Theodore Gerber 11-25-2014
(The Washington Quarterly) The role of nationalism within the Russian public is an under- examined but potentially important aspect of the crisis surrounding Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its continuing involvement in eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. As commentators have sought to comprehend President Vladimir Putin’s motives, many have asserted or assumed that such actions enjoy tremendous Russian public support. Indeed, public opinion polls...
Vladimir Popov 11-24-2014
In 1919, Lenin wrote, “Productivity of labour is the most important thing for the victory of the new social system…Capitalism can and will be utterly vanquished by socialism creating a new and much higher productivity of labor.” For a while, it seemed that Lenin’s prophecy was coming true. The USSR was doing better than any other developing country in catching up with the West, at least for a while. Soviet development looked extremely impressive until the...
Pavel K. Baev 11-24-2014
(Eurasia Daily Monitor) Last weekend (November 21), Ukraine marked the first anniversary of the EuroMaidan—the public protests in Kyiv that lasted through the hard winter of discontent and brought down the corrupt regime of Viktor Yanukovych on February 21. As its war for state survival continues to rage, the country is in no mood for street festivities. Nevertheless, the EuroMaidan clearly still drives Ukraine’s policy, as was illustrated by the...
Kimberly Marten 11-24-2014
(Huffington Post) Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to provoke a military confrontation with the West. His military jets have repeatedly buzzed NATO facilities, coming close to causing a crash with a Swedish civilian airliner. He has vowed to extend the range of those patrols to the Gulf of Mexico. After he took credit for initiating the September 5 ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, the rebels he supports have done everything they can to undermine it....
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...

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