Freddie experienced the sort of abysmal soul-sadness which afflicts one of Tolstoy's Russian peasants when, after putting in a heavy day's work strangling his father, beating his wife, and dropping the baby into the city's reservoir, he turns to the cupboards, only to find the vodka bottle empty.
It is truth, in the old saying, that is 'the daughter of time,' and the lapse of half a century has not left us many of our illusions. Churchill tried and failed to preserve one empire. He failed to preserve his own empire, but succeeded in aggrandizing two much larger ones. He seems to have used crisis after crisis as an excuse to extend his own power. His petulant refusal to relinquish the leadership was the despair of postwar British Conservatives; in my opinion this refusal had to do with his yearning to accomplish something that 'history' had so far denied him—the winning of a democratic election.
Why did you come in to-night with your heads in the air? 'Make way, we are coming! Give us every right and don't you dare breathe a word before us. Pay us every sort of respect, such as no one's ever heard of, and we shall treat you worse than the lowest lackey!' They strive for justice, they stand on their rights, and yet they've slandered him like infidels in their article. We demand, we don't ask, and you will get no gratitude from us, because you are acting for the satisfaction of your own conscience! Queer sort of reasoning!... He has not borrowed money from you, he doesn't owe you anything, so what are you reckoning on, if not his gratitude? So how can you repudiate it? Lunatics! They regard society as savage and inhuman, because it cries shame on the seduced girl; but if you think society inhuman, you must think that the girl suffers from the censure of society, and if she does, how is it you expose her to society in the newspapers and expect her not to suffer? Lunatics! Vain creatures! They don't believe in God, they don't believe in Christ! Why, you are so eaten up with pride and vanity that you'll end by eating up one another, that's what I prophesy. Isn't that topsy-turvydom, isn't it infamy?
I do not know how it is elsewhere, but here, in this country, poetry is a healing, life-giving thing, and people have not lost the gift of being able to drink of its inner strength. People can be killed for poetry herea sign of unparalleled respectbecause they are still capable of living by it.
It is easier for a Russian to become an Atheist, than for any other nationality in the world. And not only does a Russian 'become an Atheist,' but he actually BELIEVES IN Atheism, just as though he had found a new faith, not perceiving that he has pinned his faith to a negation. Such is our anguish of thirst!
But clouds bellied out in the sultry heat, the sky cracked open with a crimson gash, spewed flame-and the ancient forest began to smoke. By morning there was a mass of booming, fiery tongues, a hissing, crashing, howling all around, half the sky black with smoke, and the bloodied sun just barely visible. And what can little men do with their spades, ditches, and pails? The forest is no more, it was devoured by fire: stumps and ash. Perhaps illimitable fields will be plowed here one day, perhaps some new, unheard-of wheat will ripen here and men from Arkansas with shaven faces will weigh in their palms the heavy golden grain. Or perhaps a city will grow up-alive with ringing sound and motion, all stone and crystal and iron-and winged men will come here flying over seas and mountains from all ends of the world. But never again the forest, never again the blue winter silence and the golden silence of summer. And only the tellers of tales will speak in many-colored patterned words about what had been, about wolves and bears and stately green-coated century-old grandfathers, about old Russia; they will speak about all this to us who have seen it with our own eyes ten years - a hundred years! - ago, and to those others, the winged ones, who will come in a hundred years to listen and to marvel at it all as at a fairy tale. (In Old Russia)
Then a beat-up car lurched into sight towing an even more beat-up car. As the cars came near, I saw that they were connected back to front by a loop made of two seat belts buckled to each other. That was the only time I ever saw a Russian use a seat belt for any purpose at all.
I asked of the limitless sunshineHow to shine with the dawn's glowing light;No answer came back from the sunshine, But my soul heard a whisper, Burn bright!
Stalin’s Russia was a trap, in which even those running the system were caught. The leaders were trapped by fear of Stalin and even he was trapped by his fear of their desire to be rid of him. Everything he had to eat or drink had to be tasted by one of his colleagues first. Beria’s behavior at his death showed that his fear was only partly paranoia.
