Many of Russia’s official reactions are similar to those in the United States.
Russia is on the front line of the coronavirus crisis in that it shares a very long territorial border with China/Asia. Nonetheless, many of its official reactions are similar to those in the United States. Citizens are being told to self-isolate. New responsibilities, authority, and public prominence are being devolved to regional governors and mayors... Read More
Putin’s quest for a transformed nation and his own legacy.
The US media’s three-year obsession with the mostly fictitious allegations of “Russiagate” has all but obscured, even deleted, important, potentially historic, developments inside that nation itself, still the world’s largest territorial country. One of the most important is the Putin government’s decision to invest $300 to $400 billion of “rainy day” funds in the nation’s... Read More
As with its 40-year predecessor, the new US-Russian Cold War has characteristic features, including sharply conflicting historical memories. Some of them are absurdly inaccurate and politically dangerous. Consider a recent ramifying example. On January 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Israel to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of... Read More
An anti-neocon president appears to have been surrounded by neocons in his own administration.
President Trump campaigned and was elected on an anti-neocon platform: he promised to reduce direct US involvement in areas where, he believed, America had no vital strategic interest, including in Ukraine. He also promised a new détente (“cooperation”) with Moscow. And yet, as we have learned from their recent congressional testimony, key members of his... Read More
Historically and even today, Russia has much in common with Ukraine—the United States, almost nothing.
For centuries and still today, Russia and large parts of Ukraine have had much in common—a long territorial border; a shared history; ethnic, linguistic, and other cultural affinities; intimate personal relations; substantial economic trade; and more. Even after the years of escalating conflict between Kiev and Moscow since 2014, many Russians and Ukrainians still think... Read More
American opponents of readmitting Moscow to the former G8 fail to understand the consequences
Two years ago, I asked, “Will Russia Leave the West?” The world’s largest territorial country—sprawling from its major European city St. Petersburg to its vast Far Eastern territories and long border with China—Russia cannot, of course, depart the West geographically. But it can do so politically, economically, and strategically. Indeed, where Russia belongs, where it... Read More
Vital questions about perhaps the worst alleged presidential scandal in US history remain unanswered
It must again be emphasized: It is hard, if not impossible, to think of a more toxic allegation in American presidential history than the one leveled against candidate, and then president, Donald Trump that he “colluded” with the Kremlin in order to win the 2016 presidential election—and, still more, that Vladimir Putin’s regime, “America’s No.... Read More
The friends and foes of a Kiev-Moscow settlement
Ukraine, as I have often emphasized, is the epicenter of the new US-Russian Cold War, and its location directly on Russia’s border makes it much more dangerous than was Berlin during the preceding 40-year confrontation. Some 13,000 people have reportedly already died in Donbass in fighting between forces backed by Washington and Moscow. For many... Read More
Liberals and other Democrats seem to want to cover up the CIA’s role in Russiagate
William Barr, a two-time attorney general who served at the CIA in the 1970s, would seem to be an ultimate Washington insider. According to his Wikipedia biography, he has—or he had—“a sterling reputation” both among Republicans and Democrats. That changed when Barr announced his ongoing investigation into the origins of Russiagate, a vital subject I,... Read More
The Trump-Putin meeting in Japan is crucial for both leaders—and for the world
Despite determined attempts in Washington to sabotage such a “summit,” as I reported previously, President Trump and Russian President Putin are still scheduled to meet at the G-20 gathering in Japan this week. Iran will be at the top of their agenda. The Trump administration seems determined to wage cold, possibly even hot, war against... Read More
Is plunging Russia into darkness really a good idea
Occasionally, a revelatory, and profoundly alarming, article passes almost unnoticed, even when published on the front page of The New York Times. Such was the case with reporting by David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth, bearing the Strangelovian title “U.S. Buries Digital Land Mines to Menace Russia’s Power Grid,” which appeared in the print edition... Read More
Why Barr’s investigation is important and should be encouraged
It cannot be emphasized too often: Russiagate—allegations that the American president has been compromised by the Kremlin, which may even have helped to put him in the White House—is the worst and (considering the lack of actual evidence) most fraudulent political scandal in American history. We have yet to calculate the damage Russiagate has inflicted... Read More
If Venezuela becomes a Cuban Missile–like Crisis, will Trump be free to resolve it peacefully?
