Thatcher: The Letting Go

Thatcher: The Letting Go

When Sir Geoffrey Howe got up to deliver his resignation statement in the House of Commons on Tuesday, November 13, 1990, the room felt expectant—in the words of Charles Moore in Margaret Thatcher: Herself Alone, “like a theatre audience before a new show.”

The World Putin Made

The World Putin Made

ILLUSTRATION BY CELINA PEREIRA; BSTU; ULRICH HÄSSLER / ULLSTEIN BILD / GETTY It was December 1989, the Berlin Wall had fallen, and in Dresden, crowds were gathering outside the headquarters of the Stasi, the East German secret police, shouting insults and demanding access. Nearby, frantic KGB officers—the Soviet advisers whom the Stasi had long referred …

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A New European Narrative?

A New European Narrative?

Back in 2013—an age ago, the calm before the storm— José Manuel Barroso, then the president of the European Commission, gave a speech launching a new project. This was before the refugee crisis, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, before the British voted to leave the European Union, before the terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels, …

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Destruction Myth – The rise and fall of the Romanovs

Destruction Myth – The rise and fall of the Romanovs

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. …

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The Victory of Ukraine

The Victory of Ukraine

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 …

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How He and His Cronies Stole Russia

How He and His Cronies Stole Russia

For twenty years now, the Western politicians, journalists, businessmen, and academics who observe and describe the post-Soviet evolution of Russia have almost all followed the same narrative. We begin with the assumption that the Soviet Union ended in 1991, when Mikhail Gorbachev handed over power to Boris Yeltsin and Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of …

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Hard Choices

Hard Choices

Even while Hard Choices was still wafting its way across the Atlantic Ocean— and long before it landed on my desk in central Europe, an entire twenty-four hours after the official publication date—Hillary Clinton’s account of her State Department years had already led several news cycles, inspired thousands of megabytes of commentary, and left its …

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An escape to the country that became a struggle for Poland’s soul

An escape to the country that became a struggle for Poland’s soul

A review of John Borrell’s ‘The White Lake’. An escape to the country for Borrell turned out to be a struggle for the soul of Poland In 1993, John Borrell, a longtime foreign correspondent with no permanent home, decided to abandon journalism. Tired of writing about wars and violence — he had been in Beirut, …

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‘Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot’

‘Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot’

What makes someone into a dissident? Why do some people give up everything — home, family, job — to embark on a career of protest? Or, to put it differently, why, on Feb. 21, 2012, did a group of young Russian women put on short dresses and colored tights, place neon-hued balaclavas over their faces, …

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