Criminal Code: Falsifying election documents, documents of the referendum - is known to be the incorrect counting of votes or knowingly incorrect determination of the...

"Russian philosopher Leonid Nikonov explains the differences between socialism, cronyism, and free market capitalism. Nikonov is a contributor to The Morality of Capitalism, a new book that is being distributed worldwide by the Atlas Network and the Students for Liberty."

"In an attempt to display his statesmanship potential, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wades into deep foreign policy waters discussing Iraq, North Korea and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin."

"An open microphone captured US President Barack Obama assuring Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he will have 'more flexibility' to deal with missile defense after this year's US presidential election."

"President Reagan speaks of specific freedoms in the United States that he hopes Russians themselves will be able to experience. He introduces the possibilities of greater exchange programs between American and Russian students, future tourism, and economic exchange between the two nations. He speaks of strategic arms reductions, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the hope for future peace...

"Professor Howard Schmidt, ISF President and one time security adviser to the White House discusses how and why corporate espionage is taking place."

"In this address to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida, President Reagan presents his view of the Soviet Union. The President defends America's Judeo-Christian traditions against the Soviet Union's totalitarian leadership and lack of religious faith, expressing his belief that these differences are at the heart of the fight between the two nations."

"The Russian military says it has successfully tested the world's most powerful non-nuclear bomb. The device is said to be as potent as an atomic explosion, but without radioactive fallout. Until now, the U.S. had the most powerful vacuum bomb, which was tested in 2003."

"Thousands of people have attended the biggest anti-government rally in the Russian capital Moscow since the fall of the Soviet Union."

"Russia has announced the development of a stand-alone nuclear warhead capable of penetrating any existing or projecting missile defense system. The revelation comes just as the Russian government has ratified the START nuclear arms reduction treaty."

Presidents Obama and Medvedev give speeches after signing the New START.

"On September 1, 2004, a group of heavily armed Muslim Terrorists stormed into School No. 1 in Beslan, Russia. For three days, more than a thousand children and adults were held hostage in a sweltering gymnasium, denied food and water, and forced to keep their hands over their heads. The harrowing siege ended on September 3 with a series of explosions and a hail of gunfire that killed some 350...

"President Barack Obama will visit Russia on July 6-8, 2009, to meet with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev." This video presents two conferences from the Heritage Foundation on U.S.-Russian relations.

"Russia and the US have agreed on strategic arms reduction and on the signing of a new treaty to replace the current one, known as START. Joint media conference after today's meeting at the Kremlin, the presidents also noted the importance of developing ties between the two countries."

In the wake of Washington's "reset" with Russia, this Heritage Foundation panel explores "the risks posed by the reset of relations with Russia to America’s strategic interests, economic freedom, and human rights and the rule of law."

The first part of this panel is embedded above, the following eight parts can be found...

"A growing number of Russian citizens see their legal system as corrupt and politicized. Karinna Moskalenko, Russia's leading human rights lawyer, has defended such well-known opponents of the Russian regime as former world chess champion Garry Kasparov and the assassinated former spy Alexander Litvinenko. Together with Robert Amsterdam, she has defended the jailed former head of Yukos,...

This short video describes how many Russian young people today are not aware of the atrocities that went on in their country during the Soviet period. According to Dr. Marsh, the facts about religious persecution are often viewed as a "Western view," even though Russian KGB records confirm the same "view."

"Vladimir Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian voters, following street protests over his rule and alleged election fraud. The Russian prime minister rebutted claims that fraud helped his ruling United Russia party win a parliamentary election, saying the result reflected the views of the population."

Primary Document

"This doesn't mean we should isolate ourselves and refuse to seek an understanding with them. I intend to do everything I can to persuade them of our peaceful intent, to remind them that it was the West that refused to use its nuclear monopoly in the...

"At the end of 1991, the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union was the surprisingly swift result of decrepitude within that empire."

Fourth annual State of the Union Address delivered by President Abraham Lincoln to Congress.

"On your assembling to perform the high trusts which the people of the United States have confided to you, of legislating for their common welfare, it gives me pleasure to congratulate you upon the happy condition of our beloved country. By the favor of Divine Providence health is again restored to us, peace reigns within our borders, abundance crowns the labors of our fields, commerce and...

