News from the Post-Soviet Sphere

This Alleged Russian Spy Ring Was Interested in Some Very Dangerous Things
January 27, 2015
The Washington Post
Part of the Morning Mix Series

‘Leviathan’, Black Swans and Russia
January 23, 2015
Star Tribune: Commentaries
Amid the country’s depending crisis, this lauded film depicts a cynical society.

War Is Exploding Anew in Ukraine; Rebels Vow More
January 23, 2015
The New York Times
Update on new fronts across eastern Ukraine

Don’t Let the Transvestite Drive the Bus?
January 9, 2015
NYU- Jordan Center News
A commentary on homophobia in modern Russian politics

Aleksei Navalny, Putin Critic, Is Spared Prison in a Fraud Case, but His Brother Is Jailed
December 30, 2014
The New York Times
Jail sentence for Russian opposition leader’s younger brother

New Translations of Tolstoy’s ‘Anna Karenina’
December 24, 2014
The New York Times
Sunday Book Review

“Happy Birthday, Mr. Putin!”: Celebrating Political Masculinity in Russia
December 5, 2014
Oxford University Press
Putin’s cultivation of a "macho image"

Organic Farms Become a Winner in Putin’s Feud With the West
November 18, 2014
The New York Times
The ban of food products from EU countries in Russia and the emergence of Russian farm-to-table suppliers

Xenophobic Chill Descends on Moscow
April 12, 2014
The New York Times
The conflict in Crimea and eastern Ukraine has produced strong sentiments against foreigners in Russia.

Putin Reclaims Crimea for Russia and Bitterly Denounces the West
March 18, 2014
The New York Times
Putin's rhetoric regarding the takeover of Crimea and his perspectives about the conflict.

Ukraine Threatens War
March 1, 2014
The New York Times
Ukraine threatens war if the influx of Russian troops in Crimea continues.

Rival Protestors Clash in Crimea
February 26, 2014
The New York Times
In an increasingly complicated conflict, this news article explains the involvement of the Tatar Muslim population living in Crimea and their views regarding the turmoil in Ukraine.

Post-Cold War Crisis in Ukraine
February 25, 2014
The New York Times
Ukraine has been divided, now more than ever, between allegiances towards Russia or Western Europe and the United States. Does this mean that the Cold War still rages on?

Events in Ukraine: What's Happening?
February 23, 2014
The New York Times
The recent violence overwhelming the country has resulted in over 80 deaths, making these events one of the most dangerous in the country since independence from the USSR in 1991. What do the protestors want? This article takes a look at the negotiation process after former Ukrainian President Yanukovych's resignation.

Bombings in Russia
December 29, 2013
The New York Times
Two terrorist attacks in the city of Volgograd have taken place on the eve of the New Year's Eve celebrations so beloved among Russians, and just six weeks before the start of the winter Olympic Games, raising questions about whether Russian security forces will be able to protect those who take part in the event.

Released Punk Rockers Keep Up Criticism of Putin
December 23, 2013
The New York Times
While Vladimir Putin has grabbed the world's attention with a new amnesty law that has freed a number of prominent political prisoners, two members of Pussy Riot are calling their release a publicity stunt rather than a genuine humanitarian act.

Crowdsourcing Tolstoy
October 14, 2013
The New Yorker
What can you do with your Russian degree? Participate in a collective proofread of Tolstoy's collected works, that's what!

Russia is Back
October 14, 2013
Huffington Post
This article profiles the rise and fall of the nation in world politics throughout history and concludes definitively that "Russia is Back" as a major player right now.

Russia’s Search for Itself
October 9, 2013
The New York Times
Contemporary writer and talk show host Victor Erofeyev echoes the famous Gogolian question: Whither are you headed, Russia? He points his plea at the younger generation of Russians to save the nation's future from its sullied political past.

The Literary World’s Most Fascinating Dandies, Past and Present
October 3, 2013
Russia's most celebrated poet Alexander Pushkin makes the top-ten list of literary dandies from all over the world, past and present.

A Plea for Caution From Russia
September 11, 2013
New York Times
An Op-Ed piece in the New York Times by Vladimir Putin, in which the Russian president lays out his recommendation about how the US and the world community should handle the Syria crisis. The piece concludes with a critique of President Obama's claim about American exceptionalism in his speech on Tuesday; as Putin writes, "it is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation." In light of Russia's own history of framing itself as unique, exceptional country, an even messianic country, this rhetoric is interesting, to say the least.

Obama Backs Idea for Syria to Cede Control of Arms
September 9, 2013
New York Times
Putin's proposal that Syria cede control of its chemical weapons in order to avoid a military strike has generated tentative hope among top U.S. officials but also debates about Putin's true motives as he dons the mantle of peacemaker. A number of reader comments to this story raise the perennial question: can we ever really trust the Russians?

Obama meets with gay activist in Russia
September 6, 2013
CBS News
President Obama meets with grassroots gay activists in Russia to hear their list of demands.

Russian Ambassador to U.S.: Relations Aren't at Cold War Level, Yet
September 6, 2013
Time Swampland
In the midst of the G20 Summit and Syrian crisis, we're still using the old cold-war barometer to measure the heat between Russia and the US.