Russia –“The beginning of the end of autocracy?”


The cover story of a recent Economist magazine, read “The beginning of the end of Putin.” The deeper meaning of those well chosen words might be “The beginning of the end of autocracy.” As always in Russia, there is a third side of the coin. Putin … [Read more...]


Many are surprised that the Russians like to joke about themselves and their leaders. But I wonder about the February 28, 2011 article in It was titled “Siberia to separate from Russia to become a part of USA” Now is that funny or … [Read more...]

Shirt or No Shirt, it’s Putin.

It is amazing to an American to read the Russian news and hear all the varied opinions about Putin’s decision to run for the Presidency—as if there has already been a campaign and an election. But that’s the way it is in Russia—for now. And it will … [Read more...]

St. Petersburg~A Favorite City of Mine

As usual in Russia, it is a place of mixed meaning and effect. Founded by Peter the Great in 1703 as his “Window on the West” it is still that and for that reason a place at arm’s length from the rest of Russia. And for that reason, one of the most … [Read more...]

Visitors from Russia~the Changers

  Ella and Sergey are from Rostov-on-Don and have been visiting me over the holidays, as they did last year. It is a pleasure to have them and they love Corona del Mar, California. I can agree with them on that  Rostov is not the northern Russian … [Read more...]

Ninotchhka~Greta Garbo 1939~I

  Thanks to my son-in-law in Atlanta, I watched the 1939 film “Ninotchka” starring the famous Greta Garbo. What a treat, so funny. Set in the pre WWII Paris, three goofy Bolsheviks come from Moscow to sell jewels taken from a famous Grand Duchess and … [Read more...]

The Politics of Russian Business

One thing you have to understand is that Russia is a politi­cal country. You can't do things alone.  Never mind about the Kremlin. That is another ocean you probably won’t have to challenge. But, even at the daily business level, it can be like … [Read more...]

The Cossacks are Coming

Recently I was introduced to a Russian lady here in California who soon informed me she was in fact a Cossack. In my interest in Russian history and culture I know about the Cossacks, but hard facts are elusive as to who they really are.  I knew them … [Read more...]

Confessions of a Russophile

From the review for “Walking on Ice. An American Businessman in Russia” from Russia Profile magazine, by its editor, Andrei Zolotov, Jr.     Of the legion of Western entrepreneurs who came to Russia in the early 1990s in search of opportunities, many … [Read more...]