Russia


Save the New Ukraine

27.01.2015
Bernard-Henry LÉVY and George SOROS
A NEW Ukraine was born a year ago in the pro-European protests that helped to drive President Viktor F. Yanukovych from power. And today, the spirit that inspired hundreds of thousands to gather in the Maidan, Kiev’s Independence Square, is stronger than ever, even as it is under direct military assault from Russian forces supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine.

More bad news for Putin: Russia’s banks need to be bailed out now

18 December, 2014

Matt O’Brien
It turns out that having your economy entirely based on oil is a bad idea.

All it takes, as Russia is finding out, is for oil prices to unexpectedly drop, and you’re left with an economic crisis that turns into a currency crisis that morphs into a financial crisis — which, of course, only makes the economic crisis even worse. It’s a cycle of doom that’s hard to stop, no matter how vehemently you insist that your “bear” won’t let itself become a “stuffed animal” by having its “fangs and claws” torn out. (That was how Vladimir Putin put it during his annual press-conference-as-performance-art on Thursday).

While Stalin was Hitler’s Ally

15.12.2014
Timothy Snyder

As Vladimir Putin revives the tradition of wars of aggression on European territory, the Russian past has be adjusted – in speaking of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact as good foreign policy.
As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has chosen to rehabilitate the alliance between Hitler and Stalin that began the Second World War. In speaking of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact as good foreign policy doing so he violates both the long Soviet taboo and adjusts his own prior position that the agreement was “immoral.” What might he have in mind?

What else could we have done? Ukraine after Vilnius

Kadri Liik

28th November, 2014

In its 63-year long history, the European Union has seen many odd summits – but even against that background, 28 November 2013 in Vilnius must have stood out as something profoundly strange. The 28 leaders of the world’s largest economic bloc stood face to face with the man whom, by then, most of them had already come to despise: Viktor Yanukovych, the deceitful president of the corrupt and nearly bankrupt economy, Ukraine. In vain they begged him to sign an Association Agreement that would have given his impoverished country access to their lucrative market. He demanded billions in return and, when the money was not forthcoming, he refused to sign.

Vladimir Putin says there was nothing wrong with Soviet Union’s pact with Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany

06 November 2014
Tom Parfitt
Russian president says he sees nothing wrong with treaty with Nazi Germany that led to the carve-up of Poland – and blames Britain for destroying any chance of an anti-fascist front
Vladimir Putin has said there was nothing bad about the Nazi-Soviet Pact, the non-aggression treaty which led to the carve-up of Poland at the outset of the Second World War, suggesting Britain and France were to blame for Adolf Hitler’s march into Europe.

Orthodoxy, Putin and the West

05/10/2014
Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
With the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the swelling imperialism of Russia, Westerners have been exposed to various characteristics, frequently caricatures, of Orthodox Christianity, the dominant faith in Russia and Ukraine, but also practiced worldwide. There are even mystifying glimpses into the religious ambition — perchance holy crusade and justification? — of Russian President Vladimir Putin with his infatuation with Orthodoxy’s foremost monastic community on Mount Athos, Greece, his personal quest for spiritual direction from high-level ecclesiastical authorities and charismatic mentors and high-profile moral pronouncements.

Russian disinformation and Western misconceptions

Although the Russian invasion of Ukraine is continuing, writes John Besemeres, many Western observers are surprisingly coy about naming it for what it is. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is making his intentions clearer in the Baltic states.
A few weeks after Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine shot down a Malaysian airliner on 17 July, Russia infiltrated some 6000 more of its regular forces, including crack troops armed with high-tech weaponry, across the still-porous Ukrainian border.

The silence of the lambs

02.09.2014

Volodymyr Yermolenko

Why the West should stop being angelic towards Putin

For Vladimir Putin, the West’s tolerance is weakness and dialogue is failure to impose force. Because KGB-styled Russia believes that either you devour, or you are devoured. Europe’s “silence of the lambs”, writes Volodymyr Yermolenko, is not a proper response to Russia’s war.
Throughout its modern history Russia continuously tried to play a double game: to look “civilized” to please the West, but also look “sufficiently barbaric” to scare it. Combining these alternatives, it often sculpted an image of a “good barbarian”, a “barbarian-you-can-accept”.

Putin Ends the Interregnum

28.08.2014
Lilia Shevtsova

Vladimir Putin’s increasingly reckless interventions in Ukraine should force the West to reevaluate everything it thought it knew about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the past two decades of Western policy on Russia.
When the Gaza War and the threat from ISIS pulled global attention away from Ukraine, you could almost hear the sighs of relief emanating from the Western capitals: Finally, something to distract us from this Eurasian conundrum! This isn’t to say that Western leaders don’t understand that the war in Ukraine has implications for both the international order and the West’s own internal workings. By now they appreciate the stakes (or at least they ought to); they just haven’t been able to come up with an answer.

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