James Brooke
James Brooke is the Russia/CIS bureau chief for Voice of America. A lifelong journalist, he covered West Africa, Brazil, the American Rocky Mountain States, Canada, and Japan/Korea for The New York Times. A resident of Moscow since 2006, he was first Bloomberg bureau chief for the region. In 2010, he joined VOA. In addition to writing Russia Watch, his weekly blog, he also does video, radio and web reports from Russia and the former USSR.

All posts by James Brooke

Message from Sakharov Avenue: Russia’s Emperor Has No Clothes

Posted December 26th, 2011 at 5:23 pm (UTC+0)

For the crowd on Sakharov Avenue, Vladimir Putin has passed his “Emperor Has No Clothes” moment. So, faced with naked power, they offered him condoms. Condoms inflated like balloons. A condom wrapped around his head like a grandmother’s shawl. A condom shaped like a rocket ship carrying a Putin image to outer space. A Putin-condom […]

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Russia Moves into Arctic Oil Frontier With A Lax Safety Culture?

Posted December 22nd, 2011 at 7:00 am (UTC+0)

Westerners wonder why images of Stalin ominously pop up at Russian protest rallies. Like most people, Russians cherry pick from their history. Almost 60 years after Stalin’s death, what appeals to some Russians is not Stalin, the mass murderer, but Stalin, the manager who had incompetents shot. After six months that brought us the sinking […]

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Dmitry Rogozin: Russian Nationalist? Or Secret Advocate for American Taxpayers?

Posted December 18th, 2011 at 7:40 pm (UTC+0)

Is Dmitry Rogozin a secret agent of a clandestine Tea Party/Occupy Wall Street alliance, infiltrated into the halls of NATO? Mr. Rogozin is Russia’s Ambassador to NATO. By day, he is known as a vocal, articulate advocate of Russian national interests. But, by night, is he a secret advocate of the interests of American taxpayers? […]

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Russia’s Protesters for Reform: 21st Century Dekabristi?

Posted December 14th, 2011 at 7:52 pm (UTC+0)

At Centrale, an Italian thin crust pizza restaurant, a European soccer match was on the big screen, American pop music wafted out of the sound system and Olga was nibbling on her Norwegian salmon carpaccio. I asked her how many foreign countries she had visited. “Italy, Switzerland, France, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Spain – four times, […]

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Russia’s Great December Evolution Moves Faster Than The Kremlin?

Posted December 12th, 2011 at 5:27 am (UTC+0)

They call it Russia’s Great December Evolution — a peaceful counterpoint to the Great October Revolution of 1917. Civility, friendliness and unity in disgust with Russia leadership were the hallmarks of Moscow’s mass meeting to protest what was called blatant election fraud. Nationalists with Czarist flags marched next to Communists, next to aging dissidents — […]

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Russia: TV Generation Cracks Down on Internet Generation

Posted December 6th, 2011 at 7:14 pm (UTC+0)

  After the protest, Irina, age 21, Google-chatted me at 1 am from her apartment: “For the first time in my life I felt like I have many pals in this city.” She had just joined the largest demonstration seen in Moscow in years — 6,000 Muscovites charging that blatant and massive electoral fraud took […]

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Syria: Russia Clings to Legacy of Soviet Ties in Arab World

Posted November 29th, 2011 at 7:30 pm (UTC+0)

As Russia’s lone aircraft carrier prepares to steam from the Arctic to a Russian-operated naval base in Syria, Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, is on the attack, warning against outside military intervention in Syria’s slow motion civil war. “It’s not so much the authorities, but armed groups that are provoking the unrest,” Lavrov told reporters […]

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Russia: Ground Shifting Under Putin’s Feet?

Posted November 18th, 2011 at 7:09 am (UTC+0)

The other evening, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sketched out his vision of Putin 2.0. Speaking to the Valdai Club, an annual gathering of foreign and Russian academics and journalists, he offered a gradualist, evolutionary path for ruling Russia through what will be his 60s. Like many men of his age, Mr. Putin dwelled on […]

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Russia’s Red and Blacks: A Tale of Two Generations

Posted November 10th, 2011 at 6:41 pm (UTC+0)

This is a tale of Moscow’s two demonstrations — first the Nationalists, then the Communists , It is not just a tale of the Blacks and the Reds, but a tale of two generations. “Russkii Sport” chanted one flying squad of nationalists. And, on signal, they threw themselves horizontal on the cold, gray asphalt, pumping […]

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Russian Nationalists Aim Double Standard Critique at Muslim South

Posted November 7th, 2011 at 7:08 pm (UTC+0)

Nicole, a Moscow State Linguistics University journalism student, showed up for dinner Sunday night, a bundle of energy, ready to interview me for her thesis. I was more interested in what she had to say, so I asked if anyone had approached her on the 10 minute walk from Kievskaya metro station to the Georgian […]

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James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR. With The New York Times, he worked as a foreign correspondent in Africa, Latin America, Canada and Japan/Koreas. He studied Russian in college during the Brezhnev years, first visited Moscow as a reporter during the final months of Gorbachev, and then came back for reporting forays during the Yeltsin and early Putin years. In 2006, he moved to Moscow to report for Bloomberg. He joined VOA in Moscow in 2010. Follow Jim on Twitter @VOA_Moscow.



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