Alexey Kovalev

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A portrait of Darya Dugina is displayed near her coffin at a ceremony at the Ostankino television complex in Moscow on Aug. 23. KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images

I used to hang out with a few acolytes of Russian political philosopher Aleksandr Dugin in Moscow in the early 2000s, long before he gained notoriety as a far-right, nationalist ideologue. They and I went to the same concerts and shared a preference for esoteric British underground bands, such as Coil, Current 93, and Death in June. Back then, these young Dugin followers struck me as harmless dorks more committed to psychedelic drugs than building a neofascist Russian empire from the Atlantic Ocean to the Far East, as their ideology—called Eurasianism—envisions. Their 1930s-style Blackshirt outfits were cringeworthy but not too alarming; actual Nazi skinheads roaming Moscow’s streets were a much more evident threat to me and my friends.…  Seguir leyendo »

En Moscú, la mascarilla de un manifestante dice “basta”. Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

Conmoción y vergüenza.

Eso sienten muchos rusos al ver los misiles y proyectiles de artillería que impactan contra edificios civiles ucranianos que en su homogeneidad de concreto podrían fácilmente estar en Moscú. Las ciudades por las que pasan los vehículos blindados rusos, captadas en videos temblorosos y acompañadas de gritos de horror, podrían ser Vorónezh o Krasnodar o cualquier ciudad rusa. La invasión de Ucrania es una auténtica pesadilla, horrible y absurda.

Y se está haciendo en nuestro nombre. El 24 de febrero, cuando el presidente Vladimir Putin anunció la invasión, fue el día en que Rusia se convirtió en una nación marginada y despreciada, no solo se nos aisló en lo económico sino que el resto del mundo actuó para excluirnos —de los deportes, la ciencia y de casi todo tipo de cooperación internacional.…  Seguir leyendo »

In Moscow, a protester’s mask says “enough.” Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

Shock and shame.

That’s the response of many Russians to the sight of rockets and artillery shells hitting Ukrainian tower blocks that in their concrete uniformity could easily be in Moscow. The towns through which Russian armored vehicles are rolling, captured in shaky videos and accompanied by howls of horror, could be Voronezh or Krasnodar or any Russian city. The invasion of Ukraine is a waking nightmare, horrible and absurd.

And it’s being done in our name. Feb. 24, when President Vladimir Putin announced the invasion, is the day Russia became an outcast, despised nation, not just economically isolated but actively shunned by the rest of the world — in sports, science and most other kinds of international cooperation.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Pandemic Is Beating Putin

A deadly virus can’t be ignored, jailed, exiled or co-opted — nor can it be locked down without great economic cost. That puts President Vladimir Putin of Russia in a bind. The pandemic, perhaps his hardiest foe to date, has starkly revealed the limits of his power.

The past several weeks have been especially painful. Daily infections in the country have hovered around 35,000 — while the official figures, probably undercounted, record over a thousand deaths each day. (And that’s before the Omicron variant, newly found in Russia, circulates widely.) The misery is largely due to the low vaccination rate in the country: After a nearly yearlong campaign, only 41 percent of the country’s people are fully vaccinated, a lower number than in Laos or Cape Verde.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters on Saturday in Moscow with banners reading “Freedom to Alexsei Navalny! Freedom to Russia!” in support of the jailed opposition leader. After years of relative calm, the country is restive. Credit Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

It’s hard to pin down the exact moment when it became clear the protests on Saturday in Russia — where tens of thousands of people, stretching across the country, called for the release of the jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny — were something special.

It definitely wasn’t the violence doled out to protesters and even bystanders — like a woman in St. Petersburg being casually kicked in the gut by a police officer in riot gear — or the deliberate targeting of reporters. Such occurrences are sadly commonplace. It wasn’t even the people coming out to protest in the unlikeliest corners of Russia, like Yakutsk, where the temperatures dipped to minus-60 Fahrenheit.…  Seguir leyendo »

A banner read "World Torture Championship?" at a protest in in Moscow in advance of the World Cup. Credit Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Have you enjoyed the first week of the 2018 World Cup? Good. Some of the games have certainly been very exciting!

Now read the words of Dmitry Pchelintsev as they appeared in MediaZona, a small independent online publication focused on police brutality and the prison system in Russia: “The man in surgical gloves cranked the DC generator with wires attached to my toes. The calves of my legs started contracting violently, I was paralyzed with pain. They threw me on the floor, pulled my underpants down and tried to attach the wires to my genitals. I clenched my teeth so hard that my mouth was full of blood and shards of broken teeth.”…  Seguir leyendo »