Russian jokes will defeat American earnestness every time.
In the wake of the Ukraine crisis a rampant chauvinism has been unleashed, while sanctions on Russia have created the kind of atmosphere dictators love.
Establishing shots from every cold war scene ever filmed here made Moscow the epicenter of a massive and massively bankrupt Empire of Evil, in ideological opposition to democracy and freedom. Freedom, it turns out, to dump an enormous Louis Vuitton trunk in the middle of Red Square. Lenin must be spinning in his nearby mausoleum, unless that has been turned into a Gucci or Cartier franchise, too. In which case, he might have been reinstalled in the Vuitton pavilion—might even be for sale.
In case you missed it, Kiev has been exploding over the last few days. Hundreds of thousands of people came out into the streets over the weekend—both in Kiev and elsewhere in Ukraine—to protest President Viktor Yanukovich's last-minute decision to scuttle the signing of a vaguely worded agreement that would have begun to pull Ukraine into the European orbit—and out of Russia's. The police can't clear the streets.
A week after Edward Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia, President Obama canceled his bi-lateral September summit in Moscow with Vladimir Putin, though administration officials are at pains to portray this as something greater than pure tit-for-tattery. Rather, they say, it was an excuse to avoid what, even without Snowden, would have been "a pretty dreary affair."
The trial of Moscow's May 6 protesters begins today. There's little doubt about how it will end.
The trial of the Moscow protesters begins today. There's little doubt about how it will end.
Will Monday's anti-Putin protest in Moscow revive the movement?
Will Monday's Anti-Putin Protest in Moscow Revive the Movement?
Maria Butina greeted her guests with a gun in her holster and her hands on her hips. A pair of professional shooting earmuffs hung from her neck; a pair of yellow goggles pushed up her dyed-red hair like casually forgotten sunglasses.“Welcome!” she said and explained to the gathered what they were about to do: shoot stuff. “I hope tonight will be an unforgettable night, and that you’ll come away with a feeling that you held something so powerful, so incredible, in your hands. So enjoy!” She added, “Oh! And there will be adrenaline.”