JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin the Great; Russia’s Imperial Impostor” – Foreign Affairs/ Susan B. Glasser

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

“… Putin did not want to be compared with … Brezhnev … [who] ruled the Soviet Union … 1964 to 1982 … leader of Putin’s gritty youth … the long stagnation that preceded the empire’s collapse. By the end … butt of a million jokes … doddering grandfather of a doddering state ….  ‘Stalin proved that just one person could […]

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Nostalgia for Soviet Past Helping Russians to Overcome Trauma of Loss, Abramov Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 10, 2019) “Societies which experience historical traumas, need anesthesia an psychotherapy, sociologist Roman Abramov says. That often takes the form of nostalgia for “‘the good old times,’” which in the Russian case for many but far from all was the period of Brezhnev’s rule (https://iq.hse.ru/news/301388060.html). “Waves of nostalgia became a frequent […]

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Teflon Putin? Over 20 Years In Power, Scandals Don’t Seem To Stick To The Russian President

Putin Descending a Staircase

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tony Wesolowsky and Robert Coalson – August 8, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-20-years-power-corruption-scandals/30100279.html) Vladimir Putin was not well known when President Boris Yeltsin picked him as prime minister on August 9, 1999, a key point in his meteoric rise to power. But years earlier, back […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Moral Disaster” – International Centre fo Defence and Security (Estonia)/ Jukka Mallinen

Kremlin and River

“Russians cannot tell good from evil. Many people were shocked when a large majority of Russians named Stalin ‘the greatest Russian.’ In 1988, 8% of the citizens of the Soviet Union deemed Stalin acceptable. In 2016 the dictator’s approval rating among Russians was 54%, and in 2018 his support had increased to 70%. … researcher … Andrey Kolesnikov, explains … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians’ Fear of Chernobyl Repeat Hits Record Low, Poll Says” – Moscow Times

Chernobyl File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 17, 2019) Fewer Russians believe that a Chernobyl-like nuclear disaster could happen now than at any point in the past two decades, according to an independent Levada Center poll published Wednesday. The April 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl power plant in Soviet Ukraine spread radioactive material across much of the Northern Hemisphere, affecting tens […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ Review: Wishing and Waiting; Eleven stories by a Russian cardiologist that show how doctors and patients alike soothe themselves with lies, shortcuts and elisions.” – Wall Street Journal/ Laura Kolbe

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“… In these 11 stories … Dr. Osipov, a Russian cardiologist, fiction writer and playwright, regards the field of medicine as though it were a hapless production of a surrealist play. … [T]he borders between hope, delusion and dishonesty are hazy and heavily trafficked. … Dr. Osipov is a master of dramatic irony, wringing bittersweet humor from what the reader […]

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Putin has Always Opposed Liberalism, Moscow Commentators Say

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 29, 2019) Many in the West were taken aback by Vladimir Putin’s attacks on liberalism in his recent Financial Times interview, but two Russian commentators have pointed out what should have been obvious to everyone: Putin has been fighting against what he defines as liberal values his entire professional life. Petr […]

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Yet Another Benefit from USSR’s Disintegration – Large Reduction in Release of Greenhouse Gases

Space in Low Earth Orbit with Partial Sun

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 25, 2019) The end of the Soviet Union brought many benefits, but one that has not attracted much attention up until now is that its demise has resulted in a significant decline in the release of greenhouse gases as a result of changes in post-Soviet food systems, a new study by […]

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RUSSIALINK: “The Kremlin’s Statecraft and Russia’s Freeze-Thaw Cycle”

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(The Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov – June 20, 2019) Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Fellow at the Kennan Institute and the Editor-at-Large of Vedomosti, an independent Russian daily. Mr. Trudolyubov was the editorial page editor of Vedomosti between 2003 and 2015. He has been a contributing opinion writer for The International New York Times since the fall […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Most Russians Say Soviet Union ‘Took Care of Ordinary People’ – Poll” – Moscow Times

