Gorbachev calls it a 'bad copy' of the Communist Party. But the United Russia party has relentlessly trounced any serious opposition to Putin, who is now running for president again.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has taken center stage on the Russia wildfires that have ruined at least 20 percent of Russia's grain crop. President Medvedev is struggling to stay in control.
The Kyrgyzstan riots that ethnically cleansed the city of Osh of much of its Uzbek population could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe. The interim government blames ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, and says the situation is improving.