Archive for Russia

“Crimea & the Hysteria of History”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 9 March 2014 by delclem


“Well, that was fast. At the beginning of the year, it seemed apt to meditate on the catastrophes of a century past, and on the chance that we might, once again, be passengers on some Titanic of history, with a small flaw in the hull opened by some unforeseen iceberg. And it seemed worth stressing that what had brought the ship down—in short, what made 1914 happen—was, above all, the vulnerability of open societies to the panicked appeal to honor and the fear of humiliation.” >full essay
(c) THE NEW YORKER, 2014


Understanding Ukraine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 25 January 2014 by delclem

Questions about the country in turmoil you are probably to embarrased to ask >full text (c) WASHINGTON POST, 2014. Another 10 questions (c) Business Insider

Stalin in Vienna: 1913, 1949, 2012

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 12 January 2014 by delclem

101 years ago, in January 1913, Ioseb B. dze Jugashvili aka. Joseph Stalin stayed in Vienna for a while to investigate the multi-ethnic setup of the Habsburg Monarchy for his publication on Marxism & the National Question.In 1949 the Austrian Communist Party KPÖ put a commorative plaque on the facade of the building in Schönbrunner Schlosstraße (no. 30) on the occasion of Stalin’s 70th birthday. In 2012, an additional plaque was mounted to commemorate Stalin’s/Stalinist crimes as well – a very Austrian solution to the problem, it seems. >more (in German); photo (c)ru, 2014

Jewish Surnames Explained

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 5 January 2014 by delclem

“Ashkenazic Jews were among the last Europeans to take family names. Some German-speaking Jews took last names as early as the 17th century, but the overwhelming majority lived in Eastern Europe and did not take last names until compelled to do so. The process began in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1787 and ended in Czarist Russia in 1844.” >text (c) SLATE, 2014
Map by Richard Andree: the Jews of Central Europe, 1881.

What Putin, Lukashenko and Yanukovych Share

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 3 November 2013 by delclem

Op Ed
“Last Friday marked the 10th anniversary of the imprisonment of former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Meanwhile, former presidential candidate Nikolai Statkevich, leader of the Belarussian Social Democratic Party, will start the third year of a six-year sentence in a medium security penal colony. In Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko will have completed two years of her seven-year sentence for “abuse of power” and “embezzlement” unless released under the pressure of the European Union. All three are widely considered to be political prisoners. But while focus has often been on the wrongfulness of their detentions, less has been written about the motives of those behind them: Presidents Vladimir Putin, Alexander Lukashenko and Viktor Yanukovych.” >full text (c) THE MOSCOW TIMES, 2013

The Strange Power of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 2 November 2013 by delclem


“What is it about Sholem Aleichem’s stories of a poor milkman in the shtetl that has audiences bewitched for nearly 50 years after the smash musical debuted on Broadway? The new cultural history of Fiddler.” >text (c) The Daily Beast 2013

Pimping FEMEN: breast-fed by a man?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 7 September 2013 by delclem


“Tt’s the Ukranian feminist group that embarrassed President Putin. Its activists have staged many protests against sexual and political repression by stripping to their waists in carefully choreographed media stunts. (…) Now, a new documentary screening at the Venice Film Festival has revealed that Femen was founded and is controlled by a man.”

Is this a Putinesque publicity stunt to discredit feminist activism or just the truth – or another sly twist of the gender game by the group itself?
>full text & photo (c) INDEPENDENT, 2013
Cf. another article (c) THE GUARDIAN, 2013
And another one (c) DER SPIEGEL, 2013