Remembering the 1991 Moscow Coup—and What Came After

Twenty-five years ago today, tanks rumbled through the streets of Moscow. Do you remember where you were?

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Back in the (Former) USSR

I never thought I’d see Moscow again, although I dreamed of it for fourteen years. I boarded a teeming Aeroflot flight in late summer 2005, as Katrina’s receding waters revealed, inch by inch, the erasure of New Orleans as I once knew it. Mourning for that blighted, intoxicating city, I rushed towards another place I…

Russian Coup – 20 Years Ago

Twenty years ago today, tanks rumbled through the streets of Moscow. Do you remember where you were? Every generation has its historic “where were you when” moments. For ours, there’s the Challenger disaster (1/86), the fall of the Berlin Wall (11/89), and most vivid of all for me, the three-day Soviet coup in late summer…

Russian Lessons: The Dacha Life

Again, with the musty old essays! I wrote this one three or four years ago and just rediscovered it last week. da·cha (däch) n. A Russian country house or villa. For years, I have wanted my very own dacha. Maybe there’s something about dying empires that stirs longing. In September of 1991, I boarded a…