Vladimir Putin

The Analogists' Ball
August 11, 2008

  So there is historical memory in America! In fact, the American discussion of the Russian war on Georgia seems to consist mainly in remembering, or misremembering. The most pressing question of all is not how to stop Putin's vicious attack on an independent democratic state with a dream of the West, but whether or not we are witnessing a repetition of the Cold War. Who wants a repetition of the Cold War? Welcome back to the analogists' ball. If you are disgusted by Putin's war, then you are a grandchild of rollback and the sort of liberal lemming who would invade Iraq all over again.

The Georgia Crisis: What You Need To Know
August 11, 2008

On August 8, Russia sent troops into Georgia, spurring violence that has spread beyond two disputed breakaway regions and resulted in the deaths of thousands. The conflict was not unexpected; relations between the two countries have been seething for years. Here is a summary of the conflict's history, major actors, core issues, and consequences. WHAT HAPPENED -- Georgia, a small state that sits just north of Turkey, wedged between the Black and Caspian Seas, became independent in 1991 with the fall of the USSR.

The End of the End of History
April 23, 2008

  I. In the early 1990s, optimism was understandable. The collapse of the communist empire and the apparent embrace of democracy by Russia seemed to augur a new era of global convergence. The great adversaries of the Cold War suddenly shared many common goals, including a desire for economic and political integration. Even after the political crackdown that began in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and the disturbing signs of instability that appeared in Russia after 1993, most Americans and Europeans believed that China and Russia were on a path toward liberalism.

The Hibernation
April 23, 2008

Minutes after the polls closed on March 2 in the westernmost Russian city of Kaliningrad--certifying a blowout victory by presidential candidate Dmitri Anatolyevich Medvedev, handpicked heir to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin--the men of the hour made an appearance at a massive concert underway in Red Square. As broadcast by NTV, a television channel owned by Gazprom (where Medvedev chairs the board of directors), the scene looked like something out of Mission: Impossible.

Musharraf for Brains
March 26, 2008

By November of last year, Pakistan, a nation hardly known for its stability, seemed primed to explode. After months of street protests against General Pervez Musharraf’s increasingly authoritarian rule, the Pakistani dictator had declared de facto martial law, allowing him to arrest thousands of political activists and sparking even greater unrest. Many young Pakistanis turned to extremist organizations, and suicide bombings spread from the Afghan border into once-serene cities like Islamabad and Lahore.

Putin For Obama?
February 15, 2008

"At a minimum, a head of state should have a head," Vladimir Putin, responding to Hillary Clinton's remark that KGB officers have no soul.  --Jason Zengerle 

Primary School
January 30, 2008

Jeffrey Rosen’s 2008 debut as a campaign correspondent.

From Russia, With Recipes
January 30, 2008

Readers of today’s Washington Post may have been surprised to find tucked behind Sports a new “Russia” section, which looks like part of the newspaper but which, upon closer inspection, is an “advertising supplement” paid for by the Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Russian "democracy"
November 18, 2007

President Vladimir Putin is fixing the Russian electoral system so that his party cannot fail to win.  But, as Neil Buckley observes in Saturday's FT, "even the Kremlin's staunchest critics do not believe poll-rigging is needed to ensure victory for the pro-Putin party."  So why is Putin so afraid of chess champion Gary Kasparov and other marginal players?  Because, in their heart of hearts, they fear that they will be caught at their tricks and turned back at the polls.  This should not be mistaken for the voice of conscience.

Is The West Check-mated By Putin's Russia?
July 26, 2007

Gary Kasparov knows the game of chess very well, and he knows the game of world politics very well, too. But he does not exactly think that world politics can be played like a chess game. Still, he also is astounded by how indifferent the world is to how the Russians play world poitics. That is, brutally. Nonetheless, Vladimir Putin pretends to have credentials to criticize the Americans and the British. And many Americans and Brits seem to agree with him.