Why Russia Is ‘China In Reverse’
Ukrainian heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko met Russian contender Alexander Povetkin in the most heralded title fight of the year. Animosity between Russia and Ukraine runs deep. Lately, it has been expressed in a battle over Ukraine’s plans to seek a free-trade deal with the European Union — a move that would weaken a separate customs union championed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ukrainian support for the EU deal has persisted despite Russia’s efforts to undermine the country’s ties with Europe, prompting angry outbursts from Putin and other Russian politicians. The acrimony turned the title fight into a settling of geopolitical scores. It helped that Klitschko’s older brother Vitali, also a boxing champion, is one of Ukraine’s most prominent pro-Europe politicians. Povetkin, for his part, is known as a Putin loyalist, having served a term as a local legislator for Putin’s United Russia party in his native Kursk region. Russian promoters turned the event — the first of its caliber in Moscow — into an ostentatious display of wealth, selling ringside seats for $5,000 and offering Klitschko $17 million and Povetkin $6 million regardless of the outcome. One of the promoters, Andrei Ryabinsky, wrote on Twitter that scalpers were offering tickets to the fight for as much as $20,000. One had only to watch the pre-fight ceremony to see what was at stake. Povetkin sported the emblem of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft on his black robe.
We will not abandon you, she reassured Kosenko. We succeeded in the Soviet times, and we will fight for you now. As she walked slowly out of the courthouse, an overflow crowd waiting to hear the verdict applauded her. Some wept when they saw her tears. Oppositionists had packed the courtroom, assuming that the verdict had been ordered from above and would reflect official policy, regardless of guilt or innocence. Hundreds stood on the sidewalk. Alexei Navalny, a charismatic leader who has been threatened with jail himself, called Kosenko a courageous example for them all. In a tweet, Sergei Mitrokhin, head of the longtime opposition Yabloko party, declared, In fact, it is a restoration of the punitive psychiatry of Soviet times. There is no justice here Kosenko lived with his sister, Ksenia, and her 22-year-old son in a three-room Moscow apartment. Doctors had diagnosed him with mild schizophrenia, and he regularly took low-dose medication, she said. He organized his own small world, Ksenia said in a recent interview. Hes very quiet. Hes not very communicative.
Russia Gets Black Eye in Heavyweight Bout
This is not a cyclical slowdown in Russia. This is a structural one and it concerns us all. Like China, its mostly the government investing billions of dollars in roads and bridges. One of the biggest investments, however, is a private public partnership between government owned Rosavtodor and the North West Concession Company, a Russian and French highway builder. Theyre building the massive 403 mile (650 km) Moscow to St. Petersburg M11 toll road. Last year, the Russian government spent around $1 billion on the worlds longest suspension bridge in Vladivostok, the peninsula that juts into the Sea of Japan. The Russky Island Bridge was built to help Russia tend to a number of big events happening in the east, like the Asia-Pacific Community Summit. Russia has the Sochi Olympics to tend to this coming winter. The Sochi airport terminal, which is expected to cater to 3,800 passengers an hour during the Olympics, is undergoing renovations to the tune of around $200 million. Basel Aero is doing the work, a company owned by metals tycoon and FORBES No. 131: Oleg Deripaska. Russia launched a new investment strategy for civil aviation this year. The investment volume is estimated at $9 billion, with over 100 sites currently undergoing reconstruction and modernization with help from both the private and public sector. So this is what China looks like in Russia.