Posts tagged ‘russia’

October 14, 2010

At the Kremlin banquet hall, it’s the Diet of Worms redux

FOR GENERATIONS, SCHOOL CHILDREN and college students throughout the English-speaking countries have tittered over the implausibly named “Diet of Worms” of 1521, where the great reformer Martin Luther was called onto the carpet by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at a meeting of the Imperial Diet, was the assembly of the Imperial Estates. Luther barely escaped with his life, although there is no record that he was actually fed night crawlers with his black bread and cheese (the German term for the Diet of Worms is der Wormser Reichstag, which has no comical overtones). This week, though, a worm-inspired “tweet” may well cost a Russian provincial governor his job…

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April 7, 2010

Poland and Russia mark 70th anniversary of Katyn Massacre

Memorial in Katyn Forest

TODAY, RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER Vladimir Putin and Polish prime minister Donald Tusk are scheduled to take part in a joint ceremony marking the seventieth anniversary of an historical event. This sort of item would normally fall under the news desk, since government leaders are constantly marking historical events of one kind or another. But this ceremony is different, since it is taking place in Katyn Forest near the Russian town of Smolensk, where – among other places – up to 22,000 Polish officers and other members of the Polish elite met a gruesome death at the hands of Josef Stalin’s NKVD secret police.

Pursuant to a secret clause of the Hitler-Stalin Pact and following Germany’s attack on Poland on September 1, 1939, Soviet forces…

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