I wasn’t going to write any more articles on the material collected as part of my Russian working-class project, but two things happened to change that this spring. First was an invitation by Irina Olimpieva to come to the jubilee conference of the Centre for Independent Social research. The second was the call for papers from the new-ish Journal of Working-Class Studies on ‘Popular Revolt and the Global Working Class‘. Both the Centre and the unrelated US-based journal are causes well worth supporting.
On April 27, 2017, the Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia at NYU and the Harriman Institute of Columbia University held a panel discussion entitled, “Kompromat: What it is, and what it means for U.S.-Russia relations” featuring panelists Keith Darden, an associate professor in the School of International Service at American University, Miriam Elder, BuzzFeed News’ World Editor, and Katy Pearce, assistant professor in the department of communication at the University of Washington. The event was co-chaired by Alexander Cooley, Claire Tow Professor of Political Science and director of the Harriman Institute and Joshua Tucker, professor of politics at NYU and director of the Jordan Center. The joint “New York City Russia Public Policy” initiative, supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, was the second installment in an ongoing series that works to establish a regular forum for academics and professionals in New York City to engage with pressing issues informing U.S.-Russia relations. This discussion detailed the history of kompromat in both the Soviet Union and post-Soviet successor states, the role it is currently playing in Russian politics, the ways in which in technological changes have impacted kompromat, and the potential effects of kompromat on U.S.-Russian relations.
Trigger warning: anonymous sources; evidence-free evidence
This June, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Vladimir Putin angrily denounced the “hysteria” in Washington and in the U.S. media. Again, bitter accusations and scorn abound. Both U.S. and Russian experts now agree that once again there is a heightened risk of unintended nuclear war—much higher than in the early 1980s—but this danger is not as widely perceived as it was back then. There is less awareness, less alarm. Few people know as much about nuclear policy as William J. Perry, a former secretary of defense. He has been on a crusade this year, warning, “We are starting a new Cold War. We seem to be sleepwalking into this new nuclear arms race. . . . We and the Russians and others don’t understand what we are doing.”
In this wide-ranging interview, Mr. Pozner discusses his life and career. It encompasses discussions of Mr. Pozner’s parents’ activities in the French Resistance in World War II, the Pozner family’s emigration to the USSR, the Khrushchev Thaw, the reaction of Soviet society to the Cuban Missile Crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika, space bridges between American and Soviet societies, the Yeltsin years, the current state of US-Russian relations, and Russian society today.
Three prominent CNN journalists resigned Monday night after the network was forced to retract and apologize for a story linking Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci to a Russian investment fund under congressional investigation. That article — like so much Russia reporting from the U.S. media — was based on a single anonymous source, and now, the network cannot vouch for the accuracy of its central claims.
PUTIN DIRECT LINE. English, Russian. Mostly domestic nuts and bolts, a lot of “Batyushka, my roof is leaking” and the usual declaration that Russia is open to cooperation with its “partners”. Memorable lines: “the history of Russia shows that we have usually lived under sanctions whenever Russia started to become independent and feel strong” and “‘What do you do in your spare time?’ I work.” The customary mastery of detail and directness; I doubt any Western leader could match it. Pre-cooked or not.
As noted earlier, there were relatively few Russia Day promotions in the MOD, possibly because President Vladimir Putin handed out a lot of new brass to his personal National Guard.
But to review, there was a single three-star promotion, and five two-star promotions for MOD officers.
Constantine Pleshakov teaches at the Five-College Consortium in Massachusetts. In 2012, The Princeton Review named him one of the 300 best college professors in the United States. He’s the author of many books, including There Is No Freedom Without Bread!: 1989 and the Civil War That Brought Down Communism, Stalin’s Folly: The Tragic First Ten Days of World War II on the Eastern Front and with Vladislav Zubok, Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev. His newest book is The Crimean Nexus: Putin’s War and the Clash of Civilizations published by Yale University Press.
Russosphere, oh Russosphere. We’ve had our ups and downs. But now you’re heading in a direction that truly has me concerned.
#1: I overheard a conversation at the kvu in which fellow students placed bets on how Putin would die. Poisoning? Revolution? Palace coup?
#2: My entire immediate family seems convinced Trump is a Kremlin agent.
#3: Sensational books like Putin: His Downfall and Russia’s Coming Crash and Orders to Kill: The Putin Regime and Political Murder are the norm, not the exception.
#4: It’s now okay to make xenophobic comments about Russians or downplay Russian victims of terrorist attacks purely on the grounds that “they deserve it for invading Ukraine, bombing Syria, killing opposition journalists and hacking our democracy”.
#5: Ladies and gentlemen, our Enlightened™ mass media.
In 24 hrs, a NYT reporter called Russia a “Cyrillic autocracy,” Time put an Orthodox cathedral on the WH, and CNN called its towers minarets
— Ilya Lozovsky (@ichbinilya) May 18, 2017
I like to think I’m decent at reading the writing on the wall. Right now, it’s telling me to flee while there’s still a wall.
Side book #12
This week, I began Two Lines 25, a book of translated short stories from around the world.
Hey, what happened to the Blue Crystal/’Apostrophe’ grid theme?
I swapped it for ‘Expound’. I was looking for something more subtle and sophisticated. All posts – save for admin updates and outbound articles – are indexed under the ‘Original Posts’ tab.