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“The Death of Stalin” Captures the Terrifying Absurdity of a Tyrant

Masha Gessen The New Yorker
In January Russia banned “The Death of Stalin". This may have been the first time in post-Soviet history a movie that had already been granted permission to screen was pulled from theatres by order of the government. What made the film so dangerous?

Don't Trust Putin's Kleptocrats -- Russia Needs Socialism

John Foster Morning Star
Veteran Russian communist Dr. Slava Tetekin noted that Putin has been in power now for 18 years -- longer than Brezhnev had been. During that time he has presided over rising inequality and the destruction of Russia's industrial economy. This makes it all the more important to redevelop working-class mobilisation and to ensure that the current reawakening of enthusiasm for the October Revolution is converted into a wider political movement for socialism.

Urgent to Progressives: Stop Fueling the Anti-Russia Frenzy

Norman Solomon Common Dreams
Progressives who treat anti-Russia propaganda spin as fact, in order to weaken Trump, are encouraging a kind of McCarthyism. Of all the good reasons to “delegitimate” Trump, alleged Kremlin intervention in the election should rank low. Focus should instead be on his greed, pathological lying, enthusiasm for oligarchy, bigotry, environmental destruction, racism, misogyny, economic injustice, voter suppression and rampant conflicts of interest.

Why Obama and Putin are Both Wrong on Syria

Juan Cole Informed Comment
So Obama wants al-Assad to stand down as a prerequisite for effective US action against Daesh in Syria (a few air sorties and even fewer air strikes are ineffectual). Putin thinks al-Assad is key to defeating Daesh and that everyone should ally with Damascus. Putin is blind to the ways that al-Assad and his military brutality is prolonging the civil war. Backing his genocidal policies will just perpetuate that war.

Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault; The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin

John J. Mearsheimer Foreign Affairs
The crisis shows that realpolitik remains relevant -- and states that ignore it do so at their own peril. U.S. and European leaders blundered in attempting to turn Ukraine into a Western stronghold on Russia’s border. Now that the consequences have been laid bare, it would be an even greater mistake to continue this misbegotten policy.

Events in Ukraine

I think we now have seen the descent of a new Cold War divide – this time not in Berlin but on Russia’s borders. Can it end there? I mean it’s already fateful – can it not get worse? I think it depends on whether the West now rises to leadership and gives Putin the guarantees he needs to back off. Now, in America there’s a different view – that he has to back off first. But that’s where we stand. -- Steven Cohen

Boycott Sochi?

Dave Zirin Grantland
Whether or not there is a boycott, connecting Putin's systematic attacks on LGBT people to the Sochi Olympics is a stroke of political genius

Russia’s Anti-Gay Crackdown

Harvey Fierstein New York Times
"... the rest of the world remains almost completely ignorant of Mr. Putin’s agenda."
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