This is why so many journalists are at risk today

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

Twelve years ago this month, Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist whose reporting came too close to the truth about Russia’s war in Chechnya, was gunned down in the elevator of her Moscow apartment block. One year ago this month, Daphne Caruana Galizia, a journalist whose reporting came too close to the truth about corruption in Malta, was murdered by a car bomb next to her house in Bidnija. Seven months ago, Jan Kuciak, a journalist whose reporting came to close to the truth about the mafia’s role in Slovak business, was murdered in his home outside Bratislava. Continue reading “This is why so many journalists are at risk today”

It’s official: Americans are living under the rule of a minority

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

Now that the predictable result has been achieved, it’s worth taking a moment to think about the longer-term impact of the bizarre, emotional events of the past two weeks in Washington. Reasonable people can still disagree about what happened in a house in suburban Maryland in the summer of 1982; reasonable people can even disagree about whether now, more than three decades later, those events should matter. But reasonable people cannot disagree about the political orientation of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. In his testimony, he revealed himself to be an extreme partisan, a Republican Party activist and a man at least willing to bend the truth in public. Continue reading “It’s official: Americans are living under the rule of a minority”

A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

On December 31, 1999, we threw a party. It was the end of one millennium and the start of a new one; people very much wanted to celebrate, preferably somewhere exotic. Our party fulfilled that criterion. We held it at Chobielin, the manor house in northwest Poland that my husband and his parents had purchased a decade earlier, when it was a mildewed ruin. We had restored the house, very slowly. It was not exactly finished in 1999, but it did have a new roof. It also had a large, freshly painted, and completely unfurnished salon—perfect for a party. Continue reading “A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come”

Russian hackers were caught in the act — and the results are devastating

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

Dutch authorities have photographs of four Russian military intelligence (GRU) operatives arriving at the Amsterdam airport last April, escorted by a member of the Russian embassy. They have copies of the men’s passports — two of them with serial numbers one digit apart. Because they caught them, red-handed, inside a car parked beside the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague — the GRU team was trying to hack into the OPCW WiFi system — Dutch authorities also confiscated multiple phones, antennae and laptop computers. Continue reading “Russian hackers were caught in the act — and the results are devastating”

Trump’s new NAFTA is pretty much the same as the old one — but at what cost?

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

More than once, Donald Trump has called the North American Free Trade Agreement “the worst trade deal ever made.” At other times, he has referred to NAFTA as a “bad joke.” As recently as Sept. 1, he claimed the whole thing was unnecessary: “We were far better off before NAFTA — should never have been signed,” he tweeted. Continue reading “Trump’s new NAFTA is pretty much the same as the old one — but at what cost?”

Trump’s U.N. speech was funny. His worldview is even funnier.

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

Odd juxtapositions, absurd contrasts — these are the stuff of humor. People sometimes laugh, nervously, when someone states something that is both true and unacceptable. People sometimes laugh, uproariously, when someone states something that is both false and exaggerated. “In less than two years,” said President Trump at the U.N. General Assembly, “my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” And, no, those who chuckled in response were not laughing “with” the president. Continue reading “Trump’s U.N. speech was funny. His worldview is even funnier.”

Putin’s war is transforming Ukraine

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum
  • LVIV, UKRAINE

When they first arrived in Lviv, a university rector told me, the students who came from Donetsk walked around in packs, speaking loudly in Russian. They didn’t want to speak Ukrainian, as most inhabitants of this city do; they didn’t want to integrate. Lviv is in western Ukraine, near the Polish border. Donetsk, hundreds of miles to the east, has been occupied by Russian-backed “separatists” since the Russian invasion in 2014. The new students were “internally displaced persons” — refugees in their own country. Continue reading “Putin’s war is transforming Ukraine”

How Orbán duped the Brexiteers

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

To the inhabitants of the British Isles, the nations of central Europe have always existed in a semi–mythical space, near enough to be recognised as somehow European, but too distant to be taken seriously. Neville Chamberlain dismissed them as ‘faraway countries of which we know little’; Shakespeare gave landlocked Bohemia a coastline. In British school textbooks, Poland appears for the first time in 1939 and then vanishes again, just as abruptly. Continue reading “How Orbán duped the Brexiteers”

Europe needs to start planning for a future with no U.S.

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

After many weeks of claiming, dishonestly, that European allies “owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back” — in fact, Europeans spend far more money on European defense than does the United States — and after referring to NATO members as “delinquent” and worse, President Trump appears to have handed America’s European allies an ultimatum Thursday: Pay up, spend 2 percent of gross domestic product on the military, do it fast — or the United States will pull out. We can “go it alone,” he told them, by some accounts. Continue reading “Europe needs to start planning for a future with no U.S.”

Brexit turned out to be harder than they thought — so the Brexiteers are quitting

  • By
  • Anne Applebaum

In the United States, a country where Cabinet members now resign with great regularity, the departures of David Davis, the British cabinet minister responsible for Britain leaving the European Union, and Boris Johnson, the shaggy-haired foreign secretary, may not seem like much of a story. Theresa May, the prime minister, for the first time in two years set out some concrete proposals for Britain’s future relationship with its most important trading partners. Davis and Johnson didn’t like them. One quit just before midnight Sunday; the other quit Monday afternoon. So what? Continue reading “Brexit turned out to be harder than they thought — so the Brexiteers are quitting”