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Ukraine


  • Originally published 04/08/2014

    Putin, Man of Mystery? Hardly.

    Putin often speaks quite openly of his motives and values—and opinion polls suggest he is strongly in sync with widespread popular sentiments.

  • Originally published 03/27/2014

    Ready for World War III?

    Remember Winston Churchill's key to Russian action: Russian national interest.

  • Originally published 03/25/2014

    Russia's Kosovo-Crimea Analogy is Ridiculous

    Russia justifies its annexation of Crimea by pointing to NATO intervention in Kosovo. But the Kosovo War came after years of international buildup, and Kosovo wasn't annexed by another country immediately afterward.

  • Originally published 03/24/2014

    Enough With the Hitler Analogies

    Our understanding of World War II has been deeply enriched by a memory boom of books and research. The same cannot be said by the Hitler analogy boom.

  • Originally published 03/18/2014

    We Should Keep Out of Ukraine

    Russia has a historic and strategic interest in Ukraine, and short of nuclear war there's nothing the United States can do to keep them out.

  • Originally published 03/16/2014

    Why the West Can’t Save Ukraine

    In this entire affair, there has been just one big surprise: that the U.S. and West Europe failed to see the obvious.

  • Originally published 03/11/2014

    Why Poland Cares So Much About Ukraine

    For the first time in modern history, Poland does not face an existential threat from Russia. But that doesn't mean Poles have forgotten.

  • Originally published 03/04/2014

    Smashing Lenin Won’t Save Ukraine

    The vandalism and destruction of Lenin statues across Ukraine is only the latest attack on symbols of the old Soviet state and its Eastern European satellites.

  • Originally published 03/04/2014

    Crimea, the Tinderbox

    The United States, Russia, and Europe all have interests in forestalling a civil war in Ukraine.

  • Originally published 02/20/2014

    Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine

    The Ukrainian government is telling itself that its opponents are Jews and us that its opponents are Nazis.

  • Originally published 02/20/2014

    Will Ukraine Break Apart?

    In Ukraine’s two decades as an independent state, the prospect of disintegration has never looked so real.

  • Originally published 02/04/2014

    Don’t Let Putin Grab Ukraine

    If the present crisis ends with the fragmentation of the Ukrainian state, the result will be disastrous for all concerned, including Russia.

  • Originally published 12/03/2013

    Where to now, Ukraine?

    Historian Stanislav Kulchytsky on the tumult in the streets of Kiev.

  • Originally published 03/19/2013

    Will Wikipedia replace the academic thesis?

    KYIV, Ukraine — Click on a Wikipedia topic about optometry in the Polish language or Newtonian mechanics in Ukrainian and the article that pops up may well be a college student thesis.That’s because universities in Poland and Ukraine are exploring new requirements. Instead of cribbing research from Wikipedia for papers that will probably only gather dust, advocates of the idea say students would be better off writing their own Wikipedia articles.Although critics warn that Wikipedia articles are no substitute for rigorous academic papers, supporters say more than simply putting more information at public disposal, erasing boundaries between the internet and academia will invigorate scholarship by enabling it to benefit everyone.

  • Originally published 02/26/2013

    Crimean War cemetery uncovered

    The din of machinery mingled with the echo of the 19th century Crimean War when an excavator bucket stumbled upon the yellowed remains of long-dead French soldiers at a construction site in a southern Ukrainian port city.The haunting find at Sebastopol's Cane Bay beach in December revealed the site of a large cemetery of French soldiers who died in the war against the Russian Empire during the 1854-1856 Crimean War. The discovery has highlighted how many bodies could still be lying under the ground from the brutal conflict where an alliance of Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire fought against Russia in what many see as one of the world's first modern conflicts....

  • Originally published 04/24/2014

    Is It War?

    24. April 2014Travels to Russia (Part 2)Breaking news -- military conflict around Slavyansk. Russia's First Channel is showing pictures of a serious military operation, billowing black smoke, and blockaded streets.  Barricades of tires and trees have been set aflame. Russian journalists cannot get through checkpoints; separatists speaking over the phone from inside Slavyansk are promising to resist. Putin says "if Ukraine is using force against its own people, there will without question be serious consequences. Dialogue is needed." Both sides appear heavily armed. I hear, in St. Petersburg, that separatists (weeks ago) gained access to a government weapons stockpile, stored in an old coal mine near Donetsk.  Read more: "This Is Crazy: Ukraine Crisis In Russia" (Travels to Russia - Part 1)and "Is the Only Solution For Ukraine an Appalling One?"(Even were mountains of cold hard cash at hand, Ukraine will never make it, without more middle ground being found among the country's main superpower patrons. And quickly). 

  • Originally published 04/24/2014

    Is It War?

