America today: parallels to post-Gorbachev Russia uncanny

The parallels between Russia more than 20 years ago and the United States today are deeply disturbing

America today: parallels to post-Gorbachev Russia uncannyWhen the horrible first reports of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., began hitting my smartphone feed, I somehow involuntarily reconnected with feelings that I associate with the societal chaos I experienced working in Russia more than 20 years ago. It was the post-Mikhail Gorbachev era, when communism had…

The Mueller indictments: laughing all the way to the Kremlin

The entire episode feels increasingly like a Russian intelligence operation designed to create political turmoil in the U.S. and exacerbate social tensions

The Mueller indictments: laughing all the way to the KremlinThe Kremlin’s favourite soap opera these days is the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Each new episode is followed intently. It’s unclear whether popcorn or caviar is served, and whether fans at the Kremlin consider the program a drama or a comedy. Its popularity, however, is indisputable. The investigation…

Lithuania a country caught between two worlds

A letter from Lithuania: Its history is one of struggle and compromise. Now it's looking to the future and its options with caution

Lithuania a country caught between two worldsVilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is a charmingly historic European city that tells a chilling tale of sorrow. Our hotel, directly across from Lukiškės Square (formally Lenin Square and, yes, the statue is gone), stands opposite the Genocido aukų muziejus, a museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the many victims of Soviet cruelty. This…

Communism’s pernicious influence persists despite the best evidence

On the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, some romantics still embrace the fallacies of communism and its sister socialism

Communism’s pernicious influence persists despite the best evidenceA number of Canadian newspapers recently noted the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. The attention was misplaced and lacked perspective. In 1917, a small band of fierce, committed and violent extremists seized control of the Tsarist Russian Empire. They then created the much more oppressive and murderous Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. After the success…

Was the Ukrainian Red Famine genocide or incompetence?

Historians are divided on Josef Stalin’s intent in the Ukraine that resulted in millions of deaths. Anne Applebaum’s new book has revived the dispute

Was the Ukrainian Red Famine genocide or incompetence?Chances are Anne Applebaum’s Red Famine will set the cat among the pigeons with respect to the horrendous Ukrainian hunger of 1932-33. It’s already touched off a rhetorical skirmish between the author and an early reviewer. Applebaum is an American journalist-historian whose Gulag: A History won a 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Russia is a particular specialty of…

Putin’s risky Syrian gambit is not serving him well

While former KGB agent Vladimir Putin no longer reports to anyone, that doesn’t mean a demotion might not be in his future

Putin’s risky Syrian gambit is not serving him wellRussia intervened in the Syrian Civil War in September 2015, with the deployment of a range of 65 bombers and fighters, 16 attack helicopters and roughly 4,000 personnel, including a contingent of Russian Special Forces. At the time, the Assad government was experiencing significant losses to the Syrian rebels and seemed on the verge of…

Looking for lines in the sand in Syria

What’s troubling is the abrupt manner in which the Trump administration reversed policy on Syria. Assad’s barbarism is not exactly news

Looking for lines in the sand in SyriaPORTLAND, Ore., April 12, 2017 /Troy Media/ – Lines are being drawn in the sand in Syria, but the sand keeps shifting. Former U.S. president Barack Obama's administration resolutely declared that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had to go. It said he was an obstacle to the peaceful resolution of the Syrian civil war and that his use…

Can Russia and the United States be allies?

Expanded co-operation with the West and an increase in Russia’s role in combatting jihadism would come at a steep price — for both sides

Can Russia and the United States be allies?PORTLAND, Ore. Mar. 26, 2017 /Troy Media/ – During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump roiled the foreign policy establishment by praising Russian President Vladimir Putin. He suggested it was time for a comprehensive re-evaluation of U.S.-Russian relations and broader co-operation between the two countries, especially in the fight against jihadists. In doing so, Trump…

The rise and fall of the Romanovs

100 years ago this month, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated. In July of the following year, he and his immediate family were bayoneted, shot and mutilated

The rise and fall of the RomanovsTORONTO, Ont. March 2, 2017 /Troy Media/ – The First World War was a disaster, not just for the millions of battlefield casualties but also for three of the hitherto dominant imperial dynasties. Two of the families, the Hohenzollerns of Germany and the Habsburgs of Austria-Hungary, were deposed and exiled. The third, Russia's Romanovs, experienced…

Putin’s brazen bluffs obscure increasing weakness

Russia is banking that a new U.S. administration will give it a way out of the hole it has dug for itself

Putin’s brazen bluffs obscure increasing weaknessPORTLAND, Ore. Jan. 16, 2017 /Troy Media/ – If Vladimir Putin ever writes his autobiography, he must call it The Art of the Bluff. No Russian leader since Catherine the Great’s prime minister, Grigory Potemkin, has done a more masterful job of blending guile, audacity and bluff to project an undeserved illusion of power and success. Whether…