The National Bestseller Award announced a seven-book shortlist on April 14—oh, the shame that I’m this late! This is a wonderful and rare case where I’m interested in nearly all the books on a shortlist. Here’s the list, including the number of points awarded by the “big” jury, plus links to jury members’ reviews, which are easier to find than ever on the new NatsBest site. They are a fantastic resource. NatsBest secretary Vadim Levental’s comments about the list are here. The winner will be announced on June 3.
The first Russian explosive device to land on US soil wasn’t delivered by a Russian missile, as Americans feared might happen throughout the Cold War. It was delivered by FedEx.
On Monday, the Lugansk Electricity Union, which provides electricity in Lugansk province in Ukraine, announced that it would no longer supply rebel-held areas of the province with power. According to the Union’s director, Vladimir Gritsai, this follows the receipt of instructions from Ukraine’s Fuel and Energy Minister Igor Nasalik.
The decision is just the latest step in the Ukrainian government’s efforts to blockade the rebel Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples’ Republics (DPR & LPR).
Language is harmfully intertwined with politics these days in Eurasia. The swirling debates are raising questions about the boundaries of Russianness.
За последние шесть лет доля россиян, требующих немедленно вынести тело Ленина из Мавзолея на Красной площади, упала с 43% до 32%.
With Russia, the West must avoid the pitfalls of underestimating a rival’s capabilities and then overreacting.
Ramzan Kadyrov’s regime in Russia’s republic of Chechnya is by far the worst manifestation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s soft authoritarian regime. Kadyrov’s regime breaches the porous wall between soft and everyday authoritarianism and then some. The tendency in Chechnya is towards totalitarianism. But the quasi-totalitarian and violent Kadyrov regime is as much a manifestation of the North Caucasus’s violent culture as of Putin’s Russia. Like a black hole, Chechnya effects the space around it. Its renegade despot poses a grave threat to the stability of the Russian Federation and potentially to the survival of Putin and his regime.
…And immediately several red flags went up in this reader’s mind.
A crack in the carapace/J.T. says:
It’s difficult to find insightful or even semi-insightful articles for Russia Roundups these days – even the voices of my go-to moderate analysts are melding together or sliding toward the sensational. I’m sick of this Russia-hysteria. I’m sick of faulty reporting. I’m sick of the bellicosity; the recklessness; the conspiracy theories passing as ‘analysis’. I just want this s****y Tom Clancy fever dream to end.
Y-you know what? I’m going to grab my pen and sketchpad, and do some nature drawing outside – insects, flowers, maybe Byron the Border collie. I need to switch my mind to something else before I get a coronary…