Russia’s Top Judge Spurs New Talk Of Changing Constitution

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – October 16, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-s-top-judge-spurs-new-talk-of-changing-constitution/29547265.html) When the Russian Constitution was approved in late 1993, the fledgling country’s parliament building– now known as the White House– was blackened and charred, the result of an all-out military assault ordered by President Boris Yeltsin to quell […]

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The Cold War, Post-Cold War, and the Academy: Policy Recommendations from an Oral History of Russian and Eurasian Studies

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(PONARS Eurasia – Alexander Cooley, George Gavrilis – October 15, 2018) Alexander Cooley is the Claire Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard College and Director of Columbia University’s Harriman Institute. George Gavrilis is an Independent Consultant specializing in international relations, foreign policy, higher education, and oral history. [ponarseurasia.org/memo/cold-war-post-cold-war-academy-oral-history-Harriman-russia-eurasia] (PONARS Policy Memo) In Know Your Enemy: The Rise and Fall […]

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Skepticism About US Intentions and Other Enduring Consequences of Russia’s 1993 Crisis

File Photo of Parliament Building Billowing Smoke in 1993

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Paul Saunders – October 4, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/skepticism-about-us-intentions-and-other-enduring-consequences-russias-1993-crisis) Paul Saunders is the executive director of the Center for the National Interest. Twenty-five years ago this week, a confrontation between Russia’s then President Boris Yeltsin and the country’s parliament culminated in armed standoffs that left more than 100 people dead and became unambiguously one of the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Voronezh and the re-branding of post-Soviet Russia; The writer returns to the university she studied at in the 1970s to find a city transformed” – Mary Dejevsky

Russia Map

“… Voronezh is, in many ways, unrecognisable from its Soviet self. Even its layout has been altered to restore the 19th-century plan. A vast new church rises from what was once a scruffy park. The skyline boasts a dozen gleaming domes and crosses. Old vistas have been reopened. Voronezh is, once again, a river town. … But the history told […]

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Nuclear Near Miss: Remembering the ‘Man Who Saved the World’

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – September 21, 2018 – russiamatters.org/blog/nuclear-near-miss-remembering-man-who-saved-world) Next week marks 35 years since America and Russia narrowly avoided fighting a nuclear war—the kind that “cannot be won and must never be fought,” in the words of Ronald Reagan. It wasn’t the first time the two nations lived through such a close call, and stories […]

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NEWSLINK: “Grave Robbers, Nazi Collaborators and Official Apathy: How Ukraine Is Erasing the Holocaust” – Haaretz/Shmuel Herzfeld

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“At Janovska, the Auschwitz of Ukraine, I saw skulls, hypodermic needles and tons of trash. Looters desecrate mass graves of Jews, searching for gold; the sites’ histories are ‘revised’, overwritten by Christian and nationalist symbolism. This is why we should still care”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Spy Story: Sergei Skripal Was a Little Fish. He Had a Big Enemy” – New York Times/Michael Schwirtz, Ellen Barry

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

“Sergei V. Skripal was a little fish. … But … Skripal was significant [to] … Putin, an intelligence officer of the same age and training. … When [the intelligence war between the USSR and the West] was suspended, both struggled to adapt. … While … Skripal was trying to reinvent himself, … Putin and his allies, former intelligence officers, were […]

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Is Russia Really “Fascist”? A Comment on Timothy Snyder

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(PONARS Eurasia – PONARS Policy Memo – Marlene Laruelle – September 5, 2018 – ponarseurasia.org/memo/russia-really-fascist-reply-timothy-snyder) Marlene Laruelle is Research Professor, Associate Director of IERES, Director of the Central Asia Program, and Co-Director of PONARS Eurasia at The George Washington University. Over the past decade, and even more overtly since the annexation of Crimea, there has been a growing tendency to […]

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NEWSLINK: “Kissinger on Russia: Insights and Recommendations” – Russia Matters

