The Victory Day Commentary

It’s been more than a week now since Russia celebrated the 65th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s defeat of Nazi Germany. I caught a little bit of the parade and the fireworks on Россия 24, and it was basically what you’d expect: a bunch of happy people standing around outside, watching things proudly march by …

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Cheating History: Katyn Roundup

I’ve taken some time to read through the various commentaries and introspections following the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, and it’s come time for the promised rundown. The by-far most frustrating op-ed comes to us via the Washington Post from Anne Applebaum. Wife of Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, Mrs. Applebaum approaches the debate …

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From Gdańsk to Katyn

This morning, Vladimir Putin is meeting his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk, in Smolensk at the site of the Katyn massacre, which is 70-years-old today. In my next post, I’d like to survey the public reaction to and interpretation of today’s event, but – for now, until all the commentary is in – let’s look back …

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Holidays, Witches, & Stalin

Yesterday was Defender of the Fatherland Day in Russia, a celebration that serves as a kind of ‘Men’s Day.’ If you’ve got a penis, thanks for defending the Fatherland! Originally, the day marks the beginning of conscription under Lenin in 1918 — the birth of the Red Army. Maksim Kononenko has an amusing op-ed in …

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Stalin & the War

If you haven’t heard already, the head of Moscow’s municipal publicity committee, Vladimir Makarov (no, not the terrorist from Call of Duty, but the other one), wants to erect a series of “stands” and banners throughout Moscow with little bits of information, explaining Josef Stalin’s role in the Great Patriotic War. Before you ask, remember …

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