Tag: Russia

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By giving yourself to Ustina, you are, I know, exhausting your body, but disowning your body is only half of it. As it happens, my friend, that can lead to pride.What else can I do? thought Arseny.Do more, Foma whispered right into Arseny’s ear. Disown your identity. You have already taken the first step by […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they enjoy the fun ad for GOP congressional hopefuls in Texas, an ad starring Rep. Dan Crenshaw and includes skydiving and multiple movie references. They also fume over the latest revelations proving the FBI knew the Steele dossier was based on a likely Russian spy and still sought FISA warrants without ever revealing the source to the FISA court. And they get a kick out Democrats suddenly wanting Supreme Court term limits since we may soon have an actual conservative majority.

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Belarus is on Russia’s radar. I never paid attention to this rather sizable Eastern European country, until now. First, there are news stories coming and going quickly, buried by our current state of affairs. There is unrest in Belarus- protests – arrests – people disappearing – beatings – an election uproar. They say the leadership […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Merkel in Tiff with Putin

 

merkel in Putin pocketThe Bundeswehr, the German military, has published findings that one of Putin’s domestic critics, Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a Russian government created nerve agent. It seems exotic poisons are a favorite of the old KGB colonel, who is not bothered in the least by the notoriety of repeated discoveries of high profile attacks, even on foreign soil. Then again, poison has long been a Russian security tool. This time, German Chancellor Merkel, who has been in bed with Putin for years, is publicly upset.

Alexie Navalny has been seen as the only serious and viable opponent to Putin’s perpetual rule. The Nation, a publication of the left, explains:

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If the USA and the USSR let loose with the ICBMs, what would the world look like after? While I’ve read plenty of post apocalyptic literature, the game ATOM RPG constitutes the first serious study of what life might be like in the burned remnants of the old Soviet Union. (And if you were hoping […]

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To say that it has been a busy news month in the Russian speaking world would be an understatement. From the arrest of Sergei Furgal in July, to the protests against Belarussian President Lukashenko, and the suspected poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, political instability has been the order of the day. Why, though, […]

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Yes, our Secretary of State flew into Europe and addressed the Czech Senate. No, it was not COVID-19 theater, such as Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi lead. Yes, he addressed far more serious issues. Central to the speech was the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party, whose threats to all of us include the […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Perils of Peacemaking

 

“It is much easier to initiate a war than to end one.” With this sentence, I begin both my most recent book — Sparta’s Second Attic War — and a blogpost put up this morning on the Yale University Press site.

The point of the latter is simple enough: the settlement imposed at the end of one war — say, the First World War — often lays the foundation for the next war, and that is what happened not only at the end of Sparta’s First Attic War, but also at the end of the First Punic War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and, yes, the Cold War.

Join Jim and Greg as they discuss how the campaign is about to pivot from speculating about Joe Biden’s choice of running mate to dreading that person becoming president if Biden wins in November. They also highlight Kentucky Democratic Senate hopeful Amy McGrath’s habit of forgetting to pay taxes. And they have more than a few questions as Russia claims to have the first coronavirus vaccine.

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ДДТ/DDT is a musical institution in Russia and the former Soviet Union, perhaps second only to Кино/Kino in international fame as a outstanding representation of the Russian language rock scene. New bands and fads (and political regimes), have come and gone, but DDT remains, and has chronicled the last 40 years of Soviet/Russian history with […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they dissect three different hacks. First, they dig into Russia caught by the U.S. and two other countries trying to hack COVID research. They also discuss the Twitter hack that briefly hijacked high-profile accounts to run a bitcoin scam. And they discuss the political hackery of MSNBC as Chuck Todd claims the cable network has no editorial viewpoint during the daytime. Finally, they foreshadow the allegedly looming bombshell about to hit D.C.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘You Two Deserve Each Other’: Russia, China, and the Impending Fight Over Vladivostok

 

It seems that Xi Jinping’s move to a more openly aggressive foreign policy is extending in every direction, not just to his Southwestern neighbor India, but to his Northern ally, Russia. The PRC is now claiming past (and hinting at proper present) ownership of one of Russia’s major Pacific port cities, Vladivostok (Владивосток), on the basis of Qing rule in the territory. (For those who are unfamiliar with Chinese dynasties, the Qing were the final emperors of China and ruled from 1644 until 1912, but the territory under question was annexed by Russia in the 1860 Treaty of Beijing and Han people, who constitute(d) the majority of China’s population, had long been banned from entry by their Manchu rulers. Additionally, the Chinese Empire was not the first or last territorial entity to claim or assert ownership in the region). What does this bode for Russia and China individually, and their mutual relations?

