Merkel can’t ignore the far-right echo chamber

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

Yes, it looks like a foregone conclusion. Chancellor Angela Merkel, the center-right candidate (with an emphasis on center) is comfortably ahead in the polls with 8 days to go in one of the most boring German elections anybody can remember. And no wonder: Merkel leads a country that hasn’t been this relatively rich or relatively powerful in many decades. Unemployment is low. The budget is in surplus. Germany is the undisputed leader of the euro zone, the club of countries that use the European currency. Continue reading “Merkel can’t ignore the far-right echo chamber”

All the worst lies about Brexit are about to be revealed

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum
  • London

It is a rare opportunity. Seldom does the voting public have the chance to watch their elected politicians confront very specific false promises in real time. Usually campaign promises are either too vague to be contrasted with reality (“Make America Great Again”) or too long term. By the time that “guaranteed growth” either arrives or doesn’t, the person who said it would happen is long out of office.

Continue reading “All the worst lies about Brexit are about to be revealed”

The case for Trump-Russia collusion: We’re getting very, very close

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

We now know the motives. In backing Donald Trump, Russia’s oligarchical class sought not only to disrupt U.S. politics but also to reverse sanctions, both those applied in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and those connected to the Magnitsky Act, which targeted officials involved in human rights violations. In seeking Russian support, Trump sought not only to become president but also to make money: Even as he launched his presidential campaign, he hoped to receive a major influx of money from a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow.

Continue reading “The case for Trump-Russia collusion: We’re getting very, very close”

Destruction Myth – The rise and fall of the Romanovs

  • Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs
    by Douglas Smith.
    Farrar, Straus and Giroux., 848 pages. $35.
  • The Romanovs: 1613–1918
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore.
    Knopf., 784 pages. $35.

He is the mad monk, the holy fool, the man whose mystical powers enthralled the tsarina and cured the tsarevitch. It is said that he was a hypnotist, a rapist, a cultist, a charlatan, a seer. Allegedly, he was immune to poison; when his murderers tried to drown him, his body floated to the surface. In the century since his death, Grigory Yefimovich Rasputin, the Siberian priest whose relationship with Nicholas II and Alexandra, the last tsar and tsarina of Russia, helped bring down the entire Romanov dynasty, has been the subject of countless myths — so much so that it has become nearly impossible to disentangle the man from the legend. Continue reading “Destruction Myth – The rise and fall of the Romanovs”

„Trumps Wahlsieg ist der Anfang vom Ende Europas“

Interview von Michael Hesse, Redakteur in der Politikredaktion des Kölner Stadtanzeigers mit Anne Applebaum

MH: Frau Applebaum, was erwarten Sie von Trump als US-Präsident?

AA: Was er nicht mag, sind Allianzen im Allgemeinen und die Nato im Besonderen. Die Nato ist ihm zu teuer, er versteht ihren Existenzgrund nicht und er will nicht, dass die Amerikaner in europäische Kriege involviert werden. Das sagt er immer und immer wieder. Zum ersten Mal übrigens in seinem Buch, das er im Jahr 2000 geschrieben hat.

MH: Und worauf kann man sich noch einstellen?

AA: Mit gleicher Festigkeit betont er, dass er nicht an Freihandel glaubt. Er will Nafta, das Freihandelsabkommen mit Mexiko, aufkündigen. Und er spricht darüber, die USA aus dem System der Welthandelsorganisation WTO austreten zu lassen. Ein System von Handelsregeln, Systemen und Übereinkommen, das die USA und die Europäer über Jahrzehnte aufgebaut haben, wird zuletzt von ihm attackiert werden. Das sind die beiden wichtigsten Punkte.

MH: Wird er die Nähe zu Russland suchen?

AA: Ja. Ich kann zwar keine Prognosen abgeben, aber er ist sehr eindeutig darin, dass er Putin unterstützen will und dass er Autokratien eher unterstützt. Anders als Hillary Clinton, die einen eher anti-russischen Kurs steuern wollte. Trump will Russland unterstützen, was das genau bedeutet, bleibt noch offen. Vielleicht will er Sanktionen lockern oder aufheben, Russland in Bezug auf die Ukraine freiere Hand geben. Wir wissen es noch nicht. Ich kann kein Orakel spielen, aber es ist möglich, dass er über Europa hinweg mit Russland einen Deal schließen wird.

Interview weiterlesen

– Quelle: ©2016

The Victory of Ukraine

  • The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine
    by Serhii Plokhy
    Basic Books, 395 pp
  • “Tell Them We Are Starving”: The 1933 Soviet Diaries of Gareth Jones
    edited by Lubomyr Y. Luciuk
    with an introduction by Ray Gamache
    Kingston, Ontario: Kashtan Press, 275 pp.
  • Gareth Jones: Eyewitness to the Holodomor
    by Ray Gamache
    Cardiff: Welsh Academic Press, 241 pp.,
    (distributed in the US by International Specialized Book Services)

In later years, there would be bigger demonstrations, more eloquent speakers, and more professional slogans. But the march that took place in Kiev on a Sunday morning in the spring of 1917 was extraordinary because it was the first of its kind in that city. The Russian Empire had banned Ukrainian books, newspapers, theaters, and even the use of the Ukrainian language in schools. The public display of national symbols had been risky and dangerous. But in the wake of the February Revolution in Petrograd, anything seemed possible.

