Monitor staff writers and correspondents in each of the world's regions share what they expect to be top headlines in 2011.
Alina Kabaeva is gracing the January cover of Russian Vogue. Notable in her own right for being a Gold medalist and Russian parliamentarian, the spotlight instead is on her rumored affair with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Gorbachev criticized the system of strong and centralized state power restored by Mr. Putin, who came to power aiming to reverse a decade of economic slump, social collapse, and political drift.
Moscow ex-mayor Yury Luzhkov, dismissed last week by President Medvedev, says he is going to launch a political movement to counter an antidemocratic drift. Many activists are skeptical of Luzhkov's pro-democracy credentials.
Russian President Medvedev's scorching dismissal of Moscow Mayor Luzhkov could be opening shot in a bureaucratic battle between Putin and Medevev over who will be the establishment candidate for president.
Moscow is becoming heated ahead of the 2012 presidential elections. Efforts to undermine the Moscow mayor politically signals a struggle to control the city's electoral votes, an important political chip.
A Moscow court's ruling that curbs artistic expression, as well as fresh legislation to strengthen the KGB's successor and limit rights of public assembly, appear to some Russians to presage a broader crackdown.
Russian lawmakers are considering two bills that would give the FSB – the former KGB – sweeping powers against extremists. Critics cast it as a Soviet throwback that would enable the Kremlin to crack down on its opponents.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday said he had submitted a landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty with the United States to the lower house of parliament for ratification.