If you’ve been following coverage of the Winter Olympic Games on major international news outlets such as CNN, BBC and ABC, you might think that Kim Jong Un’s sister is kind and charming, that North Korean athletes are happy and liberated, or that Pyongyang is suddenly a peaceful, “normal” government interested in giving up power through diplomacy.
Don’t be fooled. The Olympics has been a PR dream come true for the murderous Kim dictatorship. South Korea’s Moon administration claims to be using the games to foster goodwill, but the reality is that the Hermit Kingdom has taken this opportunity to stage one of history’s great whitewashing operations, where the breathless focus is on the fashion style of the Dear Leader’s sister instead of his forced labor camps and police state.… Seguir leyendo »
For the last few weeks, the Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has been talking a lot about how the Nov. 8 election is rigged against him. In fact, he sounds convinced that the entire campaign season is rigged in favor of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. These are serious charges, or they would be if Mr. Trump had any idea what he was talking about.
Nobody in the American political establishment is happy about Mr. Trump’s wild-eyed accusations of voter fraud and media conspiracies because they understand that it undermines their own credibility as leaders in a democracy. This is exactly why my country’s leader, Vladimir V.… Seguir leyendo »
En las últimas semanas hemos oído al candidato republicano a la presidencia decir en varias ocasiones que las elecciones del 8 de noviembre están amañadas en su contra. De hecho, parece estar convencido de que toda la temporada electoral se manipuló a favor de su oponente demócrata, Hillary Clinton. Estas acusaciones son serias, o mejor dicho, serían serias si Trump tuviera la mínima idea de lo que dice.
No hay un solo miembro de la élite política estadounidense a quien le agraden las excéntricas acusaciones de Trump sobre el fraude electoral y las conspiraciones de los medios, porque saben que afecta su propia credibilidad como líderes en una democracia.… Seguir leyendo »
Politics often makes for strange bedfellows. Far-right parties in the UK and across Europe push for anything that will weaken the European Union – a goal shared by Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. This week, their fellow Brexiteer Boris Johnson went as far as to repeat the Kremlin line that Europe is partly to blame for Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
One does not expect clear policy statements from Trump or Johnson, but Putin’s reasoning is irrefutable. His goal is to weaken the institutions, including Nato and the EU, that could thwart his neo-Soviet ambitions. The Kremlin was in mourning when Scotland narrowly voted to stay in the UK.… Seguir leyendo »
When the Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was assassinated in sight of the Kremlin last Friday night, it shocked even those of us who thought we had lost the ability to be shocked by events in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. When Russian forces moved into Ukraine and Putin annexed Crimea a year ago, it was also a terrible shock to a world that had grown too comfortable with the belief that the days of changing Europe’s borders by force were long over. But we must cease to be surprised by the violence and hatred emanating from Russia today if we are to combat it successfully.… Seguir leyendo »
When Vladimir Putin formally annexed Crimea this week, he acted in defiance of the predictions of many pundits, politicians and so-called experts. Perhaps Putin was not impressed by their sound reasoning and elegant discourse on how his invasion and annexation threatened Russia’s interests. But the main problem with the West’s “Putin would never” arguments is that they assume Putin and his ruling elite care about Russian national interests. They do not, except in the few areas where such interests overlap with their goal of looting as much treasure as possible. It is long past time to stop listening to professors’ lectures about what Putin would never do and high time to respond to what he does — before he does it again.… Seguir leyendo »
Strange things happened in a small courtroom in the Russian city of Kirov last week. Moscow mayoral candidate, and my colleague in the Russian opposition, Alexei Navalny, was convicted July 18 on concocted embezzlement charges in the type of political show trial that Josef Stalin favored long before his spiritual successor President Vladimir Putin embraced them.
Then, the very next morning, the same prosecutor asked for Navalny’s release pending his appeal. It was a move so unexpected that an incredulous Navalny asked the court to make sure the prosecutor had not been swapped for an identical twin overnight.
That something surprising happened in a Russian courtroom is itself surprising.… Seguir leyendo »
In the capitals of European democracies, leaders are hailing a new era of co-operation with Russia. Berlin claims a “special relationship” with Moscow and is moving forward on a series of major energy projects with Russian energy giant Gazprom, one of which is led by the former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi traveled to St Petersburg late last year to join in the celebration of his “great friend” Vladimir Putin’s 59th birthday. And in Paris, negotiations are under way for a major arms sale that would allow Russia to acquire one of the most advanced ships in the French navy.… Seguir leyendo »
En las capitales europeas, diversos dirigentes amantes de la libertad anuncian una nueva era de cooperación con Rusia. En Berlín se jactan de una “relación especial” con Moscú, mientras se progresa sobre gigantescos proyectos energéticos con el monopolio gasista Gazprom. Silvio Berlusconi acaba de regresar de un viaje a San Petersburgo para celebrar el 59º aniversario de su “amigo” Vladímir Putin. Y en París, las negociaciones sobre la venta a Rusia de ultramodernos buques porta-helicópteros de la clase Mistral avanzan rápidamente.
Al mismo tiempo, en Moscú y otras partes de Rusia, los periodistas, militantes demócratas y otros disidentes son reprimidos cada vez con mayor dureza.… Seguir leyendo »