Tatarstan has had a problem with Islamic extremism. But the Russian republic has avoided the violence that consumed Chechnya, by both resisting Wahabbism and promoting its own native Muslim traditions.
Easing tensions between Ankara and Moscow would seem to benefit both Mr. Erdoğan and Mr. Putin. But Turkey also presents a complicating factor to the Kremlin in its dealings with Turkic peoples at home and abroad.
The sudden retirement of Sergei Ivanov, a longtime ally of Putin's, is just one of many recent changes in Russia's government, which seem to be aimed at bringing in younger Putin loyalists with new ideas.
Runaway housing developments have been going up around Moscow, threatening the 'lungs' of the city – the ring forest around the capital. But locals have been fighting back against the project – with success.
Thank you so much, David. It's aways good to get feedback from a loyal reader -- one never really knows whether people are reading, or what they're thinking -- and more so when it is as positive and encouraging as your comments, above. Much appreciated.
Russia's national team is on probation after a few hundred of its supporters attacked English fans in Marseille, raising concerns about Russia's hosting of the 2018 World Cup. Some fan groups have connections to ultra-nationalist political forces.