Russia House

editorial

2016-02-11
The BBC Imagines WWIII: A Wake-Up Call for US-Russian Relations?
The Russians and all of 'progressive humanity' have been jumping up and down about this pseudo-documentary film, which features boasts of killing 'tens of thousands of Russians'. Baltics politicians on both sides of the issue are furious. However, seeing the film through to its unexpected ending, one is left with big questions about the intentions of its producers and of its high level participants that so far no one has addressed.

By Gilbert Doctorow
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2016-02-11
'Hybrid Warfare': Anti-Russia propaganda finds a new buzzword

By Bryan MacDonald
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2016-02-11
How playing the Russia card can be an effective tactic for US politicians
Criticism of Russia within the U.S. can help to achieve a number of useful goals - whether it's the pursuit of political power, increased military budgets or new business deals.

By Olga Poroshina
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2016-02-11
Russian ambassador sees U.S. ties at post-Cold War low
Bilateral ties in "deplorably difficult" state - Kislyak

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2016-02-10
A NEW COLD WAR?
Tensions may be rising, but Russia is not to blame.

By Tara McCormack
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2016-02-10
Hillary, Baltics Screaming 'The Russians Are Coming!' - Actually They're Leaving
Far from threatening creation of a new empire, Russia is less of a threat now to the independence of the Baltic states than it ever has been before

By Kenneth Rapoza
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2016-02-10
Dutch Voters: No Thanks, We Don't Want Ukraine
An upcoming referendum should prove that the people of the Netherlands don't want anything to do with Ukraine's mess, but the Dutch government has all but said it doesn't care what its people want

By Enrico Braun
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2016-02-10
Coincidence? Baltic invasion story reappears as Pentagon seeks to quadruple Europe spending

By Danielle Ryan
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2016-02-09
Assad Gains Have Kerry Pushing for a Syria Ceasefire
Now that's a first - US has never put so much emphasis on immediate ceasation of hostilities before

By Jason Ditz
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2016-02-09
Risking World War III in Syria

By Joe Lauria
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Russia House

2012-03-17

Final notes on Russias elections and what next?

Edward LOZANSKY, President, American University in Moscow

Usually elections in foreign countries do not attract too much public or media attention in the U.S., especially not in the middle of our own presidential campaign. This time it was different, though. Major American newspapers almost daily printed two or even three dispatches from Moscow, most of them featuring devastating criticism of Putin, praise of the opposition (despite communists and outright nazis being part of it) and anticipation of something like an orange revolution or Arab spring fast approaching.

To the great disappointment of many such observers, instead of joining the list of deposed dictators like Gaddafi or Mubarak, Putin won the election with what is generally known as a landslide. Everyone, with the notable exception of Senator McCain, had to admit, often reluctantly, that Putins victory was overwhelming and thus legitimate.

President Obama spent about a week thinking of what to do about it but then, observing that all the other world leaders have already congratulated Putin on his victory, he, too, placed the call, apparently fearing that America might be seen to be a teeny bit out of step with the world it professes to lead.
That was not the most curious reaction to Putins election, though. Not by far. For all their abstruse talk, philosophers sometimes come up with very apt dicta. Like, Extremes meet. Id say this time they met with a resounding clang. Senator McCain and Comrade Zyuganov, leader of the Russian communists, sang in operatic unison: Putins election was fraudulent, a sham, and thus illegitimate.

Well, it is a more or less recognized fact that while McCain is living in a phantasmal world of his own comrade Zyu is a different matter altogether. During the election campaign he repeatedly stated that his goal is to bring Russia back to the Leninist-Stalinist model that is: a one-party political system, a single candidate per ballot, each getting no less than 99.99 percent of the 100 percent turnout.

One wonders why Mikhail Gorbachev should join McCain and Zyuganov, babbling something about the elections illegitimacy. The man who is praised (at least in the West) for saving the world from a nuclear holocaust and who worked shoulder to shoulder with Ronald Reagan in throwing communism to the dustbin of history, could do better than act in this comical fashion.

Really, Gorby should have a more accurate idea of what the term legitimacy means. The only time he went to the electorate in a new Russia, he quite legitimately got all of 1.75 percent, or some such figure. One would have thought that Gorbachev could afford one or two professional advisors who would tutor him ahead of the interviews.

As for U.S. establishment it would be wise for them to take note that despite sometime strong anti-American rhetoric, Putin is willing and able to act pragmatically. His latest words: "If we had managed to achieve a breakthrough on missile defense, this would have opened the floodgates for building a qualitatively new model of cooperation, similar to an alliance" should be considered more seriously before flat rejection, unless, of course, we want to repeat all our mistakes in Russia policy in the last 20 years.