Leveled by the British in World War II and ethnically cleansed by the Soviets afterward, the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad has long had a shaky relationship with its Prussian past. But now its residents are beginning to restore its history.
After years of supporting Iran in its efforts to reach a deal on its nuclear program, Russia comes away as a big winner in last week's accord. But that isn't likely to continue if and when Iran rejoins the global economy.
The Kremlin is increasingly concerned about an Islamist uprising in one of the weak autocracies along its southern flank, all of which will be attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit today in Ufa, Russia.
Residents of Baltiysk rejected an entire slate of district council candidates from Putin's United Russia party, instead voting in independents. But while the election demonstrated that democracy still exists in Russia, it also showed its limitations.
Images of a Putin alongside leaders of other large countries, signing economic deals, will reinforce Russia's argument that it doesn't need the West. It's a seductive view, but a superficial one, say analysts.