Living in Moscow

December 28, 2006

Russia has been in the news quite a bit lately. A common trend is to draw the parallel between Russia of today and the Soviet Union. For example is this weekend’s article in the Washington Post on the 15-year anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

On today’s Off the hour I spoke with Alexander Popov, who is a producer working in Moscow about his experience of politics while living in Russia’s capital and what he thought of the parallel. Listen below:

[odeo=http://odeo.com/audio/4629683/view]

Canada’s government has made it clear that NATO needs to commit more troops to the Afghanistan mission. Canadian troops have been stretched too thin, Peter MacKay has said.

At the same time, Canada is considering longer tours of duty for it troops in Afghanistan.

The British, The Observer reports, are showing “signs of weakness” in Afghanistan.

Could Afghanistan be turning into what it became for the Soviets? After all, the Soviets spent several years in the country, before pulling out. And they had to pull out, because their mission too was showing signs of weakness and became unsustainable. Like today, the Soviets had control of the capital, but the country was full of counter-insurgents (trained by the US, who later became the Taliban).

This has not been a good week for US foreign policy. And on the brink of failure for the British.