BERKELEY, Calif. — A few months ago in Chicago, where I was visiting for a wedding, a department store clerk asked me what kind of accent I had. I admitted it was Russian. “Would you take our president home with you?” he asked. His question threw into sharp relief my predicament: As a liberal Russian living in the United States, I am now associated with a man whose xenophobic, antidemocratic agenda I detest.
American attitudes toward Russia and Russians have always been hostage to the larger relationship between our nations. During the Reagan years, Russia was the “evil empire,” purveyor of nuclear arms, spies and Hollywood villains. The Russians repaid in kind: At a New Year’s show in the Kremlin Palace that I attended at the tender age of 9, the antagonist was an agent of the “rotting West” sent to steal Soviet children’s gifts.
But there were always counterpoints. Which American intellectual didn’t lose him or herself in “The Brothers Karamazov”? Which Soviet dissident didn’t hope to be shouldered by the American government, the guarantor of human rights, dignity and freedom of conscience? As we listened to the Voice of America on crackling radio transmitters in our tiny Soviet kitchen, devouring the facts that our government concealed — about the war in Afghanistan, the dissidents thrown into mental asylums, the Chernobyl disaster — we couldn’t help but admire America as a moral counterweight. Of all my beliefs assailed by the realities of Donald Trump’s America, this one is the hardest to let go.
Nothing indicated we were headed this way. By and large, the previous five American presidents of my lifetime, Democrats and Republicans both, all maintained some steady policies when it came to Russia: supporting democratic elements and shunning authoritarianism. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” Ronald Reagan famously demanded in 1987, his deep personal sympathy for the energetic Soviet leader notwithstanding.
That same year, my father-in-law, a refusenik, was finally allowed to leave the Soviet Union. America, his adoptive country, could not give him back his job, his wife or his health. But it gave him freedom. He thought it was worth the bargain.
Twenty-two years later, we, heirs to Mr. Gorbachev’s perestroika and the dreams of our dissident fathers, are staring at the chilling reality of an American president not calling for a wall to be torn down but fighting to put one up. A president who sends American troops to stave off, not shelter, the hungry and the poor. A president who doesn’t care about sharing Reagan-like optimism with Russians but who is so hungry for deals that would expand his business empire, exporting ’80s-style American excess and glitzy hotels to Moscow, that he may be willing to commit crimes to do so.
“Take him home with you” — I remember the words of the Chicago store clerk addressed to me. But where is home?
In the early 2000s, Vladimir Putin began foiling the Russian democratic experiment. Everything he touched withered. Economic freedom became fodder for shameless corruption. Russia was no longer a country seeking redemption; it was a belligerent empire rebuilt. When Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, tensions once again exploded between Moscow and America. My own cousins, with whom I grew up side by side, now barely speak to me. “We love you but not the country you’re in.” My choosing to live in the West has become exile.
Donald Trump is not to blame for Mr. Putin’s authoritarianism. But he is responsible for throwing America’s moral weight behind Russia’s strongman, praising Mr. Putin’s “leadership” and downplaying accusations of political assassinations under his watch. For the first time since World War II, those trying to rein in Russian authoritarianism can no longer count on America’s support, be it the Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, ducking in and out of prison, or NATO, struggling with its founding member’s constant threats to abandon it.
Washington funded the Voice of America that my family relied on to hear the truth, but today the White House spews falsities, in which the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan becomes a counterterrorist operation. An invitation was extended to a Russian ultranationalist and anti-American bigot, Dmitry Rogozin, to visit an American government agency in the interest of “mutual cooperation.” This week, Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch and another influential Putin insider who once faced credible accusations of extortion, bribery and even murder, secured easing of the sanctions for his companies. And now there is a report — parts of which the special counsel’s office disputes — that the man in the White House may have instructed his lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the extent of his business dealings with Russia, which included a prospective penthouse for Mr. Putin, delivered by an American presidential candidate.
The Republican Party’s leaders remain acquiescent, just as they were in the face of Mr. Trump’s fawning over Mr. Putin at their summit in Helsinki in July, his refusal to divulge the details of his one-on-one meetings with Mr. Putin, or recent revelations about F.B.I. investigations into the possibility that Mr. Trump had done work for Russia. When the vote on the Deripaska sanctions took place on the Senate floor, Republicans bizarrely accused Democrats of politicizing the sanctions. Few of us, American or Russians, could have envisioned such a reversal. Reagan would turn in his grave.
Yet despite all this, Mr. Trump’s presidency created an opportunity. The day after returning home to Berkeley from Chicago, where the store clerk had tried to pack an American president into my shopping bag, I taught my first class on Russian politics and history. It sold out, at 200 people: After years of oblivion that bordered on indifference, with Russian studies departments downsizing all over the United States, Americans are experiencing a resurgence of anxious interest in a country that, suddenly, no longer seems so vastly different from their own.