The old disease, thought Rubashov. Revolutionaries should not think through other people's minds. Or, perhaps they should? Or even ought to? How can one change the world if one identifies oneself with everybody? How else can one change it? He who understands and forgives -- where would he find a motive to act? Where would he not?
My sisters and I sit together on a pair of suitcases. If we've forgotten anything, it's already too late -- our rooms have all been sealed and photographed. Anyway, Tatiana would say it's bad luck to return for something you've forgotten.
Kakimi chertyami oni viigrali holodnuyu voinu?This translates roughly to: How the hell did these people win the Cold War?
It's different now, like pushing the stop lever on my camera until nothing except the war can squeeze through the lens.
Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their mee
Presumably, the bells of the Church of the Ascension had been reclaimed by the Bolsheviks for the manufacture of artillery, thus returning them to the realm from whence they came. Though for all the Count knew, the cannons that had been salvaged from Napoleon's retreat to make the Ascension's bells had been forged by the French from the bells at La Rochelle; which in turn had been forged from British blunderbusses seized in the Thirty Years War. From bells to cannons and back again, from now until the end of time.
On August 7, 2013, on the evening of the fifth anniversary of the war, Georgian President Mikheil Saakasvili, in a prerecorded interview on Georgia’s Rustavi-2 TV, told that he had met Putin in Moscow in February 2008 at an informal summit of the CIS. During the summit he told Putin that he was ready to say no to NATO in exchange for Russian help with the reintegration of the two breakaway territories. Saakashvili claimed “that ‘Putin did not even think for a minute” about his proposal. “[Putin] smiled and said, ‘We do not exchange your territories for your geopolitical orientation... And it meant ‘we will chop off your territories anyway.’”Saakashvili asked him to talk about the growing tensions along the borders with South Ossetia, saying, “It could not be worse than now.” “That’s when he [Putin] looked at me and said: ‘And here you are very wrong. You will see that very soon it will be much, much, much worse.’” 
On September 11, 2008, during a meeting of the Valdai Club with Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Carrère d’Encausse asked Putin if he would respond positively to Kokoity’s demand for integration of South Ossetia into the Russian Federation. She wrote: “Vladimir Putin answered with the greatest firmness that such a hypothesis was excluded. He explained that if Russia in this specific case was unable to ignore the will of the Ossetian people to be independent, it was firm regarding the principles of respecting the inviolability of existing frontiers. This principle, according to him, applied without exception to the Russian Federation which could not, therefore, welcome into its midst a nation or territory that so desired.”Putin’s double-talk (he is speaking about the “inviolability of existing frontiers” just after having changed the frontiers of Georgia by brutal force) brings her to the — naive — conclusion that “the blunt refusal that was opposed to the Ossetian demand for integration into Russia makes the Russian position clear: the August intervention in Georgia... could lead to a settlement of a conflict between Georgia and its separatist minorities, [but] in no case to a dossier that was of interest to Russia.” 
The Kremlin has made a habit of accusing others of crimes of which it has been accused of itself 
The “Lost Day” film and the comments by Putin and Medvedev have revealed a great deal: that the invasion of Georgia in August 2008 was indeed a preplanned aggression and that so-called “Russian peacekeepers” in South Ossetia and Abkhazia were in fact the vanguard of the invading forces that were in blatant violation of Russia’s international obligations and were training and arming the separatist forces.The admission by Putin that Ossetian separatist militias acted as an integral part of the Russian military plan transfers legal responsibility for acts of ethnic cleansing of Georgian civilians and mass marauding inside and outside of South Ossetia to the Russian military and political leadership. Putin’s admission of the prewar integration of the Ossetian separatist militias into the Russian General Staff war plans puts into question the integrity of the independent European Union war report, written by Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini that accused the Georgians of starting the war and attacking Russian “peacekeepers,” which, according to Tagliavini, warranted a Russian military response.
