Russian Federation

Pussy Riot v. Putin: A Front Row Seat at a Russian Dark Comedy
August 06, 2012

On the morning of February 21, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Ekaterina Samutsevich walked up the steps leading to the altar of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, shed their winter clothing, pulled colorful winter hats down over their faces, and jumped around punching and kicking for about thirty seconds. By evening, the three young women had turned it into a music video called “Punk Prayer: Holy Mother, Chase Putin Away!” which mocked the patriarch and Putin.

The Velvet Surrender
September 17, 2010

Václav Klaus, the president of the Czech Republic, is legendary for his lack of manners. When his country assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union in 2009, Klaus—a stocky and vigorous man with close-cropped white hair and a fastidiously trimmed moustache—got into a scrap with a group of European politicians because he had refused to fly the EU flag above his office in Prague Castle. Nicolas Sarkozy pronounced the snub “hurtful,” yet Klaus was anything but contrite. Instead, he used his first address to the European Parliament to compare the EU to the Soviet Union.

The Potemkin Think-Tank
June 25, 2010

Heritage Foundation, June 24, 2010: New START: Potemkin Village Verification The New START verification regime is not sufficient to detect large-scale cheating by the Russian Federation. As past experience has shown, inadequate verification measures are likely to be exploited. If Russia has the necessary resources, it can deploy many more warheads and missiles than allowed by the treaty with little risk of detection. To state that this Treaty begins to establish a basis for further reductions leading toward eliminating nuclear weapons is absurd.

Making War Just Got A Whole Lot Easier
August 12, 2009

Julia Ioffe is a writer living in New York. Russian legislators summering in Sochi got a special visit from President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday when he came into town to introduce a bill that would radically expand his powers to declare war and move troops outside Russia’s borders. The law, as it stands now, is fairly narrow. Russia can mobilize to protect itself from invasion and to fend off aggression. That’s it.

Jerusalem Dispatch: Fantasy
December 15, 2003

Some two million Israeli homes recently received in the mail the 47-page text of the Geneva Accord, which claims to be the comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Accord, a European-funded effort secretly negotiated by Palestinian officials and Israeli public figures for two years--and signed in a symbolic, lavish ceremony in Geneva this week--states that Israel will withdraw to the 1967 borders, a Palestinian state will emerge with its capital in Jerusalem, and the two peoples will recognize each other's right to statehood and resolve the refugee issue.