The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
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 Entire ArchiveVladimir Putin Items

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For the (Western) news cycle, what stood out from United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Russia this week was an "appeal for cooperation" and a "challenge" for Russia to open up its political system, embrace "diversity" and shelve Cold War thinking. Who's fooling whom? One might be forgiven to picture a torrent... Read More
The vilifying charges levelled at Russia's president by the American media could undermine rational U.S. policy-making.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared at Reuters. American media coverage of Vladimir Putin, who today began his third term as Russia’s president and 13th year as its leader, has so demonized him that the result may be to endanger U.S. national security. For nearly 10 years, mainstream press reporting, editorials and op-ed articles have... Read More
Make a plan; then make another plan. Both won't work. - Bertolt Brecht This is getting ridiculous. The President of the United States (POTUS) screamed and shouted because he wanted his spy (Edward Snowden) back. Snowden, following Russian laws, was granted temporary asylum. The White House was "disappointed". Then POTUS snubbed the bilateral summit with... Read More
Stephen F. Cohen went on CNN to talk about the opportunity Putin is giving the USA.
Nation writer Stephen F. Cohen went on CNN Saturday to discuss how Russian President Vladimir V. Putin "has given President Obama the chance to be an international statesman." He said Obama should so-operate with the Russians on disarming Syrian chemical weapons, and that Russian and US national interests in the Middle East are aligned. He... Read More
Putin-bashing on the left and the right must stop in the interest of US national security.
Instead of embracing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to save Washington from another disastrous war—his plan would put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control and destroy them—influential segments of the American political-media establishment are bent on discrediting him and thus in effect the alternative to war he represents. Still worse, purportedly liberal and progressive voices... Read More
In my previous post, I speculated that the US and EU orchestrated the climax of the Ukraine crisis to occur while Vlad was preoccupied with presiding over his beloved Olympics, and unwilling or unable to destroy the soft power vibe by intervening forcefully in the Ukraine, or even giving the matter his more complete attention.... Read More
Russian ex-oil tycoon, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was incarcerated in Russia for a decade before he was amnestied by Vladimir Putin in December, was in Kiev's Maidan Square recently, giving aid and comfort to the new government with two rather dubious pronouncements. First, he backed the Kiev government's version of snipergate--that Russia was behind it. Second,... Read More
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The Crimean Gambit
Nobody expected events to move on with such a breath-taking speed. The Russians took their time; they sat on the fence and watched while the Brown storm-troopers conquered Kiev, and they watched while Mrs Victoria Nuland of the State Department and her pal Yatsenyuk (“Yats”) slapped each other’s backs and congratulated themselves on their quick... Read More
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The Golden Age of Newspeak
Harvard Professor Stephen Walt has described the current contretemps over Ukraine as “geostrategic incompetence of the highest order” on the part of the White House. Seconding that I would add that the central problem with the Obama foreign policy, guided as it is by a bundle of poorly defined principles, is that it has no... Read More
A situation that would draw Russia and NATO into a hot conflict.
Is Putin withdrawing troops from the border with Ukraine for fear of sanctions, or civil war? Stephen Cohen thinks it’s the latter, and that Putin “is convinced that we are a couple spits from civil war in Ukraine,” which could draw in NATO and Russia. Cohen joined Angela Stent of Georgetown University on PBS NewsHour... Read More
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Time to Get Over It
Russian President Putin’s claim that, “Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia,” is an uncomfortable assertion (for some), but as pundit Eric Margolis points out, “President Putin keeps bringing up history to justify his assertive policies towards Ukraine and Crimea. This annoys Americans, who know little about history and refuse to accept Russia... Read More
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Once an Enemy Always an Enemy
Does it not seem strange that, with the Cold War long over, the Paramount Enemies of the United States remain Russia and China? That is not a bad question to ponder during Vladimir Putin’s visit with Xi Jinping in Beijing. And there is no doubt that Russia and China hold this pariah status in the... Read More
The bloody farce in the Ukraine took another ugly turn with the shootdown of MH 17. And to be ugly about it, if the rebels shot the plane down, it shouldn’t matter very much except as a horrible and unexpected catastrophe in a war zone and an overwhelming tragedy to the survivors of the victims... Read More
The only thing Poroshenko has going for him is that Putin wants him to stay in power.
