"Putin" is a new song and video by Randy Newman, from an as-yet untitled album due next spring. A review in Pitchfork by Greil Marcus. A Washington Post interview about the song. A Telegraph interview from last year. His last album of new material was 2008's Harps and Angels (not counting five film scores and two volumes of his Songbook series). His last music video was 2012's "I'm Dreaming" (prev).
Aleppo, Ukraine, Cyber Attacks, Baltic Threats: What Should We Do About Putin? [The Guardian] “The challenge presented by Russia is one of the biggest facing the next US president. Some analysts say Putin is taking advantage of Obama’s lame duck status to create “facts on the ground” in Syria. The Russian president is said to anticipate a further deterioration in bilateral relations if Hillary Clinton wins. The two have a history of personal dislike, dating back to Clinton’s time as secretary of state. “She says she sees in him a cold-blooded, self-enriching KGB agent and a bully; he remembers how she appeared to encourage street protests against him in 2011,” said analyst Leonid Bershidsky. Speaking in August, Clinton described Putin as “the grand godfather of this global brand of extreme nationalism” – lumping him with Trump, German anti-immigrant xenophobes and hard-right populists such as France’s Marine Le Pen.” [more inside]
How World War III became possible: A nuclear conflict with Russia is likelier than you think (SLVox).
What Does Pussy Riot Mean Now? "With all eyes on Russia, two members of the country’s most notorious band of shit-stirrers are free after nearly two years of political imprisonment and enjoying the rock-star treatment during their first trip to the U.S. But the group’s unlikely journey from art-school project to international icons shows just how rotten Russia has become and how much the mission has changed."
The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus “Sochi used to be much prettier... These days crooks from Moscow come here to build and sell skyscrapers and apartments, although it used to be such a small, lovely town." via The New York Review of Books article on "Why Sochi"
Putin explicitly links the Games to the humiliations of the recent past: “There is also a certain moral aspect here and there is no need to be ashamed of it,” he said. “After the collapse of the Soviet Union, after the dark and, let us be honest, bloody events in the Caucasus, the society had a negative and pessimistic attitude.” The Olympics, he explains, are a necessary part of an effort to “strengthen the morale of the nation.”
Vladimir Putin: You know who else wanted to dominate the world? Also: Russia suspends compliance with treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe. A 2002 analysis of Putin's foreign policy by Clifford Gaddy and Fiona Hill discusses Russia's fear of US unilateralism; a more recent article by Hill notes that high oil prices have made Russia an energy superpower. A 1951 article by George F. Kennan on US policy towards Russia. Previously.
President Putin fires entire Russian government. Sounds very ... dictatorial. Why so little concern in the media?
The Ultimatum has been delivered to the UN... This conflict, simmering for over ten years is about to erupt. "In strict accordance with international law," unilatteral military action is imminent unless demands are met. Animosity has been mounting steadily for months, and Russia is ready to invade Georgia. "No one can deny today, and for ourselves we are certain, that Georgian territory is sheltering both those who are implicated in the attacks on the United States and a direct operative involved in the attacks on housing units in Russia," Mr. Putin said on Russian television, echoing the logic U.S. President George W. Bush has used to rally international support for a pre-emptive strike on Iraq. The United States said it would not support Mr. Putin if he carried out his threat to attack Chechen rebel bases in Georgia, and slammed him for suggesting he might. "The United States strongly supports Georgia's territorial integrity and would oppose any unilateral military action by Russia inside Georgia," a U.S. State Department spokesman said. This all seems rather hypocritical, business as usual new world order politics: Is the price of getting UN Security Council approval on Iraq going to be public and secret deals, and is this really about the Chechens, or about breakaway republics and Caspian Sea oil? And what about China? Will we rubberstamp their ambitions re: Taiwan, Spratley Islands, Mongolia? And finally, why Georgia? I know they put up a two-bit Olympics and never caught that one terrorist bomber, but really, Georgia?
Putin taking questions on from American call ins and emails on NPR. It's 5:05pm on the west coast and Putin is on his way from Ground Zero to the New York studios of NPR. Switch on your local NPR station; Putin is supposedly very good at answering candid questions. I can only imagine Bush entertaining call in questions in Russia (or the US for that matter). Comments after the interview?