Foreign Policy Blogs

Russia

Getting Un-stuck From Red Dawn

Getting Un-stuck From Red Dawn


Time to stop the shadows of the Cold War from writing the Russian-American relations script
 ”The Russians need to take us in one piece, and that’s why they’re here. That’s why they won’t use nukes anymore; and we won’t either, not on our own soil. The whole damn thing’s …

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A Method, Yet a Madness: Understanding Russian Democracy

A Method, Yet a Madness: Understanding Russian Democracy

By Anna Pivovarchuk
As Western media focuses on the Crimean crisis, Russia intensifies its assault on civil society.
When Nikolai Gogol wrote about the winged troika in his 19th century masterpiece on provincial corruption, The Dead Souls, little did he know that he was creating a perennial image that …

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Politicized Political Journalism

Politicized Political Journalism

Over the years, political journalism in Russia has gradually morphed into a new definition – one that blurs the line between politicized and honest journalism.
Russian journalism blotched that line even more with Monday’s presidential decree to shut down the state-funded news agency, RIA Novosti, and merged it with …

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It Takes a (Potemkin) Village

It Takes a (Potemkin) Village

That heavily weighted word, propaganda, has surfaced again in connection with Russia, this time in a law forbidding “propaganda on behalf of homosexuality.” A storm of international protest against the law caused Russian President Vladimir Putin this week to publicly reassure the rest of the world that “people of all …

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Khodorkovsky, Revisited

Khodorkovsky, Revisited

This day marks a decade in Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s imprisonment, a journey all too similar to the hopelessly frigid Siberian settings of Dostoevsky’s stories and Solzhenitsyn’s novels — except in one regard.
In his younger years, Khodorkovsky was a corrupt oil tycoon and pragmatic oligarch successfully basking in the Russian government’s economic …

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Olympic Cyber Surveillance and Global Internet Privacy

Olympic Cyber Surveillance and Global Internet Privacy

Sochi, a city whose flag features palm trees, the sun and rain drops, was far from a traditional choice for 2014 Winter Olympics. Yet there is an even more troubling geographical concern than why a country literally cold enough to freeze invading armies to death would choose a subtropical beach …

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Putin’s Punitive Psychiatry and other Flashbacks

Putin’s Punitive Psychiatry and other Flashbacks

You have to be mad to oppose Putin. At least that is what a Moscow court ruled on Tuesday when it sentenced Mikhail Kosenko to be committed to a psychiatric hospital for his part in the anti-government protest.
“The court has ruled to release Kosenko Mikhail Alexandrovich from …

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A Money Showdown, Moscow-Style, and Its Potential Consequences

A Money Showdown, Moscow-Style, and Its Potential Consequences

 
As President Obama clashes with Congress over spending authorizations and debt ceilings to keep funds flowing outward from the U.S. government, his counterpart in Moscow is celebrating a victory that has brought lawmakers’ own money flowing back into Russia.
Six weeks ago, just as Washington’s budget battles began heating up yet …

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Putin’s Kiss (2012)

Putin’s Kiss (2012)

This documentary focuses on the pitfalls of groupthink in modern Russia.
It shows a young woman, Masha Drokova, who skyrocketed to the top of a pro-Putin group called Nashi, a political youth organization. She was the group’s spokesperson and was a firm believer in Putin’s rule. That is, until she met …

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Snowden in the Greater Scheme of U.S.-Russian Relations

Snowden in the Greater Scheme of U.S.-Russian Relations

On Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, Russia granted temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, permitting him to leave the transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport for the first time in nearly six weeks. The Obama administration immediately expressed its disappointment with the Russian decision, and some members of Congress have called for retaliatory …

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Putin’s Deadliest Catch: Snowden Joins Navalny in Moscow

Putin’s Deadliest Catch: Snowden Joins Navalny in Moscow

As Edward Snowden slipped into Moscow this afternoon, asylum documents in hand, he joined another recently freed man: Alexey Navalny. Russia now has two famous cyber-whistleblowers on its hands, and hasn’t yet figured out what to do with either.
One thing is for sure, Putin’s …

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Snowden, Putin, sheared pigs and the joys of Whataboutism

Snowden, Putin, sheared pigs and the joys of Whataboutism

What is Russia playing at by harboring America’s most wanted whistleblower Edward Snowden in a Moscow airport?
A brief recap: Over the weekend, Snowden arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong en route to a third country, probably Ecuador (which is already housing Julian Assange in its London embassy).  On Sunday, journalists …

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Russia’s new anti-gay law: more cynicism than bigotry

Russia’s new anti-gay law: more cynicism than bigotry

Amidst worldwide condemnation, Russia’s parliament passed a law outlawing “homosexual propaganda.”
It was definitely a shameful milestone.
As of today,
The law will make it an offence…to communicate to Russian children and young people that love between two women or two men is “just as socially valuable” as that between …

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Exit Surkov: The end of postmodern Putinism?

Exit Surkov: The end of postmodern Putinism?

Speculation swirls around today’s sudden resignation of Vladislav Surkov, the Kremlin’s chief ideologue who had thought up “sovereign democracy” and invented the Nashi youth groups. He name-dropped Lacan and Derrida and even allegedly wrote a novel called Almost Zero. And now he might have …

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Boston Bombers: Is America’s Skewed Asylum System to Blame?

Boston Bombers: Is America’s Skewed Asylum System to Blame?

As a Russian who first came to America as a small child and later spent his university years in Cambridge, Mass., I felt particularly gripped by the ongoing Boston bomber saga. There remain so many questions about why these two brothers, to whom the U.S. had given shelter, passports, schooling …

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