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The war on our understanding of reality

RUSSIA / UKRAINE / Journalist Anna Politkovskaya warned us against playing with fire. Now we can ask ourselves the question: Are we in the Third World War – or in the Second Cold War? In his study of "not an inch to the east" statements after the fall of the wall, history professor Mary E. Sarotte shows how Ukraine and Europe ended up in war again.

Eight days before the Russian star journalist Anna Politkovskaya (1958–2006) was shot and killed in the stairwell outside his apartment in Moscow, she had her last text in print here in MODERN TIMES. The title of her column was "Russia's New Middle Ages". And she ended the exclusive MODERN TIMES text as follows, describing the new totalitarian state under Vladimir Putin's construction: "The 'peace' they have been trying to establish in Chechnya over the past two years has spread beyond Chechnya's borders."

These were her last printed words. About a week later, on. . .

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Dag Herbjørnsrud
Former editor of MODERN TIMES. Now head of the Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas.

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