Dispatches from Russia

Some little while ago, I found myself sitting in the grounds of the Danilov Monastery in Moscow, delighting in the spring flowers and being treated to a prodigious display of bell-ringing. I reflected at the time that the Russians have few peers among other nations in their great love for church . . . . Continue Reading »

The Party Theorist

Russia has annexed part of Crimea, has usurped America’s role as arbiter of winners and losers in the Middle East, and makes trouble in Ukraine. Putin is increasingly popular as the patron of anti-E.U. populism in Europe, and Moscow tried to influence the recent American presidential election. . . . . Continue Reading »

Materialist Delusions

The drama of human history cannot be reduced to considerations of material wealth. The threats—or opportunities—posed by Putin’s Russia are a function of the countless free decisions made by leaders there and elsewhere, and those of their followers. Continue Reading »

The Realism We Need

What Hitchens fails to spot is that the Soviet Union was not just about Communism, or about Russia. It was an empire. One hundred twenty million-plus of the Soviet Union’s two hundred eighty-six-million population were non-Russians. Almost none of them were Soviet by choice, any more than the one hundred million people in the other Warsaw Pact countries wanted to be under Soviet tutelage. To view the collapse of the evil empire solely from a Russian point of view is therefore misleading. Continue Reading »

The Cold War Is Over

The misreading of Russia’s geopolitical situation is especially sad because for the first time in many decades there is much to hope for in Moscow. Out of utopian misery has come the prospect of rebirth. It is as yet incipient. But I see great possibilities in it, in the many once-blighted . . . . Continue Reading »