Jack Ryan picked me up

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Standing Ovation, Seated

“To blab is to help the enemy!” 1954 Soviet poster

Flying 4 hours from London to Moscow and from Moscow to London the next day could be a bit tiring were it not for the new Jack Ryan movie on board the plane.

It is always a delight for a Russian to see Russia portrayed in a Hollywood blockbuster as a country of hapless oligarchs who can’t contract a decent ex-KGB killer and have to hire obese students from Uganda to do the job. Why Uganda?! A black-skinned killer in Moscow must be a wizard to beat the challenge of remaining inconspicuous.

You also know it is a Hollywood kind of Moscow when all roads in it take you to the Kremlin, either instantly or eventually. No. It is possible to live in Moscow and not see the Red Square for years. The FSB would be happy if foreign spies gravitated towards the…

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