A year after Ukraine's anti-government protests ousted corrupt president Viktor Yanukovych, the crisis in Ukraine continues with a Russian invasion in the country's East and a nationwide political system that so far hasn't proven it's capable of fighting corruption and bringing about much-needed reforms. Nevertheless, some consider Ukraine an opportunity.
Back in the Soviet era, American historian Richard Pipes wrote that the Russian people are both inherently anarchic and frightened of their own nature. They see tyranny and repression as the only alternative to Russian anarchy, or bunt - which writer Alexander Pushkin described as "absurd and cruel" in "The Captain's Daughter," a novel about a Cossack rebellion in the 18th century.
Is Renato Usatii a Russian plot?
The 36-year-old Moldovan, who made enough money in Russia to need a Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, came home in April to set up apolitical party, and has been running a glittering campaign for the parliamentary vote this coming Sunday. He's now drawing support from 18 percent of the electorate, according to the latest unpublished poll by the US National Democratic Institute, upending Moldova's electoral arithmetic.
Despite enormous potential, Ukraine’s economy has lurched from crisis to stagnation during its 23 years of independence. A major culprit for this state of affairs has been the failure to cultivate the correct institutions for a market economy.
There is a military saying that armies have to fight the wars they can rather than the ones they wish to fight. It is a maxim that western leaders should consider in their confrontation with Russia.
Editor's Note: Kyiv public relations specialist Zhanna Kobylinska's "Good News Ukraine" blog sticks to uplifting news and steers clear of controversy. Readers can send news items to Kobylinska at email@example.com
It's time for President Obama to start using the I-word when referring to Russia's assault on Ukraine. I mean invasion.
The world is witnessing a Russian invasion of a neighboring country, something that hasn't happened since the fall of the Soviet Union (except for Russia’s 2008 invasion of Georgia).
Sputnik News, the slick new-media rebranding of the venerable Russian news wire RIA-Novosti, reports that Russia has called on the UN Security Council to ban purchases of oil from terrorist-controlled regions, including the territory held by ISIS. This isn't a surprising position, but it does draw some attention to Russia's interesting outsider role in the international anti-ISIS effort.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is not looking for an easy exit from the Ukraine conflict. He is digging in for the long haul to secure his end goal: a "structural lock" over Kyiv's security and foreign policy in a re-engineered Ukrainian state.
Even foreigners with a strong knowledge of Russia and its intelligentsia rarely know the difference between a member of the intelligentsia and an intellectual - and, accordingly, why many Russians refuse to accept that seemingly honorable label.
The fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago did not end the division between East and West as some imagine. Instead, that division, although it now runs along a line several hundred kilometers further east, has turned out to be far more significant and longer-lasting than many want to believe, according to Moscow commentator Ivan Sukhov.
Even among the sordid histories of Eastern Europe, Ukraine is particularly tragic. In just the 20th century, it was starved by Stalin, decimated by Hitler, subjected to seventy years of incompetent Soviet rule, looted by its own government and, most recently, invaded by Putin.
The problem with history is twofold: it tends to repeat itself, yet we never learn from it. On Nov. 21, Ukrainians have gathered on Maidan (the Independence Square in the center of Kyiv) to honor the Heavenly Brigade who gave up their lives defending our dignity.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is not looking for an easy exit from the Ukraine conflict. He is digging in for the long haul to secure his end goal: a "structural lock" over Kiev's security and foreign policy in a re-engineered Ukrainian state.
These days, the authorities in post-Soviet countries are making a habit of persecuting their opponents in order to maintain social control. In many cases, the victims -- intellectuals, activists, artists -- prefer to leave their home country before their governments have a chance to arrest them. Even those exiles that manage to find a comfortable and safe refuge abroad end up dreaming of the day they can safely return home.
Staunton, November 23 – Sergey Kolesnikov, who earlier attracted attention for an article entitled “Putin Forever!” (vedomosti.ru/opinion/news/1526746/putin_navsegda), now says that Vladimir Putin is prepared to start a war, even a nuclear one, in order to retain power and thus block any chance that he would be charged with corruption were he removed from office.
Staunton, November 22 – When the Ukrainian crisis began, some commentators in the West suggested that NATO would not in the end fight to defend the Baltic countries even though the latter are full members of NATO by asking “who is prepared to die for Narva?” But now a senior US State Department has given a clear and unequivocal answer: Western countries are.
This was U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's third visit to Ukraine this year. Maybe on the fourth visit, if it happens, he will actually make news.