Charles M. Madigan

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There was nothing even vaguely resembling the Russian feminist punk rock band at play 31/2 decades ago when Anatoly Sharansky went on trial on a treason charge in Moscow's Proletarsky district. The government accused him of spying for the United States. He faced the death sentence.

It's important to reflect on this moment now as the young women facing a couple of years in jail take on the dusty role of dissidents being punished by a new authority that is as aggressive as the old Soviet one, this one represented by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Except it's not the same, not at all.…  Seguir leyendo »

It began snowing in Moscow that year on Sept. 23 and it did not stop snowing until mid-April. The grayness of the weather matched the grayness of the waning years of Leonid Brezhnev's era as Soviet premier.

Winter moved in and obliterated what was left of fall.

A darkness, all but impenetrable, fell over the city. When you looked out the windows of your apartment, you could see the snow flashing and dancing in the halo of the streetlights, but there was no joy to it.

I was there with my valiant wife and my young family, a total American completely out of place, lost in a hostile world and longing for a connection with anything vaguely spiritual.…  Seguir leyendo »