Henry Kissinger File Photo, with Military Officer and Others in Background; adapted from image at defense.gov,; original image was DoD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

Originally published March 8, 2017. Periodically updated. Latest additions marked accordingly. This evolving compilation of observations and policy ideas about Russia by eminent U.S. statesman Henry Kissinger was the first in Russia Matters’ “Competing Views” series, where we share prominent American thinkers’ alternative takes on U.S.-Russian relations, Russia itself and America’s policies toward the country. Mr. Kissinger served as assistant […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin says he had no presidential ambitions during early years” – Interfax

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

SOCHI. Sept 1 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has admitted that as a child he never dreamt of becoming a head of state. “Of course, I did, I slept and saw,” Putin said with a laugh at a meeting with the winners of the 2017-2018 school Olympiads and their teachers, when asked about his school years and whether he […]

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“Sara’s Century” Podcast

Map of Former Soviet Union

Subject: “Sara’s Century” podcast Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2018 16:43:23 +0000 From: BARBARA T NORTON <btnorton@widener.edu> I wanted bring to your attention a fascinating new podcast serial, “Sara’s Century,” by a colleague at Rutgers U-Camden. The description below is from the website http://sarascentury.blogs.rutgers.edu/: “Sara’s Century” is a 12-episode podcast serial about Sara Mebel, a nearly 100-year-old Jewish woman who left […]

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Putin’s ‘A Solid Man’: Declassified Memos Offer Window Into Yeltsin-Clinton Relationship

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – WASHINGTON – August 30, 2018 – text with links and graphics: rferl.org/a/putin-s-a-solid-man-declassified-memos-offer-window-into-yeltsin-clinton-relationship/29462317.html) On September 8, 1999, just a few weeks after promoting the head of the country’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Bill and Boris: A Window Into a Most Important Post-Cold War Relationship” [Excerpt] – Texas National Security Review/James Goldgeier

File Photo of Boris Yeltsin, Bill Clinton Playing a Saxophone, Lloyd Bentsen and others, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

[Full text: tnsr.org/2018/08/bill-and-boris-a-window-into-a-most-important-post-cold-war-relationship/] “Against the backdrop of an enormous power differential between their two countries, Clinton and Yeltsin established a close personal rapport. … to interact effectively even when … frank in their disagreements, the most serious of which were over NATO enlargement … and the Kosovo War …   As many were decrying the lack of any formal record […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The right way to sanction Putin’s Russia” – Reuters/William Courtney

“The United States and … allies are increasingly frustrated over malign activities by Russia. Moscow wages war in Ukraine, abets brutality in Syria, interferes in elections, and poisons opponents. … Washington has imposed sanctions and closed Russian consulates … and vacation estates in Maryland and New York, all believed to be used by … Putin’s government for intelligence purposes. This […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russians Get a Revisionist View of Soviet Union’s End; A new narrative paints from a former vice president paints Yeltsin as a tool of the U.S. in thwarting 1991 coup by hardliners” – Bloomberg/Leonid Bershidsky

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

“Only 27 years after the failure of a coup meant to keep the Soviet Union alive, some of the people who helped crush the revolt are doing their best to blacken their own victory. It’s been many years since Russia celebrated an anniversary of those three days, Aug. 19-21, 1991. Resolute action by Russia’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, and by […]

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More than Half of Russians Say Neither Side in August 1991 Putsch was in the Right

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 14, 2018) Fifty-three percent of Russians say that neither those who launched the August 1991 putsch against Mikhail Gorbachev nor those who defended the legitimate government were in the right, a figure that has remained more or less constant over the last 12 years, the Levada Center reported today. The polling […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “This is not a hoax, and things are not okay” – Washington Post/Joe Scarborough

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

“… Imagine that U.S. military leaders spent most of 1941 warning President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Democratic Party of a coming Pearl Harbor attack. Then imagine history’s harsh judgment against FDR’s party had it ignored those concerns, voted against efforts to fortify the Pacific fleet and plotted the firing of generals who were working to expose the looming Japanese […]

