The Interpreter

A special project of Institute of Modern Russia

Michael Weiss

A widely published journalist, Weiss has expertise in the Israel-Palestine conflict and human rights in the Middle East. He recently wrote HJS's Media Briefing: "Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation: A Preliminary Assessment". Weiss has been published in Slate, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, The Daily Telegraph, The New Criterion, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, Prospect, Standpoint, Democratiya and The New Republic. He keeps a regular blog on foreign policy and the Middle East for the Daily Telegraph and one on culture for The New Criterion.
March 27, 2014

Ulrich Speck on German-Russian Relations

Ulrich Speck is a Visiting Scholar at Carnegie Europe and an expert on German-Russian relations, arguably the fulcrum on which the European Union’s response to Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea will pivot. The Interpreter‘s Editor-in-Chief Michael Weiss invited Speck to explain Berlin’s changing posture toward Moscow, and what effect this may also have on
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February 19, 2014

Oksana Forostyna: “Kiev hasn’t faced such violence since the Second World War.”

Two weeks ago, The Interpreter‘s editor-in-chief Michael Weiss interviewed Oksana Forostyna, executive editor for Krytyka Journal (think Ukraine’s London Review of Books). An outspoken intellectual and pro-Euromaidan activist, she talked about what the protestors in Kiev, now facing the bloodiest day of a three-month-long uprising (for more on this, see our liveblog), really want and what
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January 29, 2014

Is Snowden a Russian Operative? An Interview with Edward Lucas

As the international press continues to publish disclosures on the National Security Agency, attention has begun to shift slightly to the figure who stole 1.7 million national security documents. Edward Snowden’s whereabouts in Russia, how he attained asylum there, or what the real public interest is of leaking information about Swedish and Norwegian espionage against
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January 27, 2014

Navalny and the Interpreter on Sochi

In a blockbuster report released today, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny details the waste, fraud, and mismanagement behind the most expensive Olympics ever. It was inevitable that Alexey Navalny would do something big with the Olympics. The opposition leader famous for his anti-graft muckraking — and put on show trial for bogus “embezzlement” charges —
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August 13, 2013

The Rise and Probable Fall of Putin’s Enforcer

On June 4 2012, Russian reporter Sergei Sokolov was part of a press delegation accompanying the three-year-old Investigative Committee, often described as Russia’s FBI, on a trip to Kabardino-Balkaria, a republic in the Caucasus. Sokolov’s publication, Novaya Gazeta, is one of the few independent newspapers left in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, a fact ominously borne out
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August 12, 2013

Is the Putin-Obama Reset Dead?

To begin with, Barack Obama’s planned summit with Vladimir Putin next month in St. Petersburg, in advance of the upcoming Group of 20 confab in that city, was not really “cancelled,” as has been widely reported. It was “postponed,” a semantic distinction with a difference, even in the style of more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger diplomacy which now characterizes
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July 19, 2013

The Unsurprising, Unjust Conviction of Russia’s Opposition Leader

Aleksei Navalny woke up this morning knowing that he’d be found guilty of the crime of embezzlement. What he wasn’t absolutely sure of, though probably heavily suspected, was that he’d be given a lengthy jail sentence — five years, as it turns out, which is just one fewer than the prosecutor had asked for, along
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July 12, 2013

How Azerbaijan Is Like ‘The Godfather’

Few developments speak so well of how far Caucasian dictatorships have come since the grey days of the Soviet Union as the fabulously wealthy and incredibly investment-savvy 15-year-old male heir of Azerbaijan’s ruling family. When he was a mere 11 years old, Heydar Aliyev, the son of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, purchased $44 million in
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June 17, 2013

Whose Idea Was It to Build a Winter Resort in the Warmest Part of Russia?

Boris Nemtsov has occupied many roles in post-Soviet Russia, both in government and in the parallel polis that is oppositional politics. He was first elected governor of Nizhny Novgorod, whose successful economic reforms in that region carved a political pathway that would ultimately take him into the deputy premiership under the Yeltsin government. Nemtsov has
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May 30, 2013

Hard to Shill: Steven Seagal in Chechnya

The late Gore Vidal once said that the three saddest words in the English language were Joyce Carol Oates. Now here are the ten saddest: “The CODEL’s visit to Chechnya was facilitated by Steven Seagal.” CODEL stands for Congressional delegation, and the speaker here is the spokeswoman for Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California.
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