Tag: Vladimir Putin

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.

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U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell on Iran Sanctions Snapback, America’s Energy Competition with Russia in the EU, Chancellor Merkel U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell occupies one of the most critical positions in American diplomacy, not only because Germany represents the EU’s largest economy and has disproportionate influence on the continent, but because of […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Michael Ledeen on the Potential Collapse of Iran’s Khomeinist Regime


For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had historian, Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State and consultant to the National Security Council during the Reagan administration, author of 38 books and most pertinent to today, Iran expert, Michael Ledeen on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • The impending collapse of the Khomeinist regime and what the U.S. can do to accelerate it
  • The false narrative about alternatives for Iran being either appeasement or war
  • The history of U.S. intelligence failures in Iran
  • How secular and liberal Iran’s dissidents actually are
  • Whether there is a wedge that can be exploited between Iran and Russia
  • What will become of Hezbollah if the Iranian regime collapses
  • The allegedly political witch hunt against Iran hawk and Israel supporter Larry Franklin as an illustration of historic anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the foreign policy and national security establishment
  • Ledeen’s theory that Gen. Michael Flynn — with whom Ledeen co-authored the book, The Field of Fight — falsely pled guilty, and the real reason why Gen. Flynn was targeted in the first place

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, download the episode directly here or read the transcript here.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Putin Speaks Code. Does Trump Understand?


Back when word first leaked that Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, and Donald Trump, Jr., had met with a Russian lawyer and others offering dirt on Hillary Clinton, President Trump seemed to think he was supplying an exculpatory cover story. Flying home from Germany on Air Force One, Trump reportedly instructed Don Jr. to claim that he and the Kremlin-linked lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.” There is apparently some debate about whether that misleading statement places the president in any legal jeopardy, but there is another aspect to the story that has received less attention. It came up again during the Helsinki debacle – Putin, the world’s richest man and most successful thief, is obsessed with the Magnitsky Act.

In fact, the very mention of Russian adoptions was a tipoff that Ms. Veselnitskaya was probably representing Vladimir Putin. Whether Trump knew this at the time is unclear. After all, he could not say what the nuclear triad was and endorsed “Article XII” of the U.S. Constitution. Maybe he thought mentioning that they discussed Russian adoptions was the most anodyne-sounding explanation for the meeting.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are amazed that more than 90 percent of House Democrats either opposed a resolution supporting Immigration and Customs Enforcement or refused to vote on it at all. They also grumble as deficit projections once again head north of a trillion dollars and the number of food stamp recipients remains stubbornly high in a strong economy. And they denounce Vladimir Putin’s proposal to allow U.S. investigators to interview the 12 Russians indicted for meddling in the 2016 elections in exchange for allowing the Russians to interview a former U.S. ambassador.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America learn from the late National Review founder William F. Buckley that the left drew a moral equivalence between the USSR and the United States during the Cold War, and they warn President Trump not to make the same mistake. They also compliment Chris Wallace of Fox News for asking pointed questions about election meddling to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but they fear the interview and Putin’s weak answers will soon be forgotten. And they fret that the left has taken fair criticism of the Trump-Putin summit to preposterous extremes by labeling it as morally equivalent with 9/11, Pearl Harbor, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Kristallnacht.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America analyze the California Democratic Party’s decision to endorse California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s rival in the general election, Democratic state Sen. Kevin de Leon. They also criticize President Donald Trump for his inability to confront Russian president Vladimir Putin about multiple issues, especially election meddling, noting that the president seems more worried about defending his 2016 win than exposing the truth. And they laugh as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, stumbles her way through an explanation about why Israel is an occupying force on “Firing Line.” They also finally resolve the biggest question in film: “Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?”

Victor Davis Hanson describes how President Trump’s unconventional approach to foreign policy has often proved to be more effective than the conventional wisdom proffered by the Washington establishment.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America briefly grouse about D.C.area drivers in inclement weather before sipping their martinis. Then, they welcome the end of the Austin mail bombing horrors as the suspect apparently blows himself up as police close in on him. They also fume as the GOP-led Congress pursues yet another omnibus spending bill with virtually no fiscal restraint in sight, leading Jim to declare that “fiscal conservatism is dead.” And they sigh as President Trump defies his staff to congratulate Vladimir Putin on “winning” his election and because a disgruntled Trump staffer then leaked classified information to the media.

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“Who was kicking seat? One of you was kicking seat. Was it you, Igor?” “I will recline seat now. I trust there will be no objections.”  United Airlines’ new Customer Service Manager inquires if any passengers would “volunteer” to be “reaccomodated.” Preview Open

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Victor Davis Hanson describes how Donald Trump is systematically dismantling the legacy of the Obama Administration … and explains why it’s paying such rich dividends for the country.

Richard Epstein considers what Michael Flynn’s recent guilty plea means for President Trump and his administration, rebutting many of the misleading claims that have emerged in recent press coverage.

Richard Epstein responds to suggestions that the Justice Department may appoint a special prosecutor to probe corruption allegations around Hillary Clinton. Also on the docket: exactly how independent of presidential prerogative should attorneys general be? Is it time for Jeff Sessions to step aside? And are the legal suspicions around both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton evidence of a decline in America’s leadership class — or proof that, for all its flaws, the system still works?

Richard Epstein reacts to the indictments brought against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, as well as to a guilty plea from former Trump aide George Papadopoulos.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Uranium One Thing Is a Non-Story and Here Is Why


It always amazes me how false legends get created, and soon, without any facts, they are cemented in everyone’s minds, the details get lost, and they become widely believed, even without evidence.

So it is with the Uranium One story, which is making the rounds again, thanks to a Tweet last week from the President who said, “Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow!”

Victor Davis Hanson examines the major foreign policy challenges facing the Trump Administration, including how to properly calibrate the US relationship with Russia, how to defang a nuclear North Korea, and how to combat terrorism as ISIS shifts to a new era.

This week, following President Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dr. Leon Aron joined Banter to discuss all things Russia—from election hacking to the conflict in Syria. Dr. Aron is a resident scholar and director of Russian studies at AEI, where he studies Russian domestic and foreign policy and US-Russia relations. He is the editor of the 2015 AEI collection of essays, “Putin’s Russia: How it rose, how it is maintained, and how it might end” and the author of two books: Roads to the Temple: Memory, Truth, Ideas and Ideals in the Making of the Russian Revolution, 1987–1991 and Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life.

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There are no coincidences… Preview Open

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Richard Epstein analyzes the latest developments surrounding the Trump Administration and the investigation into its potential ties to Russia.