Army vehicles were so decrepit that repair crews were stationed roughly every 15 miles. Some officers were so out of shape that the military budgeted $1.5 million to re-size standard uniforms. That was the Russian military more than a decade ago when the country invaded Georgia, according to the defenseContinue Reading

TIRASPOL, TRANSNISTRIA — At the Back in the U.S.S.R. cafe, it is like the Soviet Union never collapsed. Busts of Lenin greet visitors at the door. Red hammer and sickle flags hang on the wall. Huge plastic Soviet-era telephones sit on the tables, next to bowls of traditional borscht andContinue Reading

KRYVYI RIH, Ukraine — The solicitation to commit treason came to Oleksandr Vilkul on the second day of the war, in a phone call from an old colleague. Mr. Vilkul, the scion of a powerful political family in southeastern Ukraine that was long seen as harboring pro-Russian views, took theContinue Reading

With the Russian military still struggling, Western officials and Ukraine’s traumatized residents are looking with increased alarm to Russia’s Victory Day holiday on May 9 — a celebration of the Soviet triumph over Nazi Germany — fearing that President Vladimir V. Putin may exploit it as a grandiose stage toContinue Reading

The agency’s announcement listed the medals and other commendations that Mr. Vasenkov had been awarded and characterized him as “a hardworking, honest and modest employee” who had been “prone to work associated with risk” and had shown “will, courage and resourcefulness.” The couple’s son, Juan Lazaro Jr., who was 17Continue Reading

Borys Zabarko was six years old when the Nazis invaded what is now Ukraine in 1941 and his hometown, Sharhorod, became a Jewish ghetto. Women, children and old men slept in packed rooms with no bathrooms or water, he said. As typhus epidemics raged, the ground was too cold toContinue Reading

When McDonald’s opened its doors in Moscow’s Pushkin Square in 1990, it was welcomed by more than 30,000 Russians who happily waited hours in line, eager to spend a sizable chunk of their daily wages for a taste of America. Through burgers and fries, a food diplomacy was forged, oneContinue Reading

Mr. Biden emerged from the meeting offering some professional respect for Mr. Putin as an adversary. For his part, Mr. Putin said, “There has been no hostility.” At one point, Mr. Biden asked the Russian leader how he would feel if Russia’s gas pipelines were attacked from afar — aContinue Reading

KYIV, Ukraine — In his speech to the Russian nation on Monday, President Vladimir V. Putin buoyed his case for codifying the cleavage of two rebel territories from Ukraine by arguing that the very idea of Ukrainian statehood was a fiction. With a conviction of an authoritarian unburdened by historicalContinue Reading

MOSCOW — Vladimir Pozner was an English-language Soviet propaganda editor in Moscow in 1962, a job that gave him rare access to American newspapers and magazines. That allowed him to follow the Cuban Missile Crisis outside the Soviet media filter, and sense a world at the brink of war. Mr.Continue Reading