Michael McFaul writes a good essay, in the form of a book review, on the state of democratization--a fanciful project--in Russia and Putin’s policies. The continuity between the old regime and the new is pretty clear. Here is another piece by McFaul in the December isssue of the Weekly Standard on developments in Ukraine and Russian policy.
Secretary of State Rice met with her Russian counterpart in Ankara yesterday and told him that Moscow’s crackdown on dissent was making Russian-American relations "more difficult," a State Department official said. The state department official also said "Ms. Rice made the expression of American concerns more central to the discussion than previous American officials had with the Russians in the past." Bush will meet with Putin later this month in Bratislava.