Gary Shteyngart was born in the former Soviet Union. He moved to the US along with his family when he was seven years-old. On New Year’s Eve 2014, he had an idea: what would it be like if he spent a week watching just Russian state TV?
Pro-Russian separatists claim the latest plane downings are just one victory of many to come. The incident has not only heightened tension even further, but also hindered the investigation at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight 17.
The "Anti-Maidan" rally in Moscow marked one year since a pro-Western uprising in Kiev's Maidan Square toppled Ukraine's president. But the attendees have a far different view of everything that's happened since then, and they're not afraid to say it.
Russia's opposition likens itself to Michael Phelps facing an extreme challenge. "If you have a champion swimmer, and you fill up the pool with acid, he won't be able to swim. But it doesn't mean he's a weak swimmer."
President Vladimir Putin delivered a fiercely patriotic State of the Nation speech Thursday. He said Russia would defeat those enemies seeking to destroy and dismember it. But the rhetoric failed to reassure markets and the ruble continues its slide.
Ukraine's latest easefire is finally holding, but the US warns that pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine are likely to resume the war in the spring. And in the meantime, Ukraine is suffering from the same economic woes as Russia as oil prices plummet.