Serhiy Kudelia 11-19-2014
(Open Democracy) As Leo Tolstoy famously quipped, had Napoleon’s cold on the day of the battle of Borodino really affected the course of war then the valet who failed to bring him his waterproof boots should have been the saviour of Russia. There are few saviours in Wilson’s book (partially because the battle for Ukraine is not over), but plenty of attention to quirks of history and the idiosyncrasies of individual actors. For Wilson, two men – Vladimir...
Vladimir Popov 11-19-2014
Over the past half year, Russia-watchers have been parsing the country’s draw toward its Soviet past. Could an underlying part of this nostalgia involve the benefits of socialist economics? The older generations in Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of the former USSR, remember the reliable provision of wages, salaries, state stipends, and pensions. Despite its harsh downsides, the USSR did adhere to a socialist-rule-of-thumb that the income of the highest...
PONARS Eurasia 11-19-2014
(Guest post by Taras Kuzio) Scholars have been keenly probing the sources of the Donbas insurgency. Serhiy Kudelia’s memo on the topic provides an important part of the domestic story although it neglects some key questions about the relationship between organized crime, the Party of Regions, and Russia. Well-known expert on crime in the region, Mark Galeotti, recently wrote: “Crime, especially organized crime, has been at the heart of the events in...
PONARS Eurasia 11-18-2014
The 2014 Global Terrorism Index tracks the rise and fall of the world’s largest terrorist organisations since 1998. Whilst the vast majority of terrorist groups are only responsible for a handful of deaths, a select few are responsible for the majority of death and destruction caused by terrorism in the last fifteen years. ISIL, which emerged out of Al-Qa’ida in Iraq, is one such group. This is the second edition of the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report...
PONARS Eurasia 11-17-2014
(PBS NewsHour) Following a growing list of aggressive moves made by Russia against the West, what is Putin's plan? Kimberly Marten, a Russian scholar and professor at Barnard College and Columbia University joins Hari Sreenivasan to provide insight into what may be behind Putin's recent behavior. Excerpt: "I think part of what’s going on is that Putin is trying to take attention off of the problems that the Russian economy is facing. The...
Samuel Greene 11-17-2014
Moscow in Movement is the first exhaustive study of social movements, protest, and the state-society relationship in Vladimir Putin's Russia. Beginning in 2005 and running through the summer of 2013, the book traces the evolution of the relationship between citizens and their state through a series of in-depth case studies, explaining how Russians mobilized to defend human and civil rights, the environment, and individual and group interests: a process...
PONARS Eurasia 11-14-2014
(SETimes.com) Officials, students and professors believe the Erasmus Plus educational exchange programme will bring Ukraine students more opportunities to benefit from grants, academic co-operation and youth exchanges. "The scholarship programme Erasmus Plus has opened only this year and will be available for the next seven years," the representative of the National Erasmus Plus Office in Ukraine, Svitlana Batsiukova, told students at Karazin Kharkiv...
PONARS Eurasia 11-14-2014
Foreign Affairs recently published a number of articles examining the extent to which the ongoing crisis in Ukraine is the West's fault. Those articles sparked a heated debate, so the editors decided to ask a broader pool of experts [including PONARS Eurasia members] to state whether they agree or disagree with the following statement and to rate their confidence level about that answer.  The West provoked Russian President Vladimir Putin's aggression in...

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