In a strange twist of history, Moscow has asked Berlin to host Moscow Pride in order to avoid Neo-Nazis (and grandmas) that might want to harm defenseless Satanists. The Commissioner for Human Rights in Moscow, Alexander Muzykantsk, outlined his proposal:
"In recent years, Berlin became de facto the world capital of sexual minorities. Because there are friendly relations between the mayors of Moscow and Berlin, why not an agreement in which the representatives of sexual minorities in Moscow will hold their parade in Berlin with the support of the city?"
Continue reading "Moscow Outsourcing Gays to Berlin
Kyiv Might Be Better Option" »
Remarks by Dr. W. George Krasnow at a panel discussion of the 92nd anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution and the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. 
President Reagan holds up a proclamation designating Captive Nations Week after signing it in a Rose Garden ceremony.
First, I salute the sponsor of our panel, the Conflict Solutions International. It is a team of independent pro bono lawyers whose mission is to prevent new threats to peace and security in the world. Strategically located in Washington DC, the CSI relies on volunteers throughout the world. Striving to ameliorate current conflicts, they serve as fact-finders, monitors and mediators.
As president of the Russia & America Goodwill Associates (RAGA), an informal organization of Americans favoring better relations with Russia, I cannot think of a better forum. The goals of RAGA are the same as those of the CSI. Luckily, since the Fall of the Wall, Russia and the United States do not have unsolvable conflicts. Whatever conflicts they now have are not of the kind that existed during the Cold War, when the world's very survival was at stake.
Continue reading "The Captive Nations Resolution and Other US Relics of the Cold War" »
A column of refugees in the Soviet Union, following the German invasion of Soviet territory on June 22, 1941.
In his recent article in the Daily Telegraph (December 3, 2009) George Feifer suggests that "instead of trying to justify Soviet wrongs all these years later, why doesn't it [Russia] apologize, as Germany has for its 20th-century atrocities?" According to this author, apologies are due above all to the Baltic and East European countries.
As someone who for decades participated in many activities to resist the Soviet regime, standing shoulder to shoulder with people from the "Captive Nations" during their fight for freedom and independence, I believe that Feifer's demands are misdirected, ill-timed and generally worthless, if not harmful.
Continue reading "Who Should Apologize for the Wrongs of the Soviet Union?" »
The Copenhagen climate summit has certain elements of conspiracy theory to it, including an attempt by IPCC Vice Chairman Jean-Pascal van Ypersele to blame the Russians for release of the ClimateGate emails. Here is a report by the London Telegraph writer James Delingpole on the pathetic attempt to turn the whole U.K./U.S. fiasco into an international spy story. (It was Delingpole who coined the "ClimateGate" name, by the way.)
The motive that the ClimateGate defenders attribute to the Russians is a desire to distract the Copenhagen negotiators from their work. However, surely they can do better than that. For example, they could speculate that the Kremlin probably wants to keep oil usage respectable, since Russia is the world's number one producer. Natural gas, too. Or, just as likely, the Russians really would like the world to get a little warmer. A longer growing season, as V. Putin has joked. And the prospect of January picnics in the gardens outside the Kremlin.
Continue reading "Spy Story: Russians Blamed for "ClimateGate"" »
Russia is set to deliver a carrier to India in 2012 for $1.55 billion (tsunami and handling not included)
Jeff Megall (Hollywood super agent): Mr. Naylor is here to see if [in the movies] we can't get cigarettes into the hands of somebody other than the usual RAVs.
Nick Naylor (tobacco lobbyist): RAVs?
Jeff Megall: Russians, Arabs, and villains.
-- Thank You For Smoking (2006)
In the recent blockbuster 2012, all the Russians are depicted heroically -- and there is not a Borat or ex-KGB agent in sight (though not a single Arab is portrayed as a sympathetic character, but compromises were made). Of course, the most noble Russians end up dying the quickest, but ask any Slav and most would shrug and agree that such a tragedy is in line with historic reality.
Continue reading "2012 Reviewed (& Revealed)
Russia 2012: Is Severodvinsk the new Tibet?" »
Chechen terrorists claimed responsibility for the November 30 explosions and derailment of the luxury high-speed train "Nevsky Express" which travels 120 miles an hour and connects the two capitals--Moscow and St. Petersburg--in just 4 hours. The tragedy took away 27 lives and left nearly 100 people injured. The entire accident makes for a Hollywood-style suspense action movie. One of the severely injured passengers already survived the previous attack on the same train on the same route just two years ago. She recently recovered from shock and went back to work, to only take the same train again...
Two high-profile government officials and multiple lawyers and businessmen (including an attorney for Russia Today TV channel) died in the attack. Most shockingly, when the investigators were at the scene on Saturday (a day following the attack), the second, remote-controlled blast injured Chief of Russia's Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, and other investigators and emergency workers. A similar sequence of explosions was staged by make-belief Chechen's "brothers in Jihad" in the Hollywood action movie The Kingdom. Want more Hollywood? Read on.
Continue reading "Chechens Produce Hollywood-Style Terrorism;
Old Babushka Emerges as Russia's Super Hero" »
This weekend's fire at a night club in Perm, 700 miles east of Moscow pointed out the main weakness of Russian government: its inability to enforce the basic rule of law. A night club "The Lame Horse" in the past had received multiple warnings from the local fire department officials. Every club in Russia must receive a permit before hosting an indoor firework show. The fireworks used in such shows are supposed to be "cold" and not dangerous. The permits were never issued, and the fireworks were hot enough to take away 112 lives and leave 120 injured.
Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev voiced the growing infuriation of media and common people. Russians, weathered by endless wars and recent terrorist attacks, have patience and understanding when it comes to investigating a train explosion. But the nation has no patience whatsoever for the deaths caused by "sheer stupidity and carelessness" (in words of Dmitry Medvedev). Four owners and managers of the Lame Horse have been arrested. During the holiday season, every single public venue across Russia will be checked by local fire departments and the Ministry of Emergency Situations. The fire at the Lame Horse painfully reminds the 2003 fire at a night club in Rhode Island. Kremlin and local governments have a lot to learn about going beyond bureaucratic warnings and actually enforcing the laws.
Sensitive images in the extended post.
Continue reading "Nightclub Fire Brings Attention to Russia's Weakness" »
I am not even Russian, but I cannot help being overcome by a sense of melancholy, nostalgia and loss when I see these glorious century-old color photographs of Imperial Russia and her people. These were taken in the decade before the First World War ruined so much that is here presented.
The pictures by the intrepid chemist and photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, who departed Russia in 1918, were purchased by the Library of Congress in 1944 and appeared recently on the Denver Post blog site ( brought to our attention by Mike Averko).
The sheer geographic sweep of these photos is part of their grandeur, reminding us of the unmatched reach of eternal Russia. But the deepest poignancy resides in the dignified faces and bearing of varied Russian people in the days before seven decades of calamity beset their country. Notice the photographer's pride that displays Russia's new factories and bridges, as well as old people in their regional costumes. The 84 year old river ferryman is surely a classic; the photo, in its tonal sentiment, evokes a painting one might find in the Hermitage. This collection is like a pictoral tour of the landscape of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's soul.
This Russia was betrayed and sold out by the Communists. Now we have new post-Communist generations frantic to catch up with modernity and "normality", but pausing sometimes, perhaps, strangely aware that there is something they are missing from the past.