The recording represents rare testimony by an oligarch with proven ties to the Russian government that the fanatical dictator may well be seriously unwell. And the oligarch had no idea he was being recorded.
In collaboration with The Insider, New Lines has identified Lobanova as a Russian sex worker — and not the first Deripaska has traveled the world with, although the first to be seen with the U.S.-sanctioned oligarch in the company of Russia’s top diplomat, also now sanctioned owing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The intrinsic contradictions and sheer ridiculousness of conspiracy theories accepted by so many in Russia is especially puzzling now when belief in them translates to acting against their self-interest. For this ideology, Russians loudly welcome sanctions that have stripped store shelves bare and resurrected Soviet-era hours-long lines for food.
It’s almost as if Tiraspol got stuck in another time. The topography of the capital of Transnistria is a continuous reference to different, sometimes lesser-known, personalities of the Russian communist revolution, like an open-air museum showcasing relics from the Soviet era.
A weekly review of news, essays, podcast and more from New Lines. The week of April 4 to April 8, 2022
The Kremlin, the source added, has engaged in needless bureaucratic foot-dragging, last-minute renegotiation of terms and price-gouging, and has generally treated Damascus as an imperial power might a lesser colony.
Militant far-right social media channels have peddled what they call Slavic unity, pushing memes of three ancient Slavic “Bogatyr” warriors of the steppe depicted as beefy bikers on steroids. Another — arguably more aesthetic — meme appears on “trad” blogs, representing the “triune people” with nymph-like “Slavic sisters.”