Russian tourists are famous for littering Crimean beaches. Any Crimean who complains about such behavior is met with “a tirade” by Russians who say that he or she should be grateful forever to the Russians for “’liberating’ Crimea from ‘the Ukrainian yoke.’”  In short, “Russians act like masters, and Crimeans are reduced to the status of guests on their own land” from which “at any moment” they may be forced to leave.


“…perhaps the strangest although certain to be the most marked was praise that she has received from someone who has never been her ally or beneficiary but rather an open opponent, Vladimir Putin, who as president of Russia has done more than anyone else to suppress the rights that Alekseyeva has always defended.”*


“…a majority of Ukrainians – 54.6 percent -- now favor identifying the areas in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts not under Kyiv’s control as “occupied territories.”


Unlike Putin, Stalin viewed the tsar as “an insufficiently decisive murderer,” who should have killed more people. Putin for his part isn’t disturbed by the actions of Stalin and their continuing impact on Russia. “Ivan the Terrible was rehabilitated under Stalin, but under Putin a creeping rehabilitation of not only Ivan but of Stalin himself is going on.”

Oral histories are emerging as a useful way for analysts to get beyond the façade of high politics, public discourse, and popular protests in the post-Soviet space.


Photo: Philipp Lottholz

According to the Ukrainian security official, “under the form of ‘people’s militias,’ Russia activated its network of agents in eastern Ukraine at least as early as January 2014, a month before the victory of the EuroMaidan, the flight of president Viktor Yanukovych, and the invasion of Crimea.”


Putin is “the producer of spectacles in the course of which on the scene under the title ‘Russia and Its Neighbors and Those Further Afield’ are created an atmosphere of fascism and a completely fascist policy is carried out.” If this process is to be stopped, Yakovenko concludes, then “all thinking people in Russia and in the entire world must understand Putinism is Fascism” and having understood must respond in an ‘adequate’ way.”


Photo: Igor Yakovenko

As we are learning in the Trump Jr – Russia situation, the Trump White House and the Kremlin share certain characteristics. Each one is quite fond of lying – but eventually will own up to the truth when it becomes too obvious to be denied. In a Daily Vertical earlier this week, Brian Whitmore pointed to a good example.


One of the most important changes will be the composition of the city’s population. Because two-thirds of gastarbeiters will settle in Moscow, the city will have as many as five million Central Asian residents by 2035. Together with Muslims already there, they will boost the Islamic share of the city’s population to 25-30 percent.


Unfortunately, the Russian analyst says, Stalin is hardly the only Russian leader infected by paranoia.  “Putin’s actions, including his maniacal striving to destroy the independence of Ukraine are also something that people try to give some logical explanation for.” But in fact, Putin “like his predecessor Stalin is simply ill with a serious case of paranoia.”


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