Putin Preparing Russians for War Much as Stalin Did in 1938-1939

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 9, 2019) Two out of three Russians now believe that their country will be involved in a major war (a-nalgin.livejournal.com/1661358.html), the result of a concerted effort by Vladimir Putin and his regime to convince them of that, an effort that in many ways resembles the one Stalin engaged in during the […]

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1996, Not 1991 or 1993, Made Current Authoritarian Reaction in Russia Inevitable, Pastukhov Says

Kremlin and River

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, March 5, 2019 –  windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/03/1996-not-1991-or-1993-made-current.html) Ever more often, the 1990s are becoming “a new line of the ideological front,” with Russians divided on which year, 1991, 1993 or 1996, set in train the forces which have led Russia to where it is today. Most plump for the first two, but Vladimir Pastukhov […]

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Displays of Support for Stalin a Form of Protest Against Putin, Nacke Says

Joseph Stalin file photo

(Paul Goble – Staunton, March 5, 2019 – windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/03/displays-of-support-for-stalin-form-of.html) Vladimir Putin may aspire to be the Stalin of today, but Russians who display their affection for the Soviet dictator as on today’s anniversary of the dictator’s death do so because they understand that in boosting Stalin, they are in fact protesting against Putin and the current Russian regime, Ekho Moskvy […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Specter of new arms race has Russia recalling Soviets’ fate” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

“Most Russian schoolchildren hold as true that the Soviet Union collapsed in part because it was foolish enough to engage in a vast global competition with the United States. … [including] a ruinous arms race that diverted resources from the civilian economy and ultimately bankrupted the country. … Despite a decade-long crash program to reform and reequip Russia’s moribund Soviet-era […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Lessons for Leaders: What Afghanistan Taught Russian and Soviet Strategists ” – Russia Matters/ Simon Saradzhyan

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

“… the Soviet leadership made a number of mistakes, first when contemplating whether to intervene in Afghanistan, then during the intervention and, finally, when withdrawing the troops. Some of these mistakes were particularly costly, such as the failure to take full stock either of the hierarchy of vital national interests at stake in Afghanistan or of the costs and benefits […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH AUDIO: “Reconsidering Russia Podcast #17: Stephen F. Cohen”

(Reconsidering Russia Podcast #17: Pietro A. Shakarian interview of Stephen F. Cohen – February 1, 2019 – embedded audio should load below, or click here: mixcloud.com/reconsidering-russia/reconsidering-russia-podcast-17-stephen-cohen/) “Guest: Stephen F. Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Russian History at New York University and Princeton University. … author of numerous books on Russia and the former Soviet region, including the influential “Bukharin and the […]

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Inventorying the Past: Russia Refreshes Its Historical Memory

New Year's Eve on Red Square with Fireworks, Kremlin, Saint Basil's, Crowds

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Nikolay Epplee – Feb. 1, 2019) Nikolay Epplee is an independent researcher working on international memorial culture and on memory of Soviet state terror. He published extensively on memory issues in Vedomosti, InLiberty, Colta, and other Russian media. [wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/inventorying-the-past-russia-refreshes-its-historical-memory] The New Year’s holidays are one of the few times in the year that different generations […]

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Do Trump’s Afghanistan Claims Mirror Moscow’s Rhetoric?

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – January 11, 2019 – russiamatters.org/blog/do-trumps-afghanistan-claims-mirror-moscows-rhetoric) Earlier this month, President Donald Trump offered his take on Soviet Russia’s experiences in Afghanistan as he argued in favor of a huge U.S. troop withdrawal and a larger contribution by Moscow to stabilize the war-racked country. The U.S. president put forward two basic propositions: that the […]

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Growth of Public History in Russia ‘Democratizing Memory,’ New Study Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 17, 2019) [Text with links windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/01/growth-of-public-history-in-russia.html] Public history, the trend within the history discipline in many places around the world that seeks to rely on the digitalization of personal memoirs, diaries, and photographs of ordinary people to present the past from below, has come to Russia and is “democratizing memory” in […]