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 24, 2019) A majority of Russians believe that the Soviet system took care of the common man and woman, according to a recent poll by the independent Levada Center pollster. Russia has seen an upward trend in positive opinions about the Soviet Union in recent years, with nostalgia toward it hitting a 14-year high […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Stalingrad by Vasily Grossman – a sweeping tale of war and life; This immense prequel to ‘Life and Fate’ on the siege of Stalingrad finally gets its English translation” – Financial Times/ Tobias Grey

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

“… At nearly 1,000 pages Stalingrad is slightly longer than its sequel. … Grossman places an earlier focus on the Shaposhnikov family and friends … their lives … thrown into disarray by the impending Battle of Stalingrad. Hitler’s huge offensive on the Eastern Front has driven Soviet forces into a prolonged retreat. Stalingrad … on a clifftop by the Volga […]

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Flouting The Law In Nostalgia’s Name: Russia’s Growing Movement Of ‘Soviet Citizens’

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Matthew Luxmoore – MOSCOW, May 25, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/flouting-law-in-nostalgia-s-name-russia-s-growing-movement-of-soviet-citizens-/29962523.html) Konstantin Vyatkin has never acknowledged the Soviet collapse. “For the past 28 years I’ve tried to live in this country called Russia,” he says. “But in my heart I still live there, in the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH AUDIO: “Russia Without Putin [Interview with Tony Wood; Includes Audio]” – Sean’s Russia Blog/ Sean Guillory/ Tony Wood

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

“Q: Most narratives of post-Soviet Russia emphasize a break between Yeltsin and Putin. …. But your book[, “Russia Without Putin: Money, Power and the Myths of the New Cold War,”] stresses that there are continuities …. [A.] I see these two periods as successive phases in the evolution of a single system. … the core differences are really matters of […]

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Moscow Patriarchate’s Opposition to New Stalin Cult Draws Fire from Russian Nationalists

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, May 12, 2019) Metropolitan Ilarion, head of the Synodical Department of External Relations and generally viewed as second only to Kirill in the Moscow Patriarchate, says that Russians should not give Joseph Stalin credit for victory in World War II or revive the cult of personality around the late Soviet dictator. In […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin and Trump’s Ominous Nostalgia for the Second World War” –  The New Yorker/ Masha Gessen

“… Victory Day is undoubtedly Russia’s most important, most grandly celebrated, and most political holiday. … not observed … immediately following the Second World War, in which the Soviet Union lost an estimated twenty-seven million people; it became a holiday a generation later … gain[ing] in prominence as the U.S.S.R. unleashed less righteous battles abroad …. After the Soviet Union […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “As Russia Celebrates Hitler’s Defeat, Stalin’s Ghost Is Haunting Putin” – The Daily Beast/ Anna Nemtsova

File Photo of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Riding in Convertible

“Russians have been encouraged to see Hitler as a tyrant, but Stalin as their defender. Now some wish Stalin were still around.” “… most of Europe dates the beginning of the war to 1939, partly because of a nonaggression pact that … Stalin made with Hitler that opened the way for him to invade Poland. That was followed by the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH AUDIO: “Russia’s role in WWII isn’t ‘part of our collective memory'” – PRI/ Natalia Antonova

American Solider Meets Russian Soliders in Berlin in 1945, adapted from image at army.mil

“… the Soviet Union was … a complex actor, in spite of being an ally. The fact that it was at the time ruled by a mass murderer, Joseph Stalin, doesn’t help. … Americans … don’t know what to think about the USSR’s role in the worst conflict in human history … Russia’s revanchism on the world stage today doesn’t […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “New Russian Documentary Brings the Horrors of the Gulag to the YouTube Generation; Yuri Dud’s documentary has garnered millions of views in days. From Global Voices.” – Transitions Online/ Alexey Kovalev

File Photo of Kolyma Mountains Satellite Image, adapted from image at noaa.gov

“… former sports reporter … [Yuri Dud] runs his own YouTube interview show …. generat[ing] millions of views … a serious competitor even to state-owned TV. … [T]he subject of Dud’s latest show shocked his … 5 million [subscribers] and the general public: a two-hour documentary about the Kolyma region, in Russia’s far northeast … almost synonymous with Stalin-era repressions. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Victory Parade on Red Square: Vladimir Putin attended a military parade marking the 74th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War.” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – May 9, 2019 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60490) Thirty-five marching military bands and over 130 units of modern military equipment took part in the parade. Overall, more than 13,000 service personnel were engaged. Watching the parade on the stand together with the President of Russia were Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and a guest of honour, first President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Herzog Says Gorbachev Documentary Has a ‘Subversive Message'” – AP

