Russia

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.

Moscow vs. St. Petersburg: A Travel Guide with Literary Aspirations

Nataliya Nedzhvetskaya

Moscow or St. Petersburg? If you’ve ever found yourself a foreigner in Russia, chances are you’ve been asked this question. After taking in the perfectly proportioned boulevards and neoclassical facades of St. Petersburg and the congested highways and architectural indecision of Moscow, you may have even attempted to answer it. In this country of “two capitals,” an outsider’s opinion provides valuable justification for a city-dweller’s pride.

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