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 […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Russian Ministry: Gulag Prison Records Digitized, Not Destroyed” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Soviet Gulag at Manzanar, adapted from image at nps.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 14, 2018) Russia’s Interior Ministry has denied reports that records of Soviet-era gulag labor camp survivors are being destroyed, saying instead that the files are being digitized. The Gulag Museum in Moscow alleged last week that cards with the personal information of former inmates and their release dates were being permanently destroyed under secret […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

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. …”

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

Russia’s Strange Obsession with Sobibór

File Photo of Reel of Film

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Izabella Tabarovsky, Senior Associate, Manager for Regional Engagement at The Kennan Institute – May 9, 2018) [Text with links kennan-russiafile.org/2018/05/09/russias-strange-obsession-with-sobibor/] A new Russian movie, Sobibór, is making its way into Russian theaters and European capitals. The big-budget, highly promoted film tells the story of a prisoner escape from the Nazi death camp Sobibór in October […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

Like Soviet one, Putin system can’t be reformed, only destroyed and replaced, Inozemtsev says

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – April 27, 2018) One of the many debates that riled Western studies of the Soviet Union concerned whether that system could ever be reformed or would have to be destroyed and then replaced with something else. Some political analysts insisted that of course it could be reformed, while those who came out of […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “The Soviet roots of invoking fears about World War III” – Brookings/James Kirchick

“Editor’s Note: Dire predictions about foreign intervention leading to ‘World War III’ aren’t merely the most predictable and laziest form of anti-interventionist ‘logic,’ argues Jamie Kirchick. They’re also an insidious echo of Soviet propaganda, routinely deployed to undercut the West’s defense of democracy and important international norms. …” Click here for: “The Soviet roots of invoking fears about World War […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “Putin says he wishes the Soviet Union had not collapsed. Many Russians agree.” – Washington Post/Adam Taylor

Berlin Wall, Fencing, Barbed Wire, Women

“A day after unveiling dramatic new weapons – including a nuclear-powered cruise missile – that sparked talk of a return to Cold War tensions … Putin suggested that he’d reverse the collapse of the Soviet Union if he could. Putin’s comments on the 1991 fall of the U.S.S.R. – which bound Russia and many of its neighbors while exerting influence […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “STALIN, PADDINGTON, AND THE PRESS” – irrussianality/Paul Robinson

File Photo of Reel of Film

“What do Josef Stalin and Paddington Bear have in common? Answer: The Russian Ministry of Culture has tried to ‘ban’ films about them – or at least that what recent headlines would have you believe. The truth is a bit more complex. …”

» Read more

Russian Reformers Failed to Take into Consideration Russian Nationalism and Orthodoxy, Chubais Says

Anatoly Chubais file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 19, 2018) Anatoly Chubais, one of the main architects of Russia’s radical economic reforms in the 1990s, says that he now considers that one of the main errors he and his like-minded reformers may was “to a significant degree” their failure to take into consideration “the special features of Russian culture.” […]

» Read more

Russia ‘No Longer an Empire but Not Yet a Nation,’ Emil Pain Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 17, 2018) Russian historian Aleksey Miller recently observed that “Russian never was, is not and never will be a nation state” (republic.ru/posts/88426), Emil Pain reports, to which ethnographer Valery Tishkov “angrily” responded that it is if it calls itself that (facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1483888388397177&id=100003280900276&pnref=story). Of course, if one follows Tishkov’s logic, Moscow’s leading specialist […]

» Read more

Russian Workers an ‘Invisible Class’ Since Collapse of Soviet Union, New Study Concludes

Russian Migrant Workers file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 11, 2018) Russians employed in factories have become “an invisible group” in society since 1991; and as a result, the identity even now is based largely on memories of the Soviet past as exacerbated by their sense of growing social inequality, according to a new study by the Higher School of […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “From Siberia to Crimea: The Revenge of History in U.S.-Russian Relations; One is tempted to conclude that the Washington foreign-policy establishment has learned little over the past century” – The National Interest/ Lyle J. Goldstein

Balaklava harbour, the cattle pier, Crimea, Ukraine, 1855; adapted from image at loc.gov; Fenton, Roger, 1819-1869, photographer;

“… What were more than 7,000 ‘doughboys’ doing in Siberia at the end of the First World War? To make a long and complex story-explored in detail by such luminaries as George Kennan-a bit shorter, the intervention by a large group of allied powers was not simply anti-Bolshevik, but was premised at the outset as a wartime operation to prevent […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “The KGB Playbook for Infiltrating the Middle East; In 1988, the Soviet intelligence service, the KGB, looked at its mistakes in the Middle East, where the CIA often had the upper hand. Putin has worked to change that” – Daily Beast/ Michael Weiss

FSB Building file photo

“This is the second article in a three-part series based on never-before-published training manuals for the KGB, the Soviet intelligence organization that Vladimir Putin served as an operative, and that shaped his view of the world.”

