Dmitri Trenin' new book, Getting Russia Right, highlights all the positive news from Russia's regions. Amb. James F. Collins, now at Carnegie, sent out an invite for a Sept. 20 cocktail reception and discussion.
WashPost reports: "One person Collins invited, Andrei Piontkovsky, who writes very cynical, satirical op-eds about Putin and the Federal Security Service...and whose last little book provoked the Russian government to try him for extremism -- e-mailed his regrets. 'Thank you for your kind invitation,' he wrote. 'Unfortunately, the day when insightful and optimistic Mr. Trenin presents his objective analysis, I have another obligation. I'll be in Moscow facing FSB charges of 'extremism.' Please pass Mr. Trenin my fascination with his sense of historical optimism and his intellectual flexibility."