The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Professor Stephen F. Cohen, a Nation contributing editor and professor emeritus of Russian studies at NYU and Princeton, discusses with the host of The John Batchelor Show the recent nuclear accident on a submarine in Northern Russia and the unrelated political protests in Moscow. Cohen puts both in the historical and political context usually missing... Read More
NEW YORK — As if President Barack Obama did not have enough on his plate, he will shortly issue a Nuclear Posture Review — which is, in fact, a month overdue. Each new American president must by law review his nation's nuclear weapons and strategy. Accordingly, Nobel Peace Laureate Obama will decide what to do... Read More
In 1975, physicist Andrei Sakharov and a group of fellow Soviet academicians warned the Kremlin leadership that unless the nation's ruinous defense spending was slashed and funds refocused on modernizing the nation's decrepit, obsolete industrial base and its wretched state agriculture, the Soviet Union would collapse by 1990. Their grim warning was prescient. Twenty years... Read More
Those growing numbers of foreign policy critics who have been claiming that the Obama administration is simply George W. Bush's third term were confounded last week as the new president put the kibosh on one of Bush's most beloved and most dimwitted projects. Obama's welcome cancellation of Bush's proposed antiballistic missile system (ABM) based in... Read More
President Barack Obama's visit to Moscow last week raised some very important questions about US-Russian relations and national security. Given the media's constant threat-mongering, it's easy to forget that America's most important national security concern is not Iran, Iraq, al-Qaida, Taliban, Afghanistan, or North Korea, whose unloved "Dear Leader" appears terminally ill. It is Russia,... Read More
The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! Or are they? That depends on whom you ask. President Dimitri Medvedev announced last Tuesday that Russia would modernize its large but decrepit armed forces, starting in 2011. New nuclear and conventional weapons systems will be acquired, but there will also be large cuts in Russia's 1,027,000... Read More
PARIS — Pipsqueak Georgia's harebrained and disastrous attack on tiny South Ossetia has produced a full-blown crisis pitting the US and NATO against Russia. In an act fraught with danger, US and NATO warships are delivering supplies to Georgia, watched by Russian men of war. The US Congress may soon vote $1 billion for America's... Read More
The Bush administration appears to have pulled off its latest military fiasco in the Caucasus. What was supposed to have been a swift and painless takeover of rebellious South Ossetia by America's favorite new ally, Georgia, has turned into a disaster that left Georgia battered, Russia enraged, and NATO badly demoralized. Not bad for two... Read More
Last week's utterly useless and hugely expensive G8 summit in Japan was at least a welcome comic relief after all the bombast and threats flying back and forth between the US, Israel and Iran. The world leaders dined on caviar as they earnestly discussed hunger and the global food crisis. They agreed to do something... Read More
Back in the old Soviet days, Kremlin leadership changes used to be marked by a new pecking order of dumpy communist apparatchiks in awful suits glowering from atop Lenin's tomb as tanks and cheesy floats rolled through Red Square. No longer. Roll over Brezhnev and Tchaikovsky. Welcome to the cool new Mother Russia. Last February,... Read More
As expected, Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party won a landslide victory in yesterday's parliamentary elections, garnering over 63% of the vote as of this writing, which will give it 70% of the seats in the Duma, or national assembly. The Communist Party won only 11.6%. Its leader, Gennady Zuganov, cried foul, claiming the elections were... Read More
TORONTO — Santa is not going to be happy to learn that his home and workshop at the North Pole just became part of Mother Russia. Last week, Russia literally stole a march on its would-be Arctic competitors by dispatching a powerful icebreaker and research vessel to plant its flag on — and under —... Read More
PARIS — As Washington and Moscow exchange increasingly angry accusations and rebukes these recent weeks, it is hard to avoid a sense of Cold War déjà vu. Last Tuesday, Russia launched with great fanfare a new RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile that it claimed could penetrate new US anti-missile defenses. President Vladimir Putin warned the Bush... Read More
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin's lavish funeral in Moscow last week leaves one with a sense of sorrow and mixed emotions. Yeltsin certainly deserves a place in history for bringing down the rotten Soviet Union, though his humiliation of its leader, the well-intentioned but hapless Mikhail Gorbachev, was brutal. Yeltsin almost didn't survive the 1991 anti-Gorbachev coup.... Read More
When the Russian bears growls, it's best to pay attention. Vladimir Putin's harsh criticism of US military and foreign policy on 10 February should have set off alarm bells in the west. But senior US officials are so obsessed with Iraq, and so used by now to having Moscow agree to whatever Washington wanted to... Read More
When I met Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2002 to discuss her new book about Chechnya, "Dirty War," I began by asking her about life in Moscow. She brusquely interrupted me, "Please, I am here to speak only of Chechnya." The 48-year-old Russian journalist told me her days were numbered. There had already been two... Read More
Five years ago, I wrote a column about the unknown Holocaust in Ukraine. I was shocked to receive a flood of mail from young Americans and Canadians of Ukrainian descent telling me that until they read my article, they knew nothing of the 1932—33 genocide in which Stalin's regime murdered 7 million Ukrainians and sent... Read More