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Author: Naphtali Rivkin

The humble pastor

Juris Rubenis, a Lutheran pastor, helped organise some of the largest anti-Soviet demonstrations in the 1980s. He co-wrote the founding documents for the Latvian Popular Front and signed the official document declaring the independence of Latvia from the Soviet Union. Today, he tries to help Latvians overcome the post-Soviet mentality through spirituality and meditation.

October 4, 2017 - Naphtali Rivkin

Russia’s thorny relationship with democracy

The assassination of Boris Nemtsov in front of the Kremlin on February 27th 2015 marked the first time since the execution of Lavrentiy Beria in 1953 that a viable contender for Russian power was summarily eliminated. By the time Brezhnev forcibly ousted Khrushchev from power in 1964, the Soviet elite had tacitly agreed that power struggles between them would not result in murder; Khrushchev died eight years later, with a pension. Since 1953, the Russian political elite who came to power through illiberal and undemocratic means did not generally purge the allies of their predecessors for fear that the same would be done to them if and when they were succeeded. Perhaps, whoever ordered the assassination of Boris Nemtsov harbours no such fears.

May 31, 2017 - Naphtali Rivkin

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