"It affords me pleasure to tender my friendly greetings to you on the occasion of your assembling at the seat of Government to enter upon the important duties to which you have been called by the voice of our country-men. The task devolves on me, under a provision of the Constitution, to present to you, as the Federal Legislature of 24 sovereign States and 12,000,000 happy people, a view of...

"The pleasure I have in congratulating you upon your return to your constitutional duties is much heightened by the satisfaction which the condition of our beloved country at this period justly inspires. The beneficent Author of All Good has granted to us during the present year health, peace, and plenty, and numerous causes for joy in the wonderful success which attends the progress of our...

Annual Address to the Federal Assembly by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin outlines goals for the country in the years ahead and reassures previous national goals.

A variety of facts on the geography, population, economy, and government of Russia from the U.S. Department of State.

"I am very grateful to President Medvedev for taking the time to visit with me today. I'm particularly gratified because prior to the meeting, our respective teams had worked together and had developed a series of approaches to areas of common interest that I think present great promise."

I want to acknowledge an important step forward today that will advance our national security. This afternoon the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in favor of the new START Treaty, and I am pleased that it did so with strong bipartisan support.

"The famine prevailing in some of the Provinces of Russia is so severe and widespread as to have attracted the sympathetic interest of a large number of our liberal and favored people. In some of the great grain-producing States of the West movements have already been organized to collect flour and meal for the relief of these perishing Russian families, and the response has been such as to...

The path to this moment has been long and hard. More than a decade has passed since the first negotiations on the START I treaty. But perseverance, courage, and common sense have triumphed.

"Not very long ago, perhaps about, oh, an hour ago now, I had a conversation with President Yeltsin. I called to congratulate him on his outstanding victory in the election and to reassure him that the United States continues to support him as the elected leader of Russia and continues to look forward to our partnership in working to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons, to increase trade and...

"From the beginning of my administration, I have given my full backing to the historic process of political and economic reform now underway in Russia. I remain convinced that democratic reforms and the transition to a market economy hold the best hope for a better future for the people of Russia."

"Russia is aware of its place and responsibilities in the world. Terrorism tramples upon any rights and freedoms and generates fear and hatred; it is an obstacle to efforts at improving our world. The situation is also bad because these acts disturb the normal current of life and such acts often force us to make radical decisions. Such terrorist acts change the way of thinking of everyone on...

"The Atomic Energy Commission has announced that the Soviet Union is continuing the testing of nuclear weapons. This continued testing by the Soviet Union has occurred despite the fact that negotiations for the suspension of testing of nuclear weapons have since October 31 been under way at Geneva."

This statement reports on efforts to release "American airmen and other United Nations personnel detained in Red China."

Official letters between the United States and the Russian Foreign Ministry discussing the proposed START II.

"MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the Secretary of State of the United States of America Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov are signing a protocol and exchange of instruments of ratification of the treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on measures for reduction and modification of strategic offensive arms. With this...

Responding to Iran's secretive nuclear program and the fear that it might be developing nuclear weapons, President Obama issued another round of sanctions against the nation. The EU and UN also did the same.

"Since the beginning of my Administration, I have contemplated the desirability of an effort to end the present abnormal relations between the hundred and twenty-five million people of the United States and the hundred and sixty million people of Russia."

I am transmitting herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, the Protocol to the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the Protocol) signed at Lisbon, Portugal, on May 23, 1992.

"Let me, before we hear from our special guest, President Yeltsin, let me just make a few comments on the business side of things. The U.S.-Russian Business Conference is important work. I will follow up in every way I can with the United States Congress to get them to pass the 'FREEDOM Support Act.' Let me be very clear to the American people: We are not supporting the 'FREEDOM Support Act'...

"Well, first, thank all of you for that warm welcome. And may I take this opportunity to thank all people of Ukraine that gave us such a warm welcome, such a heartfelt greeting. Every American in that long motorcade -- and believe me, it was long -- was moved and touched by the warmth of the welcome of Ukraine. We'll never forget it.

