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Friday, March 1, 2019

For Kim, his regime 'ain't broke.' So why fix it?

The agreement that President Donald Trump is offering Kim Jong Un carries uncertain rewards and considerable risk for Kim. Trump’s offer is based on the false assumption that Kim wants a prosperous country from which he and the people of North Korea can benefit.

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Merkel Salvages Nord Stream, But Is Putin Losing Russia's Gas Monopoly?

The European Union took a first step with its February 8 vote towards turning Russia’s gas monopoly, Gazprom, from an instrument of Russian power politics into a regulated utility, deprived of its monopoly power. In an odd twist, Germany, the self-proclaimed guardian of European unity, found itself politically isolated from the rest of Europe, which sided with U.S. President Donald Trump. A bitter pill for Germany to swallow.



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Sunday, February 3, 2019

Progressives pulling a bait-and-switch with 'Medicare for All'

"Medicare for All," if properly explained, should markedly increase the chances of Donald Trump’s re-election. The media has already figured out that "Medicare for All" outlaws the employer health insurance of 170 million Americans and that medical resources may cover 44 million currently on Medicare but would be insufficient for 325 million. 
Tough decisions lay ahead for the Democrat presidential candidates.
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Friday, February 1, 2019

My Quest for an Oscar: Women of the Gulag

One thing is certain: There will be no second Women of the Gulag. We captured these heroines near the ends of their lives—in their eighties and nineties. As the voting began, we learned the sad news that Fyokla, a peasant girl who grew up in a Gulag settlement in the Urals to become a local human rights activist, had passed on. She has joined Ksenia and Vera as “last witnesses” lost forever. Adile, now 98 years old, put it best: “I have lived so long so as to be able to tell the truth.”

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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Oscar Contender Women of the Gulag Meets its First Troll – A Gulag Denier

Our documentary film, Women of the Gulag, made the Academy’s short-list of ten documentary films contending for a place in the final five. That Russian-American director, Marianna Yarovskaya, is the first Russian documentary film maker in the history of the Russian Federation to make it so far in Oscar competition has attracted considerable attention in Russian media, especially its liberal sites. It did not take long however before it caught the attention of Russian Gulag deniers. A writer for  https://zol-dol.livejournal.com/994442.html viewed the film and concluded that the five female Gulag survivors, telling their story on camera were lying. Such things that they describe – the arbitrary sentences, the beatings, and arrest of innocent fathers and husbands – were made-up fantastic stories. Who could believe that a young woman sleeping in a tent at a freezing logging camp could wake up with a frog in her mouth? Surely viewers will not be taken in by such nonsense. Besides, director Yarovskaya is incompetent – a dupe of faux human-rights organizations, like Memorial. In the same edition, another Gulag-denier writes that the much-authenticated order 00447 that initiated the Great Terror is a fabrication of Russian human-rights organizations. So far, Russian mainstream media is waiting and watching, asking should Yarovskaya’s Women of the Gulag be treated as an accomplishment of Russian film makers or an attempt to sully the greatness of Russian history?