TRANSCRIPT [Putin]: Orthodox-Slavic Values: The Foundation of Ukraine’s Civilisational Choice conference

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(Kremlin.ru – July 27, 2013) Vladimir Putin took part in the conference called Orthodox-Slavic Values: The Foundation of Ukraine’s Civilisational Choice. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, friends, I just said goodbye before to President of Ukraine Mr Yanukovych. You also sent him your best wishes. Unfortunately, he has a strict schedule with a lot of events to attend: […]

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Soviet ruble was destroyed brutally, in one day

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Pravda.ru – Margarita Troitsyna – July 24, 2013) On July 24, 1993, 20 years ago, the Central Bank of Russia announced the withdrawal of Soviet banknotes from circulation. From that day, Soviet cash was no longer valid on the territory of Russia. The reform was carried out to curb inflation in the country, but it caused huge panic in the […]

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Mayakovsky anniversary reveals struggle over poet’s legacy

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Joy Neumeyer – July 22, 2013) On July 19, Moscow marked the 120th anniversary of Vladimir Mayakovsky, the rebellious Futurist poet who rose from a childhood in Georgia to become the voice of the October Revolution. The commemorations came on the eve of the controversial renovation of Moscow’s Mayakovsky Museum, which some fear will remove […]

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From Russia, lessons for Egypt

Map of Egypt and Environs`

(opendemocracy.net – Sam Greene – July 23, 2013) Samuel A. Greene is Senior Lecturer in Russian Politics and Director of the King’s Russia Institute at King’s College London. Can manipulating the democratic process ever play out in the interest of progressive politics? Samuel A. Greene suggests not: we’ve been in this situation before, in post-Soviet Russia, with largely calamitous results. […]

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Bureaucrats must not teach historians how textbooks should be written – Naryshkin

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Interfax – KAZAN, July 16, 2013) Historians and history teachers, not bureaucrats, should decide how Russian history should be taught to Russian students, said Sergei Naryshkin, the Russian State Duma’s speaker and president of the Russian Historical Society. “Experts in history have wisely asked the Russian Historical Society to provide guidelines for teaching history as a subject, which will be […]

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The tsar files: Who killed the Romanovs

Romanov Family Photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yan Shenkman, RBTH – July 16, 2013) In the night between the 16th and 17th of July 1918 the family of Russia’s last Emperor, Nicolas II, was killed in Ekaterinburg. RBTH investigates the identities and lives of the killers of the tsar. Even now, 115 years after the murder of Russia’s last czar, […]

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Brief history of corruption in Imperial Russia

File Image of Czar Alexander II

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Georgy Manaev, special to RBTH – July 16, 2013) Since medieval times, corruption in Russia has been rooted in the essence of the governing system­not, however, an incurable disease. The third presidential term of Vladimir Putin has been marked by an unprecedented (for post-Soviet Russia) war on corrupt officials in the central governing […]

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New Russian cinema trend: Biopics of Soviet stars

File Photo of Yuri Gagarin and U.S. Newspaper About Gagarin Space Flight

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Andrey Arkhangelsky, film critic, special to RBTH – July 10, 2013) There is a new trend in Russian cinema: biopics about famous people from the past. Films about Gagarin, Vysotsky and Kharlamov are not only educational, but ideological too. There is a new trend in Russian cinema: biopics about famous people from the […]

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Architectural Preservation’s Politics

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – July 9, 2013) The battle over the preservation of Moscow’s architectural heritage has become visibly political in recent weeks, as prominent opposition parties criticized acting mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s policies. Several candidates have promised to address the issue in the run-up to this September’s mayoral race. The primary catalyst in the debate has […]

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Re: Moscow October 1993

File Photo of Parliament Building Billowing Smoke in 1993

Subject: Re: Moscow October 1993 From: lsell52354@aol.com (Louis D. Sell) Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2013 In catching up on my reading I saw an exchange of e-mails on the events in Russia in October 1993.  At that time I was the acting number 2 at the US Embassy in Moscow, which as those familiar with Moscow know, is only a […]

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Russia Will Not Survive in Its Current Borders, Russian Regionalist Says

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 27, 2013) A St. Petersburg regionalist argues in a new book, “Global Separatism as a Means of Overcoming ‘The End of History’,” that Russia is unlikely to survive in its current borders because of the historical burdens it has inherited from the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire and because of […]

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Half of Russians ready to fight for homeland – poll

File Photo of Russian Military Conscripts Boarding Train with Gear

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 21, 2013) Russians are paying tribute to their compatriots who saved the country in World War Two. They are also ready to fight for their homeland if a new war starts, Levada Center told Interfax in comment on a poll held before the Day of Remembrance and Grief. Some 52% of the respondents said the Soviet […]