Chairman Kravchuk, thank you, sir. And to the...

"You know, through the course of our relationship there have been times when we've agreed on issues, and there's been times when we haven't agreed on issues. But one thing I've found about--of Vladimir Putin is that he is consistent, transparent, honest, and is an easy man to discuss our opportunities and problems with.

We talked about nuclear security and made great strides in setting...

I commend the Senate's action to give its consent to ratification of the Moscow Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions that President Putin and I signed on May 24, 2002, in Moscow, Russia.

"President Bush and I have analyzed how our recent accords are now being implemented. We've put forth several new steps in terms of setting forth a long-term cooperation which is not subject to any kind of dealmakings but a very good, sound, long-lasting attitude. Today in Russia we have a very positive dynamism, and we have stated that, as well.

The differences in approaches on a...

"The Obama Administration has provided ongoing support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

"In this Christmas 1991 (western Christendom date) speech, Mikhael S. Gorbachev resigned as president of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). This action was the final act in a peaceful dissolution of this communist (socialist) nation that had been borne out of the October 1917 revolution. This complete text of the speech is offered on Christmas 1999."

"The convention and protocol are accompanied by the final act of the conference signed at the same time, which I transmit for the information of the Senate. This act embraces a declaration by the delegates of the United States of America and certain recommendations of the conference. The declaration made by the delegates of the United States is designed as a safeguard against any possible...

"As economic adviser to the governments of Bolivia, Poland, and Russia at the time of reform, Jeffrey Sachs believed that shock therapy was the only feasible solution in the face of these countries' deepening economic crisis."

"Having overseen perestroika in the Soviet Union, former President Mikhail Gorbachev believed that shock therapy in Russia had been applied incorrectly and without the proper preparation."

"In obedience to the command of the Constitution, it has now become my duty 'to give to Congress information of the state of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures' as I judge to be 'necessary and expedient.'

But first and above all, our thanks are due to Almighty God for the numerous benefits which He has bestowed upon this people, and our united prayers ought to...

"Throughout the year since our last meeting the country has been eminently prosperous in all its material interests. The general health has been excellent, our harvests have been abundant, and plenty smiles throughout the laud. Our commerce and manufactures have been prosecuted with energy and industry, and have yielded fair and ample returns. In short, no nation in the tide of time has ever...

"At an early day after the close of the last session of Congress an offer was formally communicated from His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Russia of his mediation, as the common friend of the United States and Great Britain, for the purpose of facilitating a peace between them. The high character of the Emperor Alexander being a satisfactory pledge for the sincerity and impartiality of his...

"This Government, as promised, has maintained the closest surveillance of the Soviet military buildup on the island of Cuba. Within the past week, unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in preparation on that imprisoned island. The purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the Western...

"This decade of progress has undermined the goals of those who have preached that the ideological differences between America and the Soviet Union must inevitably lead to war. We see now that we can both prosper in spite of the differences. The two nations have never gone to war with one another. The fact is that no two nations have more to lose in war than the United States or the Soviet...

"I congratulate you on the favorable circumstances in the condition of our country under which you reassemble for the performance of your official duties. Though the anticipations of an abundant harvest have not everywhere been realized, yet on the whole the labors of the husbandman are rewarded with a bountiful return; industry prospers in its various channels of business and enterprise;...

"The Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation (hereinafter the Military Doctrine) is one of the fundamental strategic planning documents in the Russian Federation and constitutes a system of the views officially adopted in the state on preparations for armed defense and on the armed protection of the Russian Federation."

Text of, protocols and supporting documents for the New START.

"We would like the European anti-missile defence to develop according to clear rules. It must be clear to everyone that anti-missile defence is a way to form blocs or reduce strategic opportunities for many nations. When they tell us, 'This is not aimed against you,' I take note of it, but I understand that other nations that are referred to in this case do not currently have the opportunities...

"Russia is ready to work on strengthening the missile non-proliferation regime with countries that are interested in it. I shared my ideas of the possible architecture of the European missile defence system at the recent Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon. This architecture would merge the potentials of Russia and NATO, protecting all European countries from missile strikes. We have started a joint...

