This is a blog for use in both of my HIS 241 and HIS 242 Russian history survey courses at Northern Virginia Community College.

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28 January 2015

What's Up in Belarus these days

Recent article by Forbes, Belarus's quandary: No longer Putin's dependable ally? outlines some aspects of Belarus' geopolitical situation.  Bottom line is that, in my view, it is unclear just exactly how well-developed a Belarus identity has developed in the last century.  There was little, if any, before the Bolshevik revolution, and the creation of a SSR by the Bolsheviks, for the first time kind of set up a defined territorial unit. But there is still a pretty sizable portion of the population that identify themselves as Russia.

21 January 2015

Using Twitter

I have a box of large-format slides that I purchased a couple of years ago on Ebay, and I am trying to identify them.  I know that they are from Moscow and St. Petersburg, and so to give my students a challenge, I am sending out one slide a week for 5-10 points of extra credit, and to make it even more challenging, I'm sending them out via twitter at #nvccEVANSec.
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14 January 2015

PBS Frontline: Putin's Way

Just saw about the last half of this program, which aired on 13 January 2015.  It is just another in a rather long series of Frontline shows devoted to Putin, as interested viewers in the US and Western Europe still grapple with understanding the Putin regime. The part that I saw really did not break much new ground.  Russia's economy is not doing well.  There is an enormous concentration of wealth in the hands of Putin and a close circle of men.  The regime has very firm control of media in the country.