There were flags, yellow and blue for Ukraine as well as red for the Communist cause. The crowd, composed of children, soldiers, factory workers, marching bands, and officials, carried banners—“Independent Ukraine with its own leader!” or “A free Ukraine in a free Russia!” Some carried portraits of the national poet Taras Shevchenko. One after another, speakers called for the crowd to support the newly established Central Rada—the name means “central council”—that had formed a few days earlier and now claimed authority to rule Ukraine.

Finally, the man who had just been elected chairman of the Rada stepped up to the podium. Mykhailo Hrushevsky, bearded and bespectacled, was one of the intellectuals who had first dared to put Ukraine at the center of its own history. The author of the ten-volume History of Ukraine-Rus’, as well as many other books, Hrushevsky had spent much of his life in Galicia, the Polish- and Ukrainian-speaking region ruled by the Habsburg Empire, in order to escape persecution at the hands of the tsarist police. Now, in the wake of the revolution, he had returned to Kiev in triumph. The crowd welcomed him with vigorous cheers: Slava batkovi Hrushevskomu!—Glory to Father Hrushevsky! He responded in kind: “Let us all swear at this great moment as one man to take up the great cause unanimously, with one accord, and not to rest or cease our labour until we build that free Ukraine.” The crowd shouted back, just as crowds would shout back at Kiev demonstrations ninety years later: “We swear!”1  Continue reading “The Victory of Ukraine”

Russia and the Great Forgetting

In the summer of 1985, I spent two months in the city that used to be called Leningrad. Along with several dozen other American college students, I stayed in a shabby Intourist hotel. Sharp-eyed old ladies sat at the end of every corridor; curiously unemployed men hung around the lobby. Every day we went to Russian-language classes at the university, where we also assumed we were being carefully observed. But in the afternoons and evenings, we were free to wander the city and to attempt to make friends. Continue reading “Russia and the Great Forgetting”

Obama and Europe – Missed Signals, Renewed Commitments

Even now, gazing back through the jaundiced lens of subsequent experience, Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign speech in Berlin still seems an extraordinary occasion. Tens of thousands of mostly young Germans gathered in the center of the city to listen to the American presidential candidate, in an atmosphere The Guardian described as “a pop festival, a summer gathering of peace, love—and loathing of George Bush.” Streets were closed for the occasion. Bands played to warm up the crowd. Continue reading “Obama and Europe – Missed Signals, Renewed Commitments”

“So beginnen Weltkriege”

Russlands Militäraktionen in Syrien und der Ukraine folgen westlicher Planlosigkeit, warnt Anne Applebaum, Osteuropa-Expertin und Pulitzer-Preisträgerin, gegenüber der »Presse am Sonntag«. Wladimir Putin wende dabei alte Mittel des NKWD an.

Was bezweckt Russlands Präsident, Wladimir Putin, mit seinem Einschreiten in Syrien?

Anne Applebaum: Erstens lenkt das den Fokus des Westens von der Ukraine ab. Zweitens haben die russischen Medien aufgehört, über die Ukraine zu reden; sie sind nun ganz auf Syrien konzentriert. Putins Politik gegenüber der Ukraine hatte nur diesen langwierigen Konflikt zur Folge, in dem kein für Russland positives Ende absehbar ist. Drittens denke ich, dass ihm weder die Syrer am Herzen liegen noch Assad im Speziellen, sondern dass er Fernsehbilder vermeiden möchte, auf denen zornige Massen Assads Palast stürmen und ihn ins Gefängnis werfen. Putin will den Autokraten Assad stärken, um der Möglichkeit einer Revolution in Russland vorzubeugen. Continue reading ““So beginnen Weltkriege””

„Wo bist du, Europa?“

Die amerikanisch-polnische Pulitzer-Preisträgerin Anne Applebaum hat eine ganz eigene Perspektive auf Europa. Ein Gespräch mit Julia Korbik und Thore Barfuss über Großmächte und russisches Geld.

The European: Frau Applebaum, warum haben immer noch so viele Menschen ein schlechtes Bild von Osteuropa?
Applebaum: Weil sie noch nicht da waren und keine Ahnung haben, was dort passiert. Sie stecken immer noch in alten Stereotypen fest. Es ist einfach nicht sinnvoll, den Osten noch als separaten Teil Europas zu betrachten. Wir sprechen doch auch nicht mehr vom österreichischen Habsburger-Reich oder dem napoleonischen Frankreich. Continue reading “„Wo bist du, Europa?“”