In the next few days, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will meet with European leaders Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and François Hollande. Stephen Cohen goes on The John Batchelor Show to discuss what will occur at that meeting and what’s next for Ukraine, now that Poroshenko’s position has drastically weakened and Putin holds all the cards.... Read More
These are bleak times. I’ve been in serious conversation with some deep sources and interlocutors – those who know but don’t need to show off, privileging discretion. They are all deeply worried. This is what one of them, a New York strategic planner, sent me: That may sound somewhat extreme – but it’s a perfectly... Read More
Stephen Cohen went on The John Batchelor Show yesterday evening to discuss Vladimir Putin’s recent speech on the state of Russia, the equivalent of the State of the Union address in the United States, which is both an opportunity to boast about the achievements of the past year and to outline a program for the... Read More
"Abe tightens grip on power as Japanese shun election." So ran the page one headline of the Financial Times on the victory of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Sunday's elections. Abe is the most nationalistic leader of postwar Japan. He is rebooting nuclear power, building up Japan's military, asserting her rights in territorial disputes with... Read More
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A Conservative Analysis
Anyone who has followed the ongoing crisis in Eastern Europe and Ukraine knows the very hostile view that the establishment news media and Washington political class have of President Vladimir Putin of Russia and his policies. In the halls of Congress and in the mainstream press—almost every night on Fox News—serious charges are proffered against... Read More
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Putin versus Obama
In the American mainstream media fact and fiction frequently diverge, leading to established narratives that bear little relationship to what is actually happening. The recent events in Paris have most often been described as free speech colliding with religious extremism but the reality is that existing French hate crime legislation means that the country has... Read More
What are the Kremlin's true intentions in Ukraine?
Is a US war with Russia possible? The Nation’s Stephen Cohen joined The Thom Hartmann Program to discuss the politics underpinning the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Cohen expressed concern over the narrative in the West that Putin sought to destabilize Ukraine as part of a wider campaign to take back former Soviet territories in Eastern... Read More
Blame the US, not Putin, for undermining unity in Europe.
The New York Times ran a front-page article on Tuesday accusing Putin of currying favor with Cyprus and Greece in an effort to secure their votes against renewing sanctions. Later that day, The Nation’s Stephen Cohen said on The John Batchelor Show that while it’s true that Putin hopes to find support in Europe’s “soft... Read More
Boris Berezovsky
As we all know Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned by polonium, a rare radioactive substance. The main narrative blamed it all on Vladimir Putin of Russia. The rationale rested on little other than because Litvinenko was a Putin critic. This was the quick line in mass media, and it was on all the typical war propaganda... Read More
The Battle for Sevastopol, now showing in Russian theatres
The young man shook his head. “No, I can’t say I’m pro-Putin. There’s too much corruption in Russia, with too much money going to the wrong people. We should become more Western. Instead, we’re moving in the other direction.” Finally, I thought, a liberal critic of Putin. The young man continued. “Here it’s not too... Read More
The danger of a US-Russian hot war.
Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen continues his weekly ABC radio discussions with John Batchelor about the new US-Russian Cold War and confrontation over Ukraine. Featured subjects include the ongoing struggle over the Minsk Accords for a negotiated settlement, with Secretary of State John Kerry’s progress with Russian President Vladimir Putin undermined by the Obama... Read More
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Hail, fire and brimstone, new sanctions or the US tanks on its borders, Russia takes things in stride. President Putin could adopt the motto of William of Orange: saevis tranquillus in undis, calm amidst the tempest. The tempest is all around. American tanks moved into the Baltic states. American warships sail up the Black sea.... Read More
What the ongoing policy conflicts in Moscow mean for US–Russian relations.
Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussion of the worst US/NATO–Russian confrontation in many decades, perhaps since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. In this installment, Cohen argues that since the current crisis began in November 2013, at each turning point Putin has been primarily reacting—wisely or unwisely—to perceived... Read More
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Who shot down MH-17? Somebody knows
Once upon a time CIA Stations overseas received what was referred to as an “Operating Directive” which prioritized intelligence targets for the upcoming year based on their importance vis-à-vis national security. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, penetrating Moscow and preventing the KGB’s repaying the favor in kind loomed large as Russia and... Read More
Russian leader asks, will the US rethink its destructive, “revolutionary” role in the world?
Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new Cold War. This installment focuses on the speeches given at the UN by Presidents Obama and Putin on September 28 and on their private meeting. Cohen points out that the two speeches spelled out with considerable candor and clarity... Read More
“We can no longer tolerate the state of affairs in the world.” President Vladimir Putin Last Wednesday (28 Sept 2015) the world saw the difference between Russia and Washington. Putin’s approach is truth-based; Obama’s is vain boasts and lies, and Obama is running out of lies. By telling the truth at a time of universal... Read More
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Who needs diplomacy when you have 300 battleships?
When I was growing up in New Jersey there were a lot of colorful expressions that one managed to pick up. The flyover America public can get a glimpse of what that means by listening to Chris Christie speak, though he offers only a mild version of the local vernacular as he is simultaneously trying... Read More
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Introduction: The major influential western print media are engaged in a prolonged, large-scale effort to demonize Russian President Putin, his politics and persona. There is an article (or several articles) every day in which he is personally stigmatized as a dictator, authoritarian, czar, ‘former KGB operative’ and Soviet-style ruler; anything but the repeatedly elected President... Read More
President Putin Explains Reality to Dumbshit American Journalists (there are no other kind) Americans have not seen leadership in so long that they no longer know what it is. Here is Putin with a leadership lesson.
