FILE PHOTO. Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow, Russia. © Getty Images / Sefa Karacan

By Natylie Baldwin, RT, 5/29/21

Alexey Navalny, the West’s favorite Russian opposition figure, is loved abroad, but remains a divisive figure within the country. However, that doesn’t mean Russians don’t want change, and there is plenty of local civic activism.

Navalny has risen to prominence internationally over the past six months, widely characterized overseas as a pro-Western liberal democrat who is being persecuted because he represents a popular and genuine threat to President Vladimir Putin’s government. …


Center on National Security, 5/13/21

Vital Interests: Nicolai, thanks for joining us today on the Vital Interests forum. We have had several conversations on this forum dealing with Russia but it would be good to delve into this topic some more. You’re a perfect person to talk to having just come back from Europe where you spent time in Ukraine and Italy and can provide us with fresh insights.

Recently President Putin gave his annual state of the nation address to the Russian Federal Assembly. He talked about the spiritual and moral values which sustain Russia and distinguish it from…


Antiwar.com, 4/14/21

The US has canceled a planned deployment of two US Navy destroyers to the Black Sea, Turkish officials and media reports said on Wednesday.

The US frequently sends warships into the Black Sea, but the planned deployment that Turkey announced last week would have come against the backdrop of heightened tensions in the region between Russia and Ukraine. On Tuesday, Russia warned against the deployment.

According to AFP, Turkish diplomatic sources said a US warship was expected to pass through the Bosphorous Strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, on Wednesday, but the passage did not occur.

Read full article here.


There have been a lot of developments in the past couple of days with respect to the high tensions between Ukraine — with its NATO cheerleaders on one side and Russia on the other. Let’s recap what has happened since February.

First, in February, according to respected analyst Dmitri Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center: “Zelenskiy ordered troops (as part of the rotation process) and heavy weapons (as a show of force) to go near to the conflict zone in Donbas. …


Russia analyst and author Gilbert Doctorow has written a 2-volume memoir that takes the reader on a journey through his years as a Russia specialist. Starting with college and graduate work in Russian history at two Ivy League universities followed by decades of business management and consulting work, Doctorow provides a rare peek into the last days of the Soviet Union and the chaotic transition of the Russian Federation as someone who had a front row seat. In the process, he dispels many of the myths that persist among widely-published journalists and Russia watchers today.

Both volumes are structured in…


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? …


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…


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.

Natylie Baldwin

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

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