As long as the forest stood the Tchetchens were unconquerable... and it is literally the fact that they were beaten in the long run not by the sword but by the axe.
...and to this day the rare traveller who knows the language and customs even of the worst of the tribes is safer amongst them than in the neighbouring Cossack settlements.
Hospitality, as with all the mountain tribes, was - and is still - a most sacred duty; and the man who would slay a chance-met traveller without pity or remorse for the sake of trifling gain, would lay down his life for the very same individual were he to cross his threshold as even an unbidden guest.
It may be said without exaggeration that the mountains made the men; and the men in return fought with passionate courage and energy in defence of their beloved mountains, in whose fastnesses, indeed, they were well-nigh unconquerable.
The fall of the Berlin Wall on 11/9/89 unleashed forces that ultimately liberated all the captive peoples of the Soviet Empire
You will never be free as long as there remains one Russian soldier in Poland and your freedom will always be threatened as long as Russia interferes in your affairs.
It was quiet in the cell. Rubashov heard only the creaking of his steps on the tiles. Six and a half steps to the door, whence they must come to fetch him, six and a half steps to the window, behind which night was falling. Soon it would be over. But when he asked himself, For what actually are you dying? he found no answer.It was a mistake in the system; perhaps it lay in the precept which until now he had held to be uncontestable, in whose name he had sacrificed others and was himself being sacrificed: in the precept, that the end justifies the means. It was this sentence which had killed the great fraternity of the Revolution and made them run amuck. What had he once written in his diary? We have thrown overboard all conventions, our sole guiding principle is that of consequent logic; we are sailing without ethical ballast.
That unique Moscow mix of tackiness and menace. One time I see a poster advertising a new property development that captures the tone nicely. Got up in the style of Nazi propaganda, it shows two Germanic-looking youths against a glorious alpine mountain over the slogan Life is Getting Better. It would be wrong to say the ad is humorous, but it's not quite serious either. It's sort of both. It's saying this is the society we live in (a dictatorship), but we're just playing at it (we can make jokes about it), but playing in a serious way (we're making money playing it and won't let anyone subvert its rules).
The 2016 cyberattack was not just another case of simple Kompromat - meddling in the political affairs of a satellite nation or an individual dissenter. It was a direct attempt to hijack and derail the traditional processes and norms that held the United States together for more than 240 years. The attempt was even more brazen due to the apparent belief that Putin assumed that he and his oligarchy could charm, groom and select a candidate, then with the right amount of cybercrime and enough organized propaganda they could actually choose a president of the United States to do their bidding.
Who is fit to be elected?' asked Napoleon. 'A Caesar, an Alexander only comes along once a century, so that election must be a matter of chance.
Power is always personal: any study of a Western democratic leader today reveals that, even in a transparent system with its short periods in office, personalities shape administrations. Democratic leaders often rule through trusted retainers instead of official ministers. In any court, power is as fluid as human personality.
The mysterious Russian soul... Everyone wants to understand it. They read Dostoevsky: what's behind that soul of theirs? Well, behind our soul there's just more soul.
I was cursed with the pessimism of both the Russians and the Jews two of the gloomiest tribes in the world. Still if there wasn't greatness in me maybe I had the talent to recognize it in others even in the most irritating others.
To modernize their sleeping habits, [Peter the Great] declared, 'Ladies and gentlemen of the court caught sleeping with their boots on will be instantly decapitated.
