“One is fully justified in concluding that as the Russian expression has it, “the refrigerator is beginning to defeat the television,” with what people see in their own lives being more important to their views than what they are told they should think by state television.”


“Elements of a new revolutionary situation are rapidly being formed” in the wake of Crimea and Syria,” the St. Antony’s scholar says.  “Those on top cannot live in the old way, as the Ulyukayev case has shown to all.  In principle, [Igor] Sechin shot in the right direction but he didn’t hit his goal.”


It is a useful reminder that not all nostalgia is for what Vladimir Putin or other leaders might like to see brought back and that some of what powers that positive view of the past involves values that may even threaten those in power now. 


“I am leaving really downbeat and disheartened. I think the reform zeal that we saw a few years back is sadly dissipating, as the political leadership increasingly focus on elections in 2019.”

Congressman Will Hurd of Texas says: “While Ukraine itself is not a member of NATO, it is on the front-line of the Russian asymmetrical war to re-establish its sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. Arming Ukraine would demonstrate President Trump's ability to be tough on rogue nations and his commitment to thwarting Russian aggression.”

Commentator Stanislav Minin points to the case of Bishop Diomid who accused the Moscow Patriarchate of being insufficiently pure in its faith, the activists opposed to registration numbers for citizens, the Orthodox flag bearers, and the recent spate of criticism and forced closings of concerts, exhibits and films the radicals don’t approve of.


Photo: Bishop Diomid at the time he was deposed from the priesthood in October 2008


Photo: Jon Huntsman departs following a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his nomination to be ambassador to Russia on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 19.



Most of the world has become aware of ISIS, the Muslim extremist vehicle for anti-Christian jihad. The Russian government claims that it opposes all radical groups while quietly tolerating – and using – Christian groups that operate with many of the same tactics as their Muslim counterparts. 


The demonstrators carried placards reading “We need enemies,” “We need traditional values” and “imaginary enemies,” “A clown state,” and “I didn’t serve, I’m not a clown”


Kseniya Kirillova says, with most Russians accepting the idea, backed by the Kremlin, that someone born in Russia “forever remains ‘the property’ of this country.”


Photo: A 1907 painting by Boris Kustodiev depicting the muzhiks listening to the proclamation of the Emancipation Manifesto in 1861 


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