» Read more

Arseny Roginsky: Giving Russia its history back; On 18 December, Arseny Roginsky, historian, dissident and one of the founders of Russia’s Memorial society, passed away. He will be sorely missed.

Lit Candle with Reflection and Dark Background

(opendemocracy.net – Mikhail Kaluzhsky – December 20, 2017) Mikhail Kaluzhsky is Lead Russian-Language Editor at oDR. “For me, the archive (and I mean, of course, only literary and historical archives) is the natural continuation of the library. And unpublished archival documents are in no way different from published documents, you can treat them as accidentally unpublished or as-yet-unpublished. I believe […]

» Read more

‘Russian Lessons for Reagan’ Launch at Gorbachev Foundation Reunites Old Friends; Author Suzanne Massie meets with old friends and fellow optimists

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Justin Lifflander – December 13, 2017) Tuesday’s event at the Gorbachev Foundation was supposed to be a typically mundane book launch. But the presentation of the Russian language version of Suzanne Massie’s “Trust But Verify: Russian Lessons for Reagan” turned out to be an unofficial meeting of the multi-generational club of peace-makers and optimists. Ronald […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “ORDER FROM CHAOS; U.S.-Russia arms control was possible once – is it possible still?” – Brookings/ Strobe Talbott

“Thirty years ago last week, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, resulting in the elimination of some 2,700 U.S. and Soviet ground-launched intermediate-range missiles. …”

» Read more

How did 1917 change the west? Failed utopias lead to the death of idealism, and the likes of Putin and Trump are symbols of this process. As we watch Russia struggle with history, the U.S. and U.K. cannot afford to pretend that this history doesn’t affect us too.

File Photo of Revolutionaries Marching in Moscow in 1917, adapted from image at state.gov

(opendemocracy.net – Sam Greene – November 22, 2017) Samuel A. Greene is Reader in Russian Politics and Director of the Russia Institute at King’s College London Revolutions – and their centenaries – are best dealt with in the first person. That, of course, creates a certain awkwardness for an academic, whose stock in trade is meant to be distance from […]

» Read more

Talk of restoring monarchy in Russia premature – Maria Romanova

Romanov Family Photo

MOSCOW. Nov 16 (Interfax) – Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna Romanova, the head of the Russian Imperial Family, said she hopes to move to Russia soon and believes that it is “not yet the time” for the restoration of monarchy. “I really hope for that [move to Russia]. I am often asked [about the fact] that I live in Spain, but […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “Russia Celebrates an Uncomfortable Centennial” – Stratfor.com

File photo of Czar Nicholas II in Military Uniform Outdoors with Soldiers in Background, adapted from image at defense.gov

“The centennial anniversary of the launch of the Russian Revolution on Nov. 7 will serve as a haunting reminder for Russia’s current leaders that their power is finite. … a year after Russia observed the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union, a similarly unsettling marker for the [Putin] government … facing opposition from within its own ranks and on […]

» Read more

On Revolution Centenary, Perplexed Russians Ask, ‘Who Am I To Judge?’

File Photo of Revolutionaries Marching in Moscow in 1917, adapted from image at state.gov

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth, Robert Coalson – ST. PETERSBURG/MOSCOW – Nov. 5, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/anniversary-bolshevik-revolution-100-lenin-assessment/28836011.html) The small museum in St. Petersburg located in the apartment where Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin lived in the months before the October 1917 Bolshevik coup was inexplicably closed one recent weekday afternoon. A small, […]

» Read more

‘Russians to This Day Remain Soviet People,’ Moscow Psychologist Says

Artist's Rendition of Head and Brain, adapted from .gov image at lbl.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 31, 2017) Russians remain “Soviet people,” Aleksandr Asmolov says, not in terms of the specific ideological program pushed by the communist regime but rather according to three deep structures which informed that program, ensured its widespread acceptance, and guarantee its continuing vitality. Asmolov, a professor of psychology at Moscow State University, […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the global themed conference titled 100 Years of the Russian Revolution: Unity for the Future – Moscow, October 31, 2017” – Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

File Photo of Revolutionaries Marching in Moscow in 1917, adapted from image at state.gov » Read more

RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Opening of Wall of Sorrow memorial to victims of political repression” – KremlinRu

Russia Map

(Kremlin.ru – October 30, 2017) Following the meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, Vladimir Putin and the Council members attended the opening of the Wall of Sorrow memorial to victims of political repression on Akademika Sakharova Prospekt. The opening was also attended by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. President […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Fedotov at] Meeting of Council for Civil Society and Human Rights” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Kremlin.ru – October 30, 2017) Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights at the Kremlin. The focus of the meeting was on measures to implement the State Policy Concept on immortalising the memory of victims of political repression. The agenda also included issues related to the Council’s activities on ensuring citizens’ environmental rights, […]

