Bloomington, Ind. — An old train route south from the eastern Polish city of Przemysl passes through Ukrainian territory, then back into Poland. The tracks are a relic of the prewar past, when this was all Polish territory, before the Soviet Union “liberated” western Ukraine in 1939 from Poland and incorporated it into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
So western countries could impose "far-reaching" economic sanctions on Russia if no diplomatic solution is reached between Russia and Ukraine? They might consider scaling down their purchases of Russian energy – though not right now, obviously. There could also be visa freezes and travel bans, which would "be taken very seriously by the individuals concerned" – but nothing, as was hastily clarified, that would affect "Russians living in the UK legally".
“Meet Viktor Yanukovych, who is running for the presidency of Ukraine.” Vladimir Putin and I were standing in his office at the presidential dacha in late 2004 when Yanukovych suddenly appeared from a back room. Putin wanted me to get the point. He’s my man, Ukraine is ours — and don’t forget it.
Andrey Kurkov is a Ukrainian novelist whose books include “Death and the Penguin” and “The Gardner From Ochakov.” This essay was translated from Russian by Natallia Maroz.
When Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, one of his selling points was the promise of a more modest foreign policy than that of his predecessor. And when Obama won reelection 16 months ago, he renewed that pledge. Drone strikes against Al Qaeda would continue, and Navy visits to the South China Sea would increase, but the U.S. footprint around the world was being resolutely downsized
See if you like this story. Once I saw an exhilarating show of a naval battle. Not in a movie theater, but in a place where movies are made. The ocean was faked with a basin the size of about 9 square meters, in which tiny toy ships were floating. They had gun barrels the size of my finger, from which smoke was puffing with sparking flashes. They were in an attack mode. This was made to perfection. I shall come back to this story after making a quick detour.
WASHINGTON — IF you can’t spell it, you can’t get it.
President Obama pulled a Quayle Thursday night at a White House performance by the women of soul and muffed the title of Aretha Franklin’s anthem. “R-S-P-E-C-T,” he said, looking a bit confused and eliciting laughter.
There are heated debates here and abroad about what exact policies should be put in place in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity by sending Russian troops to Crimea. And although that debate is obviously important, we shouldn't ignore the lessons from the past that brought us to this point and, in turn, should help guide policies going forward.
One can think of a few possible ways to change Vladimir Putin’s mind on the occupation of Ukraine. He may listen to public opinion: 73 percent of Russians, even according to the state-run VTsIOM polling agency, oppose intervention in Ukraine. He may be persuaded by Russian opposition leaders, who condemned the war as “madness of a deranged KGB officer” and a “reckless policy” that “goes against the interests of our country.” He may be swayed by Western moves to suspend military cooperation and threats by Western leaders to boycott the G8 summit in Sochi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his supporters in Russia and the West have accused the Ukrainian opposition that led the fight against the criminal Yanukovych regime and the democratic Ukrainian government that succeeded that regime of being fascist, neo-Nazi, and anti-Semitic.
With moves to detach Crimea from Ukraine and place it under Russian jurisdiction now accelerated, and frantic diplomatic efforts continuing to deescalate the crisis over Russia's occupation of the peninsula, considerable attention has been rightly focused on the courage and restraint shown by Ukrainian troops there who have found themselves under virtual siege. But there is a much bigger group of people under threat in Crimea from Russian aggression whose predicament needs to be properly appreciated addressed - the Crimean Tatars, who settled there centuries before the arrival of the Russians.
Those EU countries believing that stern words and symbolic sanctions will suffice in the present crisis should think again. Russian troops have set up camp and have laid mines in the neighbouring Kherson oblast. A school caught directly between Ukrainian and uninvited and therefore enemy Russian troops has told parents to keep children at home.
President Putin's endgame in Crimea is now clear -- and the West has only a few days to act. On Thursday, the Crimean parliament voted 78-0 to hold a referendum on March 16. The main question will ask whether voters want the region to secede from Ukraine and become part of Russia.
LONDON — THE city has changed. The buses are still dirty, the people are still passive-aggressive, but something about London has changed. You can see signs of it everywhere. The townhouses in the capital’s poshest districts are empty; they have been sold to Russian oligarchs and Qatari princes.
Ukrainians succeeded in defending their human rights in the EuroMaidan Revolution by overthrowing the corrupt and discredited president, Viktor Yanukovych, and his mentor, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
President Obama has called Vladimir Putin “the bored kid in the back of the classroom,” putting on an unsmiling, tough-guy “shtick.” Hillary Clinton just compared the Russian president to Hitler. The State Department says Putin’s reasoning on Ukraine amounts to “two plus two equals five.” Republican House Speaker Boehner branded him a “thug.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly said he is “in another world.” And George W. Bush complained that debating policy with him was “like arguing with an eighth grader with his facts wrong” and called him “cold-blooded” to his face.
In response to the crisis in Ukraine, some American lawmakers and energy companies are urging the United States to export natural gas to Europe in an effort to undercut Russia’s influence over the Continent. The Obama administration should move to increase exports, which would help allies like Germany, Turkey and Britain, but the effects of such exports would likely be modest and wouldn’t be realized for several years.
Over the past two weeks, the residents of Kyiv have lived through its bloodiest conflict since the Second World War, watched their reviled president flee and a new, provisional team take charge, seen Russian troops take control of part of the country, and heard Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, assert his right to take further military action. Yet the Ukrainian capital is calm.
For the second time in six years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian troops across an internationally recognized border to occupy territory. This fact must be stated plainly before any discussion of motives or consequences. Russian troops have taken Crimea and they are not leaving, despite the Ukrainian government's protests. Five hundred kilometers southeast across the Black Sea, Russian soldiers still occupy parts of Georgia—South Ossetia and Abkhazia—where they have been since Mr. Putin's 2008 invasion and de facto annexation.
International Women's Day is more than a moment marked on a calendar. It is a day not only to renew our determination to make the world a more peaceful and prosperous place – but to recognize that a world where opportunities for women grow, is a world where the possibilities for peace, prosperity, and stability grow even more.