Final Word from Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Not since the escape of Russian spy Robert Rachardžo in 2010 have Czech-based Kremlin watchers had so much fun. The Pussy Riot trial is topping the news, but more pertinent to Czechs is the feud between political activist Alexey Navalny and Alexander Bastrykin, who heads the Russian FBI. Navalny labeled Bastrykin a Czech agent after releasing documents showing he had a residence permit, company and dwelling in Prague while working for the Russian state, which would be illegal there. Brian Whitmore of Radio Free Europe gave one of the best analyses. For those who read Russian and like Gogolesque comedy, Bastrykin's interview for Kremlin-friendly Izvestia is worth the click. Not only does he lie about not having a residence permit (Czech officials have confirmed he did), but we also learn that one of Russia's most-powerful men could only afford a 46 sqm Prague flat, including the glass balcony.[Czech Republic Aleksandr apartment]

Glossary of difficult words

beginnings - the background or origins of something;

Kremlin watcher - a term from the Cold War for a political scientist or analyst who pays special attention to the Russian power structure.


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