October 13, 2004 |
In the final pages of his new novel, satirist Vladimir Voinovich likens Russia to a zoo. After years of yearning, the animals have been released and enjoy "the pleasure of running around on the grass." But the carnivores are gobbling prey with abandon, so the herbivores decide freedom isn't worth the constant fear of being eaten. They want the zookeeper back.
February 28, 1990 |
She stands like a steel reed on the stage of the Bolshoi Conservatory, her tiny figure encased in gold lame, her mouth marked by a single streak of scarlet. Only her hands move, now flaying a violent chord, now lulling the violin almost to sleep. At intermission, the audience is ecstatic; fans rush the stage, shower her with flowers, even kneel at her feet and kiss her hand. At performance's end, after three encores, she is flooded with roses, tulips and carnations--more than 50 bouquets in all.
December 10, 1989 |
A funny thing happened to Vladimir Voinovich on his way to becoming a writer. "I wanted to be a normal realist, to depict life as it is," the genial, white-haired author said during a recent visit to New York. "But real life in the Soviet Union is so absurd, it forced me to become a satirist."
January 22, 2012 |
Writer Vladimir Voinovich has spent decades skewering Russia's bureaucracy and power structure — and in some cases predicting the future with uncanny accuracy. Soviet officials punished him by stripping him of his citizenship in 1980 and expelling him. Six years later, writing from exile, he published the novel "Moscow 2042. " It described a shrunken, post-Soviet Russia run by a former KGB spy who had been stationed in Germany. That was years before Vladimir Putin, a former spy based in Germany, actually did rise to power.
July 16, 2010 |
Russia's most feared counterintelligence service took on even wider powers under a law approved Friday in parliament, and critics warned that the country was sliding back toward Soviet-era repressions. The FSB, a modern-day successor to the Soviet KGB, will now have the authority to issue warnings to people who have broken no laws but are viewed as potential criminals. Rights monitors have criticized the law as a throwback to the times when Russians lived in fear of state persecution for appearing ideologically objectionable.