"Ladies and gentlemen, today we are attending a meeting of the committee set up to organise celebrations of Pyotr Stolypin’s 150th birthday anniversary.

Stolypin played a crucial role in Russian history, yet his activities and indisputable achievements were disregarded and overlooked without a reason by both his contemporaries and subsequent generations."

A question and answer session with Prime Minister Putin at the end of the calendar year.

Vladimir Putin's 2009 speech to the World Economic Forum attempts to explain the cause of the financial crisis and Russia's role in the world economy.

In this Heritage Foundation lecture on Worldwide Freedom and Human Rights, Speaker of the House John Boehner insists on a pride in American principles when conducting foreign policy, saying, "Articulating our values is no act of belligerence and certainly nothing to be sorry for. It’s a duty, one we accept confidently and gratefully, and it’s a President’s duty as well. Over the past 10 years...

This document contains remarks from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President George H. W. Bush at the signing of the first START treaty.

I am honored to be back here in the Czech Republic with President Medvedev and our Czech hosts to mark this historic completion of the new START Treaty.

"Two years ago at the first of these summit meetings, your Government gave me the opportunity to speak directly with you, the people of the Soviet Union. Last year, at our second meeting, General Secretary Brezhnev spoke on radio and television to the people of the United States. And now, tonight, I appreciate this opportunity to continue what has become a tradition, a part of our annual...

"President Reagan speaks of specific freedoms in the United States that he hopes Russians themselves will be able to experience. He introduces the possibilities of greater exchange programs between American and Russian students, future tourism, and economic exchange between the two nations. He speaks of strategic arms reductions, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the hope for future peace...

Written and released shortly before Boris Yeltsin resigned the presidency in late 1999, this document finds Vladimir Putin describing some of his views on the Russian economic and political situation.

"The main problem Russia faced in trying to pursue good economic policies at the time of the collapse of the Soviet system was to develop the human and administrative capacity to be able to formulate and implement economic decisions.

It sounds almost trivial to say that; however, if we at the IMF and others in the international community had understood and realized how significant a...

This document provides the transcript of a U.S. House of Representatives hearing on Russia and some of the problems and corruptions it has encountered in the post-Soviet period.

"Today, on the last day of the departing century, I am resigning.

I have heard many times that 'Yeltsin will hang onto power by any means, he won't give it to anyone.' That's a lie.

But that's not the point. I have always said that I would not depart one bit from the constitution. That Duma (parliamentary) elections should take place in the constitutionally established terms....

"Until recently, the Russian economy was one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The growth brought an improvement in the standard of living of the average Russian citizen and also brought economic stability that Russia had not experienced in at least a decade. This strong economic performance had been a major factor in the popular support that the Russian leadership enjoyed and was...

"Mr. Chairman, thank you for convening this hearing today on a very important subject. The title of the hearing, 'Russia’s Transition to Democracy and U.S.-Russia Relations: Unfinished Business,' aptly links together two subjects that are often treated as separate issues – the condition of Russian democracy and the status of U.S.-Russian relations. By providing this title for our hearing...

"With devout gratitude to the bountiful Giver of All Good, I congratulate you that at the beginning of your first regular session you find our country blessed with health and peace and abundant harvests, and with encouraging prospects of an early return of general prosperity."

"President von Weizsacker has said: 'The German question is open as long as the Brandenburg Gate is closed.' Today I say: As long as this gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that...

"Eight years have passed since the last elections to the Supreme Soviet. This has been a period replete with events of a decisive nature. The first four years were years of intense labour on the part of Soviet people in carrying out the Third Five-Year Plan. The second four years covered the events of the war against the German and Japanese aggressors -- the events of the Second World War....

"I fully agree with Comrade Trutovsky that the tendencies and attempts of which we have heard here are completely at variance with the aims of the workers' and peasants' government and have nothing in common with socialism. ... The aim of socialism is to turn all the means of production into the property of the whole people, and that does not at all mean that the ships become the property of...

The text of, protocols for, and various documents pertaining to START I.

