New guns for Russia’s cops – so what?

A piece of news which might seem of interest only to the gun-nut and the real obsessive actually has rather greater significance: the Russian police are phasing out their old Makarov pistols and Kalashnikov rifles with new weapons.

So what? (more…)


‘Contract killing is a continuation of business by other means’

It goes against the grain, but sometimes – rarely – I feel Putin and the Russian security apparatus deserve to be given the benefit of the doubt. On 6 October, the interesting but often-sensationalist Russian newspaper Novaya gazeta ran an article ‘Registered Speciality – the Killer’ which claimed that the Russian spetsluzhby, the security agencies, now routinely murder enemies of the Kremlin. The author, Novaya gazeta’s military affairs editor Vyacheslav Izmailov, pulls together a varied collection of killings and kidnappings and asserts that the same sinister hand is behind them all.


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