Anastasia Edel

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La víctima cultural de la guerra de Putin en Ucrania

La guerra en Ucrania es una catástrofe interminable. Las fuerzas rusas, concentradas en el este, siguen infligiendo un daño terrible en los soldados y civiles ucranianos. Una infinidad de vidas han sido perdidas y trastornadas. Una vez más, el mundo debe afrontar la posibilidad de una guerra nuclear y lidiar con unas crisis de refugiados y del costo del nivel de vida que están empeorando. Este no es el “fin de la historia” que habíamos esperado.

Se está dando otra transformación, aunque menos violenta: luego de tres décadas de intercambio, interacción e involucramiento, la puerta entre Rusia y Estados Unidos se está cerrando.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Door Between Russia and America Is Slamming Shut

The war in Ukraine is a never-ending catastrophe. Russian forces, concentrated in the east, continue to inflict terrible damage on Ukrainian soldiers and civilians alike. Countless lives have been lost and upended. Once again, the world must confront the possibility of nuclear war and grapple with a compounding refugee and cost of living crisis. This isn’t the “end of history” that we hoped for.

Less violently, another transformation is taking place: After three decades of exchange, interaction and engagement, the door between Russia and America is slamming shut. Practically every day another American company — including the most symbolic of them all, McDonald’s, whose golden arches heralded a new era 30 years ago — pulls out of Russia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Soy rusa y mi familia es ucraniana. La guerra sería una tragedia

A una persona de etnia rusa que se hizo adulta durante el ocaso de la Unión Soviética, nada le parece más absurdo que la idea de una guerra entre Rusia y Ucrania.

En parte, es algo personal. En el sur de Rusia, donde crecí, la mitad de la gente que conocía tenía apellidos ucranianos. El sobrenombre de la menor de mis primos era “gallinita”, porque “Piven” significa “gallo” en ucraniano (la familia de su padre era del norte de Ucrania). Cuando nos zambullíamos en el cálido mar Negro a buscar paguros, o jugábamos a cosacos y bandidos, nunca pensaba en mis primos, a los que llamaba “hermano” y “hermana”, como ucranianos.…  Seguir leyendo »

I’m Russian. My Family Is Ukrainian. What Happens to Us if There Is War?

To an ethnic Russian who came of age in the twilight of the Soviet Union, nothing feels more absurd than the idea of war between Russia and Ukraine.

Partly, that’s personal. In the south of Russia, where I grew up, half of the people I knew had Ukrainian last names. My younger cousin’s nickname was “little hen,” because “Piven” meant “rooster” in Ukrainian. (Her father’s family hailed from northern Ukraine.) As we dove for hermit crabs in the warm Black Sea or played Cossacks and bandits, I never thought of my cousins, whom I called “brother” and “sister,” as Ukrainian. They were my family.…  Seguir leyendo »

Alexei Druzhinin/TASS via Getty Images. President Putin presenting his identification document to validate his vote in Russia’s constitutional amendment referendum that would permit him to remain president until 2036, Moscow, July 1, 2020

On July 1, after “recovering,” by decree, from the coronavirus pandemic, Russia held a vote on a package of constitutional amendments. Introduced by Vladimir Putin back in January and expanded by the State Duma over the following months, the 206 changes are touted as protecting Russia’s sovereignty, defending Russian history, and boosting Russians’ economic well-being. The amendments also nullify the previous presidential terms of Vladimir Putin, allowing him to run again for the presidency when his current, fourth term expires—in effect, extending his twenty-year grip on power indefinitely. “Russia’s strength,” explained the chairman of the Duma when talking about amendments, “is not oil and gas, but Vladimir Putin.”…  Seguir leyendo »

Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images. People lining up to shop at a supermarket during quarantine in Milan, Italy, March 11, 2020

This running series of brief dispatches by New York Review writers will document the coronavirus outbreak with regular updates from around the world.

—The Editors

MILAN, ITALY—March 8. We started with the best intentions. We had gotten over the irritation of seeing all the things that enrich life in Milan closed down. The restaurants, concert halls, theaters, cafés. My gym. Her yoga. We rather appreciated a new feeling of community on the streets, here on the edge of town. A new awareness, in particular among the various ethnic groups. It boded well. We knew that the special problem with this illness is that some 5 to 10 percent of those with symptoms will need an extended stay in intensive care, and that places are scarce.…  Seguir leyendo »

¡Abajo el Zar Putin!