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Ever More Russians Drawing Analogies between Russia Now and Russia in 1917, Kagarlitsky Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 15, 2019) Ever more Russians are drawing analogies between their country today and its situation in 1917 and between Vladimir Putin and the last tsar Nicholas II, sociologist and commentator Boris Kagarlitsky says; and this is quite “logical” given the tone deaf reaction of the powers that be in both cases […]

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Growing Russian Nostalgia for Soviet Past Far More Dangerous than It Appears, Kirillova Says

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 7, 2019) New polls show that the share of Russians who would like to go “back to the USSR” is at its highest levels over the last 15 years, a development many find troubling because it will make the future evolution of Russia toward a normal state far more difficult. But […]

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Russia’s Lower Classes Far More ‘Soviet’ than Its Elites and That is a Big Problem, Inozemtsev Says

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 7, 2019) Russian commentator Vladimir Pozner argument that Russia will change only when the last member of the Russian elite educated in Soviet times passes away (echo.msk.ru/blog/pozner/2346625-echo/) is fundamentally wrong, Russian economist Vladislav Inozemtsev says (echo.msk.ru/blog/v_inozemcev/2347259). Not only is Pozner’s analysis mistaken in serious ways, despite being shared by many, the […]

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More In The Tank: Russian Film Extends Trend Of Patriotic World War II Epics

File Photo of Reel of Film

(Article ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Matthew Luxmoore – Jan. 8, 2019 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/more-in-the-tank-russian-film-extends-trend-of-patriotic-world-war-ii-epics/29697503.html) Yet another patriotic war movie has taken Russia by storm. T-34, a high-octane tribute to the Soviet tank that played a key role on the Eastern Front of World War II, is the latest in a series […]

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Soviet Sentimentality: Russians’ Regret At U.S.S.R.’s Collapse Hits 14-Year High

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Dec. 19, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/russian-regret-at-soviet-collapse-stands-at-14-year-high-poll-shows/29664759.html) More Russians regret the breakup of the Soviet Union than at any other time since 2004, an opinion poll shows. In a survey whose results were published on December 19, two-thirds — or 66 percent — of respondents answered “yes” […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Boris Yeltsin’s shrine in Yekaterinburg brings tears for a legacy smashed by Putin” – Sunday Times (UK)/ Matthew Campbell

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

“… An ailing Yeltsin is believed to have chosen Putin, a former KGB officer, as his successor, because he had a reputation for loyalty. He knew he could count on Putin to protect him and his family. … [H]e made Putin promise to ‘look after Russia.’ In the eyes of Putin’s supporters, he has … [brought] relative prosperity … making […]

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Putin Hails Solzhenitsyn As ‘True Patriot’ On Centenary Of His Birth

Alexander Solzhenitsyn file photo

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – MOSCOW – Dec. 11, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-solzhenitsyn-true-patriot-centenary-birth/29650018.html) President Vladimir Putin has praised late Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn as a “true and real patriot” after unveiling a statue honoring the Nobel Prize-winning author in central Moscow. Speaking at the unveiling ceremony marking the centenary of Solzhenitsyn’s birth, Putin […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin appearance:] Monument to Alexander Solzhenitsyn unveiled in Moscow” – KremlinRu

Alexander Solzhenitsyn file photo

(Kremlin.ru – December 11, 2018) The President attended the unveiling ceremony for a monument to Alexander Solzhenitsyn in Moscow’s Tagansky District on the 100th anniversary of the writer’s birth. The bronze monument sitting on a granite pedestal was designed by National Artist of Russia Andrei Kovalchuk. His project won the architecture and sculpture tender held in 2017 by the Union […]

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Russia Today is Not Where USSR was in 1991 in Three Important Respects, Two Bloggers Say

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 21, 2018) The Russian commentariat ever more frequently features apocalyptic predictions about the rapidly approaching end of Russia, with some like MGIMO professor Valery Solovey suggesting that the situation in Russia today is very much like that in the Soviet Union in 1990-1991 and that the results will be similar. But […]

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New Russian Study Partially Lifts Veil on Post-1945 Trials of Soviets who Collaborated with Germans

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 17, 2018) Court cases against Soviet citizens who collaborated with the Nazis has long been a little studied “and in part taboo subject,” according to Irina Makhalova, a historian at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics who is leading a small team that has partially lifted the veil on this subject. She […]

