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  • What’s next for Sochi’s $50 billion in facilities?
    February 24, 2014, by James Brooke VOA Moscow Bureau Chief

    This is Russia’s semi-tropical southern corner, where you can ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon – in mid-winter! For the Winter Olympics, Russia spent $50 billion on […]

  • Will Putin try to split Ukraine?
    February 22, 2014, by James Brooke VOA Moscow Bureau Chief

    Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych has fled the presidential palace and the nation’s capital, taking refuge in his hometown of Donetsk. That city is a 45-minute drive from the Russian border. […]

  • Potemkin Olympics or Palm Tree Olympics?
    February 12, 2014, by James Brooke VOA Moscow Bureau Chief

    In Sochi today, the most carefully watched page is not the Olympic medals count. It is the weather forecast. Down here on the Black Sea coast, daytime highs are nudging […]

  • The Olympics of Control — 2014 or 1984?
    February 8, 2014, by James Brooke VOA Moscow Bureau Chief

    Sochi may be sunny and the skies bright blue, but I feel as if the Olympics are in 1984. I walked into the Olympic Village train station and was confronted […]

  • Sochi Olympics: Putin’s legacy or liability?
    February 5, 2014, by James Brooke VOA Moscow Bureau Chief

    When the Sochi Olympics open on Friday, they will be the most expensive Olympics games in history. The $50 billion cost is four times Putin’s original estimate back in 2007, when […]

  • Don’t underestimate Ukraine!
    January 29, 2014, by James Brooke VOA Moscow Bureau Chief

    In the late 1940s, the mortality rate for Soviet troops fighting Ukrainian insurgents in Western Ukraine was higher than the mortality rate for Soviet troops fighting in Afghanistan in the 1980s. […]

  • Ukraine’s leader agrees to repeal some anti-protest laws
    January 28, 2014, by James Brooke VOA Moscow Bureau Chief

    Ukraine’s embattled President Victor Yanukovich has agreed to repeal some of the harsh anti-protest laws that have helped fuel increasingly violent protests for more than a week. The decision came […]

  • Ukraine protesters demand president’s resignation
    January 27, 2014, by James Brooke VOA Moscow Bureau Chief

    Ukraine’s pro-European protesters said Sunday they are not interested in sharing power with President Viktor Yanukovych. They want him to quit. On Saturday, Ukraine’s president unexpectedly offered to name one […]

  • Putin’s amnesties: Political thaw or PR stunt?
    December 24, 2013, by James Brooke VOA Moscow Bureau Chief

    On Friday, it was President Vladimir Putin’s archnemesis, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. On Monday, it was two women from the Pussy Riot protest group. Later this week, it could be the turn […]