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Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Citizen K

Post-Soviet history and the path toward genocide in Ukraine.
Oscar-winning writer/director Alex Gibney’s revelatory CITIZEN K is an intimate yet sweeping look at post-Soviet Russia from the perspective of the enigmatic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former oligarch turned political dissident. Benefitting from the chaos that ensued after the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., Khodorkovsky was able to amass a fortune in financing and oil production and became the richest man in Russia. But when he accused the new Putin regime of corruption, Khodorkovsky was arrested, his assets were seized and following a series of show trials, he was sentenced to more than ten-years in prison. Today, as an exile living in London, he continues to speak out against Putin’s two-decade stranglehold on power. Expertly researched and photographed, Gibney uses Khodorkovsky’s story as a way to explore the complex interplay between oligarchy and government and its destructive effect on democracy, in Russia and beyond.
Two hours and six minutes of excellence. I watched it all yesterday (on Amazon Prime). Highly recommended. Puts today's Russian military atrocity in stark perspective.
Russia's Black Sea naval flagship, the missile cruiser Moskva, was hit by two Ukrainian-made Neptune missiles yesterday (Apr 14th), and then sank while being towed back to Sevastopol in heavy seas. U.S. Pentagon now confirms this report. Wow. Hostilities may soon ramp up materially in retaliation.

So, here we are at nearly two months in. I have to admit that, like many, I feared that Ukraine would be overrun in days, with President Zelenskyy killed or captured. I also expected that there would be major cyber-espionage outages, perhaps aimed at power grids and the financial system (and the internet more broadly). I no longer have any outcomes expectations.

The anxious daily doomscroll continues...

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