Russia

Global Politics

Edward Snowden is OK with what he's given up to start a debate on surveillance

Washington Post contributor Barton Gellman sat down with Edward Snowden in Moscow for a 14 hour interview, recently. It was the former NSA contractor's first major interview since he was granted asylum in Russia. Gellman describes Snowden as something of a shut-in who doesn't mind living alone in his Moscow residence, now that he's sparked an international debate on surveillance.

Arts, Culture & Media

A Russian writer who wrote about the absurdity of life now has a street in Queens named after him

Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation to rename 63 different thoroughfares and public places throughout the city. Soon, 63rd Drive in Queens will be the first city street named after a Russian writer — Sergei Dovlatov, whose stories appeared in the New Yorker. And his wife still lives there.

Global Politics

Ukraine's identity crisis is nothing new

Ukraine has been gripped by demonstrations for weeks now. Protesters want the President to keep his promise and sign a deal with the European Union. The deal would bail out the country's broken finances and bring it into closer association with Brussels. Russia doesn't like that. It's not the first time in Ukraine's history that is has to decide between East and West.