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Faces of Freedom

August 23, 2021

During the years 1987 to 1995 when I was a frequent traveler to Prague and Warsaw, I enjoyed watching the exhilarating experience of freedom on the faces of young people of nations that had been held in bondage to the Soviet Union.

I never travelled to Russia lest I become complicit with Russia’s totalitarian rule, and I am now too old to visit St. Petersburg or Moscow.

But today’s New York Times gives me some insight into what’s happening in a report on Olga Churakova, Sonya Groysman and several other young and intelligent writers and podcasters, who have been designated as “foreign agents.”

A photo of Churakova and Groysman is revealing of how deep is the dissatisfaction with authoritarian rule in Russia today. These are two “tough cookies,” and their faces are indicative of changing times in the former Gulag.

Soon, I suspect, the security officers who designated them as “foreign agents” will find themselves on the street or in a ditch like the former apparatchiks of Lavrenti Beria.

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