Mikhail Baryshnikov on "The Orchard" and Putin's war
The dancer-actor who has been largely non-political since his 1974 defection from the Soviet Union says he can no longer stay silent, as he stars in an adaptation of Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard," whose themes of loss and freedom echo with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.cbsnews.com
Mikhail Baryshnikov on criticizing Vladimir Putin: "I will be 75 years old. What have I to lose?"
Preview: In a "CBS Sunday Morning" interview to air June 19, the acclaimed ballet dancer, who has remained largely non-political since his 1974 defection from the Soviet Union, says he can no longer stay silent on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.cbsnews.com
Understanding the Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly made clear that he considers Ukraine’s place to be under Russia’s thumb. That was its position from the days of the Russian Empire under Catherine the Great in the 18th century through the nations’ shared history in the Soviet Union. In recent years, successive Ukrainian governments have forged closer ties with the European Union and NATO, then sidled back toward Russia, and edged away again. With war, Putin means to settle the direction of Ukrainewashingtonpost.com
Russia is being made a pariah state – just like it and the Soviet Union were for most of the last 105 years
Smoke rises on April 15, 2022, above 400 new graves in the town of Severodonetsk, Ukraine. Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesThe U.S. and its European allies recently said they planned to take a new approach in their relations with Russia: They would isolate and contain the country in the aftermath of its invasion of Ukraine. Doing so would keep Russia out of international organizations, restrict imports and exports, and prevent further military moves, ultimately weakening it. Thisnews.yahoo.com
The war in Ukraine underscores a moment of democratic crisis
A new report found that only six of 29 countries spanning from Central Europe to Central Asia managed to maintain a “consolidated” democracy, while most others drifted toward authoritarianism or a bleak “gray zone” where the trappings of democracy truss up illiberal or autocratic political project.washingtonpost.com
How Ukraine War Fuels Japan’s Island Feud With Russia
As it overturned precedent to follow the U.S. and Europe in imposing harsh sanctions to punish Russia for invading Ukraine, Japan said it scrambled fighter jets to intercept a helicopter -- thought to be Russian -- that entered its airspace. That fueled more sniping between Japan and Russia, which have been at odds over four small islands that lie between them since the end of World War II, preventing them from formally ending hostilities. The outbreak of war in Europe has turned rising tensionswashingtonpost.com
Local Ukrainian Americans watch and worry as Russia Threat looms
Tensions continue to mount on the Russia-Ukraine border as an estimated 100,000 Russian troops are being staged for what some believe could be an imminent invasion. Every Ukrainian American has a different story of why mothers, grandmothers, fathers, and grandfathers left a land they loved.
Belarus opposition leader seeks new US, European sanctions
The leader of Belarus’ embattled opposition hopes the United States and Europe will impose new sanctions on money-making government enterprises that will lead to the collapse of President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime and a peaceful transition that pro-democracy supporters are preparing for because “it can happen very fast.”.
Spidernauts and space dogs: What happens to the creatures of spaceflight
Animal spaceflights paved the way for the first human astronauts, and today, creatures big and small continue to space travel, advancing our knowledge of how the zero-gravity environment impacts all beings and aiding research down on Earth.
Russia steps in, trying to aid stalled Afghan peace process
Kabulov was in Pakistan, a key regional player in efforts to find a peaceful end to Afghanistan's protracted war. Few details came out of the meeting except that Afghanistan and getting to a peace deal dominated talks. Zamir Kabulov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for Afghanistan, was in Pakistan on Friday for talks with officials. AdWashington and Kabul have been pressing for a cease-fire while the Taliban say they will negotiate it as part of peace talks with the Afghan government. Few details came out of Kabulov's meetings except a statement saying that Afghanistan and efforts to reach a peace deal dominated the discussions.
Estonia report: Russia bets on COVID-19 weakening the West
“For its part, Russia is prepared to add fuel to the flames to encourage these trends," the report states. The Russian government did not offer an immediate reaction to the intelligence report from Estonia, a former Soviet republic. It also has accused the West of trying to discredit the Russia-produced COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V.Russia is actively promoting Sputnik V in several European nations, including Serbia. Though focusing largely on events in Russia or in neighboring nations such as Belarus and Ukraine, the report also discussed developments in China. AdChina’s “leadership has a clear objective of making the world dependent on Chinese technology,” the document states.
George Shultz wasn't 'afraid to struggle against the odds'
(AP Photo/Barry Thumma, File)WASHINGTON – Time was running out when Secretary of State George P. Shultz returned home in April 1988 after flying 16,000 miles in a failed mission to persuade Arabs and Israelis to negotiate their differences. AdA lifelong Republican, Shultz negotiated the first-ever treaty with the Soviet Union to reduce the size of their ground-based nuclear arsenals. The president would not yield, and Reagan and Shultz returned to the United States disappointed but determined to pursue an accord. Although Shultz objected, Reagan went ahead with the deal and millions of dollars from Iran went to right-wing Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua. But only a few years later, Reagan and Shultz, considered Israel’s best friends, had opened the door to Palestinian legitimacy and possibly a Palestinian state on land held by Israel.