Las protestas que se propagaron en toda Rusia antes de la cuarta toma de posesión de Vladimir Putin como presidente se desarrollaron según un guion ya conocido. La policía declaró que dichas aglomeraciones eran ilegales, y los medios de comunicación minimizaron el tamaño de las mismas. Alexey Navalny, el principal organizador y líder de facto de la oposición en Rusia, fue arrestado de manera dramática, ya que la policía lo sacó a rastras de una manifestación en Moscú. El día 15 de mayo, Navalny fue sentenciado a 30 días de prisión. Más de 1.600 manifestantes en todo el país fueron golpeados y detenidos.…  Seguir leyendo »

A picture taken on July 5, 2017 shows a souvenir kiosk offering among others a drawing depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin holding a baby with the face of US President Donald Trump, based upon a propaganda poster showing late soviet leader Joseph Stalin holding a baby, in Moscow. It was a constant refrain on the campaign trail for Donald Trump in his quest for the US presidency: "We're going to have a great relationship with Putin and Russia." Now, weighed down by claims that Moscow helped put him in the White House, Trump is set to finally meet his Russian counterpart in an encounter fraught with potential danger for the struggling American leader. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

To be a first-generation Russian-American in the age of Donald Trump is a somewhat nutty experience. As “Russians,” the identity into which we were born, we are now associated less with Dostoevsky and Pasternak, and more with election interference, troll farms, and other subversions of democracy. Yet as “Americans,” our hard-earned new identity, we are the citizens of the very democracy that the “Russians” are believed to have sabotaged. The set-up seems almost purposefully literary. In the age of Trump, we are America’s Trojan horse, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Raskolnikov and Svidrigailov in one person. If the Russians didn’t exist, it would have been a good idea to invent us.…  Seguir leyendo »

Anton Vaganov/Reuters. Fireworks exploding over the Aurora cruiser, which fired the first shot of the Russian Revolution, during celebrations for the Revolution’s centenary, St. Petersburg, Russia, November 4, 2017

Imagine France canceling Bastille Day. Or America demoting the Fourth of July and celebrating British monarchs instead. That sounds fantastical, even in our “post-truth” West. Yet in Russia, this is how Vladimir Putin is trying to refashion the country’s history. The leader who once lamented the dissolution of the Soviet Union as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century” deems the October Revolution itself, the USSR’s foundational event, no cause for celebration. Today, November 7, the official birthday of the USSR, is no longer part of Russia’s holiday canon.

National holidays tell a story of a nation. Every Soviet person born before 1985—more than half of Russia’s population of 144 million people—knew that on November 7 (in the old, Julian calendar, October 25) an armed insurrection led by Lenin’s Bolshevik Party overthrew the “bourgeois” Provisional Government and transferred power to the Soviets in the name of the people.…  Seguir leyendo »

I am a grandchild of the revolution. My grandfather, Anatoly Alexandrov, was a Communist who spent his life building the Soviet Union. He traveled a path from working as an unskilled laborer at a locomotive assembly plant in Rostov-on-Don, a large industrial city in southern Russia, to becoming the head of military transportations for the strategic North Caucasian Railroad.

When war with Germany came, he found himself responsible for the evacuation of plants and factories from the rapidly collapsing front lines. Saving Soviet industrial capacity turned out to be one of the few success stories in the otherwise disastrous first months of the war.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demonstrating this month in Moscow against the city’s plan to knock down Soviet-era apartment blocks and redevelop the neighborhoods. Credit Alexander Nemenov/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

On May 14, thousands of residents of Moscow went into the streets to protest a project that entails the demolition of as many as 8,000 Soviet-era apartment buildings, now privately owned, to make space for an upscale residential development. The rally took place on Sakharov Prospect, named after the Soviet dissident and scientist Andrei Sakharov.

Moscow’s mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, did not attend. Mr. Sobyanin, a former chief of staff for President Vladimir V. Putin, is the author of draft legislation behind the scheme, which would uproot 1.6 million Muscovites, could increase the density of redeveloped areas by as much as threefold, and would cost an estimated $61 billion.…  Seguir leyendo »