"We, the multinational people of the Russian Federation, united by a common destiny on our land, asserting human rights and liberties, civil peace and accord, preserving the historic unity of the state, proceeding from the commonly recognized principles of equality and self-determination of the peoples honoring the memory of our ancestors, who have passed on to us love of and respect for our...

"I already said, addressing the international press, that we see the official visit of the President of the United States to the Soviet Union as a big event in our relations -- really a global event. And I want to say that these days we have done a great deal of work which I think will create difficulties for me and the President in order to present it in condensed form. And nevertheless, this...

"The Nation continues to enjoy noteworthy prosperity. Such prosperity is of course primarily due to the high individual average of our citizenship, taken together with our great natural resources; but an important factor therein is the working of our long-continued governmental policies. The people have emphatically expressed their approval of the principles underlying these policies, and...

"The Emperor of Russia has on several occasions indicated sentiments particularly friendly to the United States, and expressed a wish through different channels that a diplomatic intercourse should be established between the two countries. His high station and the relations of Russia to the predominant powers of Europe must give him weight with them according to the vicissitudes of the war,...

"In several days' time, in a week, the elections to the State Duma will be held and in March there will be elections of the President of the Russian Federation and then the Russian government will be formed. In effect this is a single cycle of a complete renewal of federal government.

Over the past decade we have succeeded in laying the foundation of our country's future. A great deal...

START II was a bilateral treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation that was abandoned by both sides before coming into force.

The approximately 475-word treaty states that the United States and Russia each will reduce their numbers of operationally deployed nuclear warheads to between 1,700-2,200 within the next 10 years.

"In the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems the United States and the Soviet Union agree that each may have only two ABM deployment areas, ... so restricted and so located that they cannot provide a nationwide ABM defense or become the basis for developing one. Each country thus leaves unchallenged the penetration capability of the others retaliatory missile forces."

This is the official U.S. Office of the Historian's account of U.S.-Russian relations. Relations between the two nations began in the early 19th century but halted with the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. In 1991, the U.S. recognized the Russian Federation.

"The United States established diplomatic relations with Georgia in 1992 following Georgia's 1991 independence from the Soviet Union."

"The United States seeks a relationship with Russia based on cooperation in the pursuit of mutual interests and a frank and open discussion of disagreements based on mutual respect as the two countries seek to address the shared challenges of the 21st century."

"In one of his earliest new foreign policy initiatives, President Obama sought to reset relations with Russia and reverse what he called a 'dangerous drift' in this important bilateral relationship. President Obama and his administration have sought to engage the Russian government to pursue foreign policy goals of common interest – win-win outcomes -- for the American and Russian people. In...

"In addressing my third annual message to the law-making branch of the Government it is gratifying to be able to state that during the past year success has generally attended the effort to execute all laws found upon the statute books. The policy has been not to inquire into the wisdom of laws already enacted, but to learn their spirit and intent and to enforce them accordingly.

The...

"I sincerely regret that I cannot be present at the opening of this session of the Congress. I am thus prevented from presenting in as direct a way as I could wish the many questions that are pressing for solution at this time. Happily, I have had the advantage of the advice of the heads of the several executive departments who have kept in close touch with affairs in their detail and whose...

"On August 19, 1991, Boris Yeltsin, president of the Russian republic, learned that communist hard-liners had seized control of the Soviet government from President Mikhail Gorbachev. Yeltsin immediately left his dacha and headed for Moscow. He arrived at the parliament building at around 10 a.m. and began formulating a response to the coup attempt. Shortly after noon, after Soviet military...

Books

FAQs

Could cyber-attacks be used to cause physical damage? What other vulnerabilities might be exploited in a cyber-attack? Could an attack disrupt infrastructure such as power grids? All these questions and more are answered in the FAQ below.

Is the threat of an EMP a legitimate concern? What kind of infrastructural damage is an EMP capable of? How long would the consequences of such an attack last? All these questions and more will be answered in this FAQ.

One of the most serious threats to national security, individual privacy, and protection of one's assets comes from Intellectual Property (I.P.) espionage. What kind of information may be stolen? Who is or has the capability of engaging in effective I.P. espionage? Has this already happened? What can the United States do? All these questions and more are answered in this FAQ.

