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Russian history



  • What Will Russia Look Like Without Putin?

    by Joy Neumayer

    A transformation of Russia after the end of Putin's leadership will require unwinding the countless institutions that have been molded and warped around his power for decades, so that another authoritarian can't step right in to use them. 



  • Russia's Memorial Forced to Downsize its Tribute to Stalinist Victims

    “The point in returning the names is that we’re naming the victims,” said Yan Rachinsky, the chairman of Memorial’s board. “But the question inevitably arises: If there are victims of crime, then there are criminals, and there are reasons for the crime. These are no longer things that our authorities are ready to discuss.”


  • Russians' Disapproval of Gorbachev Shouldn't Dominate How He is Remembered

    by Walter G. Moss

    The combination of post-Soviet hardship, resurgent nationalism, and the destructiveness of the Ukraine war have led many Americans to embrace Russians' dim view of Mikhail Gorbachev. A historian of Russia says the leader had his faults, but his furtherance of humane values has been underrated. 



  • Gorbachev Never Understood What He Set in Motion

    by Anne Applebaum

    Sometimes seen as a visionary reformer, Gorbachev may have started the USSR's economic death spiral by restricting the sale of vodka to increase worker productivity. 



  • Gorbachev's Greatness Was in His Failure

    by Tom Nichols

    Gorbachev's personal decency made him the wrong man for his chosen task of saving Soviet Communism from collapse; today his reputation is far higher in the west than in the former USSR. 



  • Gorbachev's Vacuum: His Legacy and Russia's Wars

    by Michael Kimmage

    The last Soviet leader failed to intuit the ultimate consequences of the changes he unleashed, from the collapse of the USSR to the revival of Russian imperialsm. 


  • On Putin's Vacant Moral Imagination

    by Walter G. Moss

    Russia's stances toward Ukraine and the west in general reflect its leaders' inability, perhaps nurtured by the Soviet system, to view world affairs through another's perspective. 



  • Where Witches Were Men: Magic in Early Modern Russia

    by Valerie Kivelson

    In Orthodox Russia, unlike Catholic and Protestant western Europe, the nature of hierarchy and power meant that the majority of people accused of witchcraft were men, and the popular image of a witch was male.