The Misguided Legacy Of The Soviet Union Lives On

Guest article by Michael Cruickshank (twitter)

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Military debris left abandoned in Nagorno-Karabakh © Michael Cruickshank

This year, 2017, marks 100 years since the inception of the Soviet Union – the communist mega state which dominated much of Eurasia for the majority of the 20th century. While its achievements and its crimes are well documented, what is often overlooked is the legacy of the USSR fueling very modern violence.

One major achievement of the Soviet Union was to unite a vast array of different ethnic and national groups under a single ideology – namely communism, and a single government – Moscow. To achieve this it used a variety of tactics, ranging from propaganda, to economic development, resettlement, violent suppression, and the occasional act of political concession. But for all of its attempts, it was never particularly successful. Continue reading

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Charlottesville news roundup

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The news of the domestic terror attack in Charlottesville is still sinking in as well as the explosion of violence at the right winged march there (in addition to the disgusting reaction by Donald Trump in his speeches). Especially the “white liberal class” seems genuinely shocked about the events and surprised though it should not have been any surprise in the first place. BLM activists as well as left winged activists and some investigative journalists warned about right winged terrorism again and again.

Continue reading

New publication (German/Afghanistan)

Dear readers,

in the current ZENITH Magazine you can find my reportage on young Afghans who got deported from Germany back to Kabul/Afghanistan. Together with the photographer Johanna-Maria Fritz we followed them for several days after their arrival. Additionally we interviewed numerous organisations in Germany as well as in Afghanistan to counter the German state narrative that Afghanistan would have “safe zones” for deportations.

The reportage can be read also online in German here: LINK

New Berlin underground literature Magazine

It is currently a bit “silent” on my blog due to high work load. This will hopefully change soon!

You want to read poems I`ve written? Or view photos I have taken for my personal project “Memories of my home”? Than check out this new underground magazine from Berlin and buy it now!

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Photo from my series “Memories of my home” © Benjamin Hiller

“”The Bleeding Heart Nihilist” is a new nonperiodical, independent literary magazine based in Berlin, Germany. It is not aimed at any specific target readership, trying to be accessible to all kinds of people, explicitly including those who normally would never touch a collection of modern (or any kind of) poetry. It is a bi-lingual publication embracing the growing international community of our cities, trying to balance English and German content about equally.

It was created to breathe some fresh air into the modern mainstream book market, supporting original newcomers who want to be part of an alternative, uncommercial literary scene outside of online blogs and poetry slams – nothing more, nothing less. Simply a for us, by us kind of deal, the old-school way. The goal is neither publishing ivory tower art for fart-sniffing academics, nor pushing trivial entertainment trash either. The contributors, featuring a revolving cast of free authors, are not defined by style or genre, but through being opinionated and subversive, with a special focus on unconventional lifestyles and radical world views, speaking straight from the eponymous bleeding heart now, and worrying about who might listen later.

The first issue, published in May 2017, presents (for the most part exclusive) poetry and stories by Clint Lukas, Gaston Latz, Karl Cointreau and myself. Buy it HERE (shipping worldwide)

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Civil society, hacking and the danger of tainted leaks

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Do you know David Satter? He is a high profile journalist from the US who extensively covered the Soviet Union, Russia and the corruption around Putin and his cronies. As Citizen Lab recently reported in a new report he is the so called “Patient Zero” in a phishing, hacking and disinformation campaign spanning the globe and targeting politicians, companies and especially the civil society, including journalists. All the information gathered here as well as the explanatory graphics are curtsey the Citizen Lab, and they deserve the highest praise for such an in-depth report at this critical time.

I decided to summarize the report here on my blog and give some advice at the end of the post in regard to the importance of cyber security in our days and how we, especially journalists, can protect themselves more effectively. Continue reading