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You're reading: Voice of America: Obama II downgrades relations with Russia

  Kate, an old high school classmate, tracks me down to ask it if will be safe for her to take her 17-year-old adopted Russian daughter back to Russia for a visit this summer

 Ruslan, a 22-year-old adoptee of half-Russian, half Chechen descent, listens quietly as I try to explain why Russian officials cite horror stories to justify banning new adoptions by American parents. Nearby, the New Year’s Day table at his grandparents’ house in New England is covered with hams, curries and cakes.

 Last Monday night in Moscow, as official anti-Americanism matches the bitter cold outside Spaso House, I am inside cajoling, and nearly dragging, U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul to a live VOA TV interview. Hands keep reaching out for handshakes. Russian guests keep blocking his path for photographs.

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