Russia's state-controlled television has been accused of "zombifying" the Russian population with pro-government nationalism and a decidedly Kremlin-friendly take on history and global affairs. RFE/R...
Putin has succeeded in building a version of the country of his childhood, one that can act independently in the world, and one where dissent is controlled and the Kremlin's power unchallenged. But that is a double-edged sword, because the Soviet Union collapsed for a reason, and a Russia recreated in its image risks sharing its fate.
According to Vladimir Bukovsky, a dissident who spent a decade in Soviet prisons before his exile to the West in 1976, Putin is totally genuine when he says the disintegration of the Soviet Union was a "geopolitical catastrophe".
"He does not understand that the collapse of the Soviet system was predetermined, therefore he believes his mission is to restore the Soviet system as soon as possible," he says.
NATO members are meeting for the first time since Russia's annexation of Crimea. The meeting in Brussels comes as Russia raised the price of gas it supplies to Ukraine by 40 percent. The 28 member organisation is expected to discuss its response to the events in Ukraine and some analysts say the crisis highlights why the alliance is still relevant
Fuelled by the First World War's centenary, there are growing rumbles that Crimea could be the newest version of the events that unleashed World War I. J. BROOKS SPECTOR takes a long look backwards to see if the metaphor misleads more than it clarifies.
Russia’s willingness to violate Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty is the gravest challenge to the European order in over half a century. The conflict pits a vast nuclear power against a state equal in size to France, an autocratic regime against a revolutionary government.
It is often said that with Russia is an empire as long as Ukraine is in its camp, but without it, Russia is just another regular country. The reality is that for centuries, Russia has been an empire, and an expansionist one at that. While we can debate the reasons for this, the reality is that Russia has never seen itself as just a regular country, and for that reason Russia will always ensure that Ukraine is firmly within its orbit.
Here’s a silent film showing ”the final preparation and loading of the ‘Fat Man’ bomb into ‘Bockscar,’” the plane that would drop a devastating bomb on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The footage from the Los Alamos National Laboratory is raw, except for the helpful annotations added by Alex Wellerstein, who runs Nuclear Secrecy: The Restricted Data Blog. Eventually, toward the 8 minute mark, the video shows “the Nagasaki explosion from the window of an observation plane.”
JOURNALISTS like nice simple categories and descriptions. So Ukraine is divided between “Ukrainian-speakers” and “Russian-speakers”. Crimea is “historically Russian” and in the recent “referendum result”, Russia’s “compatriots” on the peninsular gave an “overwhelming majority” for “reunification” with Russia. The “large Russian ethnic minorities” in the Baltic states may have similar sympathies, writes Edward Lucas for the Lithuania Tribune.
France will hold something of a landmark auction this weekend - when Napoleon Bonaparte's belongings go under the hammer. Items include the shirt the French emperor wore on his death bed, and even a lock of his hair - all of which are expected to fetch thousands.
Not so long ago, looking for a history of Ukraine in a London bookstore, I was offered the following memorable advice: “Look under Russia”. I did. And between shelves groaning with the glories of Russian history I found two thin volumes on Ukraine, a country of some forty six million people. I bought both. I doubt very much they were immediately replaced. ‘Looking under Russia’ is perhaps an appropriate metaphor for Ukrainian history.
Looking for a way to pay tribute to the courage of protesters in Kiev, who refused to be dislodged from Independence Square over the past three months despite violent attacks from the security forces, a Ukrainian video blogger found the words he needed in dubbed versions of two Hollywood action movies.
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