‘history’ Category

  1. Who’s next, the Pentecostals?

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    April 21, 2017 by AK

    Christianity Today reports from Moscow: It’s official. Jehovah’s Witnesses can no longer practice their faith freely in Russia, where the Supreme Court on Thursday declared the pacifist religious organization an “extremist group” and banned all of its activity. The judge ordered all 395 local chapters and its Russian headquarters to close and authorized the government to …
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  2. “Positive obligation of the State to prevent any threat to life”

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    April 15, 2017 by AK

    The Kremlin has called the ECHR’s ruling on the 2004 Beslan attack “absolutely unacceptable.” And yet, unless Russia wins a reversal, it will have to accept it. After all, what did it expect? Everyone who has been paying attention knows that Russia bungled the siege and blocked attempts by victims’ relatives to get at the truth. Now the …
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  3. The Lord’s refuse

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    April 5, 2017 by AK

    Christopher Caldwell’s speech at Hillsdale College, How to Think About Vladimir Putin, suggests an angle and a point of view symptomatic of a certain strain of thought on the American right. I believe it rests on error. No matter what perspective the observer chooses, mistaking myths and half-truths for verifiable facts will distort his view …
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  4. SWIFT and the long run

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    March 26, 2017 by AK

    The Economist wrote in November 2014 considering the proposal that Russian banks be disconnected from the SWIFT payment system: Now there are calls for Russian banks to be banned from SWIFT in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A group of American senators is arguing for the measure… The impact of a reprise on Russia’s …
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  5. By the way, which one’s the Great One?

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    March 23, 2017 by AK

    Reviewing five recent books on the Russian Revolution of 1917 for the LRB, Sheila Fitzpatrick quotes S. A. [Stephen Anthony] Smith, professor of history at All Souls College, Oxford: The Soviet Union proved capable of generating extensive growth in industrial production and of building up a defence sector, but much less capable of competing with …
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  6. Troubetzkoy’s Children

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    March 5, 2017 by AK

    The sculptor Paolo Troubetzkoy was born in 1866 in Intra, by Lago Maggiore in the north of Italy, to Ada Winans, an American pianist and singer, and Petr (Pyotr) Petrovich Trubetskoy, a Russian diplomat of aristocratic lineage. Paolo grew up in Italy and spoke little Russian but lived and worked in Russia for almost ten …
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  7. Who should have the last word?

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    February 26, 2017 by AK

    The Economist‘s Erasmus wrote last Sunday about the “row” concerning Saint Isaac’s Cathedral in Saint Petersburg: After the Bolshevik revolution a century ago, [the building] became a museum, dedicated at various times to science, atheism or simply its own history. Services have been held there since the fall of communism, but it continued to be …
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  8. Zhukovsky’s note from February 1821

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    February 22, 2017 by AK

    I’ve come across an English translation of Zhukovsky’s comment on his 1821 poem, Lalla Rookh – not a Russian version of Thomas Moore’s long work but a lyrical essay on beauty and imagination. The brief prose note complements the poem. The book is Russian Romantic Criticism: An Anthology compiled by Lauren G. Leighton, who taught Russian literature …
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  9. The gifts of liberty?

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    February 15, 2017 by AK

    Alexander Pushkin wrote this poem in November 1823, shortly after news of Rafael del Riego’s execution reached Odessa. It was first published in Russia in 1866, almost 30 years after Puskin’s death. The translation below is by Nabokov: I copied it from his notes on Eugene Onegin. Of freedom solitary sower, early I went, before the …
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  10. This time it’s different, I promise

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    February 14, 2017 by AK

    This Russian official is, technically speaking, the third in the line of presidential succession: Vyacheslav Volodin, Putin’s former deputy chief of staff and current chairman of the state Duma, would support a law that protects the honor and dignity of the Russian president. During a speech at a university in Tatarstan, Volodin said the laws …
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