‘Politics’ 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. Way too much credit for someone else’s work

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    April 14, 2017 by AK

    More details in the curious case of Turovsky & Meduza vs. Kramer & the Gray Lady, by RuNet Echo at Global Voices. “Take one text by Turovsky on Meduza, then take a second text by Turovsky on Meduza, stir, stir, and POOF you’ve got a New York Times article,” Gorbachev [editor of Meduza] wrote on Facebook …
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  4. Andrew Kramer’s Pulitzer-winning piece: plagiarized or not?

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    April 11, 2017 by AK

    The New York Times won three Pulitzer prizes yesterday, one awarded… …for international reporting for a series on Russia’s surreptitious assertion of power. The series, a collaboration among The Times’s international, Washington and investigative teams, explored how Russia was expanding its influence at home and abroad. One report from the Times’ Russia’s Dark Arts series is How Russia Recruited Elite Hackers for …
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  5. 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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  6. What’s a “Putin critic”?

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    April 1, 2017 by AK

    Googling “Putin critic” turns up reports of a Russian defector assassinated in Ukraine; of a memorial to a Russian opposition leader killed near the Kremlin; of the current opposition leader jailed for a street protest; of a Russian investigative journalist who barely survived a poisoning – and so on. As a one size fits all descriptor, …
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  7. If Trump is after big stakes…

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    March 26, 2017 by AK

    My latest two cents considering Obama the Cunctator and Trump the (hopefully) Knot Cutter. One Manufacturing regime change out of stagnant air is not, generally speaking, a sound suggestion. Smartly supporting a groundswell of discontent is a different matter. On a side note, the United States was the first major power to recognize the Russian provisional …
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  8. 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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  9. “The largest coordinated outpourings of dissatisfaction” since 2011-12

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    March 26, 2017 by AK

    Good reporting by Howard Amos, a Moscow-based freelancer, and Jim Heintz of Associated Press. Russians are taking to the streets under anti-corruption slogans, and not just in Moscow and St. Petersburg: Navalny and his Foundation for Fighting Corruption had called for the protests, which attracted crowds of hundreds or thousands in most sizeable Russian cities, …
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  10. 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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