Recent Posts

Russian Socialists in the Struggle for Democracy

For the past few weeks, protests for fair elections in upcoming municipal polls have become weekly in Moscow and St. Petersburg as thousands have defied authorities to attend unsanctioned rallies. The police crackdown has been particularly harsh in Moscow. Protests on July 27 and August 3 resulted in over 2000 detentions. Images of police in riot gear wrestling citizens to the ground and beating peaceful protesters were reminiscent of the mass protests against election fraud in 2011-2012.

Members of the Russian Socialist Movement, a small Marxist, anti-Stalinist organization active in the Russian left, have been participants in local electoral campaigns and in the protests. Two RSM activists, Valeria Kovelishina and Ilya Budraitskis talk about the Russian Socialist Movement, their electoral work, the protests for democracy in Russia and what they might mean for the future.

Witnessing the Collapse of Communism


Roundtable discussion marking the 30th anniversary of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. Participants include Timothy Garton Ash, Bridget Kendall, and Jens Reich.

The Evictors

Around Moscow, there’s a whole industry of so-called “black creditors” — microfinance institutions (or MFOs) that swindle and seize debtors’ homes. Ivan Golunov’s investigation for Meduza has discovered that almost 500 apartments have been seized from their owners over the past five years without so much as a court order. In fact, this scheme involves more than simply “squeezing” people from their homes. It is possibly part of a wider, international money-laundering system. Here’s Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov on the ins and outs of this industry.

Gorbachev: Who Killed Laura Palmer?

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on reddit

Who killed Laura Palmer? Was it James Hurley? Bobby Briggs? Leland Palmer? Or was it the demonic entity, Bob? The question has occupied fans of the dark and quirky drama series since it went off the air in 1991. Perhaps we’ll finally learn who killed Laura Palmer when the series returns in 2016.

One fan nagged by the identity of Laura Palmer’s killer was none other than Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union. Twin Peaks aired in Russia in 1993. According to a new oral history of the series, Brad Dukes’ Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks, Gorbachev pressed President George H. W. Bush to ask the series’ creators about Laura’s killer. This is what Jules Haimovitz, then President and Chief Operating Officer of Spelling Entertainment Inc, recalled:

Twin Peaks aired in Russia and Mikhail Gorbachev was a big fan of the show. . .One day Aaron [Spelling] gets a call from Carl Lindner who wants to know who killed Laura Palmer. Aaron was not that involved with the show on a day-to-day basis, so he calls me up and he said, “Who killed Laura Palmer?” I said, “No clue.” He said, “It’s really important.”

I called David [Lynch] and he says, “I can’t tell you.” I don’t want to press David, so I call Aaron back to say, “David won’t tell me, who wants to know?” and he says “President Bush.” What happened was Gorbachev called Bush, who called Carl, who called Aaron, who called me. So I called David back and I said, “This isn’t going to go anywhere, it’ll be a secret. You have to tell me who Laura’s killer is.” That’s when I realized David had no idea who killed Laura Palmer.”

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js