Missile defense. It's been talked about for decades, some of us even grew up watching Patriot missiles shoot down Iraqi Scud missiles in the first Gulf War. But where do things stand today? Is it still needed? Should I care? Those questions and more are answered in the FAQ below.

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Education history in America is important to know. ITO traces how education has changed from the colonial period to present day America.
At Intellectual Takeout, we think it's about time freedom went viral. Before our generation is the opportunity to embrace freedom, to unleash each individual's potential, and to have a prosperous future. And yet it seems that almost everyone running our cities, states, and federal government is intent on destroying freedom and burying us in debt to pay for it. If you, like us, believe that...
While many documentaries on the education system focus on various examples of failure, "Flunked" takes a bit different tack. While certainly acknowledging and exposing the failures of the system, "Flunked" also seeks out individuals and approaches that ARE working in education. The hope is that these points of hope may serve as examples for others working in education.  Here's the trailer:...
In the genre of documentaries revealing the problems with public education, "Kids Aren't Cars" focuses on helping us understand how schools are modeled after a factory system and what we need to do to change them. Understandably, treating kids as if they are a product to be manufactured has had detrimental effects on children going through the system and the overall level of education in America...
We all know Facebook is awesome for keeping up with friends, sharing about your life, and even distributing ideas. One great new way to get people thinking is to take advantage of the new banner profile with the help of Intellectual Takeout. Here's what one of our banners looks like loaded up on a Facebook profile: If you haven't changed your banner profile, than Facebook is likely ...
Tired of business getting a bum rap? We are, too. Here's your chance to share on Facebook the good news that business is good, beautiful, and makes life better.
"Many parents and taxpayers feel helpless because the problems can seem so monumental. 'Kids Aren't Cars' director Kyle Olson reviews what he learned in the filmmaking process and the small things individuals can do that will add up to make a big difference." Here's Kyle being interviewed on a few things you can do and share with friends, family, and educators: Part 1Part 2
Okay, so your friends and family keep telling you to jump on the social media bandwagon, but you have no idea what the fuzz is about. Here’s the deal: The Internet gives liberty-loving folk like us an opportunity we have never had before: to make the case for individual liberty, limited government and free market economics instantly and globally. But with the vast amounts of information...