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Long-Lost Soviet Holocaust Films Under New Spotlight

File Photo of Nazi Concentration Camp - adapted from image at army.mil

(RIA Novosti – Maria Young – WASHINGTON, June 19, 2013) ­ Nearly a dozen long-lost, rarely seen Soviet films and scores of screenplays that were never produced about the persecution of Jews during World War II have been revived to offer decades-old evidence of a side of the Holocaust few people recognize today. From the dusty archives of Moscow and […]

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U.S. Returns Rare Documents to Russia

Romanov Family Photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 18, 2013) The United States has returned to Moscow eight historical documents, taken out of Russian archives during the turbulent 1990s and recently recovered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The documents, including handwritten orders by Tsarina Catherine the Great and Russia’s last Tsar Nicholas II, and a personal letter by composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, […]

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Presidential Library opens access to declassified materials on World War II

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. June 13 (Interfax) – The Presidential Library named after Yeltsin has opened access to declassified and little known documents coming to its fund. “We began digitizing declassified materials almost three years ago. We work with the archive of the defense ministry and other official archives. Documents are declassified, we digitize them, put them in our funds and wide […]

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June 12: How Declaration of Sovereignty saved Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Artem Zagorodnov, RBTH – June 12, 2013) Sergei Shakhrai, one of the authors of Russia’s constitution, explained to RBTH what really brought about the USSR’s demise, and what prevented Russia from splitting apart further. During the turbulent years of the Soviet collapse, parliamentarian Sergei Shakhrai supported the Declaration of Sovereignty, passed by parliamentary […]

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Russia Day: From independence to summer holiday

Map of Russia

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gleb Cherkasov, special to RBTH – June 11, 2013) Conceived by the founding fathers of the new Russia and in the mold of U.S. Independence Day, “Russia Day” has become just a new summer holiday ­ mainly because no one has ever managed to figure out who Russia gained independence from. For almost […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Speech at reception on Russia Day

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Kremlin.ru – June 12, 2013) The Kremlin, Moscow PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, friends, Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, I congratulate you on Russia Day. This holiday grows in importance every year. Its meaning, spirit and atmosphere reflect Russia’s development today. It is also a part of our history with all its difficult and sometimes dramatic moments. We all […]

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Only Half of Russians Can Name June 12 Holiday – Poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 11, 2013) ­ Only 50% of Russian citizens know the correct name of the June 12 national holiday ­ the Day of Russia, according to a survey by the Levada Center independent pollster. The survey, published on Monday, indicates that another 30% of Russians know this holiday by its previous name ­ the Day of […]

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Russia’s June 12 holiday: birth of a nation

Map of Russia

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova – June 10, 2013) Ask a handful of people about Russia Day, celebrated every year on June 12 since 1992, and you are likely to encounter confusion. Meant to celebrate the birth of the Russian Federation, a modern nation with a new Constitution and flag, the holiday does not have a lot of […]

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Russia Gearing Up for National Holiday

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) On Wednesday June 12 offices around Russia will empty as Russia celebrates Russia Day, one of the nation’s youngest public holidays. Since the day falls in the middle of the week, it will not be rearranged to make up a long weekend. “People will have to organize their working week to take […]

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The New Moscow: Old Style Civilization

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Chloe Schmitt – June 3, 2013) New Moscow Population:  250,000 residents in the added territory Main industries: In the past, the city of Troitsk was well known for its textile industry. But today there are no major industries in new Moscow. One of the major businesses today is real estate, with the construction of many […]

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The Fabulous 90’s: A Siberian memoir: Response to Adomanis JRL#94

Map of Russia

Date: Sun, 26 May 2013 Subject:  The Fabulous 90’s: A Siberian memoir: Response to Adomanis JRL#94 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> The Fabulous 90’s: A Siberian memoir in response to JRL#94 Mark Adomanis Forbes.com “The Intelligence Squared Debate: Masha Gessen Has Some Really Strange Ideas About The 1990’s” (JRL #94) Adomanis, “With the stipulation that Gessen doesn’t represent the entire Russian […]

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Putin says Russia needs to look back to move forward

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Interfax – May 25, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that to move forward Russia needs to look back at its traditions and roots, Interfax news agency reported on 25 May, quoting the Kremlin’s website. In a message on the occasion of the unveiling of a monument to Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Germogen (Hermogenes), Putin says: “Today’s […]

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Why Did Russia Let the Republics Go? Revisiting the Fall of the USSR