Now in its third year, Russiagate is the worst, most corrosive, and most fraudulent political scandal in modern American history. It rests on two related core allegations: that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an “attack on American democracy” during the 2016 presidential campaign in order to put Donald Trump in the White House, and that... Read More
Little-noted aspects of the first volume of the Mueller report
Special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III’s two-volume “Report on the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” is not an easy read—not unlike those manuals that come boxed with “easy to assemble” multipart children’s toys on Christmas Eve. Nonetheless, considering the exceedingly damaging effects Russiagate has had on America at home and abroad... Read More
How the long-anticipated report addresses—or ignores—Russiagate allegations will be vital for US-Russian relations
Amajor theme of my recently published book War with Russia? is twofold: The United States is in a new Cold War with Russia, but one more dangerous, more fraught with possibilities of actual war, than was the 40-year Cold War the world survived. I began arguing the first proposition nearly 20 years ago, long before... Read More
The Kremlin did not “attack America” in 2016, but the myth could lead to war between the nuclear superpowers
Today’s perilous reality is unprecedented and twofold. On the one hand, never have Washington-Moscow relations been so multiply fraught with the possibilities of war. American and Russian forces are in close and increasingly hostile military proximity from Eastern Europe, Ukraine, and Georgia to Syria, and now possibly Venezuela. On the other hand, the “cooperation” and... Read More
Its perpetrators, not Putin or Trump, “attacked American democracy.”
The very few of us who publicly challenged and deplored Russiagate allegations against candidate and then President Donald Trump from the time they first began to appear in mid-2016 should not gloat or rejoice over the US attorney general’s summary of Robert S. Mueller’s key finding: “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the... Read More
US Cold Warriors escalate toward actual war with Russia
Heedless of the consequences, or perhaps welcoming them, America’s Cold Warriors and their media platforms have recently escalated their rhetoric against Russia, especially in March. Anyone who has lived through or studied the preceding 40-year Cold War will recognize the ominous echoes of its most dangerous periods, when actual war was on the horizon or... Read More
Too many reputations and other interests are vested in the legend for it to vanish from American politics anytime soon
Russiagate allegations that the Kremlin has a subversive hold over President Trump, and even put him in the White House, have poisoned American political life for almost three years. Among other afflictions, it has inspired an array of media malpractices, virtually criminalized anti–Cold War thinking about Russia, and distorted the priorities of the Democratic Party.... Read More
The two governments have repeatedly interfered in each other’s domestic politics during the past 100 years—and...
Even though the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee found “no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia,” Russiagate allegations of “collusion” between candidate and then–President Donald Trump and the Kremlin have poisoned American politics for nearly three years. They are likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future, due not... Read More
“Collusion,” “contacts,” selective prosecutions, coup plotting, and media taboos recall repressive Soviet practices
Having studied Soviet political history for decades and having lived off and on in that repressive political system before Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms—in Russia under Leonid Brezhnev in the late 1970s and early 1980s—I may be unduly concerned about similar repressive trends I see unfolding in democratic America during three years of mounting Russiagate allegations. Or... Read More
Why would Moscow want to fight terrorists without the US? It doesn’t
Manichaean Cold War myopia and ludicrous Russiagate allegations have produced one of the worst periods of American “geopolitical” thinking in recent decades. Consider President Trump’s recently announced withdrawals of US forces from Syria and Afghanistan. Instead of applauding these long-overdue steps, the bipartisan US political-media establishment has denounced them as “Trump’s gifts to Putin.” But... Read More
How Russiagate has impacted a vital struggle in Russia
For decades, Russia’s self-described “liberals” and “democrats” have touted the American political system as one their country should emulate. They have had abundant encouragement in this aspiration over the years from legions of American crusaders, who in the 1990s launched a large-scale, deeply intrusive, and ill-destined campaign to transform post-Communist Russia into a replica of... Read More
Baseless Russiagate allegations continue to risk war with Russia
The New Year has brought a torrent of ever-more-frenzied allegations that President Donald Trump has long had a conspiratorial relationship—why mince words and call it “collusion”?—with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin. Why the frenzy now? Perhaps because Russiagate promoters in high places are concerned that special counsel Robert Mueller will not produce the hoped-for “bombshell” to... Read More
A wise decision is greeted by denunciations, obstructionism, imperial thinking, and more Russia-bashing
President Trump was wrong in asserting that the United States destroyed the Islamic State’s territorial statehood in a large part of Syria—Russia and its allies accomplished that—but he is right in proposing to withdraw some 2,000 American forces from that tragically war-ravaged country. The small American contingent serves no positive combat or strategic purpose unless... Read More