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“Russia, My History” — History as an Ideological Tool

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(PONARS Eurasia – Ivan Kurilla, Sergey Ivanov, Adrian Selin – August 5, 2018 – ponarseurasia.org/point-counter/russia-my-history-as-ideological-tool) The emergence of permanent history parks in Russia can be compared to the advent of “Institutes of National Memory” that operate in a number of former Soviet and Central European states. The vision of history they present is highly politically engaged. History as an Ideological […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Moscow Welcomes 2000 Years of History” – Moscow Times

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alina Shubina – August 6, 2018) If you’ve ever watched “Doctor Who” or “Back to the Future” and dreamed of hopping in your own time machine and seeing the world of centuries past, then, starting August 10, Moscow is the place to be. For almost two weeks, the city will be home to the “Times […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Amazon Getting Ready to Launch ‘The Romanoffs’; The series breaks usual practices, formats, and genres” – Moscow Times

Romanov Family Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – HOLLYWOOD – July 30, 2018) Amazon Studios’ much-anticipated original anthology series “The Romanoffs” will hit the world stage on Oct. 12, initially available in 200 countries simultaneously. Departing from the traditional television format, “The Romanoffs” will be presented in the Amazon Prime platform both in English and foreign languages, announced Matthew Weiner, its creator, writer, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Orthodox Church a ‘national security threat’ to Ukraine, says president; Petro Poroshenko said the Russian church was separated from the state ‘only on paper.'” – PoliticoEU/KAIT BOLONGARO

Petro Poroshenko file photo, with additional men in background, adapted from image at state.gov

“… At a ceremony marking [Ukraine’s] conversion to Christianity 1,030 years ago … [Poroshenko] said that the Russian [Orthodox] [C]hurch’s sway among Ukrainian believers is a ‘direct threat to the national security of Ukraine.’ … ‘this obliges us to act.’ There are two branches of the Orthodox Church active in Ukraine: the Russian church and its Ukrainian cousin. The former, […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] 1030th anniversary of Baptism of Rus celebrations” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Russian Orthodox Cathedral with Man in Religious Garb in Foreground

(Kremlin.ru – July 28, 2018) Vladimir Putin attended events to mark the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus. A Patriarchal Liturgy was held for the first time in the open air on the Kremlin’s Cathedral Square. As the service was coming to a close, the President joined the religious procession and walked with the believers to the monument to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Does Vladimir Putin Speak for the Russian People?” – New York Times Book Review/Daniel Beer

File Photo of Michael McFaul Standing and Barack Hussein Obama Sitting at Desk, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… Putin turned directly to McFaul and berated him for trying to ruin United States-Russia relations. * * * … McFaul concluded that [Putin] was ‘paranoid,’ a man of ‘fixed and flawed views’ who ‘saw us as the enemy,’ … that so long as he ruled Russia, ‘strategic partnership was impossible.’ … [But McFaul’s] relentless focus on Putin’s individual role […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why the World Cup is bigger than Putin; ‘I can write about the genius of French forward Kylian Mbappé, knowing the FT is also covering Russian elite corruption'” – Financial Times/Simon Kuper

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

“…  the Russian World Cup isn’t Berlin all over again. First, Putin isn’t as evil and ambitious as Hitler. Second, he’s a much better-known quantity than Nazism was in 1936. Hitler at that point had said disturbing things but few foreigners took him either literally or seriously. He hadn’t lifted a finger against other countries. Many Jews were still living […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Sobchak on Sobchak: A New Film about Russia in the 1990s; Vera Krichevskaya and Ksenia Sobchak teamed up to make a film about Anatoly Sobchak” – Moscow Times/Andrei Muchnik

