‘Politics’ Category

  1. “You are a little mistaken about all this.”

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    September 17, 2017 by AK

    Chekhov’s first published work was a short story, A Letter to a Learned Neighbor. It’s what the title say it is – a letter to an apparently retired professor from an old fool full of childishly absurd opinions. The professor has certain ideas à la Jules Verne, which his neighbor rebuts brilliantly: … if people …
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  2. He Who Must Not Be Named

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    September 17, 2017 by AK

    For years, senior Russian officials avoided mentioning Alexey Navalny’s name on TV and in the press. It was hardly a sign of self-confidence and strength. This last Tuesday, Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s op-ed appeared in The New York Times urging Russian “democrats” to adopt the goals and  priorities he favors (thanks to Tim Newman for pointing out …
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  3. Not much on Russian politics here

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    September 4, 2017 by AK

    Not that I’m not following it or stopped caring (I wish I could). Unfortunately, my response to the goings-on often resembles Khodasevich’s triad – “disgust, anger, and fear” or, in a more literal translation, “revulsion, malice, and fear.” Occasionally, I even lapse into pathetic fits of useless rage. In other words, if I can’t think …
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  4. The court found their arguments irresistible

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    August 26, 2017 by AK

    The New York Times – Andrew Kramer, to be precise – reports from Moscow: A court ordered Russia’s largest privately owned business conglomerate [Sistema] on Wednesday to pay $2.3 billion to the country’s state oil company [Rosneft]… The conflict pits two of Russia’s largest companies. As the overall economy stagnates amid sanctions and low oil prices, …
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  5. A room and a half or even less

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    August 20, 2017 by AK

    Going back to Kirsten Ghodsee’s New York Times article, Why Women Had Better Sex Under Socialism. It was probably a Times editor who came up with the title. As I’ve tried to explain, it’s a complicated subject that cannot be summed up in two words and requires differentiating by country, province and socioeconomic class (which did …
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  6. Dirty fusion

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    July 30, 2017 by AK

    This post is about William “Bill” Browder’s recent Senate testimony on the enforcement of the Foreign Agent Registration Act. While you don’t have to trust Browder on other issues, his testimony makes it rather likely that Fusion GPS tried to smear him in the media and was paid for that by a firm owned by …
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  7. It makes no sense, but will it work?

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    July 28, 2017 by AK

    Here’s my superficial reading of the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.” Apart from relatively minor tightenings of the screws (which might nonetheless hurt a good deal), there are three major innovations, as far as I can see: (a) The bill removes the president’s discretion, making some of the sanctions mandatory (with only a national …
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  8. Wenn’s um unsere Zukunft geht

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    July 15, 2017 by AK

    A follow-up on my previous post on the Russian lawyer (“V”) who met with Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner last year. It bears repeating that, while it was a run of the mill meeting of the sort every politician takes a thousand times a year, the lady’s radioactivity should have set off the Americans’ inner …
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  9. A question of hygiene

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    July 14, 2017 by AK

    Due diligence and background checks are sometimes as indispensable as an antiseptic liquid or protective gloves. Some people are literally contagious; others are metaphorically toxic. It may be tempting for a germaphobe’s son to ignore these precautions but prudence shouldn’t have yielded to temptation. I don’t disagree with Prof. Pirrong’s take on the Veselnitskaya-Trump Jr. …
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  10. Franco in the 1960s: the case of Grimau

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    June 26, 2017 by AK

    Putin was born 60 years after Franco (October 1952, December 1892) and was appointed prime minister 60 years after Franco was installed in Madrid (August 1999, March 1939). Chronologically, Franco’s 1959, the year of the Stabilization and Liberalization Plan, which led to fifteen years of economic growth, roughly corresponds to Putin’s 2019 or 2020. But …
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