The military reports that our missile defense system is ready. Russia threatens to retaliate if we put weapons in space. In the meantime, Putin implies (despite asserting the contrary for months) that he will run for Parliament, and therefore could become prime minister. David Remnick’s long essay on Garry Kasparov, the leader of the only opposition party worthy of being called that (the Other Russia) party and Russian politics (such as it is) is very much worth reading, from the current New Yorker. Oh, yes, one more thing, Gazprom is threatening to cut gas to Ukraine. Gazprom is Russia’s largest company, and the lines between it and the government are, to say the least, blurry. For more on Gazprom’s bully tactics and/or how it is representing Russia’s geopolitical interest primarily see this and this and this. But the European Commission isn’t worried about Gazprom.