>As a disclaimer, I understand very little Chinese, basically nothing beyond the ability to politely navigate a grocery store/restaurant and introduce myself, so my analysis will mostly fall on the Russian side of the issue, where I have a far superior linguistic arsenal. But, let’s begin by situating this (maybe) surprising turn of events within a broader context. For the sake of some minimal amount of brevity, I’ll summarize the pre-1949 relationship by saying that it was a mixed bag at the official level (borders were not firmly set in the pre and early modern worlds, and even beyond then people at a local level generally continue to interact regardless of their government’s wishes), and by the late 19th century favored Russia as the richer and more Westernized/militarily superior power.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. С днем ​​россии: A (Not Very) New Era in Russian Politics

 

Before COVID became the center of international news coverage, much attention was being paid to Vladimir Putin’s sudden reorganization of the Russian government and proposed overhaul of the Constitution, which has seen little change since 1993. Naturally, Vladimir Vladimirovich did not attempt to bring about these changes with a spirit of liberal democracy and healthy regime change in mind (indeed, some would say that it is very unhealthy to even think about regime change in Russia). The spread of the virus, though, which he was unable to halt even after closing the Russian border with China in January, put a wrench in his plans. 

Russia is still, right now, the third most affected country in the world with at least half a million cases (this is data compiled and released by Putin’s government, after all), and a health system that is not up to the challenge in a multitude of ways. Putin was well aware of this, which is why he closed the border so early and implemented a strict lockdown when the situation started to deteriorate. But now, more important concerns are at hand. The President has pressured the Moscow government into lifting restrictions, and, after a holiday celebration today, has planned a concert for tonight in Red Square. These moves come in plenty of time to get people comfortable with going outside and attending rallies ahead of a July 1 vote on the changes. 

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Michael Flynn’s Political Enemies

 

An unfortunate if longstanding political brawl intensified last week. The Department of Justice, acting under Attorney General William Barr, filed a motion (the Barr Report) in the Federal District Court for Washington DC asking that the criminal charges brought by Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office against Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI be dropped “with prejudice,” which means the case cannot be brought again by any future—read Democratic—administration. The original guilty plea was secured on December 1, 2017. This was over ten months after two FBI agents interviewed Flynn on January 24, 2017, concerning conversations he had with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, before Donald Trump was inaugurated as President.

Liberal commentators have rushed to denounce the decision as purely political, but they present a weak case against Barr’s motion to set aside the guilty plea, which they argue is yet the latest chapter in the Trump coverup that began with Barr’s criticism of the Mueller report of March 2019.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Как дела Мистер Пу?: The Politics of Coronavirus in Russia

 

This should be a weekend of parades and celebrations all over Russia, especially in Moscow and the former Leningrad, as citizens rush to celebrate their nation’s part in the Великая Отечественная война (the generally used Russian term for WWII, which marks the dates 1941-45, and is usually translated into English as The Great Patriotic War, although The Great War for the Fatherland is an equally valid interpretation, closer to the meaning of the adjective). It should especially be a time of celebration for one Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who for the last 20 years has never missed a chance to parade the streets of Petersburg with a framed photo of his veteran father, along with tens of thousands of other Russians. There will be no ceremonies this weekend, and Mr. Putin has fewer and fewer causes to celebrate. 

The situation in Russia has received relatively shallow coverage in the West. Vladimir Putin is a man who built his claim to legitimate authority on his strength, on reasserting the power of Russia in the world as the eyes of most security analysts and Western leaders, which had for the past half-century been focused so heavily on Russia, turned towards the Middle East and Asia as the main centers of coming conflict and rising greatness. Putin, by symbolically rooting out the corruption that has plagued post-Soviet politics (and replacing it with cronies of his own) and making advances into ‘rightfully’ Russian territory in places like Crimea, has attempted to recapture the pride of the Great Patriotic War, which remains one of the few largely uncontroversial focuses of Russian patriotism in the 21st century. But a global pandemic does not have recognizable border divides or command tanks and ground forces, and in a state which has thrown the bulk of its resources behind military expenditure and industry, Vladimir Putin is beginning to struggle. 

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The coronavirus crisis has led to much discussion of modeling. One of the largest modeling projects in human history was the Soviet Union’s attempt to manage its entire economy on a top-down basis, including the use of sophisticated and then-state-of-the-art mathematical tools. Red Plenty…part novel, part nonfiction…is about the Soviet Union’s economic planning efforts as […]

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As coronavirus continues to dominate news around the world, Russia, until quite recently, has received relatively little attention. Before reported cases of the disease within President Vladimir Putin’s own administration and a lockdown of Moscow, the infamous ex KGB agent and his government were being praised by many in the western media for an effective […]

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Via Ace of Spades, this headline from the Washington Post is unintentionally hilarious: “It’s time to give the elites a bigger say in choosing the president.” If it were truly honest, it would say, “It’s time to give the elites back their bigger say in choosing the president.” For a couple of centuries now we’ve been […]

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Either Poles are too dumb to understand what’s ridiculous about a pornographic butter-churning contest, or they’re not. I’d bet they’re not, and they know a parody of eroticism when they see it. Too bad The Imaginative Conservative doesn’t. Apparently, there’s at least one writer out there lacking the imagination to recognize a parody when he […]

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In my previous article, I assumed that readers would know about the influence the USSR and Russian Federation have had on politics in the USA. Since it’s not the common knowledge I supposed, I’ve put together a few articles that will help with background. Keep in mind that while I think Russia probably did buy ads […]

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