Ksenia Sobchak file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Andrei Muchnik – June 29, 2018) Ksenia Sobchak, recent presidential candidate, TV host and socialite, and director Vera Krichevskaya, known for her documentary about Boris Nemtsov’s life “The Man Who Was Too Free,” just released a film about Sobchak’s father Anatoly Sobchak, a controversial liberal democratic politician and the first mayor of St. Petersburg. The […]

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NEWSLINK: “Former Ambassador McFaul Talks U.S.-Russia Relations and ‘Hot Peace'” – The Washington Diplomat/Aileen Torres-Bennett/Michael McFaul

File Photo of Michael McFaul Standing and Barack Hussein Obama Sitting at Desk, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… Obama thought very similar to the way I did. There was hardly any daylight, both on substantive issues and analytic framework. …”    

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Michael McFaul on Putin the Intimidator” – Los Angeles World Affairs Council

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“… The first time … McFaul met … Putin … [when] he was an assistant to the mayor of St Petersburg[,] ‘He made absolutely no impression on me …’ said McFaul. ‘I would never have predicted … that he would become President of Russia.’ … when McFaul arrived in Moscow in 2012 as … U.S. ambassador …. [a]t their very […]

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NEWSLINK: “THE EARLY CHAPTERS; Books on the Russia scandal focus on the news. What they need is more history” – Washington Post/Carlos Lozada

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“… None of the works on Trump and Russia is comprehensive; the appeal of one or another depends on the angles you obsess over and the blind spots you ignore. …” * * * THE FUTURE IS HISTORY How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia By Masha Gessen. Riverhead. 515 pp. $28 COLLUSION Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump […]

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Francis A. Boyle: “Solzhenitsyn at Harvard (JRL #105 item 31)”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn file photo

Subject: Solzhenitsyn at Harvard (JRL #105 item 31) Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2018 From: Boyle, Francis A <fboyle@illinois.edu> Forty years ago, I went there just to hear him speak. Originally I was not going to bother to attend Harvard’s Commencement in June of 1978 just to pick up my Master’s Degree in Political Science from the Harvard Graduate School of […]

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Russians have Three Serious Misconceptions about 1993 Constitution and Its Implications, Shelin Says

File Photo of Parliament Building Billowing Smoke in 1993

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 6, 2018) Twenty-five years ago this week, Boris Yeltsin convened a constitutional convention in Moscow which produced a draft that was then ratified by referendum after “a small civil war” took place in which Yeltsin crushed “the Khasbulatov parliament,” Sergey Shelin says. Because of that congeries of events, the Rosbalt commentator […]

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NEWSLINK: “Interview: Will Russia Move to the Left?” – The National Interest/Paul Saunders/Maksim Shevchenko

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“… Editor’s Note: Paul J. Saunders, associate publisher of the National Interest, interviewed Maksim Shevchenko, a former newspaper editor and television personality who is a prominent left-wing candidate for the post of Moscow mayor. …”  

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NEWSLINK: “Translating “The Americans,” and Seeing a Mirror of My Own American Experience” – The New Yorker/Masha Gessen

“… I immigrated to the United States with my parents in 1981, the year the show begins. … * * * In its quest for uncanny accuracy, ‘The Americans’ was full of lessons about Russia, spies, the Cold War, and life. The most important of these, surely, is that eternity will come crashing down when you least expect it to.”

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NEWSWATCH: “Londongrad oligarchs are being forced back to Russia’s embrace; As sanctions bite, tycoons feel hemmed in by Vladimir Putin’s power” – Financial Times/Max Seddon

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“…. once ideal go-betweens between Russia and the west. … [s]uddenly, oligarchs are too Russian for a west eager to clean up its act and too western for a Russia hunting for ‘enemies of the people.’ … the nature of oligarchy … has changed dramatically …. Putin shifted the power dynamic …. under an unwritten rule: they were allowed to […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Putin’s Russia Became Mafia Heaven; Inside the long, strange story of organized crime taking over the former Soviet Union-and how Russia tamed it only to unleash it on the West. [re: Mark Galeotti]” – ViceCom/Seth Ferranti

