Join us Thursday at 1 pm EST for a conversation with the Monitorâ€™s Moscow correspondent, Fred Weir. We'll ask what exactly is the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Dimitri Medvedev? They've cast themselves as the two amigos, and Putin has long been thought to be the guy calling the shots. But lately there's talk that Medvedev is establishing his own authority. Can Russia, which has a long history of powerful autocrats in the Kremlin, really have two leaders at the helm? Can any nation?
We'll also discuss relations between Russia and the West, especially the US.Â Eighteen years after the collapse of communism , Russia seems to be trying to reassert itself. It has troops in Georgia, has induced the US to alter its missile shield plan for Eastern Europe, and has asserted its interests in its "near abroad" -- from Ukraine to Central Asia.
Fred has lived in Russia for 23 years. He has seen communism collapse, the disruption of shifting to a market economy, the era of robber barons, and a surge in prosperity based on oil wealth. He knows the ins and outs of this sprawling, changing nation.
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Ustream will be featuring the 1 pm Thursday webcast live on its site (weâ€™ll embed it on this blog afterwards so you can catch up if you missed the webcast). You can also download a Ustream application for your iPhone at the Ustream site.