All posts tagged: russia

BBC World Service: “World Have Your Say” on Russian Athletics Doping

Today I got to discuss how Russians cheat and lie, this time in sport with host Ben James and a panel including a Canadian and Kenyan Olympiad and colleagues in London and Germany on the BBC World Service’s “World Have Your Say” program. …we hear the conversation surrounding the latest twist in allegations of doping in Russian sport. The New York Times says Russian officials have for the first time admitted to the existence of a doping operation which affected major competitions.

Back in the USA

Mysterious arrests. Disappearances. A far away death in an unknown gulag concealed from family for a generation. These are realities for those of us whose families came to this great country from Eastern Europe in the aftermath of the last great world war as Soviet occupation squeezed the region. These are also the reasons why every act against Donald Trump now is an act of patriotism on behalf of our nation and the American people. Make no mistake about it, the confluence of evidence suggests Donald Trump was not only supported, bolstered, and aligned with Russia during this election season (as the NSA has concluded) but that his business empire is as well. His son, Donald Jr., told a trade publication, eTurboNews in 2008, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of our assets,” adding that, “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” After watching Trump and his family interviewed in their gilded penthouse on “60 Minutes” we can safely conclude money and lavish palaces are the language he speaks. This is …

The Sources of Russian Conduct: Russian Reading List

RUSSIAN READING LIST by Amanda Rivkin Note: In light of the election of 2016 and the unprecedented interference in the American electoral process, it became clear that a generation that fought the global war on terror is woefully unfamiliar with what a much earlier generation of American scholars, diplomats and spies would call “the sources of Soviet conduct,” after former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow George F. Kennan’s now infamous article published in Foreign Affairs in 1947. This reading list is an attempt to plug holes, it is by no means comprehensive nor does it claim to be. It is an attempt to provide a brief selection of readings following key themes of the last century of Russian/Soviet history as it is still relevant today given the Russian leader’s training as a KGB spy and deep background in the Russian state and rise in the wake of a period of profound national humiliation of the 1990s. Usual academic caveats, any errors or oversights are mine and mine alone. BACK IN THE USSR: Ideology + Revolution: Leninist-Marxism …

Voice of America (VOA) Azeri Language Service: “I Admire the Courage of Khadija.” [Interview]

Yesterday via e-mail I gave an interview to Voice of America (VOA) Azeri language service journalist Emil Quilyev. The full interview in Azerbaijani can be found on the Voice of America website. Below is the unedited original, without translation which also appears on the website of Radio Azadliq, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Azerbaijani language service. VOA: There have been some recent developments in Khadija Ismayil’s case. Nothing major. However, according to her lawyer Fariz Namazli, the accusation of disseminating state secrets have been lifted. What do you make of these trial proceedings? Amanda Rivkin: I do not know enough about Azerbaijani trial law to comment on the particulars. My guess is that the state has come under tremendous pressure from international organizations over this case and slight developments can be used by the government, primarily for external purposes, to show Khadija is being given something resembling “fair treatment” under the law. Of course I believe this case is entirely political and based on her investigations into the president’s family’s businesses in Azerbaijan and their various …

Young Explorers’ Grant Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline Photo Essay Published On National Geographic Website

Pictures: At Five Years Old, BTC Pipeline Moves Oil, Culture National Geographic June 10, 2011 A New World Unveiled Photograph by Amanda Rivkin The landlocked Asian nation of Azerbaijan forged a powerful connection to the West five years ago with the first delivery of oil through one of the most ambitious energy projects of a generation—a $4.2 billion, 1,100-mile (1,800-kilometer) pipeline to the Turkish Mediterranean coast. When the deal was originally struck in 1994 for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline, the late Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev called it “the Contract of the Century”—the first time a former Soviet state had signed a deal for its oil to reach international markets without going through Russia. It was also hailed as a major policy success for the United States, which had engaged in years of intensive diplomacy to build an avenue for Caspian oil wealth that did not rely on Moscow. (Related: BP’s map of the pipeline route) The BTC has the capacity to deliver 1.2 million barrels of oil per day to the Turkish port of Ceyhan …

Cablegate: The Leak Goes On, Unplugged

Today in WikiLeaks some newspapers are having a bit of fun with news of Assange’s doomsday cache of encrypted files he has promised to release if anything happens to him or his organization. As far as threat assessments go, it is hard to know what to make of this when sanitized and scrubbed of sensationalism and held up against the success and stumbles of the revolution, or lack thereof, Mr. Assange has started so far. Nothing he has done has proven an existential threat to the U.S. government but then again the U.S. government has failed to escalate retaliation beyond Interpol’s fugitive list and public, widely reported pressure on the Swiss government not to accept and provide shelter for Mr. Assange. Another day, another day the world turns… 3:25PM EST“Assange to Meet with British Police, Lawyer Says,” The New York Times No way to just call up Julian’s daddy now and get him to apologize: “Hundreds of WikiLeaks Mirror Sites Appear,” The New York Times “Cyber Guerrillas Can Help U.S.” New America Foundation Evgeny Morozov …

Cablegate: “We cannot predict the future, but the past is changing before our very eyes.”

If you are searching for meaning in the evolving cablegate scandal, I am not sure there is one. Misha Glenny reminds us that sometimes it is enough to be reminded of old jokes from communist times: “We cannot predict the future, but the past is changing before our very eyes.” Speaking of which – U.S.-Russia in the immediate post-Cold War: “The cables: what really counts,” Foreign Policy WikiLeaked Blog By David Hoffman, author of The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia, an excellent book I was up many cold, late nights in Poland several years ago reading, and former Washington Post Moscow bureau chief in the 1990s on concerns expressed in cables about Russia’s nuclear security in the aftermath of the break-up of the Soviet Union. What a time it was. Today, we learn the U.S. State Department was concerned by Lula and Sarkozy’s relationship, fretting it might cost Boeing a significant contract: “Lula es el “formidable obstáculo” para que la estadounidense Boeing renueve la Fuerza Aérea de Brasil,” El Pais [in Spanish] …