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The Association of American Educators (AAE) advances the teaching profession through personal growth, professional development, teacher advocacy and protection, as well as promoting excellence in education so that our members receive the respect, recognition and reward they deserve.
Looking for an internship? If so, Intellectual Takeout has an opportunity for you. We have plenty of work to do as well as ideas to spread, and we need your help to get it done. If you're interested in an internship with Intellectual Takeout, you likely share our passion and you're excited about the possibility of working for a great cause. That said, you might have a few questions about what "...
Are you concerned your child isn't getting the education necessary to compete in the global economy or even, perhaps, to carry on the lessons and learning of Western Civilization? If so, you have a number of choices. You could, of course, consider changing schools to a charter school, private school, or even homeschooling. If that's overwhelming for you right now, you can always supplement your...
Curiously, not a few individuals are realizing that their education (K-12 and even college) neglected to provide them with as much understanding of the world as they would like. At Intellectual Takeout, we believe that however you feel about your education, there is still much to be learned. To that end, we'd like to refer you to one book and a collection of "study guides" that serve as...
Sure, the idea of homeschooling is likely overwhelming. Indeed, homeschooling is a big commitment and a lot of work. That said, there's a reason why more and more parents are turning to homeschooling as the best option for their child(ren)'s education(s). Perhaps you are starting to realize that the public school system has changed a lot since you last attended it. Maybe you can't afford private...
Know your rights with Flex Your Rights guide to the "10 Rules for Dealing with Police."
In a highly regulated society such as ours, it's very easy to get yourself in trouble with the law. Learn more about how to protect yourself with the 5th Amendment and how to interact with the police.
Let's face it, most of us love to watch TV and movies. A wonderful way to spread ideas is to embrace our love of the cinema by hosting a movie night with friends and family.  There are numerous documentaries that do a fantastic job of sharing the ideas of liberty. You can pull a small group of friends together at your house or even consider asking a local restaurant or tavern to let you...
While there are a variety of really good documentaries about the failing public school systems in America, "The Cartel" stands alone in its frontal assault on the teacher unions, particularly those in New Jersey. If you'd like to get an inside look into how some teacher unions operate and the effects they have on education, you'll want to watch "The Cartel."From the movie's website: "This movie...
Another movie that tells the story of the failing public school model in the United States is “The Lottery”. It takes its own unique look at the systems by focusing on the use of lotteries to choose which children will be plucked from failing public schools and put into more successful public charter schools. Here’s the trailer:  You can watch the whole movie right now with the help of Hulu...
Watch "Waiting for Superman" to learn about the problems with the public education system.
How often do you hear conservatives being called a bunch of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals? Here's the reality: Conservatism, classical liberalism, and libertarianism have a rich, intellectual heritage reaching back many millennia. Our ideas are not just some historical relics from bygone eras; they are the very foundation of Western Civilization in general, amd the United States in particular....
Sadly (or happily for some), life goes on after college. So does the fight for freedom. Building friendships, networking, and growing the movement is critical after college. If our ideas are to be preserved and promoted, you need to stay involved. Plus, in a time when the individual seems to be ever more isolated and adrift, these groups can help plug you into social networks you can use....
Okay, so we don't expect you to drive a wooden stake into your flat screen. Plus, we're total hypocrites since we watch some TV. But here's the point: People waste a ton of time watching TV. If you're cool with government taking over your future, than keep watching Dancing with the Stars. If you consider yourself to be a free man or woman and want to live in a free society, then watch what you...
A great way to make a difference on your campus by spreading the ideas of individual rights, limited government, and free markets is to tutor. Plus, you can occasionally make a little bit of money. Depending on the subject matter, you will be discussing a variety of ideas, key thinkers, and theories. As anyone who has tutored knows, there are almost always opportunities to expand upon a topic....

On Campus

We've built Intellectual Takeout to provide you with quick, easy access to information. In time, we hope to become your one-stop-shop for the ideas of freedom. If your professor allows you to bring your laptop to class (if not, you can use an iPhone), we recommend keeping a tab open to Intellectual Takeout. As we continue to generate new content on the site, you will be able to fact check the...
When it comes to campus life injustices, student fees rank high on any list. On most campuses across the country a mandatory student fee is assessed to each student at the beginning of the year. A portion of this fee, which may be several hundred dollars, will go toward funding various political, religious, and interest groups.  A college requiring you to support groups espousing ideas which...
If you're not happy with the direction of the country and you want to take back your future, at some point you will have to do something. It's not enough to just know that we're going in the wrong direction. You actually have to step out and get involved. Most college campuses have conservative and libertarian student groups. Find one of them to join. Below is a list of some of the larger non-...
Now that you're at college and the initial excitement has worn off, maybe you're thinking that the course selection is a bit biased and you'd like some options. So how do you (the consumer) get the college (the business) to change up its offerings? It certainly won't be easy. Nevertheless it's something that should be done--particularly since you're footing the bill. A good, education in a free...
Whatever activism you choose to do on campus, you need to get your story out. A popular tactic used by the Left is to isolate and intimidate freedom-loving students. You're not alone and there are a lot of people in your city, state, and country that can probably support your efforts. They just need to know what is happening. Whenever you can, record in-class bias, discrimination against...
The reality is that most students (and people for that matter) won't speak out. It's called human nature and it was recognized in the Declaration of Independence: "...all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." While you might feel alone when debating a teacher,...
In the land of the free and the home of the brave, speech codes are a particularly odious example of politically correct repression on many a college campus. In some ways, college campuses are the least free places for thinking and speech in America. Your best friend for fighting your school's repressive speech codes is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Here's a short clip...
Running for office isn't easy, even in college. Not everyone is cut out for it, either. For those of you who are, this completely non-partisan section is for you. If you are inclined to pursue student government, we're not going to spend time on telling you how to get elected. A good place to go for ideas and training is CampusReform.org. Rather, we want to help you in office, as a believer in...

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