Russia's Eyes Focus on Tatarstan
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) can respond one of two ways to criticism from Rustam Minnikhanov, the leader of Tatarstan: Offer the republic financial concessions or purge the popular outspoken critic of his administration.
(MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Political clashes, bank closures and protests have rumbled through Tatarstan in recent months, shaking a region that is key to Russia's stability. As in many of the country's regions, policies instituted by the federal government as it copes with a more than two-year recession have not sat well with Tatarstan, which complains that President Vladimir Putin's administration is taking too much from the region, which has had to borrow money to keep the local economy running.
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