Michael Idov is a contributing editor at New York Magazine and has covered Russia for The New Republic. His debut novel, Ground Up, has just been released.

Instead of giving a prestigious humanitarian award to a Polish film director as planned, the Kremlin has decided to skip the award this year altogether. An insider tells Michael Idov why Russian cinematic legend Nikita Mikhalkov is behind the reversal.

The Daily Beast has learned exclusively that Russia’s most prestigious award will go to Polish director Andrzej Wajda—whose film about the Katyn massacre was originally banned from Russian cinemas.

Kremlin-approved media coverage of Moscow's subway bombings is engulfing the city in paranoia. Michael Idov on why the Twitter-journalism that helped save Tehran won't work in Russia.

A top journalist caught on tape with a pile of cocaine and a party girl named Moomoo, an opposition activist filmed handing over a bribe—Michael Idov on the smear campaign that has Moscow abuzz.

The Russian Olympic machine broke down in Vancouver, leaving Moscow in a state of despair. Michael Idov on the demise of a sporting superpower.

Obama’s decision to drop the planned missile shield in Eastern Europe is hardly a bow to the Kremlin—the program will continue on a larger scale. The real question, says Michael Idov, concerns Putin’s side of the bargain.

As Obama meets with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow for a nuclear arms deal, he faces the challenge of winning over an unimpressed Russian public.