Map of Russia

(Kennan Institute Meeting Report – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Mackensie Knorr – April 29, 2013) “Why did the Russians, despite all that one would expect from them given the histories of the downfalls of empires, decide not to fight and to let the empire fall?” asked Serhii Plokhii, Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University, at a 29 April 2013 […]

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Russians don’t like idea of bringing monarchy back – poll

Romanov Family Photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 16, 2013) A poll conducted by the Levada Center shows that the majority of Russians are confident that Russia does not need a monarchy and Russia’s last emperor Nicholas II was not the best leader. The 145th anniversary of the birth of Russia’s last Emperor Nicholas II will be marked on May 19. The study shows […]

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Putin’s Patriotism: Duma May Make Criticism of WWII Illegal

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – May 17, 2013) Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series on state initiatives to promote patriotism. The State Duma has ordered an evaluation of a comment made by opposition politician Leonid Gozman in which he compared a Soviet intelligence agency to Adolf Hitler’s SS on the grounds that the comment […]

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Sacred beliefs: The painful legacy of WWII is made up of questions that cannot be answered

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – May 13, 2013) Anna Arutunyan is a correspondent and editor at themoscownews.com The tanks and the Topol-M missile had all passed, the booming, Soviet-era voice of the announcer was quiet, the 11,000 uniformed servicemen were at ease, and the little boy standing on the curb of the Red Square suddenly spoke up. […]

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Ban on Foreign Holdings Gives Kremlin Muscovy-Like Control, Commentator Says

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, May 10 ­ New Russia legislation to prevent officials from having cash or stock accounts abroad, promoted by the regime as a step toward “the nationalization of the elite,” brings Russia into line with countries like Bangladesh rather than the West and gives the Kremlin powers much like those of medieval Muscovy, […]

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Berezovsky buried in England

Boris Berezovsky file photo

(Interfax – LONDON/MOSCOW, May 8, 2013) Russian business tycoon Boris Berezovsky was buried Brookwood cemetery, Surrey, in Great Britain, a source close to the businessman told Interfax on Wednesday. “The burial service was conducted in the family circle, while the burial ceremony itself was attended by 50 to 70 people – the family and friends of the late oligarch,” the […]

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Bestselling writers bear witness to the devastation, and glory, of WW II

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alena Tveritina, RBTH – May 10, 2013) Many Soviet writers experienced the brutal front as Red Army soldiers and as war correspondents; others collected the accounts of everyday citizens. World War II is among the most tragic chapters in the hard book of the 20th century. Many Soviet writers fought with the Red […]

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On Victory Day, Putin Says Russian Soldiers Freed Europe

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 10, 2013) President Vladimir Putin has praised Russian soldiers as “the liberators of Europe” at a Victory Day parade with more than 11,000 soldiers and 100 military vehicles on Red Square. “We will always remember that it was the Red Army that didn’t allow the fascists to occupy the world,” Putin said a speech […]

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Debate Rages Over State History Textbooks

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – April 26, 2013) This is part of an occasional series. As part of his effort to promote patriotism among younger generations of Russians, President Vladimir Putin has proposed creating a single set of history textbooks for schoolchildren, arguing that there should be more consistency in what students are taught and that textbooks […]

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CIA Officers Advised Russia’s Privatization Minister – Putin

Anatoly Chubais file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, April 25, 2013) ­ Officers of the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency operated as consultants to Anatoly Chubais, the Russian deputy prime minister who oversaw the privatization of the country’s economy in the early 1990’s, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. “In Chubais’ entourage, it has now turned out, CIA officers worked as consultants,” Putin said […]

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Alienation of Russian Nation from Russian State Led to 1917 and 1991, Moscow Historian Says

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 13, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/04/window-on-eurasia-alienation-of-russian.html) A major reason for the destruction of the Russian Empire in 1917 and of the Soviet Union in 1991, a Moscow historian says, was “the alienation that existed between the state and the Russian people,” a shortcoming that unfortunately the Russian Federation has not yet overcome with […]

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All dissidents now: Russia’s protests and the mirror of history

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(opendemocracy.net – Tom Rowley – March 29, 2013) Tom Rowley is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge. His work investigates how dissidents are remembered in Russia from perestroika to the present day. THE CEELBAS DEBATE // How far does the current clash between the opposition and authorities reflect Russia’s history of dissidence?  Tom Rowley considers the importance of […]

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Russia Needs Standard Approach to Teaching History – Putin

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

ROSTOV-ON-DON, March 29 (RIA Novosti) ­ President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia needs a unified, standard approach to teaching history. “I fully agree that there should be a canonical version of our history,” Putin said Friday while meeting with his campaigners from the All-Russia People’s Front. He acknowledged that there are different opinions concerning history textbooks in high schools, […]

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Berezovsky Lives!

