Tag Russian history

On Narcissistic Leaders and Personality Cults

David Brandenberger— Although the similarities between Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orban, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Rodrigo Duterte are often overstated, all these leaders are united by their cultivation of personality cults. Recently, pundits have linked indulgence in this sort of thing to something referred to as “narcissistic personality disorder”—a

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Horse Thieves and the Bandit Tradition

Mark Galeotti— Periodic epidemics, crop failure and other disaster cannot compare with the harm that horse thieves bring to the countryside. The horse thief holds peasants in perpetual, uninterrupted fear. Georgy Breitman, 1901 The horse thief lived a violent, dangerous life, at risk from both the police and peasant lynch

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How Do You Talk to a Russian Gangster?

Mark Galeotti— He was quite the most charming contract killer with whom one could imagine having a drink. But nonetheless, for all his cheerful Chechen twinkle, and the ritualised North Caucasus courtesy which meant we had to argue fiercely over the right to pay the bill, even though we both

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The Moral Spark That Ended the Soviet Empire

December 25 is an important date for millions of Christians around the world who mark Christmas Day and the birth of Jesus Christ, but the early morning hours of December 25, 1991 also marked Mikhail Gorbachev’s resignation as president of the Soviet Union (which would be officially dissolved the next

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Eminent Biography: Joshua Rubenstein on Leon Trotsky

For our latest “Eminent Biography” installment, Joshua Rubenstein reflects on his writing of the tumultuous political career of Leon Trotsky: A Revolutionary’s Life, the latest in Yale University Press’s Jewish Lives series. Often remembered as persecutor turned persecuted, Leon Trotsky was a central figure in the global political drama between

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Russia’s Defense Ministry confirms Soviet sorties over Dimona in 1967

Last Friday the Jerusalem Post published an article citing a recent statement made by chief spokesman of Russia’s Air Force, Colonel Aleksandr Drobyshevsky, who publicly acknowledged a major historical detail related to the 1967 Arab-Israeli War (Six Days’ War). The detail refers to reconnaissance flights over Israel, specifically one flight

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