Posted inWar and Peace

A horrific ‘gay purge’ in Chechnya shows the limits of our moral attention

Reading Time: 4 minutes In 2019, a brutal ‘gay purge’ took place in the Russian republic of Chechnya. It was not the first. Since 2017, gay men have been hunted, abducted, and tortured by the Chechen authorities. Some have been murdered. The story was briefly covered by Western media. Thinking that the return (yet again) of concentration camps to […]

Posted inWar and Peace

The day the white pelicans came

Reading Time: 4 minutes One recent glorious morning in tranquil South Dakota, as Russia rained more death and destruction on Ukrainian cities and hamlets, I awoke to a perfect day, my wife peacefully checking her email beside me and turning to smile, and our cat trying to tunnel under the covers to a remembered warm spot. That’s what the […]

Posted inWar and Peace

When Russian propaganda goes hilariously wrong

Reading Time: 4 minutes Russian propaganda is no laughing matter. It’s keeping almost an entire nation under its spell, inoculated from the truth with a constant provision of carefully curated narrative disinformation. The vast majority of Russian citizens appear to be unwittingly sucked in. Whether there are those who have seeds of doubt but who suppress those skeptical desires […]

Posted inPolitics

Does Putin have Parkinson’s disease?

Reading Time: 5 minutes There is definitely something going on with the health of Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin. This was, it seems, particularly evident in a stage-managed appearance with his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu put on for the cameras yesterday in the Kremlin. Watch the video below to see for yourself. Now, I don’t want to be throwing around […]

Posted inWar and Peace

Beyond Ukraine: The global response to (un)civil wars

Reading Time: 6 minutes With Western attention on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it’s easy to forget the added pain of people from regions where crimes against humanity have been raging all this time. But it’s a whole different level of heartbreak for many to witness European borders suddenly opening wide, stronger sanctions put in place, and international organizations rallying […]

Posted inWar and Peace

Even I knew more than the Russian intelligence services: Assessing Putin’s plans

Reading Time: 10 minutes Who knows what’s in the mind of a narcissistic conspiracy theorist military dictator? In the case of Vladimir Putin, we actually can get a decent idea of what he originally wanted and how they have had to necessarily change. When Putin amassed his troops on the Russian and Belorussian borders, we knew there was going […]