Nina L Khrushcheva is Professor of
International Affairs at The New School. Her latest book (with Jeffrey Tayler) is “In Putin’s Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia’s Eleven Time Zones”
NEW YORK – “In just three short years,” US President Donald Trump declared in his recent State of the Union (SOTU) address, “we have shattered the mentality of American decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny.” This baseless pronouncement—more propaganda than reality—recalled Joseph Stalin’s 1935 proclamation that “Life has improved, comrades; life has become more joyous.”
MOSCOW – For an armchair warrior like US President Donald Trump, who received five deferments from serving in Vietnam, assassinations must look like a foreign-policy silver bullet. You take out your enemy’s leadership with a drone strike or a rifle shot and, presto, your problems are solved. In fact, there is no historical basis for believing that assassinations solve anything. But there are plenty of precedents that they make things far, far worse.
MOSCOW – Over the last year, predictions of serious struggles for Russian President Vladimir Putin – or even his political demise – have been increasingly frequent. A recent article in The Economist, “An awful week for Vladimir Putin,” is just one example. But it is Putin biographer and New York Times correspondent Steven Lee Myers whose assessment rings most true: “Putin,” Myers has repeatedly said to me, “always wins.”