THIS is a long, detailed and very interesting story from a far-faraway country about the far-faraway people. Journalists, actually. Trying to do their job. Oh, wait a minute… Actually it is a story about USA and Europe helping these journalists… or not? Read it and next time, when you, you personally, donate your hard-earned dollars, euros, bitcoins (or whatever currency you prefer) to a charity, do your homework first.
Fortress Swallow’s Nest Castle Crimea Black Sea
My friend Joe has this really nice property that ends at a beautiful lake in Texas. It’s about three acres, wooded. Across the road from his place are some other, less lucky owners. I mean, their properties are big, 10 acres and more, but they don’t have a lakefront. In fact, his neighbor Tony talked Joe into letting him set up a barbecue pit on the beach. Tony’s always telling Joe what a great property he has, even though Tony has more than three times the acreage. Sometimes Tony’s beach parties get a bit rowdy, but he always invites Joe and his wife to join in, so Joe doesn’t mind, even when they don’t. Tony makes a point of telling Joe what a babe his wife is, too, which Joe doesn’t mind, because Tony is a paunchy, balding 59 year-old who likes to walk around bare-chested and flex his muscles. Joe’s wife just laughs when he does that. Sometimes when he’s drunk, he waves his Luger around and fires the occasional shot into the air, which the kids think is very cool.
Then one day, Joe comes home from work to find his neighbor Tony sitting at the kitchen table, Luger in his hand, Continue reading
On August 7, the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation announced the temporary closure of the international straits as part of construction efforts to build a bridge connecting Russia to the occupied territory of Crimea. On August 9, between 06:00 to 18:00, this waterway was closed to all maritime traffic except for Russian naval vessels. Continue reading
Interested how it was, how it really was to live under the Soviet rule? I’ll be on reddit later today to answer your questions (and plug my book). See you there!
For decades, the Soviet Union bewitched the left. Now some of the Kremlin’s biggest admirers are rightwingers, says Edward Lucas in The Times.
Republicans used to revere the American intelligence community; now only a third of them share the CIA’s belief that Russia interfered in the presidential election. Nearly half regards Russia as an ally now. Those with favourable views of Vladimir Putin have tripled in two years, to 32 per cent. Continue reading
Une prise de conscience doit se faire : notre monde n’a jamais été aussi fracturé, les biens communs jamais aussi menacés : la démocratie, les libertés individuelles, l’égalité femmes-hommes, l’éducation et le climat. Il y a encore beaucoup à faire pour que l’action soit à la hauteur de ce que nous devons à nos populations, à celles et ceux qui vivent sur notre planète mais aussi à celles et ceux qui y vivrons demain.
C’est le principal défi de notre génération.
An interesting read from Paul Goble about why Orthodox Russians remarkably quickly became communist Soviets after 1917, and many communists, no less easily, “again adopted Orthodoxy immediately after the fall of the USSR.” For them, “the code of the builder of communism and Christian teachers are two variants of a single text.”
1990, Riga, Latvia
The piercing phone ring interrupts my sacred morning drift between the sleep and awakening. With blurry eyes I try to focus on the alarm clock, while reaching for the receiver.
‘Good morning, Rasa. Do you still have Angelica?’
Angelica is our pet grass snake. Only my dearest friend Yvonne would call so early in the morning with such an urgent enquiry.
‘She is doing fine.’ I hope she can feel the venom in my voice. Even my children don’t dare to wake me up before the alarm goes off, especially over wellbeing enquiries about a snake. ‘What do you want?’
‘I wonder if you would agree to lend her.’
‘What for?’ Continue reading