British double agent George Blake dies in Russia at 98
Blake, a former British intelligence officer who worked as a double agent for the Soviet Union, has died in Russia. Russias Foreign Intelligence Service announced his death on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020 without giving any circumstances of his death. (AP Photo/Boris Yurchenko, File)MOSCOW – George Blake, a former British intelligence officer who worked as a double agent for the Soviet Union and passed some of the most coveted Western secrets to Moscow, has died in Russia. Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, known as SVR, announced his death Saturday in a statement, which didn't give any details. In the Soviet Union, Blake maintained contacts with other British double agents.
Chinese capsule returns to Earth carrying moon rocks
A Chinese lunar capsule returned to Earth on Thursday with the first fresh samples of rock and debris from the moon in more than 40 years. “As our nation's mostly complex and technically groundbreaking space mission, Chang'e 5 has achieved multiple technical breakthroughs ... and represents a landmark achievement," it said. Chinese leader Xi Jinping, in a statement read out at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, called it a major achievement that marked a great step forward for China's space industry. The moon has been a particular focus of the Chinese space program, which says it plans to land humans there and possibly construct a permanent base. Amid concerns over the Chinese space program’s secrecy and close military connections, the U.S. forbids cooperation between NASA and the CNSA unless Congress gives its approval.
Germany to give $662 million in aid to Holocaust survivors
Germany has agreed to provide more than a half billion euros to aid Holocaust survivors struggling under the burdens of the coronavirus pandemic, the organization that negotiates compensation with the German government said Wednesday. (AP Photo/CAF pap, file)BERLIN – Germany has agreed to provide more than a half billion euros to aid Holocaust survivors struggling under the burdens of the coronavirus pandemic, the organization that negotiates compensation with the German government said Wednesday. Each of those survivors will receive two payments of 1,200 euros ($1,400) over the next two years, for an overall commitment of approximately 564 million euros ($662 million) to some of the poorest survivors alive today. The funds come on top of an emergency $4.3 million the Claims Conference distributed in the spring to agencies providing care for survivors. In addition to the coronavirus-related funds, Germany agreed in the recently concluded round of annual negotiations to increase funding for social welfare services for survivors by 30.5 million euros ($36 million), to a total of 554.5 million ($651 million) for 2021, the Claims Conference said.
Bocharova, star of 1st Soviet Olympic gymnastics team, dies
LAUSANNE Nina Bocharova, an Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast in the first Soviet Union team sent to a games, has died. The Ukraine-born Bocharova died in Rome on Monday, the International Gymnastics Federation said Thursday. Bocharova was the Soviet all-around national champion in 1949 and 51 then part of a dominant team at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, the governing body said. She won gold medals in the team event and individual balance beam, plus silvers in the all-around behind teammate Maria Gorokhovskaya and team event for portable apparatus. With womens artistic gymnastics still in its infancy, Bocharova exuded strength and grace, the FIG added.
Putin uses World War II parade to boost support before vote
FILE - In this Tuesday, May 7, 2019 file photo, Russian military vehicles roll down Red Square Red Square during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia. The Victory Day parade normally is held on May 9, the nation's most important secular holiday. While the parade is politically important for the Kremlin, Putin's persistence in holding it despite the risks of contagion also reflects his strong personal preoccupation with World War II. World War II began when Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, a week after the pact was signed. On Sept. 17, the Soviet Red Army rolled into Poland from the east.
Putin meets with World War II veterans, visits church
(Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)MOSCOW Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday marked the date of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union by meeting with veterans and visiting a new military church. Putin laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin wall and greeted World War II veterans. He also visited the newly built main cathedral of the Russian military on Moscow's western outskirts. Victory Day, marking the Nazi defeat in World War II, is Russia's most important secular holiday, celebrated on May 9. This year, the Red Square military parade marking it was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic and will be held Wednesday.
Poland says Putin falsifies history to weaken Western allies
Zaryn accused Putin of pushing a false narrative about history in order to undermine the West and weaken the bonds among allies. The Soviet Union signed a nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany shortly before the war began in 1939, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Two years later, Germany turned on Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union, bringing the Soviets into the war on the side of the Allies. In his article, Putin reiterated his contention that the Soviet Union was forced into signing the non-aggression agreement with Germany after Western powers cold-shouldered creating a military alliance. The Soviet Union did its utmost to use every chance of creating an anti-Hitler coalition.