Nov/Dec 2018 Current Moscow Time: 19:57:26
21 November 2018


  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.


Society

Politics and international relations, religion, economics, the environment and social issues.

Afghanistan: A Second Chance?

Thirty years ago, in 1979, the Persian Gulf was a tinderbox. On January 16, following months of uprisings, the Shah of Iran was overthrown. One month later, it looked like Afghanistan’s turn. The Soviet-backed thugs running the country had imposed radical social reforms, sparking a civil war and threatening pro-Soviet rule...

Tags: afghanistan, soviet, intervention, war
Gas Tussle

Sometimes it can be hard to get at the facts. And given that the western media went way down the wrong road on the recent Georgian crisis, one is inclined to be skeptical of coverage on the current Russia-Ukraine gas spat. 

Tags: ukraine, gas, energy
Sarah Palin's Secret Past Revealed!

Many have scoffed at Cindy McCain's defense of Alaska Governor (and GOP Veep candidate) Sarah Palin's foreign policy chops with the assertion that "Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia." Scoff not. The truth is so more startling still.

Tags: palin, russia, spies
080808

With time, we are finding out more and more about the events that led to the recent Russo-Georgian War in the Caucausus. Two very good recent accounts have been published...

Tags: war, georgia
Caucasian Stalemate

Last Thursday, after several days of skirmishes and confrontation in the breakaway region of Ossetia, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili announced a unilateral cessation of hostilities. Hours later, however, Saakashvili ordered his armed forces to undertake a full-scale assault on Ossetia...

Tags: caucasus, georgia, war
Suppressed Testament of Lenin - pt. 13
Suppressed Testament of Lenin - pt. 13

Radek as a Source of Information

Tags: lenin, trotsky, politics
A Metaphorical Net Game

Russia has truly regained its prowess as a sports superpower, and it may rise further yet. It will surely be giving the U.S. a run for its money in the overall medals race at the Beijing Olympics in August... this rise in sports achievement takes place against the backdrop of a Russia that, without putting too fine a point on it, has bumbled from failure to failure in foreign policy in recent months

Tags: sports, politics, georgia
Afghanistan Country Facts
Afghanistan Country Facts
Tags: russia, afghanistan
Statistics and Damn Lies

Robert Coalson (RFE/RL) has just published a superb summary of some of the brazen election abuses during last December's Duma elections in Russia. It would be funny if it were not so sad. 

Tags: statistics, elections
Dima's recruitment

This hilarious YouTube satire video by the Perm KVN group gives a bit of background on the recent Russian election, and how Medevedev was recruited for his role. The dubbing is superbly done. (All in Russian)...

Tags: politics, medvedev, putin
Medvedev Emerges from His Den

In the 2002 film Oligarch, by Russian director Pavel Lungin, the main character predicts his own downfall, saying, "Russia is a bear. You think you are playing with it and it devours you."

Tags: putin, medvedev
Hillary-ous

Hilary Clinton stumbles over the name of the next president of Russia, and a Ukrainian TV host offers a pronunciation lesson.

Tags: hilary, medvedev
Dima Talks

On February 18, Dmitry Medvedev gave an extended interview with Itogi magazine. Here are some of the highlights,

Tags: medvedev, politics
We're Just Crazy about Dima

So what exactly do we know about Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, other than that he is a loyal Putinista going back nearly two decades?

Tags: medvedev
The Yeltsin Legacy
The Yeltsin Legacy

As Russia readies for its first, post-Yeltsin presidential election, Yeltsin biographer Leon Aron offers thoughts on the Russian leader's legacy.

Tags: yeltsin, president, politics, elections
1972 ABM Treaty
1972 ABM Treaty

Notes on the 1972 ABM Treaty.

Tags: abm treaty, antiballistic missiles
Putin Selected as Person of the Year
Putin Selected as Person of the Year

In a previous post and VPR commentary, I related how my friend Boris in Moscow speculated that, after the December Duma election, Russia would hold a national referendum and appoint Putin Tsar. Apparently TIME magazine beat Russia to the punch.

Tags: putin
Russian Orthodox Christmas
Russian Orthodox Christmas

The Church's celebration of the Nativity is on January 7th; information about the Feasts of Christ's coming into the world and Scripture readings for the services and Liturgies.

Tags: orthodoxy, holidays, christmas
Yeltsin's Death
Yeltsin's Death

A review of the life and work of Boris Yeltsin.

Tags: yeltsin, death, president, russia
Kamchatka Disaster
Kamchatka Disaster

A massive landslide destroys the Valley of the Geysers on June 4, 2007.

Tags: disaster, kamchatka