At first, I wanted to spare you much reading about disturbing politics during the Spring time so there was no newsletter in May. But then events just happen--and not just in US presidential contest--and I could not resist the temptation of sharing the best with you .
On May 11-13, 2016, I was invited to speak at a three-days seminar on US-Russia relations at St. Petersburg State University. Head of the Department of International Relations Professor Boris Shiriaev has been conducting this event for 25 years, that is about as long as new, post-soviet Russia has existed. This time the Seminar was appropriately titled "Stability or Chaos: the Role of US-Russia Relations in the emerging World Order".
There were more than 100 speakers from among the faculty, graduate students and students, as well as several speakers from other Russian universities and from abroad, including three from the United States. At the plenary session I spoke about RAGA, about its role in public diplomacy, along with several other American NGOs engaged in efforts to promote better relations between our countries. It must be pointed out that I was invited there thanks to Anastasia Boyarkina (see a pic below) who wrote a course paper about RAGA. Before my talk is posted on RAGA site, I am happy to give a link to a Russian language report about this Seminar for those who know Russian.
<<Стабильность или хаос: роль российско-американских отношений в грядущем мировом порядке. Такова тема XXV Российско-американского семинара, который проходил с 11 по 13 мая в Санкт-Петербургском государственном университете.Репортаж Анны Жерновниковой: http://spb.media/text/stabilnost-ili-haos-rol-rossiysko-amerikanskih-otnosheniy-v>>
The the Seminar was well organized, Russian language presentations were simultaneously translated into English and posted on a large wall screen, and the same was done with English language presentation. Another positive trend was a greater level of student participation both as speakers and in the audience.
Just as during my previous report (Antidote 26) about the forum on US-Russia academic exchange at George Washington University, the unanimous conclusion was that Russia needs a greater intellectual exchange with US academic community. To prepare for next year 2017 Seminar, Professor Shiriaev welcomes inquiries from the United States. Below are the addresses:
Professor Boris Shiriaev <Shiriaev@mail.sir.edu>
Yulia Boguslavskaya <email@example.com>
Natalia Tsvetkova <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Just today I received a very important article written by an old RAGA friend Professor Vladimir Cherny, Doctor of Math and Physics, who has travelled extensively in the USA for the past 30 years and witnessed the emergence of High-Tech literally from individual garages. Pointing out "brain drain" from Russia, Dr. Cherny now calls on the Russian government to create conditions in Russia conducive to small individual enterprise and increase access to global developments in IT. His article was published in the Nezavisimaya (Independent) Gazeta
Well, the rest of this letter is in English, including a very disturbing report of Dmitry Tamoikin, RAGA key associate, about the travails of his father Mikhail Tamoikin, former high official in the Ukrainian government in charge of national treasures registry.
Professor hit by car in Lithuania, kidnapped and tortured in Ukraine
Eastern European Mafia behind the attacks
Last August Mikhail Tamoikin was kidnapped at gunpoint in the center of Kiev, chained and dragged into a car, taken to a boat, where he was beaten and tortured. Miraculously he managed to escape by jumping into the river and swimming for 12 km to safety. After calling the local police, Mikhail quickly learned that the corrupt Ukrainian government officials and “on the take” law enforcement officers were responsible for his kidnapping
Back to the USSR: A Call for Glasnost and Perestroika as We Re-think U.S. Foreign Policy
By Edward Lozansky and Gilbert Doctorow - Tuesday, June 7, 2016
In what follows, we will direct attention to foreign policy, because the impending failure there and our going off the cliff into World War III has to be the country’s first concern. Come a nuclear war, which, sadly, is more likely now than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, and all thoughts about the minimum federal wage, the sustainability of social security and transgender use of toilets will go out the window.
The clamp-down on our free speech about foreign policy began imperceptibly in the name of bipartisanship in the second term of Bill Clinton when a hybrid Neocon/Neoliberal Interventionist ideology fully replaced pragmatism and common sense at the State Department under Madeleine Albright and rippled out further to the Pentagon and Presidential Administration.
Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics, University of Kent, UK, May 26, 2016
Russia sees much of this as a direct threat to its own security, and threatens to deploy nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad and even possibly Crimea. The Russian armed forces are just about to test the prototypes of the S-500 Prometei air and missile defence system (also known as the 55R6M Triumfator M), capable of destroying ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles), hypersonic cruise missiles and planes at over Mach 5 speeds. The weakening or even abrogation of the INF andSTART treaties could destroy decades of painstaking arms control negotiations.
US Exceptionalism Has No Place in a Multipolar World, May 27, 2016, Robert Shines
History has proven that no particular state’s hegemony is eternal. Just as facing concerted military opponents on the field of battle, like Napoleon at Waterloo, can bring an end to a hegemon’s reign, so too can internal factors. In today’s world, in which ideas move across continents literally at the speed of light, the U.S has a harsh decision to make. Either it can realize that the world is inevitably moving towards multipolarity, and help devise a new international security architecture which recognizes other states’ legitimate core interests.
Handle the Bear with care. By Stephen Kinzer APRIL 28, 2016
The decision to expand NATO was made haphazardly. Secretary of Defense Les Aspin opposed it. So did General John Shalikashvili, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. But Clinton was moved by appeals from Eastern European leaders, felt that he had to display leadership at a moment when his Bosnia policy was failing, wanted to please ethnic voting blocs at home, and was swayed by what one scholar has called “his own Wilsonian orientation toward spreading liberalism.” He never convened a top-level meeting to ask his advisers to present their views.
