Yasha Levine is a Russian-American investigative journalist and author. Levine, who was born in the Soviet Union, is the author of Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet and several other books. He has also written for Wired, The Nation, Slate, TIME, the New York Observer, and more.
- We never knew what it was like to have the country’s media and political class brand people like us a possible threat. Until now.
- For nearly four years now, Soviet and Russian immigrants have watched America’s liberal political elite shift the blame for their country’s domestic political problems away from themselves and onto a fictitious, inscrutable foreign enemy: a xenophobic campaign that put people like us — “the Russians” — at the center of everything that’s gone wrong in America. *We’ve watched as this panic grew from a fear of the Russian government to an all-encompassing, irrational racist conspiracy theory that put a cloud over not just Russian nationals or Russian government officials, but anyone from the lands of the former Soviet union.
- We came from a place where we're used to dealing with oligarchs who control everything and manipulate everything... Putin's creation, the stable political system that he's ruled over all this time is a sort of "sovereign democracy," as they call it, which is like a managed democracy. You have an oligarchy, and you have this sort of benevolent dictator. All the political parties are an expression of that, none of them are really independent — they're all created and maintained by the hidden power structures. And in a way, that's what America is today.
- After coming back to America, it was really a no-brainer. When we saw the Tea Party come from out of nowhere...we had the Russian perspective coming into it...It was very obvious. When we started connecting all the dots, it went right to Charles and David Koch.
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