Russia

9th of May and The Great Russian Victory

Tomorrow it’s the 9th of May. On that day Russia and many ex-Soviet countries celebrate Victory Day. The day that Nazi Germany was defeated and the flag of the USSR was planted on the Reichstag in Berlin. For many folks outside Russia this not known or has very little significance. But it deserves to be recognised and the Russians deserve to be recognised as the ones that won the Second…


Babushka

Babushka. It’s probably one of the better known Russian words outside Russia. And let’s set this straight first: it’s NOT the wooden doll that fitst three smaller versions of itself inside. That’s a matryoshka, a babushka is a grandmother. Grandmothers have a prominent role in Russian (and generally Slavic) culture and society. In eastern Europe it’s a lot less common for older people to move to retirement homes or receive…


The Strange and Problematic Metaphors of the Washington Post

A while ago this colourful metaphor from a reporter of the Washington Post did the rounds on internet. It got flack both for the inappropriately absurd allegory, as well as the oversimplification of a rather complex political situation. But while most of the criticism is aimed at the role of Vladimir Putin as ice cream man (there’s a sentence I didn’t ever expect typing), I find that there is something…


Revolution at the DNC

I hate Donald Trump and I don’t like Hillary Clinton. I’m not a fan of Vladimir Putin and I can’t call myself a supporter of Barack Obama. I like Bernie Sanders but he has a lot to learn. I don’t think Clinton should be president and I support the protests against her nomination. I don’t think Bernie supporters should vote Trump. It doesn’t sound that complicated but to many people…


A Chain of Events

In his classic novel “The Assault” late Dutch author Harry Mulisch deals with the question of guild and responsibility. Who is responsible for the murder of the protagonist’s family? The Nazis who carry out their execution? The resistance that assassinated a Nazi collaborator in front of their house, knowing there would be repercussions? The collaborator who made himself a murder target with his treacherous ways? It’s a scenario that’s familiar…