Sharon Tennison, an antiwar activist, who takes American public diplomats to Russia, pointed me to Professor Stephen Cohen's the latest:
War With Russia Without Public Debate? By Stephen F. Cohen, June 8, 2016
NATO is continuing its military buildup and “exercises” on Russia’s borders, Moscow is taking “counter-measures,” while the US mainstream media remains silent.
Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US -Russian Cold War. (Previous installments are at TheNation.com). This installment returns to the large-scale NATO military buildup on Russia’s Western frontiers, again on land, sea, and in the air, now featuring Operation “Anaconda-2016,” an “exercise” involving more than 30,000 American and other NATO forces in Poland.
As to the New Russia's contribution to saving wolrld cultural monuments in Syria, Rachel Douglas of the LaRouche movement me sent the following:
<<I hope you'll post in your various venues the link to the full recording of the concert given today in the Palmyra amphitheatre. Music of Bach, Shchedrin and Prokofieff, performed by Valery Gergiev and the Mariynsky Theater Orchestra, violinist Pavel Milyukov, 'cellist Sergei Roldugin. Full report and concert recording is archived here by RTR state TV.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtEefNbxc4w
The concert itself begins at around 6 minutes. Gergiev makes the introduction in Russian and in English, other than that the narration is in Russian.
You may want to try the Russian rendition of the same
5 мая 2016
"С молитвой о Пальмире". Концерт Валерия Гергиева
Концерт Симфонического оркестра Мариинского театра под управлением народного артиста Российской Федерации В.Гергиева "С молитвой о Пальмире. Музыка оживляет древние стены" на площадке всемирно известного амфитеатра Пальмиры.
Dmitry Tamoikin's report about the increasing lawlessness in Ukraine is indirectly confirmed by the United National Antiwar Coalition in New York
As you know, UNAC has been increasingly involved with supporting the anti-fascist movement in Odessa, Ukraine. (Seehttp://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/13/eyewitness-odessa-anti-fascist-resistance-in-ukraine/)
The situation in Odessa is getting more difficult as the right-wing federal government and the growing fascist movement try to suppress progressive voices. In response, we are now formalizing our work as the Odessa Solidarity Campaign, which will be an ongoing UNAC project.
This campaign, which has been endorsed by Odessa’s Council of Mothers of May 2, will continue to support the Mothers and their call for an international investigation into the massacre of scores of progressives on May 2, 2014, as well as educating the public about the role of the U.S. in the developing economic and political crisis in Ukraine as a whole. This crisis must be seen in the context of the continuing U.S.-led NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, which violates an agreement the U.S. made with Russia at the time of the fall of the Soviet Union The result has been the military encirclement of Russia, creating a dangerous situation with a major nuclear power.
Please visit the new OSC website at www.odessasolidaritycampaign.org, sign the Council of Mothers’ petition for an international investigation and sign up to receive updates from the campaign. If you’re interested in being more active in this effort, please send an email to email@example.com or UNACpeace@gmail.com and we will help you get involved.
The one American who did the most to help RAGA bring to Americans the features of Russia's unique culture is Professor William Brumfield who teaches Russian language and Literature at Tulane University. Recently Russia honored him by publishing an extensive interview with him
МЕЖ ДВУХ БЕРЕГОВ
Этот удивительный человек родился за океаном, но уже более сорока лет живет на две страны. Там, в США, – дом и кафедра, здесь, в России, – Толстой, Достоевский и архитектура Русского Севера. И я, слава богу, выбрал Калифорнийский университет Беркли. Этот университет оказался просто идиллией для меня: там были такие корифеи, как Глеб Петрович Струве, сын известного русского политика Петра Струве, было много других умных людей, которые блестяще знали русскую культуру, а вот отдел славистики был небольшой. Там можно было общаться с самыми известными славистами. Так что я продолжал заниматься русским языком и русской литературой.
Predictably, the last item in this Antidote 27 is a series of William's photographs of the Russian city of Belgorod
Белгород -- Город первого салюта!
Текст и фотографии Уильяма Брумфилда для сайта RBTH (зарубежный проект "Российской Газеты"). 150-я статья в серии.
My current article for Russia beyond the Headlines is devoted to the city of Belgorod, whose history is closely connected with Russia's defense To see the slide show full screen, click the 4-arrow icon at lower right of photo window. One of my photos shows the cathedral under construction in 1999.
This is the 150 th of my articles and photo essays on Russia's architectural and cultural heritage for the foreign-language service of the Russian national newspaper Rossiiskaia Gazeta. A unified link to the series can be found at: http://rbth.ru/discovering_russia Through this link a total of 4,341 photographs from my documentary work in Russia are now accessible.
W George Krasnow (Vladislav Krasnov)
Malice to None. Good Will to All.
Peace and Justice to the World.
миру мир и благоволение в сердцах
From RAGA site:
"We are an association of Americans who believe it is in the U.S. national interests to foster friendship with Russia on the basis of mutual Good Will and non-interference in each other's affairs. RAGA is a gathering of people who share common interests in Russia's history, culture, religion, economy, politics and the way of life. We feel that Russian people have made outstanding contributions to humankind and are capable of greater achievements. We envision Russia as a strong, independent, proud and free nation and as a partner in achieving peace in the world."
All statements in this report are an opinion of the author. Act at your own risk. Russia & America Goodwill Association (RAGA) is not responsible for the content of the article. Any views or opinions presented in this report are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RAGA. Any liability in respect to this communication remain with the author.