Russia: Forever a Time of Troubles

Westerners often consider Russia through the prism of the Soviet Union and the Second World War. But we must look further back if we wish to understand the modern nation’s fears, aims and motivations. Russia almost didn’t survive the beginning of the 17th century. Convulsed by civil wars, peasant uprisings, foreign invasions, mass famine and…

Rewriting history? Polish FM says Ukrainians liberated Auschwitz, Russia puzzled

The Polish FM’s statement that it was the Ukrainians who liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp has puzzled Moscow. Russia’s UN envoy remarked that the Soviet Army, which liberated the camp, was actually multinational. “The 1st Ukrainian front and Ukrainians liberated [the concentration camp], as on that January day there were Ukrainian soldiers, so they opened…

How the CIA secretly published Dr Zhivago

Boris Pasternak’s famous novel Doctor Zhivago remained unpublished in the USSR until 1988, because of its implicit criticism of the Soviet system. But for the same reason, the CIA wanted Soviets to read the book, and arranged the first-ever publication in Russian. BBC News – How the CIA secretly published Dr Zhivago

Ukraine maps chart Crimea’s troubled past

Ukraine maps chart Crimea’s troubled past If Crimea were to join Russia after the planned referendum on 17 March, it would be the latest of many changes to the map of Ukraine during the country’s troubled past.

Crimea and the Hysteria of History

Crimea and the Hysteria of History : The New Yorker “With Ukraine and Crimea suddenly looming as potential Sarajevos, the usual rhetoric of credibility and the horrors of appeasement comes blaring from the usual quarters. People who, a week ago, could not have told you if Crimea belonged to Ukraine—who maybe thought, based on a…