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    Edward Snowden and His Friends

    Edward Snowden, the self-glamorizing leaker of National Security Agency secret programs, is still holed up in an airport in Moscow, where he’s been stuck for two weeks. The United States has warned Russia and other countries not to let him travel by air. Snowden is hoping to make it to … More

    Snowden Asylum Request: Another Blow to Obama's Russia "Reset" Policy

    Last Sunday, a Russian consular official confirmed that former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden asked for political asylum in Russia. Snowden’s defection, announced after a week in Moscow, may be not an impulsive act but a thoroughly pre-planned operation. The Interfax news agency cited Kim Shevchenko, duty officer … More

    Russia’s Advantage: No Reason to Follow Obama’s Lead in Nuclear Arms Reductions

    After President Obama made another pledge to reduce nuclear arms in Berlin last week, the underlying message seems to be that, if the United States continues marching down the road toward nuclear zero, other nuclear nations such as Russia will follow suit. Ironically, this policy depends on American influence while … More

    “Russian Reset”: Time to Listen to the Critics

    In a well-reasoned broadside, The Washington Post’s editorial board blasted President Obama’s Russian policy and his Berlin speech this past Thursday. The editorial justly criticized the naiveté with which Obama reached out to Russian president Vladimir Putin with a badly thought out proposal to cut a third of the U.S. … More

    “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!”

    Today, we celebrate the anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s great speech before the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on June 12, 1987. Coming two and a half years before the end of the Cold War, Reagan’s famous line on the Berlin Wall still has that chill-giving power. General Secretary Gorbachev, if … More

    Russian Arrest of U.S. Diplomat Undermines U.S.–Russian Ties

    In a scene reminiscent of the spy thriller TV series “The Americans,” Russian FSB secret police Monday night detained and then released an alleged CIA operative, Ryan Christopher Fogle, who is a Third Secretary at U.S. Embassy Moscow. The Russian government later declared him “Persona Non Grata” (PNG) and expelled … More

    Russia: Kerry’s Chilly Kremlin Reception

    This past Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met President Vladimir Putin of Russia in the Kremlin. Kerry was seeking to repair frayed ties with Russia and obtain Moscow’s assistance with a settlement in Syria. The U.S. and its allies hope to put an end to the civil war, … More

    Human Rights Watch Decries Russia Opposition Crackdown

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently released a scathing new report focused on the crackdown on Russia’s civil society. Since December 2011, the Kremlin has committed to squashing nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that promote democracy and are alleged conduits of Western influence, HRW says. The report, titled “Laws of Attrition,” focuses on … More

    North Caucasus: Islamist Threat Comes from a History of Violence

    The Boston Marathon bombers have brought greater attention to Russia’s volatile North Caucasus, their ancestral home. As painful their heinous acts are, however, the bombers’ actions are just a footnote to the history of insurgency and connections to global Islamist networks in the North Caucasus. The North Caucasus has a … More

    Russia: Putin Uses Courts to Crush Opposition

    KYIV, UKRAINE—Russia’s leading anti-corruption blogger, attorney and political activist Alexei Navalny, appeared in court Wednesday accused of embezzlement. On Thursday, federal prosectuors slapped him with additional charges for alleged price gouging. However, his real crime is exposing corruption and opposing the current political regime. Prosecutors charged Navalny, a moderate nationalist … More