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  • OPINION

    MH17 probe shows no side blameless

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 15/10/2015

    » The Dutch report on the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was not supposed to apportion blame. Yet the report released on Tuesday by the Dutch Safety Board clearly shows that no side is innocent in eastern Ukraine's now-frozen conflict.

  • OPINION

    How countries play the World Bank's rankings

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 03/11/2015

    » For some governments, improving their country's standing in the World Bank's Doing Business survey has become a national priority. Yet the results of such efforts sometimes are deceptive. 

  • OPINION

    Return of Adolf Hitler makes for uneasy comedy

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 10/11/2015

    » The movie He's Back, a comedy that revolves around the return of Adolf Hitler to modern-day Germany, is a huge hit. There may be more than meets the eye to this success, however. 

  • OPINION

    No city is safe while Syria war drags on

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 16/11/2015

    » Although many details concerning the attacks that killed more than 120 people in Paris on Friday night remain unknown, Islamic State appears to have claimed responsibility. France and all other countries taking part in the Syrian conflict should keep in mind Russia's recent experience with this kind of terrorism: it won't cease until the epicentre is dealt with.

  • OPINION

    Putin waging war on too many fronts

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 26/11/2015

    » Has Vladimir Putin finally overreached? The Russian president is confronting several simultaneous crises. Over the weekend, Ukrainian activists blew up high-voltage transmission towers and cut off electricity supplies to Russian-held Crimea. In St Petersburg, his home city, on Tuesday a column of 600 heavy trucks was crawling toward the city government building to protest tolls on Russian roads (a son of a close friend of Mr Putin has a financial interest in the system). And on the Turkey-Syria border, the Turkish air force downed a Russian bomber.

  • OPINION

    Violence takes root in our words

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 14/12/2015

    » The Oxford Dictionaries' selection for the 2015 Word of the Year -- the "Face with Tears of Joy" emoji -- suggests that UK linguists live in a rather carefree world. In other countries, the selections were not as upbeat.

  • OPINION

    Pope's historic meeting ends up benefitting Putin

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 15/02/2016

    » Russia's state-owned media covered the first-ever meeting between Pope Francis and Kirill, patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, as a historic event. The official news agency, Tass, even ran a real-time blow-by-blow account. The meeting's value wasn't in any ecclesiastical breakthrough: The Pope, probably inadvertently, played a part in a Kremlin propaganda gambit.

  • OPINION

    Don't trust Putin's troop pullback

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 16/03/2016

    » President Vladimir Putin's unexpected announcement that Russian troops would pull back from Syria shouldn't be taken at face value: he's made similar announcements in the past to show Western negotiating partners how constructive he can be. He always has a hidden agenda.

  • OPINION

    Defining 'greatness' at core of 2016 presidential race

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 23/03/2016

    » In two months on the road covering the 2016 presidential primaries, I've seen the US going through something of an identity crisis, after decades of dominance. The candidates are talking about what the voters are thinking about: What does it mean for the US to be great? 

  • OPINION

    Politicians should be keeping their money at home

    News, Leonid Bershidsky, Published on 07/04/2016

    » Ramon Fonseca, a founding partner of Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian offshore incorporator that has suffered the biggest leak of privileged information in history, has told Financial Times that the investigations stemming from the leak are an attack on the basic human right to privacy. Dmitri Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, described them as an attack on his boss ahead of the 2018 presidential election. The investigative journalists themselves see their effort as a strike against corruption and money-laundering. So what purpose do the Panama Papers investigations really serve?

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