Thousands of women are shot, thrown out of the windows or beaten to death by their family members in Russia, which has domestic violence rates upwards of 30 times higher than most European and Western countries.
To get a taste of Sochi, without the hassle of traveling to Russia, step into New York's Brighton Beach neighborhood. The Russian enclave in Brooklyn is where you'll find the Olympic games on every available TV.
Tiny Moldova is Europe's poorest country, and it relies on exports — mostly to Russia — to keep its economy going. But as it makes overtures to the European Union, Russia is using embargoes to pressure the country and its Russian-speaking minority to resist, drawing inevitable comparisons to Ukraine.
On September 19th, Russian journalist Andrey Allakhverdov was aboard the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise protesting at an Arctic oil rig, when Russian authorities arrested the entire crew. His letters from a prison in Murmansk tell a story of uncertainty, yet reasonable treatment.
Russia's standoff with Ukraine over Crimea seems to have stabilized for the moment. But tensions remain high, and not just in Ukraine. Many in Eastern Europe see parallels between the current situation and the days leading up to World War II.
Fighting in eastern Ukraine is putting a serious dent in tourism in Crimea — unless you're Russian. While Ukrainians and Europeans are staying away from the newly-annexed peninsula, Russians are making their usual beach trips there, and say the region is rightfully theirs.
In 1984, Russian historian Suzanne Massie got a call she'll never forget. President Ronald Reagan invited her to the White House to brief him on Russian history and culture. Little did she know that this would be the beginning of many years of advising the president.