If you’re interested in the Russian Internet enough to have made it to RuNet Echo, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of Ruslan Sokolovsky, the young video-blogger from Yekaterinburg who’s been jailed for at least the next two months, while police investigate him for committing extremism and offending religious people. Sokolovksy’s alleged crime—the stunt that has people comparing him to Pussy Riot—was playing Pokemon Go inside a Russian Orthodox cathedral. If convicted of the charges, he could go to prison for up to five years.
And cynical J.T. says: I can’t wait to see this fellow flee to the U.S. and begin preaching that Russia is turning into an evil theocracy (no pun intended).
Perhaps Iran’s leaders would have suppressed popular indignation and Russian bombers would still be taking off from the Shahid Nojeh airfield now had it not been for Russian media playing up the prospect of establishing a military base in Iran, no matter how limited its resources and capabilities. The idea of handing over any part of its territory to foreigners is unacceptable to the Iranians
Major A.H. Polosen was not smiling. The stern Border Guard officer – a member of the notorious Russian Federal Security Bureau (FSB) – boarded our bus in the remote Russian Bering Sea village of Lavrentiya demanding our “documents.” That’s when our 16-hour detention, hearing and sentencing began.
In February 1946, George Kennan sent back from Moscow the “Long Telegram,” an analysis of the sources of Soviet foreign policy, which came to serve as the intellectual foundation of the containment policy the United States pursued during the Cold War. The telegram landed in the midst of a reassessment of American Soviet policy as the hopes born of the grand alliance against Hitler’s Germany that the allies would continue to cooperate in peacetime crashed against the harsh reality of Soviet suspicion and hostility. As John Gaddis notes in his biography of Kennan, his telegram did not bring about a shift in U.S. policy but it crystallized the thinking of senior administration officials. “It was,” Gaddis writes, “the geopolitical equivalent of a medical X-ray, penetrating beneath alarming symptoms to yield at first clarity, then comprehension, and finally by implication a course of treatment.”
Today, we need a similar analysis, for we find ourselves at a similar juncture.
Also… the Levada Center was labeled a “foreign agent” this week.