Much discussed, gloomy book by Yale professor Timothy Snyder. Snyder juxtaposes the “politics of eternity” versus “the politics of inevitability” – as far as I can see these concepts are his own. The politics of inevitability is the idea that there are no ideas. The cliche being: there are not alternatives. From the collapse of the politics of inevitability emerges the politics of eternity. Whereas the first promises a better future for… Read More

A page-turner on how the murder on a Russian lawyer led to the Magnitsky Act due to the tenacious work of investor Bill Browder. The first part of the books relates the intriguing story of Browder’s first steps as an investor at times of the collapsing of the Soviet-Union – it reads as a how-to-become-an-oligarch-handbook. Bill Browder, Red Notice – Transworld Publishers 480 p., 2015    

This is why Netflix is so great; they don’t shy away from big projects and bring really great produtions to our homes. Icarus is one of their best. Revealing the real nature of the doping programs for Russian athletes – and the way they have been able to cover up their criminal activities (Putin plays his role). The biggest scandal in the history of sports.  Stunning work by Bryan Fogel and this… Read More

A set of stories about the surreal world Russians, Ukrainians and other former Soviet peoples live in. A world wherein everything and everyone is suspect, where the abnormal is normal and vodka is consumed like water.  Although every story is different – from the adventures of Pussy Riot to the incarceration of Greenpeace employees, from a meteorite hitting Siberia (locals couldn’t bother less) to the utter chaos of the Maidan revolution and… Read More

As one of the most important actors on the geopolitical chess board I’m dying to better understand Putin and his Russia: Should he be feared and contained or, as some pundits argue, is he in fact our natural ally? The ‘preeminent’ historian Laqueur has a deep understanding of Russian history and its complexity as he demonstrates throughout his book, in which he paints the mood of the country with the help of… Read More

Taught me some valuable lessons on the trouble Russia is in, Putin’s role and the Russian character. Terribly difficult country.