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“…  Putin is engaged in this kind of political war with the West—he’s effectively trying to weaponize Russian organized crime against the west. We have seen Russian-based organized crime groups being used to kill enemies of his, to gather intelligence, to move spies across boarders, and raise money for Putin by supporting particular groups or media outlets that he likes […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH AUDIO: “In Russia, Scant Traces And Negative Memories Of A Century-Old U.S. Intervention” – National Public Radio (NPR)/Lucian Kim

U.S. Troops Marching on Vladivostok Street ca. 1918, Followed by Other Allied Troops, adapted from image at almc.army.mil

[Transcript, photos, original audio: npr.org/sections/parallels/2018/05/28/608455970/in-russia-scant-traces-and-negative-memories-of-a-century-old-u-s-intervention]  “… civil war was raging across Russia … [between] the Bolsheviks … [and] the ‘Whites’ – supporters of the deposed czar, republicans, social democrats, Cossacks. … the Bolsheviks withdrew Russia from [World War I] in March 1918. … More than 8,000 U.S. troops started landing in Vladivostok in August 1918 to guard Allied military stocks … […]

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Ira Straus: “Correction to my note on Pipes”

Subject: Correction to my note on Pipes Date: Tue, 22 May 2018 From: Ira Straus <irastraus@aol.com> I’d like to clarify that my note was not meant to be a comprehensive appraisal of Richard Pipes and his work, and all the good and bad points I might find in it. I do note with concern that I’ve been taken to task […]

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Gilbert Doctorow: “From a chance meeting in Widener to today [re: Richard Pipes]”

File Photo of Library at Harvard University with Banners and Persons Walking on Quad, from image at state.gov

Subject: Fw: from a chance meeting in Widener to today (re Richard Pipes) Date: Sat, 19 May 2018 From: Gilbert Doctorow <gdoctorow@yahoo.com> Since you carried the obits of Richard Pipes yesterday, my exchange with Francis Boyle may be of interest to you. No one, NO ONE has raised the issues about Pipes as an historian of Russia that flagged. They […]

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Ira Straus: “Richard Pipes RIP”

Lit Candle with Reflection and Dark Background

Subject: Richard Pipes RIP Date: Fri, 18 May 2018 From: Ira Straus <irastraus@aol.com> Richard Pipes, who passed Thursday May 17, was a great scholar and thinker who served America well. He was a prophet whom we should honor today, the more so as he was not honored for it when it counted by the America he served. In his two […]

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Francis A. Boyle: “NYT Obit on Dick Pipes”

File Photo of Library at Harvard University with Banners and Persons Walking on Quad, from image at state.gov

From: Francis A Boyle <fboyle@illinois.edu> Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2018 Subject: NYT Obit on Dick Pipes [Francis Anthony Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law] I took Imperial Russian History with Dick Pipes at Harvard and got an A, which I was grateful for and deserved. So this is not a case […]

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NEWSLINK: “Richard Pipes, Historian of Russia and Reagan Aide, Dies at 94” – New York Times/William Grimes

Lit Candle with Reflection and Dark Background

“Richard Pipes, the author of a monumental, sharply polemical series of historical works on Russia, the Russian Revolution and the Bolshevik regime, and a top adviser to the Reagan administration on Soviet and Eastern European policy, died on Thursday at a nursing home near his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 94. …”

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Sean Guillory: “Comment on Keith Gessen’s ‘The Quiet Americans Behind the U.S.-Russia Imbroglio'”

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags, 200, 1807-2007

Subject: Comment on Keith Gessen’s “The Quiet Americans Behind the U.S.-Russia Imbroglio” Date: Wed, 16 May 2018 From: Sean Guillory <seansrussiablog@gmail.com> Sean Guillory, host of the SRB Podcast (http://seansrussiablog.org/), a weekly podcast on Eurasian politics, culture and history and Digital Scholarship Curator at the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. I read Keith Gessen’s […]

