This is the land of communal bathrooms, sweaty trains, body odor and too much mayonnaise. But, if you can set aside a few creature comforts, then the former Soviet Union is the most exciting travel destination there is.
While you are unlikely to confuse Yerevan with Paris, Tamanyan's plans were successful in making Yerevan a city that is quite distinct from many of the grey, monolithic ex-Soviet cities that litter the territory of the former USSR.
Anyone who dismisses the resurgence of Nazism in the former Soviet Union is, well, doing a disservice to the truth, historical memory and the Jewish community. The history and severity of anti-Semitism in Ukraine is of such enormity as to touch millions across the world.
On a chilly fall night, my friend and I headed over to the smaller Potsdamer Platz section. It wasn't for drama that we traveled under cover of the dark. There's an unwritten rule that tourists are not to take pieces off the remaining Wall, for obvious reasons.
January 19 is a holiday in the Orthodox tradition commemorating the baptism of Jesus. On this day all the waters become holy. Believers, revelers, and exhibitionists alike wade out naked into the rivers and lakes in a ritualistic freezing bath.
Like you, I am one of a million Armenians living in the United States with endless, everyday opportunity. Our "cousins" in Armenia are creative and entrepreneurial -- just like us -- but in the shadow of the former Soviet Union, they constantly fight poverty and repression.
Georgia's efforts to better the lives of its children are to be applauded. For in a region of the world scarred by its past, Georgia's actions on behalf of its most vulnerable citizens have ensured a better, more stable and brighter future.
Deemphasizing democracy rhetoric was a reasonable strategy for the Obama administration as it allowed them to differentiate their administration from Bush's. The problem is, it also gave the appearance that the U.S. was casting its lot with the authoritarians.