    24. April 2014Travels to Russia (Part 2)Breaking news -- military conflict around Slavyansk. Russia's First Channel is showing pictures of a serious military operation, billowing black smoke, and blockaded streets.  Barricades of tires and trees have been set aflame. Russian journalists cannot get through checkpoints; separatists speaking over the phone from inside Slavyansk are promising to resist. Putin says "if Ukraine is using force against it's own people, there will be serious consequences. Dialogue is needed" Both sides appear heavily armed. I hear, in St. Petersburg, that separatists (weeks ago) gained access to a government weapons stockpile, stored in an old coal mine near Donetsk.  - See more at: http://hnn.us/blog/153338#sthash.WMEBPBq3.dpuf

  • Originally published 04/24/2014

    This Is Crazy - Ukraine Crisis in Russia

    Travels to Russia (Part One):22. April 2014Nothing like a shot of adrenaline, when suffering from jet lag. After arriving in St. Petersburg on Tuesday (coincidentally the 144th birthday of Vladimir Lenin), I crashed for 12 hours, only to wake up, groggy, to television headlines proclaiming:1. Ukraine has turned off all water supplies to the peninsula of Crimea  (which run through the North Crimean canal, normally at 50 cubic meters per second). TV and internet news sites in Russian are showing pictures of empty canal trenches like the one I'm posting here.2. Ukraine has started a second round of military "special operations" in the East which the U.S is supporting. (This report plays on the one independent cable TV station Dozhd -- "Rain" -- that has been dropped by major satellite carriers in recent months, only to be handed a potential olive branch by Vladimir Putin at his news conference on 17. April. So is the story true? Or is it one more shaped to please the Russian government, as part of a peace-making quid-pro-quo -- Dozhd survives, but they do a better job of towing the official line?) On second thought, I'm confused - did I really hear that at all? My Russian "second family," people who have known me for 20 years, are all talking, loudly, in one tiny little kitchen, over the already-loud TV and as the report goes on, it's easy to get confused. "How did you sleep?" "What do you want to drink, tea or coffee?" "Don't bother her Sergei, she's working." "Was it too cold last night?" "Sergei, I told you that shelf is too low, she keeps hitting it with her head.""Eat, you have to eat.""Ummm, " I ask, shaking my head to clear it. "Did they just say the U.S. is directing military actions in East Ukraine?" "Well, they could have said it!" answered my Russian dad without missing a beat. "It's true!" There followed an animated discussion about the surreptitious visit of CIA Director John Brennan to Kiev earlier this month, with Brennan allegedly flying in under an assumed name and flying out the next day, apparently just before Ukraine announced its first "anti-terrorist campaign" against eastern separatists. Now THAT story made me laugh. Until I checked it on the internet, and found out that the CIA had confirmed the visit "as part of pre-scheduled trip to Europe." Dang - a hundred stories about Ukraine a day, and that's the one I miss.  [Click on title to read more]

  • Originally published 04/24/2014

    This Is Crazy - Ukraine Crisis in Russia

    Travels to Russia (Part One):22. April 2014Nothing like a shot of adrenaline, when suffering from jet lag. After arriving in St. Petersburg on Tuesday (coincidentally the 144th birthday of Vladimir Lenin), I crashed for 12 hours, only to wake up, groggy, to television headlines proclaiming:1. Ukraine has turned off all water supplies to the peninsula of Crimea  (which run through the North Crimean canal, normally at 50 cubic meters per second). TV and internet news sites in Russian are showing pictures of empty canal trenches like the one I'm posting here.2. Ukraine has started a second round of military "special operations" in the East which the U.S is supporting. (This report plays on the one independent cable TV station Dozhd -- "Rain" -- that has been dropped by major satellite carriers in recent months, only to be handed a potential olive branch by Vladimir Putin at his news conference on 17. April. So is the story true? Or is it one more shaped to please the Russian government, as part of a peace-making quid-pro-quo -- Dozhd survives, but they do a better job of towing the official line?) On second thought, I'm confused - did I really hear that at all? My Russian "second family," people who have known me for 20 years, are all talking, loudly, in one tiny little kitchen, over the already-loud TV and as the report goes on, it's easy to get confused. "How did you sleep?" "What do you want to drink, tea or coffee?" "Don't bother her Sergei, she's working." "Was it too cold last night?" "Sergei, I told you that shelf is too low, she keeps hitting it with her head.""Eat, you have to eat.""Ummm, " I ask, shaking my head to clear it. "Did they just say the U.S. is directing military actions in East Ukraine?" "Well, they could have said it!" answered my Russian dad without missing a beat. "It's true!" There followed an animated discussion about the surreptitious visit of CIA Director John Brennan to Kiev earlier this month, with Brennan allegedly flying in under an assumed name and flying out the next day, apparently just before Ukraine announced its first "anti-terrorist campaign" against eastern separatists. Now THAT story made me laugh. Until I checked it on the internet, and found out that the CIA had confirmed the visit "as part of pre-scheduled trip to Europe." Dang - a hundred stories about Ukraine a day, and that's the one I miss.  [Click on title to read more]

  • Originally published 03/18/2014

    Crimea: Power on Display

    With Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to annex Crimea, we are witnessing a grand act of political theater.By Cynthia V. Hooper

  • Originally published 03/18/2014

    The Double Standards of Crimean Cold-War Diplomacy

    The regrettable tendency of U.S. leaders to immediately view the conflict in Ukraine in outdated Cold War terms succeeded only in squeezing out all room for Realpolitik diplomacy and now has led us to a point of crisis unimaginable just weeks ago.  READ MORE HERE at HNN.

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