December 21/22: “99 Luftballons”, Nena


So Khodorkovsky is released in John LeCarre cloak and dagger fashion, the same way Solzhenitsyn was released in the 1970s, with reports that he is going to Germany to join his sick mother. Except, someone calls his mother, who is still in Russia. Confusion reigns, at least on Twitter, where I see this exchange:

English former Russia correspondent: What is HAPPENING?

Russian responds (in Russian): The Soviet Union is happening. (Proizkhodit’ Sovyetskiy Soyuz.)

And he does land in Berlin, and his mother is flown there, and he holds a press conference the next day at the Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie. (Someone has a sense of humour.) All reminiscent of the Cold War, and what song could be a more apt reminder of  the importance of Berlin during the Cold War than Nena’s 99 Luftballons?