Showing Archived Posts

From Chernobyl to Fukushima: Nuclear Safety?

Posted March 31st, 2011 at 6:32 pm (UTC+0)

Soldiers long ago shot the dogs and cats. Today, the only sound on Lenin Avenue is a chill wind blowing dead leaves. In the summer, thick vegetation obscures six-story apartment blocks, once homes for the city’s 50,000 residents. Once a model Soviet community built for Chernobyl’s nuclear power station, Pripyat now looks like a post […]

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Libya abstention – Kremlin’s post imperial foreign policy?

Posted March 23rd, 2011 at 5:56 pm (UTC+0)

The Soviet Union vetoed. Russia abstains. Is Russia’s U.N. vote on Libya part of a wider, post-Imperial foreign policy in the Kremlin? That is the question Moscow is debating as Russians watch from the sidelines as needle-nosed Western jets bomb military targets in Libya, once a Soviet ally. Diplomats schooled in Soviet ways would have […]

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Saint Patrick: Subversive to Moscow?

Posted March 15th, 2011 at 4:31 pm (UTC+0)

For the first time in almost two decades, Moscow authorities will not allow a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Every year, since 1992, the Irish community has led a street parade through the center of Moscow. Increasingly popular with Muscovites, the parade draws thousands of Russian revelers, many with their hair dyed green. But this year, […]

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Golden Chains Bind Chechnya to Moscow

Posted March 11th, 2011 at 3:55 pm (UTC+0)

Grozny’s new mosque, The Heart of Chechnya, is modeled after the Blue Mosque of Istanbul and has minarets soaring 60 meters into the sky. Behind construction workers are building three office and apartment towers, the tallest towers in the Caucasus. On a field outside of this city of 350,000, finishing touches are being put on […]

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Gorbachev to Kremlin: Tear down these walls!

Posted March 2nd, 2011 at 9:34 pm (UTC+0)

Mikhail Gorbachev turned 80 on Wednesday. In advance, Russia’s political bear gave himself a birthday present: he came out of political hibernation. After two decades of lying low and not tangling with the current occupants of the Kremlin, the last leader of the Soviet Union finally opened up. “Incredible conceit!” Gorbachev, still barrel chested and […]

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Will Islamic Fundamentalists Threaten Russia’s Winter Olympics?

Posted February 22nd, 2011 at 10:39 pm (UTC+0)

One thousand days from now, television cameras from around the world will focus on Krasnaya Polana, Russia’s new ski resort complex on the western end of the Caucasus Mountains. The ski and snowboard events of the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held on slopes now under construction. Last weekend, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President […]

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Can the Arab revolt spread to Russia and the former Soviet Union?

Posted February 17th, 2011 at 8:13 pm (UTC+0)

I had dinner the other night with Alexei Navalny, Russia’s sandy-haired, impassioned, anti- corruption activist. At 34 years of age, Alexei is using his internet campaign to build a place for himself in Russia’s political future But over dinner, at Moscow’s trendy Red October arts complex, every third sentence of Alexei’s discourse was punctuated by […]

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Kremlin Fear of WikiLeaks lead to deportation of British reporter?

Posted February 9th, 2011 at 7:53 pm (UTC+0)

Marching on an embankment between the ice-bound Moscow River and the snow-bound British Embassy, a pro-Kremlin youth group demonstrated last month for the freedom of Julian Assange, the mastermind behind WikiLeaks. The march featured a top hatted Uncle Sam leading a submissive John Bull on a leash. In bold white letters, a red banner demanded […]

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Islamic Prohibition: Russia’s Dry Corner

Posted February 2nd, 2011 at 9:24 pm (UTC+0)

It was Friday night at the Assa. That’s the top hotel in Ingushetia, a republic in Russia’s heavily Islamic Caucasus region. There were two tables of visiting journalists. And in one corner, at a third table: six ethnic Russian men, eating dinner and quietly nursing their vodkas. Something did not add up. Russian men, Friday […]

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Moscow Airport Bombing Targets Foreigners

Posted January 31st, 2011 at 5:25 pm (UTC+0)
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I traveled through a Moscow airport this weekend. Security checks were tight, but the passenger flow was normal. Indeed, on the evening of last week’s suicide bombing at Moscow’s Domodedevo Airport, passenger jets continued landing and taking off. At the main entrance, ambulances continued ferrying away the 35 dead and 168 wounded. The bomb blasted […]

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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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