Stories about Russian

McGregor can pass racist and Islamophobic insults, but Nurmagomedov can’t react to it?

“Let’s talk now”, said Khabib Nurmagomedov, as his fists pounded Irish fighter Conor McGregor. In the ring, the Russian fighter humbles his opponent. Ten minutes later, the cocky Irishman taps out. The fight is over. The Russian has won it convincingly; an easy victory after a much hyped fight. But wait, the fight is apparently not over yet for the Dagestani fighter, also known as The Eagle. Despite a dominating victory, he is still angry. That anger needed only a nudge in the right (or wrong) direction, and that push was provided by McGregor’s training partner Dillon Danis, who ...

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How travelling to Baku restored my faith in humanity

One major reason as to why the travel bug constantly tugs at my heartstrings, even more than the wonderment of places, is the diversity of the people I get to meet. It is amazing how social, cultural, geographic, religious and political factors concoct such diversity in human beings, giving them a distinction in disposition, aura, colour and character. And then, people’s individual quirks and personalities make these encounters even more insightful, enriching, and sometimes life changing. A few months ago, when I announced to my parents that I planned to travel to Baku, Azerbaijan, for the very first time, they became ...

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Russia will never sabotage its alliance with Iran for Donald Trump

As I write these lines, Washington is abuzz with the news of Donald Trump’s top security advisor, Michael Flynn’s resignation. The White House is trying to clean up the mess Flynn’s rather over-zealously erratic act created, ending up in critics looking at the election victory in a whole new light.  Ironically, Trump saw in Flynn the capability to penetrate the Russian iron curtain by virtue of his connections with Moscow. Ironically also, it was Flynn who had put Iran on an unexplained and unelaborated ‘notice’ early February – an ill-conceived, rhetoric ridden, flash in the pan type of a half-step that really just reiterated Washington’s unsavoury ...

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What is Afghanistan’s problem?

On Monday, the Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, once again blamed Pakistan for the terrorist attacks in his country. The blame stemmed from a presidential statement following the Kabul terrorist attacks when Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, called President Ghani. Despite the Pakistani Chief of Army Staff’s offer to share intelligence and cooperation with Afghanistan, in order to curb terrorism in the region, the president blamed Pakistan for the terrorism in his country claiming that the terrorists were trained in Pakistan. Afghanistan has been going through a period of transition since the United States’ (US) invasion post 9/11, when the US and its allies ousted the ...

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An open letter of gratitude to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Dear most reverend archbishop, Justin Welby, I am not sure how I am supposed to address you; may I call you the reverend father? This seems more appropriate considering the impression you’ve left behind after your visit to Pakistan. Reverend father, you are the head of a worldwide Anglican community which includes Pakistan. You landed in our country last Friday night and, despite the protocol, you did not attend many meetings with the high and the mighty. One official courtesy call to the Foreign Office Minister, Mr Sartaj Aziz was necessary. The purpose behind your visit to Pakistan becomes evident when ...

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The onus to end the Syrian crisis now lies on Russia and the US

The Syrian crisis is becoming increasingly complex and intractable due to the civil war – which was triggered by a repressive government led by Bashar al Assad – who let loose a reign of terror on protesters fighting for civil liberties and democratic reforms. Eventually it escalated into an armed conflict, one that was subsequently upstaged by two powerful superpowers – Russia and the United States. The whole narrative of the civil war changed when Russia helped out their ally, Assad, (who was facing defeat at the hands of the rebels) by supplying him with artillery, tanks and strike aircraft. Iran, on the other hand, sent Hezbollah fighters to augment the Syrian ...

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Am I a qualified PhD if I paid someone else to write my thesis?

If you were to imagine a PhD student, what would you think? Well-educated? Well-versed in the language of instruction? Well-spoken? Well-read? Well, some problems become worse than you initially expect them to be. To detect this problem, you don’t have to look any further than at the present lot of PhD degree holders in most of the private and public universities in Pakistan. PhD holding faculties exists in several universities, in big and small cities, where the incumbents can hardly even construct one correct sentence in English. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) seems to be emphasising on inducting raw MS and ...

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Will Russia survive under Vladimir Putin?

In an interview with the Russian and foreign media on January 19, 2014, Vladimir Putin remarked: “Sometimes it is necessary to be lonely in order to prove that you are right”. But has Putin’s self-righteousness actually been efficacious for Russia? The alteration of the foreign policy decision-making structure by Putin allowed him to emerge as the central decision-maker ever since he stepped into power. Policy matters were assigned to secondary actors composed of an informal circle of loyal associates to Putin. The inner circle of Putin loyalists are power hungry and in such a system, the effectiveness of policy is lost. Corruption is enhanced ...

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Will Ukraine benefit from the Minsk deal?

Seven days ago, when Russian, German and French leaders, accompanied by the Ukrainian and Belorussian president, met in Minsk, a deal was signed to provide Eastern Ukraine with a glimmer of hope for peace. Eastern Ukraine, soon after the pro-Russian rebel uprising last year, had started circling an orbit that was destined for chaos and failure. Even with last year’s Western sanctions, aimed at constraining Russia from supporting rebels, things were not improving in the region as the rebels were marching towards government held territories. But with this recent deal, coming on the back of last year’s failed accord, can there be hope for peace in Eastern ...

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If India supports freedom in Crimea, why not in Kashmir?

Over the past week after the Russian annexation of Crimea, global politics have completely changed. The annexation which took place after a controversial ‘referendum’ shows that the aspirations of people are more powerful than politically drawn borders. Yet, many political observers see the Russian backing of the referendum as damage control after Moscow lost its ally in former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych after many weeks of protests. India which is an important and old time ally of Russia, faces a new predicament and a new set of worries after the Crimean annexation, the dilemma being, do they back Russia – their oldest friend – or oppose it? ...

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