The last we heard of Stephen Boykewich, he was working as a journalist in Russia, and had made an important contact with an official in the Russian government who handed over to him computer documents containing extremely interesting information concerning Russia’s role in Afghanistan; but then while discussing this with an American friend (who also happened to be a CIA agent), he was warned not, by any means, to try to access these documents, and in fact, he should leave Russia immediately. And (so the story went) Steve thereupon left the country.
The truth, in fact, is even more cloak-and-dagger than that, and you can read all about it in Steve’s most recent article for the Virginia Quarterly Review:
After giving some of the facts of his own case, Steve then goes on to review a book on Russia by Steve LeVine. You would think that after Steve’s experiences he would cast Putin as a sinister despot – but in fact, he paints one of the most dispassionate (and at times sympathetic) portraits of modern Russian politics I’ve ever read. It’s a testimony to Steve’s personal ambition to see the world, and not merely project or (in Russia’s case) demonize. It’s yet another sign of the principle that greater knowledge brings with it greater sympathy. And that the immediate task is almost always to cleanse the doors of our own perception.