Happy New Year!

With the first semester finished, I really intended to post a lot and there has been so much material to post about – Putin`s seeming acceptance of Medvedev`s PM offer, Time Magazine`s choice of Putin as Person of the Year, etc. Alas, I have been in La Paz, Bolivia with a very poor internet connection (how did we ever live with dial-up?). One of my New Year`s resolutions is to post more to my blog. When I first started this during the past summer, the idea was to keep writing while out of school and to keep track of events in Russia. But as I posted more and commented on other sites, I realized that there is a community of people blogging and reading about Russia who actually have an enormous amount of collective experience and knowledge of the country. In fact, I would argue that most of these bloggers have more experience with Russia than the average Western journalist on the `Russia beat`. In this way, these blogs allow us to engage in a much more serious, thoughtful, and thorough discussion of Russia than appears in the world´s leading papers. I really appreciate this community and it has enriched me immensely. So, though we cannot all be za stolom this New Year, I still would like to propose a toast to all of you who I have met and how keep this community vibrant.
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