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Archive for the 'AP Russia' Category

Why Many Young Russians See a Hero in Putin

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Cool piece in Nat Geo, image and graphic rich, seeks to explain Putin’s appeal to an unlikely demographic.


A Russian Reporter Goes to a Trump Rally — And Feels at Home

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

“But I don’t think it’s so much a mistrust of the people who are in the [American] establishment — I think it’s more mistrust of the system of elections, as such. Because in Russia, there’s a syndrome of “learned helplessness.” For decade after decade, our society has seen that its opinions don’t affect anything. Since 1996, for sure. People don’t believe that one can really choose.

[Here in Iowa City], I spent a lot of time with this elderly couple. We’ve done a lot of talking. They went to see a Cruz rally in a neighboring town, and they came back having made a decision to vote for him. And their explanation really shocked me. They said: “We want to vote for him because he’s proposing term limits [in Congress].”

The fact that this was the deciding factor — Cruz’s position on how the political system should be set up in principle — is really a huge difference [from Russia]. It’s very cool — a completely different level of political thinking than what we have.”

My life as a pro-Putin propagandist in Russia’s secret ‘troll factory’

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

As Russia’s “troll factory” is taken to court by Lyudmila Savchuk, the former employee tells how she was ordered to blog about ‘great Putin’ and ‘bad opposition’ to the Kremlin

Putin’s “Nashi” Youth Organization

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

The American Education of Vladimir Putin

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

“The problem you Americans have in dealing with us is that you think you understand us, but you don’t. You look at the Chinese and you think: ‘They’re not like us.’ You look at us Russians, and you think, ‘They’re like us.’ But you’re wrong. We are not like you.

How the Russian leader The American Education of Vladimir Putin – The Atlantic


Putin’s Lessons from History

Sunday, December 14th, 2014
[Putin] explains that New Russia was created by “the victories of Potemkin and Catherine II […] with its center in Novorossiisk. Therefore [it is called] New Russia. Later, for various reasons, the territories vanished, but the [Russian] people remained there.” 
It has been said that Catherine II could make four mistakes in a three-letter word, and here Putin managed to make a dozen in a single sentence. Kharkiv, the center of the Ukrainian Cossack regiment in the seventeenth century, never belonged to the short-lived “province of New Russia.” Since it was the first capital of the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic, founded in 1919, it could not have been transferred to Ukraine from Russia in the 1920s. “New Russia” could hardly be conquered from Novorossiisk because the town itself was founded only in the 1830s, when Catherine II and Potemkin were long dead, and, like Kharkiv, it was never part of the region once called “New Russia.” The regions listed by Putin did not belong to Ukraine during the “tsarist period” for the simple reason that there was no “Ukraine” either as a state or an administrative unit in the nineteenth century. Finally, the core of the original province of “New Russia” was the Ukrainian Cossack republic of Zaporizhia, which was destroyed by Russian troops in 1775.

“Putin’s historical illiteracy is nothing unusual in today’s world. He, however, believes that he knows history and is able to draw on “the lessons of history.” One history lesson that I am trying to convey to my students is that fantasies should be taken seriously when espoused by the leader of a large state. In the twentieth century the world community made the mistake of neglecting one leader’s fantasies and paid dearly for this political myopia. We should not step on the same rake again, and revanchist lunatics should not be treated as sensible and pragmatic politicians.”

Andriy Zayarnyuk is an associate professor of history at the University of Winnipeg this is his article, Putin’s Lessons from History, 2014.

Putin and the Berlin Wall

Friday, December 12th, 2014

The Russian Federation’s current president, Vladimir Putin, was a KGB officer in East Germany during its final days, and it’s been reported that even he—no nascent democrat—was appalled at the totalitarianism of its state apparatus. Yet the sudden implosion of his homeland’s empire, and the laying open of its borders to Western businessmen and TV shows, clearly left him traumatized. His current policies can be seen as a reaction to those embittering days.

Is Vladimir Putin trying to build a new Orthodox empire?

Friday, December 12th, 2014

The vast majority of Russians now identify as Orthodox—a stark change from the immediate post-Soviet period. Recent years have seen a flurry of church construction throughout the country. And perhaps most important of all, there’s a committed believer—Vladimir Putin—in the Kremlin, a man who surrounds himself with other influential people of faith and regularly invokes God in his public statements. Yet all is not as rosy for the Orthodox Church as it appears on the surface. The blurring of the line between church and state in Russia, what critics call an attempt to turn religion into a branch of the government, has alienated many former believers. The recent crisis in Ukraine has also exposed a potentially dangerous split in the millennium-old institution.

Russia’s Insane Crackdown on Bloggers

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Most American bloggers would be thrilled if their government announced that they were officially journalists. Press passes! Insider access! In Russia, however, the journalist label comes with a bit of baggage—namely, state oversight and strict censorship of any potentially contentious reportage.

It’s bad news for Russian bloggers, then, that starting today, anyone who attracts more than 3,000 daily readers to his blog is considered a de facto journalist and must register. (In a largely symbolic gesture, LiveJournal has already stopped reporting blog subscribers beyond the 2,500 mark.) Registration entails turning over your personal details to the government—including, of course, your name, meaning anonymous blogging is now illegal for many. (By the way, the law applies to any blog written in Russian for Russians; a post you write from a Brooklyn cafe could face censorship from Moscow.)

Putin: The rebuilding of ‘Soviet’ Russia

Friday, May 30th, 2014

The world was stunned when Russia invaded Crimea, but should it have been? Author and journalist Oliver Bullough says President Vladimir Putin never kept secret his intention to restore Russian power – what’s less clear, he says, is how long the country’s rise can continue.