Russia's Center Is Failing to Hold

MOSCOW: For most of its nine years of postcommunist transition Russia's political blocs were too deeply divided to work together except negatively – this at a time when the country demanded resolute and positive decisions. Recently, however, Russian politics witnessed a spate of political marriages, some tactical, some "shotgun" unions that smack of desperation. No matter how contrived, these political alliances are revealing: they highlight Russia's political decentralization from which there now appears to be no turning back.