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Jerry Hough: “re Gessen’s article [‘The Quiet Americans Behind the U.S.-Russia Imbroglio’]”

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Subject: re Gessen’s article Date: Thu, 10 May 2018 From: Jerry Hough <jhough1935@gmail.com> [Jerry Hough is James B. Duke Professor of Political Science at Duke University. Author of How the Soviet Union is Governed; Soviet Leadership in Transition; The Struggle for the Third World; Soviet Debate and American Options; Democratization and Revolution in the USSR 1985-1991; and The Logic of […]

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Putin Hits Out At U.S. In Red Square Parade Speech

Russia Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – May 9, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-marks-end-of-world-war-ii-with-military-parade-on-red-square/29216745.html) Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued veiled criticism of the United States in a speech before a Red Square parade marking the anniversary of Germany’s defeat in World War II, listing “pretentions to exceptionalism” as a factor that drove Nazi aggression and […]

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The Anti-Russia Surge in U.S. Politics: Finding Context

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(PONARS Eurasia – Ivan Kurilla – April 2018 – ponarseurasia.org/memo/anti-russia-surge-us-politics-finding-context) Ivan Kurilla is Professor at the European University at St. Petersburg. (PONARS Policy Memo) Donald Trump’s triumph in the 2016 presidential election discharged an unprecedented political and media movement linking his victory to Russian interference in the U.S. political system. The president’s defenders called this a “witch hunt” but they […]

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NEWSLINK: “In Memoriam: Karen Dawisha” – Miami University, Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies

Lit Candle with Reflection and Dark Background

“Karen Dawisha, the former Walter E. Havighurst Professor of Political Science and director of Miami University’s Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies, died Wednesday, April 11, after a long illness. She was 68. Dawisha joined the Miami faculty in 2000, becoming the first Walter E. Havighurst Professor of Political Science and the founding director of the Havighurst Center for […]

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NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “The Long Hangover – Putin’s Russia and the Ghosts of the Past” – NYU Jordan Center/Ben Dalton

Large Mother Russia Statue Near Volgograd

“In late 1999, as … Putin began his long rule over Russia, the new president faced a slew of economic and political problems, but also an existential one. While post-Soviet countries like Belarus and Estonia had apparently settled into new national narratives (continuity with the past for Belarus, rupture and independence for Estonia and the other Baltic states), Russia remained […]

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NEWSLINK: “BOOK REVIEW: THE LONG HANGOVER” – Irrussianality/Paul Robinson

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

“Shaun Walker, the Moscow correspondent on The Guardian, has a new book out, entitled The Long Hangover: Putin’s New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past. It advances the thesis that … and this is where I run into a problem because he never explicitly says what his thesis is. But it’s sort of something like this: in an effort […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Putin Supporters’ Election Pitch: Remember Stalingrad; Video made at memorial to WWII victory is part of patriotic wave ahead of Russia’s March election” – Wall Street Journal/James Marson

Large Mother Russia Statue Near Volgograd

“… the video has also been chided for taking things too far, including on state television, underscoring the tension around the Kremlin’s efforts to drum up support despite a stagnant economy and a fall in living standards in recent years. * * *  Putin has made commemoration of the World War II [Stalingrad] victory a centerpiece of his rule, portraying […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Low Energy Superpower: Russia’s Dim Growth Prospects” – Bear Market Blog/Joseph Webster

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Few Russians are nostalgic for the nightmarish 1990s, a time when GDP fell by approximately 40%, inflation skyrocketed, and life expectancies tumbled. While history doesn’t repeat itself, it often rhymes: Russia won’t relive the nightmarish 1990s, but the pattern of declining living standards in contemporary Russia increasingly resembles the last decade of the 20th century. Russia will likely suffer a […]

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