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George F. Kennan

February 22nd marks 75 years since George F. Kennan sent his famous “Long Telegram” to the State Department in which he provided an assessment of the Soviet Union that led to the U.S. containment policy of the Cold War. The Cold War, in turn, saw various conflicts, scores of covert operations, regime changes, and a nuclear arms race.

Conventional wisdom generally has it that Kennan’s assessment of the Soviet government was accurate. But was it? And if it wasn’t accurate, why has it been treated as a brilliant analysis that underpinned a policy still characterized as an inevitable necessity?

In…


Head and shoulders portrait of a balding man, wearing a suit and tie.
Head and shoulders portrait of a balding man, wearing a suit and tie.
George F. Kennan

By Natylie Baldwin, OpEd News, 2/20/21.

February 22nd marks 75 years since George F. Kennan sent his famous “Long Telegram” to the State Department in which he provided an assessment of the Soviet Union that led to the U.S. containment policy of the Cold War. The Cold War, in turn, saw various conflicts, scores of covert operations, regime changes, and a nuclear arms race.

Conventional wisdom generally has it that Kennan’s assessment of the Soviet government was accurate. But was it? …


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Putin as he gets ready to address the Federal Assembly in January 2020. The Kremlin.

In January of 2020, Putin gave his annual Address to the Federal Assembly, announcing that amendments would be made to the Russian constitution. Those amendments have now been written up and passed. Recent legislation supporting their implementation as well as clarifying how a transition of power will work has also been passed. Now we can start to get a better picture of what these amendments will mean for Russia’s legal and political system and compare how these changes actually square with what Putin said in his speech.

Legal History and the Balance between the Executive and Legislative Branches

First, it…


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Muhammed Ali in Russia, 1978

Description: Soviet Autobiographies with William Mandel on KPFA radio: recounts Muhammed Ali interview about his experience in Russia in 1978. Mandel reads from an interview with Ali about his trip to Russia in which he discusses his impressions of everyday Russians and other Soviets, their freedom to worship, his meeting with Brezhnev, prejudice, comparisons to the U.S. and more. Approximately first 15 minutes of the audio show. Shout out to Our Hidden History on Twitter for bringing this to my attention.


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Church on Spilt Blood, Built at site of reformist Czar Alexandaer II’s 1881 assassination. St. Petersburg, Russia; Photo by Natylie S. Baldwin, 2015

We feel compelled to take as many Americans as possible to Russia in 2021.

WHY? Today most Americans assume that Russia and Putin are our “enemies.” Our U.S. media has increasingly denigrated Russia and demonized Putin for more than a dozen years. This has been patently dangerous. Given the nuclear weapons between us, all media and rumors must be investigated.

TRIP PLANS: We will take 100 Americans to Russia to explore the following: What is Russia’s reality today? What do they think about their leadership? What are Russia’s intentions in the world? What issues are pushing our countries closer to…


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Map of Nagorno-Karabakh

After Azerbaijan forces took Shushi (aka Shusha by Azeris) on Monday — the second largest city in Nagorno-Karabakh — and were said to be close to taking the capital of Stepanakert, the Armenian Prime Minister announced that he had agreed to an armistice. According to Antiwar.com:

[Armenian PM Nikol] Pashiyan said he signed the deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. “I have signed a statement on the termination of the Karabakh war with Russian and Azerbaijani presidents from 01.00 pm,” Pashiyan said on Facebook….

Pashiyan said the statement “is unbelievably painful for me and our…


Classic movie buffs may remember a 1950’s film noir called Sunset Boulevard starring Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond.

Norma is a woman beyond her prime and living in the past. She cannot accept the fact that she is not the beautiful and feted movie star that she was 20+ years before, that no one hangs on her every move anymore, and no more leading roles will be forthcoming — in short, the world has moved on. To push away the pain of this rejection — as well as the courage and effort it would take to rebuild her life on…


Douglas Valentine is an author who specializes in the study of the CIA. His most famous book — the one that started Valentine on his road to focusing on the notorious intelligence agency — is The Phoenix Program. The title is a reference to the CIA’s program to “neutralize” the Viet Cong and its sympathizers throughout the Vietnamese countryside. His new book is called The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World. The following is a 9-minute clip from a longer video interview with Valentine about the history of the CIA and its operations. This clip focuses on the CIA’s 70-year history of secret operations in Ukraine against the Soviet Union and later the Russian Federation.

Note: I plan to post the entire interview at a later time.


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Now available for purchase at Amazon Kindle. The soft cover print edition will be available in the coming weeks. At that time, I will send out another post and an official press release Here is the book description:

Russia is the world’s other nuclear superpower — the only country that has the ability to wipe the United States off the map within 30 minutes.

With Russia and the U.S. currently having 1,700 nuclear weapons pointed at each other on hair trigger alert, our relationship with Russia is one of the most critical, requiring a rational policy.

In order to conduct…

Natylie Baldwin

Author and independent writer/analyst specializing in Russia and U.S.-Russia relations. She blogs at natyliesbaldwin.com.

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