That is the way we decided to talk, free and easy, two young men discussing a boxing match. That was the only way to talk. You couldn't let too much truth seep into your conversation, you couldn't admit with your mouth what your eyes had seen. If you opened the door even a centimeter, you would smell the rot outside and hear the screams. You did not open the door. You kept your mind on the tasks of the day, the hunt for food and water and something to burn, and you saved the rest for the end of the war.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, historians have become both more accurate and more honest—fractionally more brave, one might say—about that 'other' cleansing of the regions and peoples that were ground to atoms between the upper and nether millstones of Hitlerism and Stalinism. One of the most objective chroniclers is Professor Timothy Snyder of Yale University. In his view, it is still 'Operation Reinhardt,' or the planned destruction of Polish Jewry, that is to be considered as the centerpiece of what we commonly call the Holocaust, in which of the estimated 5.7 million Jewish dead, 'roughly three million were prewar Polish citizens.' We should not at all allow ourselves to forget the millions of non-Jewish citizens of Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and other Slav territories who were also massacred. But for me the salient fact remains that anti-Semitism was the regnant, essential, organizing principle of all the other National Socialist race theories. It is thus not to be thought of as just one prejudice among many.
In the legal respect, after the execution of the supposed incendiaries, the other half of Moscow burned down.
Anna Chapman was born Anna Vasil’yevna Kushchyenko, in Volgograd, formally Stalingrad, Russia, an important Russian industrial city. During the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II, the city became famous for its resistance against the German Army. As a matter of personal history, I had an uncle, by marriage that was killed in this battle. Many historians consider the battle of Stalingrad the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. Anna earned her master's degree in economics in Moscow. Her father at the time was employed by the Soviet embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, where he allegedly was a senior KGB agent. After her marriage to Alex Chapman, Anna became a British subject and held a British passport. For a time Alex and Anna lived in London where among other places, she worked for Barclays Bank. In 2009 Anna Chapman left her husband and London, and moved to New York City, living at 20 Exchange Place, in the Wall Street area of downtown Manhattan. In 2009, after a slow start, she enlarged her real-estate business, having as many as 50 employees. Chapman, using her real name worked in the Russian “Illegals Program,” a group of sleeper agents, when an undercover FBI agent, in a New York coffee shop, offered to get her a fake passport, which she accepted. On her father’s advice she handed the passport over to the NYPD, however it still led to her arrest. Ten Russian agents including Anna Chapman were arrested, after having been observed for years, on charges which included money laundering and suspicion of spying for Russia. This led to the largest prisoner swap between the United States and Russia since 1986. On July 8, 2010 the swap was completed at the Vienna International Airport. Five days later the British Home Office revoked Anna’s citizenship preventing her return to England. In December of 2010 Anna Chapman reappeared when she was appointed to the public council of the Young Guard of United Russia, where she was involved in the education of young people. The following month Chapman began hosting a weekly TV show in Russia called Secrets of the World and in June of 2011 she was appointed as editor of Venture Business News magazine.In 2012, the FBI released information that Anna Chapman attempted to snare a senior member of President Barack Obama's cabinet, in what was termed a “Honey Trap.” After the 2008 financial meltdown, sources suggest that Anna may have targeted the dapper Peter Orzag, who was divorced in 2006 and served as Special Assistant to the President, for Economic Policy. Between 2007 and 2010 he was involved in the drafting of the federal budget for the Obama Administration and may have been an appealing target to the FSB, the Russian Intelligence Agency. During Orzag’s time as a federal employee, he frequently came to New York City, where associating with Anna could have been a natural fit, considering her financial and economics background. Coincidently, Orzag resigned from his federal position the same month that Chapman was arrested. Following this, Orzag took a job at Citigroup as Vice President of Global Banking. In 2009, he fathered a child with his former girlfriend, Claire Milonas, the daughter of Greek shipping executive, Spiros Milonas, chairman and President of Ionian Management Inc. In September of 2010, Orzag married Bianna Golodryga, the popular news and finance anchor at Yahoo and a contributor to MSNBC's Morning Joe. She also had co-anchored the weekend edition of ABC's Good Morning America. Not surprisingly Bianna was born in in Moldova, Soviet Union, and in 1980, her family moved to Houston, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, with a degree in Russian/East European & Eurasian studies and has a minor in economics. They have two children. Yes, she is fluent in Russian! Presently Orszag is a banker and economist, and a Vice Chairman of investment banking and Managing Director at Lazard.