Boris Berezovsky file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – March 29, 2013) The oligarch is dead. Long live the oligarchy. Boris Berezovsky’s death in London last week has been called the end of an era, and in some ways it sort of was. The man who once controlled swaths of the Russian economy and was called everything from the Godfather of the […]

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Prague Spring Comes to Moscow

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – March 25, 2013) “A lot of people these days are finding parallels between the present and the 1930s, but the real connection I see is between the present and 1968.” Playwright Mikhail Durnenkov made that comment to me as we chatted Friday prior to the beginning of an evening called “1968. Prague […]

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Russia moving away from totalitarianism but destination dim – minister

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. March 25 (Interfax) – Russia is moving away from its totalitarian past but it is unclear what kind of political system it is heading for, the justice minister has argued. “It needs to be realized that we are getting through an inevitable period of transition from a totalitarian society to another form of society. At the moment, it’s hard […]

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New history textbooks may promote conservative values in Russia

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Stanislav Kuvaldin, special to RBTH – March 22, 2013) A single textbook is being drafted in Russia, following Putin’s call for a single concept of Russian history. The Russian government has tasked scholars with preparing a single textbook of the history of Russia, to replace the host of Russian history manuals on the […]

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136 National Languages Now at Risk in Russia, UNESCO Says

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 22, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/03/window-on-eurasia-136-national.html) Some 136 national languages of the Russian Federation are at or already beyond “the edge of extinction,” according to UNESCO. Many of these languages are subgroups of others, but the danger of disappearance exists for groups as large as Avars, Bashkirs and Chechens. According to the United […]

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Russians don’t want return to monarchy, see no contender for throne – poll

File Image of Czar Alexander II

MOSCOW. March 20 (Interfax) – Over a quarter of Russians have nothing against the restoration of monarchy in the country but cannot name a person who could become the tsar now, a poll has indicated. In a choice between two forms of government – monarchy and republic – 11% of Russians opt for the former. Moscow and St. Petersburg have […]

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Stalin’s national policy helped Soviet demise

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Sergei Markedonov, special to RBTH – March 18, 2013) Sergey Markedonov is a visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. The 60th anniversary of the death of Joseph Stalin (March 5, 1953) has galvanized the debate about his role in both Russian and world history. The desire […]

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Russian schools could switch to single history textbook in a year – education minister

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(Interfax – March 17, 2013) Russian schools could switch to a single history textbook in a year, Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov said on Pozner program on Chainmen One. “A good history textbook, just one, will always give room for analysis, for assessing various theories of what actually happened, and for different historical concepts,” Livanov said. The history manual […]

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Hatreds of Deeply Divided Russian Population ‘Saving’ Putin, Commentator Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 11, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/03/window-on-eurasia-hatreds-of-deeply.html) The hatreds Russians feel toward others past and present domestic and foreign are an important reason why Vladimir Putin has been able to maintain himself in power even at a time when polls show that an increasing number of the citizens of his country do not actively […]

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Stalin: Still a Dividing Legacy Among Russians

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(www.opendemocracy.net – Alexei Levinson – March 5, 2013) Alexei Levinson is sociologist and senior researcher at the Levada Center, Russia’s leading polling organisation, Moscow On the 60th anniversary of Joseph Stalin’s death, with Russian and international TV news bulletins showing old footage of his life and his funeral, Alexei Levinson looks at how his legacy still divides Russians today. Why […]

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The Romanovs’ 400-Year Reign Triumphant Again

Romanov Family Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alex Grant – March 6, 2013) KOSTROMA ­ Russia’s last royal dynasty was honored Saturday in the ancient city of Kostroma in northern Russia. The first Romanov tsar was elected in this city in 1613, the year that put an end to the Time of Troubles in medieval Russia. The enthronement of tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich […]

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New book “Midnight in the American Empire”

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2013 From: Robert Bridge <robertvbridge@yahoo.com> Subject: New book “Midnight in the American Empire” I have just published a book entitled, “Midnight in the American Empire,” which deals with the United States in the post-Soviet era. Much of the book deals with US corporate power, but there is a section devoted to Russia, which I think would […]

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Jewish Library Not the Only Thing Russia Isn’t Giving Back

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 26, 2013) President Vladimir Putin said last week that returning a Jewish book collection confiscated after the Bolshevik Revolution was impossible because it would open a “Pandora’s box” of claims on such property. “[If Russia] starts satisfying these sorts of claims, there would be no end to them and no telling […]

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