Is there still an "Eastern Bloc?"
Alexandra Stevenson, writing in Blades on Ice, makes the point that at the recent ISU Congress, the New Judging System (CoP) passed by a vote of 43 to 54. A proposed amendment by the USA to identify individual judges received a majority (30 to 16) but fell three votes shy of the two-thirds needed to pass.
A counterproposal put forward by Russia, to retain a version of the old 6.0 system while the CoP underwent more testing, garnered only three votes: Russia, Kazakhstan and Israel. Stevenson editorializes:
"What a snub this was for Valentin Pissev, the long time head of the Soviet Federation....Russia (remains) one of the most powerful nations in the sport. However, Piseev, obviously, no longer commands the clout he once held over the former Soviet countries."