Soviet Union

EXCERPT: The Spy I Brought in From the Cold

For some time, Olga had been talking in riddles, dropping hints, making provocative comments. Once when I had remarked on her relatively good life in Moscow, she replied: "It is better to be a free sparrow than a caged canary." I had ignored all hints, aware they might be a trap.
VIKTOR DRACHEV via Getty Images

Why Geopolitics, Not Economics, Governs Russia's Crimea Decision

Despite the very tangible political or economic benefits it could bring, Russia never considered peacefully ceding any of its remaining territorial holdings to its neighbours. During the 1998 financial crisis for example, President Boris Yeltsin never thought of selling the sparsely populated, almost vestigial property of Sakhalin Island in the north Pacific to a cash-rich, land-poor Japan, even as Russia desperately needed hard currency to prop up a crashing ruble. If and when Crimea votes to leave Ukraine for Russia, Western economic sanctions will surely follow if Russia happily embraces the peninsula.
AFP

Euro 2012 is Euro 1939, the Sports Edition

When black Dutch players received their Jim Crow-inspired welcome in Krakow last week, we were shocked, stunned, and depressed -- but hardly surprised. This stuff ain't new in that part of the world. Meanwhile a portion of the 10,000 Russian fans who have bought tickets will be holding a march from central Warsaw to the stadium. Poles view it as "provocative." Can you really blame them?
Getty Images

Let Them Eat Borscht

The Soviet Union once sought to intimidate, undermine, influence, subvert, exploit, deceive, penetrate, and dominate every country it had dealings with -- friendly or otherwise. It was paranoid and paralyzed by its dependence on the secret police. But today, the best course of action with Russia is to leave the damn country alone.
Getty

Russia's War With Islam

We in North America tend to forget that Russia is Europe's second biggest economy. It's also the world's biggest producer of oil and gas -- probably more than the rest of the world combined. What Russia has that we haven't to the same extent, is Islamic terrorism.
CP

Was Trudeau a Disaster for Canada? Yep.

Three subsequent important prime ministers -- Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien and Stephen Harper -- invested their energies cleaning up the wreckage left by Pierre Trudeau. Finally, nobody speculates any more about Canada defaulting on its debt, or splitting apart, or being isolated from all its major allies.
AP

Canada's $6M Cleanup

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- OTTAWA - The cleanup of two Canadian Forces bases in Germany that closed after the Cold War cost Canada millions of dollars, new documents show. The federal government has paid t...