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Bill Longstaff: Stalin returns (and he is Putin)

Sometimes the perversity of people seems to know no bounds. A fine example of this is illustrated in a recent article in Foreign Policy which discusses the rehabilitation of Stalin in Russia. Yes, it boggles the mind, but one of the greatest monsters … . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Stalin returns (and he is Putin)

Bill Longstaff: On Putin the poisoner

According to a report by former British High Court judge Robert Owen, the 2006 murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London was carried out by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and probably approved by President Vladimir Putin. Putin h… . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: On Putin the poisoner

Bill Longstaff: Chrétien, Putin and Harper—opportunity lost?

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien’s recent chat with Vladimir Putin in Moscow presents an opportunity to our government. Since Mr. Harper has, unlike all the other G7 leaders, refused to talk to the Russian leader, a debriefing of Mr. Chrétien would offer him a possibility of learning what motivates Putin’s actions in Ukraine—his sentiments, his . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Chrétien, Putin and Harper—opportunity lost?

Bill Longstaff: Presumption of innocence be damned—Putin killed Boris Nemtsov

In this country, the “golden thread” of criminal law, embodied in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is the presumption of innocence. To quote the Charter, “Any person charged with an offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Presumption of innocence be damned—Putin killed Boris Nemtsov

Bill Longstaff: Putin leads Russia from Communism to Fascism

Russian president Vladimir Putin is on record as saying that the collapse of the Soviet Union was one of the 20th century’s major geopolitical disasters. Some might say this suggests he is an unregenerate communist but that, I suspect, is not the case. He was comfortable enough in the USSR, serving the state as a . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Putin leads Russia from Communism to Fascism

Bill Longstaff: Harper—not a man for our time

Vladimir Putin is a corrupt bully and I don’t like the guy. Nor do I like the mischief he’s up to in Ukraine. Nonetheless, I am not impressed by Stephen Harper’s self-righteous ranting about him.

I find Harper very hard to agree with even when he’s on the right side of the issue. Not because . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Harper—not a man for our time

Bill Longstaff: Is Putin playing to the gallery?

That Vladimir Putin laments the loss of the Soviet empire is well known, so adding a few bits back in no doubt appeals to him. He also has a perfectly legitimate reason for playing tough on Russia’s western front—security. Russia has suffered a number of devastating invasions from the west and indeed maintaining a buffer . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Is Putin playing to the gallery?

Bill Longstaff: The Great Game—did Putin outplay the West in Crimea?

In the 19th century, the British and Russian empires’ strategic rivalry for supremacy in Central Asia was referred to as the Great Game. The game has never really ended as Russia has continued to vie with Western powers for influence and control in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. And in recent days, the Russians may . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: The Great Game—did Putin outplay the West in Crimea?

Bill Longstaff: McCain answers Putin—great stuff!

I love it—war with words rather than guns. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times laying out his views on international law and gently chiding Barack Obama for his “American exceptionalism.” Now John McCain, Senator from Arizona, has answered Putin in kind—and in spades.

In the online . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: McCain answers Putin—great stuff!

Bill Longstaff: Did Putin really write that?

I’ve always thought of Vladimir V. Putin as an amoral ex-KGB thug. And I still do. But I have to admit he wrote a rather progressive op-ed piece in the New York Times on Wednesday. Overlook a belittling of Syrians’ desire for democracy, a fudge about who used the poison gas and a gratuitous sermon . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Did Putin really write that?

Bill Longstaff: Putin’s popularity prevails

It may be beyond rational explanation, but almost three-quarters of the Russian people approve of Vladimir Putin. The man is a corrupt thug with KGB written all over him, but he remains a popular figure. A recent survey showed that 72 per cent of Russians have a favourable view of their new president, a vote . . . → Read More: Bill Longstaff: Putin’s popularity prevails