The Syrian Connection

Long before anyone had heard of Islamic State, Vladimir Putin was keenly following Syria’s descent into anarchy and violence. Bashar al-Assad’s fate means so much to Putin because he sees in it an apocalyptic vision of his own future. Read here how that connection was clear more than three years ago.

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Refugees Without Borders

The Berlin Wall was built to keep East Germans from seeking a freer, better life in the West. It fell 28 years later when the flow of refugees became too strong to stem.
No wall can save Europe in a globalized world. A commitment to liberty and humanity will.

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Assassination in Moscow

The murder of Boris Nemtsov is a watershed for Russia. The culture of violence fueled by the war in Ukraine has claimed its first victim on the streets of Moscow.
Nemtsov tirelessly challenged lies, injustice, and war. His assassination is an attack on freedom-loving people everywhere.

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1989 Redux

Twenty-five years ago, a wave of freedom swept across the Soviet empire, bringing down the Iron Curtain and uniting Europe. Today, the struggle for Ukraine is the last, belated battle of the Velvet Revolution.
Click to read my dispatches for Slate, Newsweek, BuzzFeed and Zeit Online (in German).

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Ukraine on the Brink

It sounds like a vacuous Hollywood thriller: after police massacre protesters, a despised leader flees to a passive-aggressive ally who sends his army into the leaderless country. That’s reality in Ukraine today.
Click to read my dispatches for SlateBuzzFeed and Zeit Online (in German).

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Potemkin Olympic Village

The world is looking to Sochi, a Soviet resort that Vladimir Putin dreams of turning into a cross between St. Moritz and Saint-Tropez.
I got an inside look during numerous reporting trips. My blog-memoir is now being published here, on Medium.com.

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Battleground Ukraine

In Moscow, all eyes are on Kiev. For the Kremlin, the protests are a nightmare vision of the future. For the liberal middle class, a glimmer of hope for self-emancipation.
Everyone understands: change in Russia begins in Ukraine.

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Medium, Well Done

Medium.com is the latest thing in blogging: democratic, chaotic and very uneven.
What I like best about it is its responsive, clean design. I like it so much that I’m reposting my entire Grozny blog on it.
Click/tap here to view.

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Tragedy in Volgograd

Two suicide bombings in two days. Naked terror. Once again, all hands point to the North Caucasus, home to Russia’s overlooked Islamic insurgency.
Two years ago I traveled to the region to find the roots of the conflict. You can read about my trip in the Gonzo Goes to Grozny blog.

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Khodorkovsky in Berlin

When I moved to Berlin from Russia two years ago, the last person I expected to follow me here was imprisoned oil baron Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Deutsche Welle invited me to give my first reaction to his historic press conference at Checkpoint Charlie. Click/tap here to view.

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