Walter C. Clemens, Jr. in The Hedgehog Review:
Great civilizations can wither—even when built on the material and human foundations of a potential superpower. Today the civilizations of India, China, the West, and Islam are all in jeopardy. But what has happened to Russia, the world’s largest state and fulcrum of Eurasia? Tsarist Russia, for all that was cruel and backward about it, had redeeming features. It gave rise to some of the greatest music, dance, and literature in human history—a flowering that struggled for air in Soviet times but has nearly stopped breathing under Vladimir Putin’s petrostate.
Novaya Gazeta editor Dmitry Muratov, Nobel laureate for peace in 2021, was assailed with red paint laced with acetone during a Russian train trip on April 7. The assailant yelled, “Muratov, here’s one for our boys”—a reference to Russian forces fighting in Ukraine.