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

“Werner Herzog says there’s a ‘subversive message’ to his new documentary ‘Meeting Gorbachev’: Talk to your geopolitical enemies. Herzog interviewed former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev three times in a six-month span to make the new film. He highlights … the reunification of Herzog’s native Germany as well as the groundbreaking 1986 arms control summit with U.S. President Ronald Reagan. […]

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R.I.P “Soviet Man”: Scrapping Homo sovieticus in the Spirit of Yuri Levada

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Gulnaz Sharafutdinova – April 29, 2019 – wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/rip-soviet-man-scrapping-homo-sovieticus-the-spirit-yuri-levada) Gulnaz Sharafutdinova is a Reader at King’s Russia Institute (King’s College London). “Soviet man is a servile double-thinker with no morality.” “Soviet man is being reproduced in modern-day Russia.” These two messages have occupied a prime position in the Levada Center’s communications over the past two decades […]

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Sarah Lindemann-Komarova: “Russiagate, There are No Winners”

American Solider Meets Russian Soliders in Berlin in 1945, adapted from image at army.mil

Subject: Russiagate, There are No Winners Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2019 From: Sarah Lindemann-Komarova <echosiberia@gmail.com> Russiagate, There are No Winners Sarah Lindemann-Komarova [Sarah Lindemann-Komarova has been a community development activist in Siberia since 1992. Currently she is focusing on research and writing about civil society in Russia.] medium.com/@ECHOSiberia/russiagate-there-are-no-winners-4de2dd97acbc Baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z, we are now into the […]

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Record Numbers of Russians Have Positive View of Stalin, Levada Center Finds

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 16, 2019) On the centenary of the establishment of the GULAG that he did so much to expand (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5CB56680ECD4C), the Levada Center polling agency released the results of a survey showing 70 percent of Russians have a positive attitude toward the Soviet dictator, the highest share ever (rbc.ru/politics/16/04/2019/5cb0bb979a794780a4592d0c). Not surprisingly, this […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “In Notre Dame fire, echoes of the 1837 blaze that destroyed Russia’s Winter Palace” – The Conversation/ Paul W. Werth

File Photo of Hermitage Art Museum

“In a city graced with remarkable architecture, the [C]athedral of Notre Dame may be Paris’ most striking edifice. … when it was engulfed by a fire that toppled its spire, it seemed as if more than a building had been scorched; the nation had lost a piece of its soul. … I couldn’t help but think of a similar tragedy […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin at] Opening of Memory Watch 2019 national event; Vladimir Putin took part in the opening ceremony of the Memory Watch 2019 national event at the Victory Museum on Moscow’s Poklonnaya Gora.” – KremlinRu

American Solider Meets Russian Soliders in Berlin in 1945, adapted from image at army.mil

(Kremlin.ru – April 4, 2019 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/60222) Vladimir Putin spoke at the Memory Watch 2019 plenary meeting and learned about the Russian Search Movement’s projects, including the Frontline Portrait: A Soldier’s Destiny, which presents 27 portraits of Red Army soldiers that were painted at the frontline. This nationwide event, due to last until April 6, will involve over 250 representatives […]

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Yermolai Solzhenitsyn: “Re: Some information on SolzhenitsynCenter.org”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn file photo

Subject: Some information on solzhenitsyncenter.org Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2019 From: Yermolai Solzhenitsyn <yermolai_solzhenitsyn@mckinsey.com> To: davidjohnson@starpower.net Dear David, We saw recently a piece on JRL Russia Insider, russia-insider.com, March 18, 2019 Great Russian Documentary on Life of Alexander Solzhenitsyn (Video) [https://russia-insider.com/en/great-russian-documentary-life-alexander-solzhenitsyn-video/ri26536], where the authors were wondering whether there were English language copies of all the three films in question. We […]

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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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