China’s trade with North Korea in overhead photos. Photo from here: 30 days of activity as of April 26. Read More
If Assad has been hiding chemical weapons, we need to know. By the chief inspector for the 2014 removal of chemical weapons from Syria. Unfortunately, Russia is protecting Assad and is unlikely to agree. And yes, it’s likely Assad has been hiding nerve agents. Photo from that link. What can forensics tell us about the attacks? Read More
Protests across Russia and Belarus over the weekend. The main target is corruption. Here’s a backgrounder about the situation in Belarus. Alexei Navalny, a leader of the opposition in Russia, sparked protests there with a video about Dmitry Medvedev’s corruption (English subtitles). Why the protests focused on Medvedev. They are a problem for Putin too. The discontent is likely to affect Russia’s next election. Photo: A demonstration in Belarus. Read More
Donald Trump continues as a one-man DDOS attack on coherent thought. He has been tweeting at an elevated rate the past few days. I am trying to tune most of that out, but it does slow down my productivity. Since the guy is going to be President of the United States, it’s hard to ignore him. David Brooks captures the problem.
Everyday authoritarianism is boring and tolerable. This post, from a scholar of comparative politics, is consistent with what I have been told by people who lived in the Soviet Union. It’s why we need to be extra vigilant about trends and actions by Donald Trump and his government. More from Daniel Nexon. Read More
Donald Trump tweeted today that the United States needs more nuclear weapons. So that has occupied a certain amount of mental space. I did a tweet stream. Here are the New York Times news and a Max Fisher explainer, NBC News, and Yahoo News. Particularly good from Jeffrey Lewis. We are in for uncertainty and instability if Trump continues his tweets.
This week is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the official dissolution of the Soviet Union. A reporter who grew up during that time reminisces. Photo from here.
Twenty-five years ago this week, the Soviet Union was crumbling. The Baltic states had declared independence after the attempted coup against Gorbachev in August, and other Soviet republics were moving toward independence. Read More
Vladimir Putin today named Anton Vaino his chief of staff, replacing Sergei Ivanov. Vaino has been deputy chief of staff. His family history is intertwined with the Soviet Union’s Read More
Two more fragments of information about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. One identifies another Trump advisor with business ties, and the other says, without showing clearly, that Trump’s strategy toward Ukraine changed after Paul Manafort came on board his campaign. Thin stuff. Read More
On too many days lately, it seems as though what I’m going to talk about in this post happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far away. It’s twenty years and more now, so Sigfried S. Hecker (Sig), who was director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory at that time, thought that some of it should be written down. Read More