When the Department of Justice required RT, the Russian-funded news outlet, to register as a foreign agent last month, the Russian government responded in kind. Yet the Kremlin's recent crackdown on Western media is just part of a longer history of stifling independent media in Russia.
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A review of Oleg Khlevniuk's Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator (Yale University Press, reprint edition, 2016).
Editor's Note: Russia won in Syria – or so Putin would like us to believe. The Russian intervention seemed to tip the balance of forces in Assad's favor, and Russia announced a pullout with its mission accomplished. Carol Saivetz of MIT, a regular Lawfare contributor, makes the case for skepticism. She points out Moscow is far more involved in Syria than it likes to admit and still runs many risks from its intervention.
Editor’s Note: Russia's decision to double down on the Assad regime and play a direct military role is fundamentally changing the civil war in Syria — and upending U.S. policy in the bargain. Although Obama administration officials are convinced Russia's intervention will fail in the long term, it is difficult to judge this and understand what Moscow might do next without understanding the reasons for intervention in the first place.