Category Russia

The prognosis is unfavorable

In the past two or three months, the Kremlin has suppressed all organized opposition and outlawed most political speech. Apparently terrified that the regime’s growing unpopularity would translate into a humiliating defeat at the Duma election in September 2021, Putin’s…

Burying Russia

This dispatch by Tom Parfitt from Moscow was published by the Times of London and was not intended as an imitation of a piece from the Onion or the National Lampoon. Take a look at the images and video in…

The most generous SOB of them all

About ten days ago, Language Hat wrote about the 1928 novel The Cynics by Anatoly Mariengof (alternatively transliterated as Marienhof): Given its low profile, I probably wouldn’t have read it if Joseph Brodsky hadn’t called it one of the most…

Russia’s true leader

Oleg Kashin in the New York Times today (“Aleksei Navalny Is Russia’s True Leader“): Now, after getting rid of all his opponents, real and imaginary, Mr. Putin finds himself alone. Like the queen in a Russian fairy tale, who every…

“Kipling was a great writer”

This past Wednesday, AP reported from Moscow on Putin’s 2021 state of the nation address: In an apparent reference to the U.S. allies, he compared them to Tabaqui, a cowardly golden jackal kowtowing to Shere Khan, the tiger in Rudyard…

John Kerry as the weak link?

In September 2016, Marwan Bishara wrote a series of five pieces on the unusual personal relationship between the then Secretary of the State John Kerry and the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. This a link to the fifth, and last,…

A test of American resolve

The Kyiv Post reported yesterday: U.S. President Joe Biden on April 2 held his first phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky amid Russian military buildup near Ukrainian borders. According to Politico, The conversation follows at least three high-level calls between…

Added in translation II

It’s good to know that Edward Luttwak put things straight when the Italian new agency Adnkronos asked his view on President Biden’s “killer” interview: Biden spoke the truth: Putin is a murderer [assassino]… In Berlin, where Navalny was hospitalized, they…

“Capable of anything except the right”

By the way, I don’t even think Putin was offended when Biden called him a killer by replying “yes” to the interviewer’s question. (But then I don’t think Putin’s feelings are central to this story – Biden’s message is.) In…

Added in translation?

President Biden stated the obvious in an ABC interview, as Bloomberg reports: After ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Biden if he believes Putin is “a killer,” Biden murmured agreement and said “I do,” without elaborating. By itself, killer…

“Well short of government targets”

An interesting piece in The Guardian this morning, by Michael Safi (based in Beirut), Theo Merz (Moscow) and Helen Davidson (Taipei). “Why home-produced Covid vaccine hasn’t helped India, Russia and China rollouts.” As vaccinations rates soar in Israel, the UK,…