A newly published book highlights the critical role vodka has played in Russian history. The work, titled "Alcohol, Autocracy and the Secret History of the Russian State," sees an enduring connection between vodka and the autocratic political institutions and policies that have characterized Russia for centuries.
The recent visit by Dmitry Rogozin, the Kremlin's special envoy for missile defense cooperation with NATO, to the U.S. State Department highlights one of the many obstacles to U.S.-Russian cooperation on ballistic missile defense. Russia's diplomats have generally, but not always, adopted a harder line, while Rogozin has been pushing his own missile defense agenda.
The debate between the United States and Russia over U.S. plans to deploy a ballistic missile-defense system in Europe is heating up again. Persistent differences with Poland over its conditions for accepting defensive interceptor missiles have led U.S. officials to hint that they might even consider Lithuania as an alternative deployment site.