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NEWSLINK: “Walter Laqueur obituary; Influential but pessimistic historian who tried to find answers to the Holocaust and was among the first scholars to study terrorism” – The Times (London)

Lit Candle with Reflection and Dark Background

“… Laqueur’s curiosity, interest in the future and anxiety remained into his nineties …. As always he was interested in the attacks societies faced, and how internal weaknesses made them vulnerable. … He spoke sometimes of hope, but the searing experience of seeing the society he was born into collapsing into barbarism had never left him. Walter Laqueur, historian, was […]

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With Russia and the U.S., Nuclear Risks Never Go Out of Vogue

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Jon B. Wolfsthal – November 8, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/russia-and-us-nuclear-risks-never-go-out-vogue) Jon B. Wolfsthal is the director of the Nuclear Crisis Group and a former senior director on the National Security Council. This week marks an important nuclear milestone of the Cold War: Thirty-five years ago, the United States almost accidentally provoked the Soviet Union into starting […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “There’s a museum in Russia honoring Boris Yeltsin. Team Putin doesn’t like it.” – Los Angeles Times/Sabra Ayres

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

“… [In the recorded speech] Yeltsin … assails the slow pace of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms … unabashedly criticiz[ing] … party elite. … Yeltsin’s expressive face and exaggerated hand gestures hint at the magnitude of the speech that, many believe, marked the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. Yeltsin … [became] the first democratically elected president of […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin’s Filmmaker Speaks, Reveals Unseen Footage of Russian Leader’s Rise to Power; Rare insight from Vitaly Mansky, a former Kremlin propagandist, paints an extraordinary portrait of a president drawn ever deeper into dictatorship” – Daily Beast/ Nico Hines

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin » Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Moscow govt formally allows Oct. 29 remembrance of victims of repression on Lubyanka Square” – Interfax

FSB Headquarters Building file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 23 (Interfax) – The Moscow government has formally granted Memorial’s request to hold a ceremony commemorating victims of political repression at the traditional venue near the Solovetsky Stone on Lubyanka Square on October 29, Yelena Romanova from the city administration’s regional security department said. “There was an interagency meeting today to discuss the provision of public peace and […]

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EVENT: November 1, 2018 – Book Launch – “Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation” at The George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs

File Photo of George Washington Bust at George Washington University

Subject: Event – November 1, 2018 – Book Launch – Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 From: IERES, GW Elliott School <ieresgwu@gwu.edu> Understanding Russia: The Challenges of Transformation [Amazon: amzn.to/ 2S1KHak] This timely book provides a balanced and comprehensive overview of the geographical, historical, political, cultural, and geostrategic factors that drive Russia today. Russia has […]

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NEWSLINK: “Cold War and the Academy: An Oral History on Russian and Eurasian Studies [Interview Transcripts Hub]” – The Harriman Institute at Columbia University

Columbia University Campus with Main Building

“… the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, in collaboration with the Columbia Center for Oral History Research, and the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE), embarked on an oral history project that would document the Institute’s substantive role in area studies and academia and its influence on the making of U.S. foreign policy towards the Soviet Union, Russia, […]

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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: “Memorial Service for Professor Richard Pipes” – Harvard University, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies

Lit Candle with Reflection and Dark Background

Friday, September 21, 2018 – 3:00pm to 5:00pm Memorial Church, Harvard Yard Please join us for a memorial service celebrating the life of Professor Richard E. Pipes (1923-2018). RSVPs to daviscenter@fas.harvard.edu or 617-495-4037 are welcome. Co-sponsored by the Pipes family, the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and the Harvard University Department of History. For more information, please call […]

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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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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

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

“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: “Russia to memorialize 20 Holocaust execution sites” – Interfax

Russia Map

MOSCOW. Aug 6 (Interfax) – Twenty sites in Russia where Jews were executed and buried during the war will be memorialized as part of the next stage of the Return Dignity program this year. Monuments to Holocaust victims will be built in cities and villages in the Bryansk, Volgograd, Oryol, Ryazan, Smolensk, and Tula regions, the Stavropol Territory and the […]

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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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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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