Despite flaws, Yeltsin had marks of true hero

By Freedom Newspapers Boris Yeltsin, the first elected president of Russia in all its long history, died Monday at 76. He may have been a flawed character, a leader who will leave an ambiguous legacy. Ultimately, however, as Leon Aron, author of “Yeltsin: A Revolutionary Life” and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, […]

Russia’s autocratic tendencies should be monitored

By Freedom Newspapers The Russian government has successfully pressured Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil company, into reducing its stake in a promising but difficult oil and natural-gas field in Siberia from a majority share to a minority share. Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy group, which has invested little or nothing in exploiting the energy resources on […]

Vigorous fight needed to match mounting power

By Freedom Newspapers The worst of it was that the murder was so blatant. Anna Politkovskaya, 48, a special correspondent for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, has ruffled the feathers of Russian authorities for a decade, particularly with her unrelenting reporting of Russia’s “dirty war” in Chechnya. The government has been cracking down on independent journalism […]

Land of Enchantment has much to offer

By Ryn Gargulinski: Columnist When TV Honeymooner Ralph Kramden always joked about sending his wife to the moon, he could have done it easier than his proposed punching her hard enough in the head. He could have simply sent her to New Mexico. Yes, it is cool that the Land of Enchantment is on the […]

Russian gas cutoff shrewd political move

Freedom Newspapers To some people the decision by Russia last week to cut off natural gas to Ukraine for what ended up being 48 hours was simply mysterious. To others it was essentially a commercial transaction, with Russia (or its 51-percent state-owned natural gas monopoly) simply getting more money from the Ukraine. Still others saw […]

Christmas gift as bad as story behind it

By Bob Huber: Local columnist So it’s another Christmas season, which means my daughter Tracy will corral friends and family to tell her favorite yuletide story — “The Russian Pelekh Box.” It’s a marathon narrative full of adventure, romance, and mystery, although its authenticity leaves something to be desired. So while a turkey roasts in […]

America needs a ‘civilian’ defense force

Freedom Newspapers The list of nightmare terror scenarios got one item longer in the wake of the Russian school-house massacre. What human heart could fail to be rent by the images of slaughter and cruelty that emerged from the terrorist takeover of the school in Beslan? The taking of children as hostages by Chechen rebels […]

Terrorist incident used by Putin to grab power

Freedom Newspapers Russian President Vladimir Putin has used the outrageous terrorist killings of school children in Beslan to reach for more power for himself. Unfortunately, it is all too typical for government leaders to use the fear engendered by attacks to reach for even more power. Putin’s power grab is shocking for being more blatant […]

Russian textbooks should provide historical facts

Freedon Newspapers Living with the big lie was a way of life for citizens of the Soviet Union and its satellite empire. And it was the unraveling of just one of those lies — the truth about who murdered thousands of Poles in what became known as the Katyn forest massacre — that’s pinpointed as […]

Arrest of Russia’s richest man could be election ploy

Freedom Newspapers The arrest of the richest man in Russia, Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, on charges of embezzlement, fraud and tax evasion, could be a signal of a titanic political struggle over the future course of the country. Khodorkovsky, who was chairman of Yukos Oil, reputed to be Russia’s richest company, has in the past used […]