Russia

Belarus Dispatch

Belarus Dispatch

Goodbye, Cockroach?

If you’ve ever compared Fox News commentary on Portland to the hours of video that Robert Evans posts, showing actual events on the ground around the federal courthouse there, then you already understand the dynamic. The past week in Belarus has been as clean a story of good versus evil as exists in the world. It is not a surprise that Belarusian state media took up the cause of evil, but Russian state media was at least faced with a choice. They chose evil too.

How Russia Learned to Start Worrying

How Russia Learned to Start Worrying

Russian coronavirus disinformation exists. Until April, its main audience was domestic.

The news was not “fake,” but the measures were hardly enforced. Social media that weekend was full of photographs of groups of people congregating in picnic areas to grill shashlik. One of the patriots in the banya chat wrote that he had seen beat cops ticketing a babushka just for sitting on a bench outside, but the cops in the group were sure that he was making it up. It was clear that no one had any idea what was supposed to be happening.

White Square

White Square

Naked Valkyries are ve-ry ve-ry spiritual!

What was stopping him from selling his honey in Ukhtoma? What, with a car, he could go anywhere he wanted. Even to Yaroslavl. Even to Moscow. Sasha turned green with envy when he saw someone buy anything from the old man. He clenched his jaw with rage. If Vovka weren’t in prison, he would give him a thousand to pop the old man’s tires. Or just to scare him a little. Doing it himself would be too much. The police were nearby, too. Sasha weighed in at a hundred kilos and could smash the fidgety old man like a fly, but unfortunately it just wasn’t possible.

Isn’t America a Dream?

Isn’t America a Dream?

Book Tour Diary

Something is always breaking down on the New York subway, and when the loudspeaker announces it to the ladies and gentlemen, you have to invent a new route to your destination. On one occasion, I found myself walking back and forth through a subway station with a group of Chinese people, Latin Americans, and Europeans. None of us could manage to figure out a new way to get to Queens, where not a single train seemed to be going.

Why Hack?

Why Hack?

The American public, even the foreign policy-savvy pundit class, has remarkably short memories.

Why choose this particular tactic to destroy, or at least damage, Hillary? Simply put, Putin (if his media is any guide) believes that the US has already tried to influence Russian elections through leaks.

Cyber Panic

Cyber Panic

If the hack is a “political 9/11,” should we retaliate by invading and destroying Russia?

The current panic uses a definition of hacking that rates very low on the scale of cyberattacks, and blurs the line between actual security breaches and the dissemination of political propaganda.

In Tbilisi

In Tbilisi

”It’s forbidden to be sad in Georgia.”

Most of Günel’s reports deal with women’s rights in the South Caucasus.

“The lives of Azerbaijani women living in Tbilisi are different from those of Georgian women,” she said. “Azerbaijani girls are taken out of school by their families in the ninth grade and married off at the age of 14. If Azerbaijani girls resist, it’s suicide. Our child’s nanny became a grandmother at 32. Talk to her.”

Their nanny, Renka, agreed to pose for a portrait and talked a little bit about herself.

She was married at 13 and had a daughter when she was 14.