» Read more

Russian Liberals Attack Current Regime but Defend Foundation of Regime as Such, Birna Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, October 27, 2017) One of the fundamental weaknesses of liberal Russian thought and behavior, Irina Birna says, is Russian liberals are always ready to criticize the current regime but defend the basis of that regime as such, refusing to see the links between the two and thus manifesting “a latent imperialism.” They […]

» Read more

Interfax: Don’t forget saddest lessons of Russian history – Volodin in connection with day memorializing victims of repression

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 30 (Interfax) – Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that the events associated with political repression in the 20th century should be remembered so that the past can unite society, not divide it. “The Day of Remembrance of Victims of Political Repressions is one of the hardest memorial dates in our country’s calendar. In the year of […]

» Read more

Russia To Unveil Monument To Victims Of Political Repression

File Photo of Soviet Gulag at Manzanar, adapted from image at nps.gov

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – October 30, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-stalin-putin-soviet-repression-remembrance-day-moscow/28823208.html) Amid controversy over his own methods of maintaining control over Russia, President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to appear at the unveiling of a memorial dedicated to victims of state repression during the Soviet era. The Wall Of Sorrow will be unveiled on […]

» Read more

Interfax: Kremlin had no plans for Russian Revolution centenary celebrations in first place – Peskov

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. Oct 25 (Interfax) – The Kremlin did not plan to celebrate the Russian Revolution’s centenary in the first place, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday. “The Kremlin is not planning any events on this occasion,” Peskov said. “No one is cancelling anything,” he said. The media said that the Kremlin had planned no events celebrating the […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “No pomp as Russia revolution centenary nears” – AFP

Kremlin and River

“… Russia strives to strike an odd balance … remembering the uprising that brought about the Soviet Union … stopping short of romanticising regime change. … 1917 saw Tsar Nicholas II abdicate in March and the Bolsheviks … seize power in October. Civil war erupted … followed by the creation in 1922 of the USSR, built on the ruins of the Russian empire. … Russia still […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “A tale of two revolutions, or ‘decommunisation’, Ukrainian-style; Ukrainian politicians see their country’s Soviet heritage as a major obstacle on the way to abrave new world. It’s a shame they’re using the same revolutionary methods as the communists to deal with it.” – OpenDemocracy/ Sergey Rumyantsev

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion » Read more

NEWSLINK: “CARIBBEAN CRISIS 2.0: ILLUSION OF PERMISSIVENESS” – Valdai/ Maxim Starchak

Map of Cuba and Environs

“… The international security system is collapsing, there is no dialogue. The parties do not consider negotiations, options, but prefer options for developing their military activities. Sooner or later, this may lead to a full-scale crisis similar to Cuba 1962. However, this may not be a bad thing. The Caribbean crisis has taught us to understand that the value of […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “The most controversial, anticipated film in years is coming soon to Russia. What’s it actually about? [Re: ‘Matilda’]” – Meduza/ Anton Dolin/ translation Kevin Rothrock

File Photo of Reel of Film

“When it comes to cultural scandals in contemporary Russia, it’s hard to find anything so controversial as “Matilda,” a new film by Alexey Uchitel about the love affair between Nicholas Romanov, when he was still heir to the tsarist empire, and Matilda Kshesinskaya, a celebrated ballerina …. A campaign against the movie has raged for almost a year … * * […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “‘We are nothing, let us be all.’ The century of revolution. The first communist revolution had almost as many consequences for the rest of the world as it did for Russia itself. Its demise has brought about another type of universalism: capitalist globalisation.” – Le Monde Diplomatique/ Serge Halimi

File Photo of Revolutionaries Marching in Moscow in 1917, adapted from image at state.gov

“… The ‘end of communism’ seemed to settle the great debate that opposed the main currents of the international left after the Russian Revolution, the defeat of one of the protagonists entailing the victory of the other, social democracy’s revenge on its boisterous sibling. That triumph was short-lived. The centenary of the storming of the Winter Palace is coinciding with […]

» Read more

‘The Death of Stalin’ Comedy Has Russia’s Culture Ministry Bracing for Communist Backlash

File Photo of Reel of Film

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 18, 2017) The Russian Culture Ministry’s public council should pre-screen a satirical movie on the death of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin to avoid repeating the ongoing controversy over a Tsar Nicholas II biopic, a senior council member told the Govorit Moskva radio station on Monday. Scottish director and writer Armando Iannucci’s “The Death of […]

» Read more

Russia’s wild decade: how memories of the 1990s are changing; A time of freedom and survival, memories of Russia’s first post-Soviet decade have come to divide people. The editors of a new collection on the 1990s share their thoughts.

File Photo of Kremlin Aerial View, adapted from .gov source

(opendemocracy.net – Thomas Rowley – September 15, 2017) Tom Rowley is Lead Editor at oDR. He is currently finishing a PhD on Soviet dissent at the University of Cambridge. Check out the latest in our Unlikely Media series, which profiles independent (and independently-minded) publications from across the post-Soviet space. As part of this series, we interview editors who are trying […]

» Read more
1 2 3 11