Russia’s president is a refreshing contrast to the liars who inhabit Western governments and Western media. The agenda of the Russian government is peace and international cooperation under the rule of law. Washington’s agenda is hegemony. President Putin endeavors to lead the world to peace, while the neoconservatives who control Washington’s foreign policy try to... Read More
Here are the four US policies that have most offended Russia.
Editor’s Note: The following are adapted from remarks by Stephen F. Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Princeton University and New York University, delivered at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club on November 24, 2015. I am delighted to be here in San Francisco with you. The farther you go from Washington and the mainstream media, the better introductions... Read More
Did Russia’s president Vladimir Putin approve the murder in London of Alexander Litvinenko? The renegade Russian FSB agent died an agonizing death after being poisoned in late 2006 with the deadly radioactive isotope, Polonium 210. So charged an official British inquiry chaired by Sir Robert Owen after years of investigation. Owen also accused former FSB... Read More
The Russian 5th column: Chubais, Iudaeva, Dvorkovich, Shuvalov, Nabiullina, Kudrin,  Uliukaev, Siluanov, Medvedev
Whatever happens in the future, Putin has already secured his place in history as one of the greatest Russian leaders ever. Not only did he succeed in literally resurrecting Russia as a country, but in a little over a decade he brought her back as a world power capable of successfully challenging the AngloZionist Empire.... Read More
The most corrupt government on earth, a government so utterly corrupt that it allows former executives of a handful of corrupt mega-banks to run the economic policy of the US solely in the interest of their banks, denying tens of millions of American retirees any interest income on their savings for 7 years and denying... Read More
American officials and pundits expressed “surprise” over Putin’s announcement while missing its primary significance.
The demonization of Putin seems to answer the question, but is it balanced and factual?
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Baiting Russia is not good policy
Last week I attended a foreign policy conference in Washington that featured a number of prominent academics and former government officials who have been highly critical of the way the Bush and Obama Administrations have interacted with the rest of the world. Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago was on a panel and... Read More
Unwilling to confront its own responsibility, the US political-media elite is again demonizing Putin and denigrating...
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When friends of friends are enemies
A friend recently observed to me that it is ironic that the neoconservatives, whose bottom line foreign policy issue is the uncritical support of Israel, should be obsessed with constantly confronting and goading Russia even though Tel Aviv and Moscow get along just fine. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has traveled to Russia three times... Read More
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Relevant or a waste of time and money?
Judging by the reactions in the western corporate media, the 2016 elections to the Russian Duma are basically a non-event: evil Putin kept his “grip on power,” all the parties in the Duma are basically under his control and no real opposition was allowed to emerge. Even in Russia, there are some who agree, but... Read More
The personal vilification of Russia’s president is propelling the new Cold War toward hot war, poisoning American...
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While the word was focused in rapt attention on the outcome of the US Presidential election, Vladimir Putin did something quite amazing – he arrested Alexei Uliukaev, Minister of the Economy in the Medvedev government, on charges of extortion and corruption. Uliukaev, whose telephone had been tapped by the Russian Security Services since this summer,... Read More
You’re witnessing a fantastic fit of pique from Barack Hussein Obama. This American president is watching a legacy of statism, Islamism, globalism, elitism, blackism, post-Americanism, post-Christianity slip away, and he’s fighting tooth-and-nail for the ideological sludge in which he has mired America. Obama is having a terrific tantrum, the effects of which President-elect Donald Trump... Read More
Hysteria over Russia’s alleged hacking of the 2016 presidential election may make this US-Russian crisis more...
Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments are at TheNation.com.) Worrying that the current confrontations between Washington and Moscow—now extending from the Baltic region, Ukraine, and Syria to the American political system itself—is becoming more dangerous than was the nuclear confrontation... Read More
Events this past week make clear that Trump was serious about changing US policy toward Russia, and the enemies of...
Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions, now in their fourth year, about the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments are at TheNation.com.) Cohen begins by noting that he has discussed the 20th-century history of détente, its lessons, and the imperative of détente in today’s exceedingly dangerous new Cold... Read More
Washington and Moscow observers are saying American allegations that President Trump is a Kremlin puppet have killed the...
Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions about the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at TheNation.com.) As Cohen explained to Batchelor last week—and as he further explains in a Nation article this week—there are no actual facts to support the six different... Read More
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"If we were to use traditional measures for understanding leaders, which involve the defense of borders and national flourishing, Putin would count as the preeminent statesman of our time. "On the world stage, who could vie with him?" So asks Chris Caldwell of the Weekly Standard in a remarkable essay in Hillsdale College's March issue... Read More
PastClassics
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings