"I want to live in a normal country and refuse to accept talk about Russia being doomed to being bad, poor or servile," said Alexei Navalny.
The Berlin I once knew was not the kind of place you raved about. There was no fine dining but plenty of heavy drinking. The beautiful people ran London and Munich and Milan. In Berlin, the punks were in charge.
“When we passed their second checkpoint, they started shooting at us like in a shooting gallery,” Yuriy Bereza recalled. “It was an ambush.”
“When we were fighting the Russians, it was to the Americans’ advantage to help us,” says Commander Masood. “But when the Soviets were destroyed, they forgot about us.”
“The disintegration of Russia is inevitable,” said Zarina Sautieva. “If chaos breaks out in the Kremlin, Kadyrov will be the first to declare independence.”
Based in Berlin and Moscow, I’ve reported from the former Soviet empire since 1996 for NPR, Reuters, Slate, Bloomberg and The Moscow Times, among others. I am currently a Global Fellow with the Wilson Center in Washington.