Showing Archived Posts

Putincare: Russia’s Alternative to Obamacare

Posted October 31st, 2013 at 1:11 pm (UTC+0)
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With Obamacare dividing America, I thought it my patriotic duty to do a firsthand, between the hospital sheets, investigation of Putincare. So, here is my report, straight from frayed bed linens stamped Mинистерство Zдравоохранения – Health Ministry. My weekend at the Cancer Ward did not have the drama of Solzhenitsyn’s 1967 novel. But it had […]

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Kremlin to US Government Workers: We Welcome Your Secrets

Posted October 14th, 2013 at 7:47 pm (UTC+0)
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In the Cold War days, Soviet spies in the United States faced tough tasks – identifying high value targets, and then persuading them to hand over America’s secrets. Today’s Kremlin has entered the modern age: Advertise! Russia’s English-language international media is giving glowing coverage to four U.S. government whistleblowers who came to Moscow to give […]

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Greenpeace Pirates? Russia Loses Another International PR War

Posted October 9th, 2013 at 5:05 am (UTC+0)
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After Pussy Riot and “Gay propaganda,” the Kremlin now marches resolutely towards another international public relations defeat — this time with Greenpeace. To the Kremlin, Greenpeace activists are not trespassers, they are pirates. Piracy charges have been filed against everyone who was on the Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise, on Sept. 18. On that day […]

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Russia’s Potemkin Arctic Conference?

Posted September 26th, 2013 at 7:17 pm (UTC+0)
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There were two hours to go Wednesday afternoon at the international conference “The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue” when the organizers, The Russian Geographical Society, announced that all foreign correspondents had to get out of the Russian Arctic by sundown. With the internet shutting down and four buses lined up to ferry all foreign journalists […]

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Russia’s Future in Central Asia: Mall Cop in A Chinese Shopping Center?

Posted September 23rd, 2013 at 6:37 pm (UTC+0)
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Looking back 10 years from now, the most important news of Sept. 2013 may not be Moscow and Washington jousting over Syria’s civil war. It may well be China quietly locking down massive quantities of Central Asian oil and gas. While the world worried about Syria, China’s President Xi Jinping deftly moved through Russia’s old […]

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With Syria, Can Russia’s President Move from Vlad the Impaler to Putin the Peacemaker?

Posted September 17th, 2013 at 8:25 pm (UTC+0)
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Vladimir Putin seems to enjoy being demonized by the West. In recent months, he has earned his share: bullying gay people, cracking down on democrats, throwing girl rockers in jail, and emerging as number one friend to Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. In Syria, Putin just performed the old Soviet trick — helping to create a […]

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Russia is Best Positioned to Control Syria’s Chemical Frankenstein

Posted September 9th, 2013 at 10:16 am (UTC+0)
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Western experts are right to be wary of Moscow’s sudden offer to bring Syria’s chemical warfare program under international controls, leading to its destruction. Throughout Syria’s civil war, Moscow kept its head in the sand on the issue. On Monday, just as Russia’s offer was taking embryonic shape in Moscow, National Security Adviser Susan Rice […]

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Kremlin Forgets: One Century Ago Russian Soldiers Were Top Victims of Poison Gas

Posted August 31st, 2013 at 10:02 pm (UTC+0)
6 comments

Russian politicians and analysts worked overtime this week trying to create a cloud of doubt around the Aug. 21 chemical attack in Damascus. On Friday, the White House report drew on extensive intelligence information to present this picture: Syrian forces carried out chemical weapons attacks on sleeping Damascus suburbs, killing 1,429 civilians, including 426 children. […]

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Snowden’s Kremlin Connection

Posted August 26th, 2013 at 7:23 pm (UTC+0)
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Friday, June 21, was the hottest day of the year in Hong Kong – a sweltering 34 degrees. But it was also a hot day for Edward Snowden, the leaker of American secrets hiding out in China’s Special Administrative Region. In Washington on that day, U.S. federal prosecutors made public allegations of unauthorized communication of […]

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Georgia and Russia: Rekindling an Old Love Affair?

Posted August 15th, 2013 at 4:56 pm (UTC+0)
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When I first visited Georgia, on a reporting trip, in September 1991, I arrived in Tbilisi armed with four years of college Russian — and gung ho to use it! To my dismay, the independence-minded residents of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic had spray painted out all public signs in Russian and were jamming all […]

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About

About

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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