The students in my “Understanding Russia” class wanted to know everything: Why do Orthodox churches have onion-shaped domes? Why do Russians like Mr. Putin? One student asked whether I had any advice on how to build an oligarch fortune in Russia. (No, I don’t.) Another turned out to be a founding member of a group of physicists formed in 1978 to alleviate the plight of dissident scientists in the Soviet Union.
Sharing with my American students what I knew — and learning from them what I didn’t — I felt transported to the years of my perestroika youth, when our countries had been united in their desire to understand each other, and to “tear down this wall.” But for that to happen outside a Berkeley classroom, America must follow through on its promise of liberty and justice for all, as delivered to me and millions of other immigrants.
Anastasia Edel (@aedelwriter) grew up in southern Russia and is the author of “Russia: Putin’s Playground: Empire, Revolution, and the New Tsar.”B:
【梦】【缘】【村】300【人】，【民】【兵】50【人】【包】【括】【主】【官】【谭】【雄】【和】【副】【官】【卯】【卿】【共】【计】52【人】。【对】【比】【两】【支】【石】【蜥】【群】【落】【共】【计】200【头】【凶】【兽】【而】【言】【看】【着】【确】【实】【少】【了】【不】【少】，【但】【考】【虑】【到】【野】【怪】【实】【力】【参】【差】【不】【齐】【而】【我】【方】【所】【有】【战】【斗】【人】【员】【实】【力】【都】【达】【到】【了】【兵】【级】，【并】【且】【资】【质】【不】【弱】，【倒】【是】【确】【实】【有】【了】【一】【战】【的】【资】【本】。 【关】【键】【是】【战】【损】。 “【预】【计】【战】【损】【是】【多】【少】？”【宁】【远】【神】【色】【郑】【重】【地】【问】【道】。
【百】【花】【教】【花】【轻】【瑶】【在】【上】【次】【查】【于】【影】【的】【时】【候】【附】【带】【着】【这】【算】【是】【了】【解】【了】【些】。 【这】【是】【一】【个】【和】【于】【影】【并】【肩】【齐】【名】【的】【一】【个】【邪】【教】【组】【织】。 【不】【过】【所】【谓】【的】【邪】【教】，【不】【过】【是】【朝】【廷】【和】【江】【湖】【给】【的】【名】【号】【罢】【了】。 【于】【影】【相】【当】【于】【一】【个】【杀】【人】【组】【织】，【只】【要】【给】【钱】【谁】【都】【可】【以】【帮】【你】【干】【掉】，【最】【主】【要】【的】【还】【是】【以】【符】【咒】【为】【主】。 【而】【百】【花】【教】【则】【是】【一】【个】【随】【心】【所】【欲】【杀】【人】【的】【教】【派】，【杀】【的】【都】【是】【一】【些】今晚开奖号码结果查询【其】【实】【这】【几】【天】【他】【也】【没】【有】【看】【到】【苏】【大】【娘】【和】【娟】【子】【他】【们】。 【村】【里】【风】【言】【风】【语】【的】【也】【很】【多】，【他】【也】【听】【到】【了】，【虽】【然】【没】【放】【在】【心】【上】，【不】【过】，【却】【也】【知】【道】【夜】【长】【梦】【多】。 【沈】【青】【山】【按】【照】【父】【亲】【的】【吩】【咐】【将】【排】【骨】【和】【五】【花】【肉】【分】【成】【了】【八】【份】。 【这】【力】【气】【大】【就】【是】【有】【好】【处】，【真】【是】【分】【的】【整】【整】【齐】【齐】，【一】【刀】【下】【去】【连】【皮】【带】【骨】【头】，【利】【利】【索】【索】【的】，【连】【个】【肉】【筋】【都】【不】【连】。 【一】【家】【差】【不】【多】【十】
【若】【果】【真】【如】【她】【所】【说】，【叶】【念】【根】【本】【就】【不】【是】【真】【的】【傻】【子】，【而】【是】【装】【傻】，【那】【么】，【只】【要】【叶】【念】【将】【大】【火】【的】【真】【相】【告】【知】【警】【方】…… 【不】，【不】，【叶】【念】【根】【本】【没】【有】【证】【据】，【她】【现】【在】【在】【众】【人】【眼】【中】，【也】【只】【是】【一】【个】【傻】【子】【而】【已】，【她】【孟】【晚】【歌】【来】【个】【抵】【死】【不】【认】【账】，【谁】【又】【能】【奈】【她】【何】？ 【可】【若】【是】【叶】【念】【真】【的】【将】【那】【场】【大】【火】【公】【之】【于】【众】【的】【话】，【引】【得】【陵】【漠】【辰】【对】【那】【场】【大】【火】【存】【了】【疑】【心】，【真】【的】【去】【调】