Also by Robert Coalson
November 30, 2023
The Evolution Of Henry Kissinger's Views On Russia And Ukraine
In September, U.S. elder statesman Henry Kissinger endorsed NATO membership for Ukraine, saying “the idea of a neutral Ukraine under these conditions no longer makes sense.” It was the culmination of his evolving views on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Europe's changing security situation.
November 20, 2023
'That's How My Days Are Spent': RFE/RL Journalist Alsu Kurmasheva Writes From Jail
RFE/RL’s Alsu Kurmasheva has now spent more than a month in a Russian jail on suspicion that she failed to voluntarily register under the country's "foreign agent" laws. In her first messages from jail, Kurmasheva describes her conditions and expresses gratitude for the support she has received.
November 16, 2023
'Five Tiny Pieces Of Paper': St. Petersburg Artist Sasha Skochilenko's Defiant Final Words In Court
Shortly before being sentenced to seven years in prison over a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, St. Petersburg artist Sasha Skochilenko addressed the court, telling the judge “I am freer than you.”
October 30, 2023
Anti-Semitic Outbursts In North Caucasus Expose Moscow's Perilous Balancing Act On Gaza War
The Kremlin has tried to use the Israel-Hamas conflict for its own ends, castigating the West and hosting a delegation from the Palestinian group. The storming of the airport in Daghestan shows that a shift in Moscow's Mideast balancing act has potentially explosive repercussions for Russia.
October 22, 2023
'Cultural Pogrom': Putin's St. Petersburg Alma Mater Purges Dissident Students, Faculty
St. Petersburg State University has stepped up expulsions of students and faculty who have spoken out against the war in Ukraine or otherwise expressed discontent with the growing authoritarianism of President Vladimir Putin.
October 11, 2023
With Russia Mired In Its War On Ukraine, Pro-Kremlin Commentators Revel In 'Good News' From Israel
Amid widespread horror over Hamas's surprise attack on Israel and the violence targeting civilians, many pro-Kremlin commentators have welcomed the carnage as a distraction from Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and a comeuppance for anti-war Russians who fled to Israel.
August 31, 2023
Books To Boots: Critics Say New Russian History Textbook Is Propaganda, Preparation For War
The Russian government is introducing a new history textbook for high-school students that critics say is intended to "incite anger toward Ukrainians" and explain to future conscripts "why they are putting on uniforms and boots."
August 24, 2023
The Man Called 'Wagner': Dmitry Utkin, The Mercenary Field Commander Reported Dead In Russian Plane Crash
Among the passengers listed aboard the Wagner jet that crashed in Russia on August 23 was longtime mercenary commander and former military intelligence officer Dmitry Utkin. Here’s a look at Utkin and how his death, if confirmed, could affect the notorious company.
August 04, 2023
Facing Decades In Prison, Opposition Leader Aleksei Navalny Still Fighting For Russia's Future
Jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has met with persecution, harassment, and attacks in his relentless campaign against the Kremlin. Now facing the prospect of decades in prison, he continues to carve out a prominent position in the country's political landscape.
August 02, 2023
Anti-War Russians Abroad Fear Kremlin Covertly Pressuring Hosts To Send Them Back
Several Russian anti-war activists who fled their homeland after the invasion of Ukraine now say Kremlin security forces might be secretly pressuring their host countries to force them to go back to Russia.
July 27, 2023
'Information War': Russian Actors Identified In Purported German Video Against Ukraine Aid
Pro-Kremlin social media have been sharing a video some claim was made by a German far-right party to protest the massive aid Berlin has provided Ukraine since Moscow's unprovoked invasion in February 2022. However, RFE/RL has identified the actors in the clip as Russians, indicating it is a fake.
July 18, 2023
From Logistics To Psychology, Effects Of Crimea Bridge Blast Will Linger
Although Russian officials have hastened to downplay the damage caused by the July 17 explosion on the only bridge linking Russia to occupied Crimea, experts say even a few hours of logistical delay at this time could be important.
June 28, 2023
After Prigozhin's Mutiny, Russia's Elites Wait For The Fallout
In the wake of the Wagner mutiny, the mercenary group’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has reportedly departed for Belarus, and his fighters may soon follow. But few in Russia believe the consequences of the uprising will end there.
May 19, 2023
Is Wagner Chief Prigozhin 'A Special Operation Inside A Special Operation'?
The brash and profane Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has taken on a high public profile in recent months, with his forces embroiled in heavy fighting in Ukraine. Is he harboring political ambitions or does he remain Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personal enforcer?
May 02, 2023
'Do They Fear Large Crowds?': In The Shadow Of War Against Ukraine, Kremlin Scales Back Victory Day Commemorations
The Kremlin has nixed the Immortal Regiment march, for years a key part of Vladimir Putin's glorification of the Soviet Union, citing security concerns. But others say Moscow is afraid people will show up with portraits of soldiers killed in Ukraine, revealing the hidden cost of Russia's invasion.
April 17, 2023
'The State Will Eat You': Russia Enters The Era Of The Treason Verdict
Kremlin opponent Vladimir Kara-Murza has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, the lion's share on a charge of "state treason." But his case is far from the only "example" being set by the government: Across Russia, the state is finding "traitors" at a rate unprecedented since Stalin's time.
March 31, 2023
'Sending A Signal': Russian Spy Accusation Against U.S. Journalist Further Escalates Soaring Tensions
For the first time in post-Soviet Russian history, Moscow has arrested a U.S. journalist on espionage charges -- which his newspaper vehemently denies. What messages is the Kremlin sending with this revival of a relic of the Cold War? And what comes next?
March 28, 2023
'More Of Putin's Blackmail': Analysts Weigh In On Moscow Basing Tactical Nuclear Weapons In Belarus
RFE/RL spoke with military and political analysts to get their takes on Russian President Vladimir Putin's March 25 announcement that Russia could base tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of ally Belarus.
March 26, 2023
'We Must Stop The Hatred': After More Than A Year Of War And Repression, A Few Russians Still Dare To Speak Out
More than a year after Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and in the midst of a historic crackdown on dissent, a handful of Russians continue to risk their lives and liberty in a quixotic bid to convince their country to change course.