The past week saw a flurry of news reports about statements from Ayatollah Khamenei on Iran’s nuclear negotiations. Today there was a more conciliatory report.by
A Swedish peace group is fending off Russian submarines with gay propaganda. Meanwhile, Russian submarines off Britain. Russia keeps pressing its military equipment close to others’ borders.
Seymour Hersh has a long article in the London Review of Books on the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. A number of things in it seem fishy. Here are several critiques by Max Fischer, Peter Bergen, Dan Murphy, Joshua Keating, Jack Schafer, and a video of Chris Cuomo interviewing Hersh. The White House calls the story “utter nonsense.” Once again, as in his stories on the sarin attack in Ghouta, Syria, Hersh relies primarily on a single unnamed source. From the description he gives, the source might even be the same one who gave him the Ghouta story. Here’s what I said about that. Continue readingby
US Secretary of State John Kerry is traveling today to Sochi to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Putin met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the weekend.
Russia just did a big 70th anniversary celebration of Victory Day, with the usual show of military personnel and equipment. Things are relatively quiet in the Donbas, although low-level fighting continues and there are concerns that Russia will begin another invasion. Continue readingby
Reflections on Russia’s part in the Second World War from Russians who no longer live there: Leonid Bershidsky, Mikhail Shishkin. And some thoughts about the end of the war in the countries between Russia and Germany: Edward Lucas, Ivan Krastev.
The memorialization of World War II in Russia. This is a podcast from Sean’s Russia Blog. These podcasts are worth listening to; a new one appears toward the end of most weeks.
Decommunizing Ukraine. Ukraine has recently passed laws that open the Soviet archives, change street names, and attempt to move away from the Soviet interpretation of Ukrainian history. This is a difficult enterprise, but necessary for a sovereign country. (Registration required) Photo is from this article: People react after a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin was toppled by protesters during a rally organized by pro-Ukraine supporters in the eastern Ukrainian town of Kharkiv, September 28, 2014. Continue readingby
Paul Goble is suspending publication of his “Windows on Eurasia” for health reasons. Paul worked in the US State Department during the collapse of the Soviet Union. He was particularly helpful to Estonia and has been awarded by that government for his work. He is fluent in Russian and Estonian and watches events in Russia closely. He has prepared several posts a day from Russian sources, making them and his analytical expertise available to those of us who are less fluent. We wish him the best and hope he can return soon! Continue readingby