Russia

President Biden Promises More Successful Diplomacy and Foreign Policy

Kelly Hyman

Regarding China, Biden described his relationship with President Xi Jinping as “cordial” but acknowledged concerns over rights abuses and expects to compete with China on multiple levels such as trade, technology, and military power. He has also addressed China’s growing dominance in Iran, warning the Xi government that the U.S. will enforce Trump administration sanctions on Iranian oil—which China is increasingly buying.

Cold War Blunders Abound in ‘Quiet Americans’

Lee Polevoi

Anderson frames his story with in-depth biographies of four CIA operatives largely unheralded in the annals of American espionage. These men include Edward Lansdale, a larger-than-life advertising executive turned secret agent; Peter Sichel, a German Jew who escaped Nazi Germany and later led key operations in postwar Europe; Michael Burke, an ex-naval officer who guided operations in Albania and Eastern Europe; and Frank Wisner, a crusading spymaster who oversaw many covert missions.

Mikhail Gorbachev Warns Us About What Is at Stake

Adam Gravano

Much of Gorbachev's discussion hinges on East-West relations, particularly between Russia and the United States. This is logical, as certain interests of pre-Soviet Russia were taken up by the Soviet Union, and, post-Soviet collapse, these same interests were transferred to the nascent Russian Federation (and carried on to the present).While there is a brief chapter covering both China and India, with a brief discussion of Malaysia included, the discussion borders on the facile.

Public Opinion Grows in Support of Impeachment Inquiry

Brad Brooks

Trump has blasted the impeachment inquiry, arguing that he did nothing wrong and accusing Democrats of launching a politically motivated “witch hunt.” Lawmakers in the Democratic-led House of Representatives are investigating concerns that Trump’s actions have jeopardized national security and the integrity of U.S. elections. The impeachment inquiry has cast a new pall over Trump’s presidency just months after he emerged from the shadow cast by Mueller’s investigation.

Trump’s Incriminating Tweet and Michael Flynn’s Plea

Steven Harper

Trump’s national security adviser-designate Mike Flynn — in consultation with a senior official of the Trump transition team later identified as K. T. McFarland — spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about newly imposed US sanctions for election interference. Flynn’s mission was to persuade Kislyak that the Trump administration would reward Putin for a restrained response, and he succeeded.

Vladimir Putin, the Crimea, and Double Standards

Charles Crawford

Moves to separate Crimea from Ukraine do not meet that standard. The rest of Ukraine has not given its consent to transferring Crimea to Russian sovereignty. Hence Russia’s humiliating defeat in the UN Security Council on 16 March. Not one Security Council member voted on Russia’s side. No state wants to see new precedents that call into question its own control of its own territory.President Putin’s bluntly (or brazenly) opened by asserting that international law was on his side.

Russia vs. Greenpeace: The Battle for the Arctic

Zahra Hirji

An environmental organization with a $350 million war chest, a giant protest vessel, 28 activists and a rubber raft have succeeded in drawing Russian President Vladimir V. Putin into a very public global dispute. Attention is now focused on the Greenpeace activists who were arrested last month by Coast Guard agents for trying to hang a protest banner on an Arctic Ocean oil platform and whether they will languish in prison for up to 15 years each on dubious piracy charges.

Why Washington Should Mediate With Iran to Resolve the Syrian Crisis

Ghassan Rubeiz

Rowhani’s intent for reform, his popularity and the widespread desire for change in Iran provide the new leader with a unique opportunity to contribute positively to the Syrian crisis and to Iran’s relations with the West. And despite doubts about the limited power of Iran’s president – the office is subordinate to that of the nation’s Spiritual Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -- several analysts argue Khamenei may be less able to control a popularly elected figure like Rowhani. 

The Fear of Working as a Journalist in Putin’s Russia

Valeriya Fedorenko

I am 23. I have worked in the press in the city of Vladivostok for seven years. I live in Vladimir Putin’s Age. Sometimes I ask myself: “What will I tell my grandkids about these times?” I will tell them that in 2006, when I had just turned 18, the famous Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was gunned down in full daylight. And her death sent a clear message to all independent media in Russia. “Stop writing for newspapers. Find another job. Journalists are being killed in Russia.” That’s what my relatives and friends who remember life in the former Soviet Union and what it was like to criticize the authorities often tell me.

Russia’s Ban on the Bhagavad Gita Angers Indians

Viji Sundaram

From New America Media: The Russian archbishop who tried to malign the Indian sacred text, the Bhagavad Gita, should have known that hell hath no fury like 885 million Hindus scorned. That fury has been unleashed worldwide this week over remarks by Archbishop Nikon of the Russian Orthodox Church branding Krishna, the protagonist in the Bhagavad Gita, an “evil demon.” State prosecutors in the Siberian city of Tomsk successfully sought help from the courts to ban the scripture for its “extremist” views and accused it of insulting non-believers, according to Russian media.

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