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Ukraine


  • Originally published 07/22/2014

    Revanchism and Its Costs

    "Revanchism," from the French word revanche, or revenge, arose in the late 19th century as a description of aggressive political desire to regain territory, possibly by force, lost to another state.

  • Originally published 07/22/2014

    Obama lacks resolve on Ukraine

    "We are seeing more resolve projected from the U.S. Mission to the United Nations than from the Oval Office."

  • Originally published 07/21/2014

    How West should handle Russia

    The actions of the pro-Russian forces, who it appears shot down a civilian airliner, might seem at first glance to be crude and unsophisticated. But in one sense they're on the cutting edge.

  • Originally published 06/20/2014

    Russia’s sacred land

    To understand Crimea, we need an evolutionary theory of national honour. It’s irrational and deadly – but it works.

  • Originally published 05/23/2014

    And now, for another view of Hitler

    In 2010, Ukraine’s government officially recognized Bandera as a national hero, a move that was condemned by the European Parliament among others.

  • Originally published 05/12/2014

    Review of “Jewish Resistance Against the Nazis”

    Patrick Henry’s masterly collection of cerebral and quite readable essays in "Jewish Resistance Against the Nazis," proves that Jews fighting the Nazis and their allies, violently and nonviolently, was fairly common.

  • Originally published 05/12/2014

    Russia Revisits Its History to Nail Down Its Future

    A a new law, signed by President Vladimir V. Putin mandates up to five years in jail and heavy fines for anyone who tries to rehabilitate Nazism or denigrate Russia’s World War II record.

  • Originally published 05/09/2014

    What Putin Chooses Not to Know About Russian History

    KGB agents are apparently not taught history, or so it would seem from Vladimir Putin’s recent statement that only “God knows” how a part of southeastern Ukraine ever became part of that country.

  • Originally published 05/07/2014

    The Abuse of History in the Ukrainian Crisis

    By invoking inflammatory slogans like “Putin is Hitler” and “Ukrainians are fascists”, both Russian and western leaders distort the realities of 21st Century Ukraine.

  • Originally published 05/01/2014

    Let the Past Collapse on Time!

    "The swift dismantling of remaining Soviet monuments recently in Ukraine caused me to remember the Dzerzhinsky episode."

  • Originally published 04/28/2014

    Seeds of Discord in Ukraine

    Yes, Ukraine is rife with ethnic and nationalist frictions. But underlying its strife are its wheat fields.

  • Originally published 04/08/2014

    Putin, Man of Mystery? Hardly.

    Putin often speaks quite openly of his motives and values—and opinion polls suggest he is strongly in sync with widespread popular sentiments.

  • Originally published 03/27/2014

    Ready for World War III?

    Remember Winston Churchill's key to Russian action: Russian national interest.

  • Originally published 03/25/2014

    Russia's Kosovo-Crimea Analogy is Ridiculous

    Russia justifies its annexation of Crimea by pointing to NATO intervention in Kosovo. But the Kosovo War came after years of international buildup, and Kosovo wasn't annexed by another country immediately afterward.

  • Originally published 03/24/2014

    Enough With the Hitler Analogies

    Our understanding of World War II has been deeply enriched by a memory boom of books and research. The same cannot be said by the Hitler analogy boom.

  • Originally published 03/18/2014

    We Should Keep Out of Ukraine

    Russia has a historic and strategic interest in Ukraine, and short of nuclear war there's nothing the United States can do to keep them out.

  • Originally published 03/16/2014

    Why the West Can’t Save Ukraine

    In this entire affair, there has been just one big surprise: that the U.S. and West Europe failed to see the obvious.

  • Originally published 03/11/2014

    Why Poland Cares So Much About Ukraine

    For the first time in modern history, Poland does not face an existential threat from Russia. But that doesn't mean Poles have forgotten.

  • Originally published 03/04/2014

    Smashing Lenin Won’t Save Ukraine

    The vandalism and destruction of Lenin statues across Ukraine is only the latest attack on symbols of the old Soviet state and its Eastern European satellites.

  • Originally published 03/04/2014

    Crimea, the Tinderbox

    The United States, Russia, and Europe all have interests in forestalling a civil war in Ukraine.

  • Originally published 02/20/2014

    Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine

    The Ukrainian government is telling itself that its opponents are Jews and us that its opponents are Nazis.

  • Originally published 02/20/2014

    Will Ukraine Break Apart?

    In Ukraine’s two decades as an independent state, the prospect of disintegration has never looked so real.

  • Originally published 02/04/2014

    Don’t Let Putin Grab Ukraine

    If the present crisis ends with the fragmentation of the Ukrainian state, the result will be disastrous for all concerned, including Russia.

  • Originally published 12/03/2013

    Where to now, Ukraine?

    Historian Stanislav Kulchytsky on the tumult in the streets of Kiev.

  • Originally published 10/08/2013

    Shipwreck takes town back to War of 1812

    Ballast stones found in the Connecticut River may be tied to a battle in which the British set fire to 25 vessels, the war's largest maritime loss.

  • Originally published 09/21/2013

    'History Makers' to Visit 2 IPS High Schools

    History Makers, the United Sates' largest African American video oral history collection, sends community leaders to visit schools in cities like Indianapolis in order to make history both inspiring and more approachable for high school students.

  • Originally published 03/19/2013

    Will Wikipedia replace the academic thesis?

    KYIV, Ukraine — Click on a Wikipedia topic about optometry in the Polish language or Newtonian mechanics in Ukrainian and the article that pops up may well be a college student thesis.That’s because universities in Poland and Ukraine are exploring new requirements. Instead of cribbing research from Wikipedia for papers that will probably only gather dust, advocates of the idea say students would be better off writing their own Wikipedia articles.Although critics warn that Wikipedia articles are no substitute for rigorous academic papers, supporters say more than simply putting more information at public disposal, erasing boundaries between the internet and academia will invigorate scholarship by enabling it to benefit everyone.

  • Originally published 02/26/2013

    Crimean War cemetery uncovered

    The din of machinery mingled with the echo of the 19th century Crimean War when an excavator bucket stumbled upon the yellowed remains of long-dead French soldiers at a construction site in a southern Ukrainian port city.The haunting find at Sebastopol's Cane Bay beach in December revealed the site of a large cemetery of French soldiers who died in the war against the Russian Empire during the 1854-1856 Crimean War. The discovery has highlighted how many bodies could still be lying under the ground from the brutal conflict where an alliance of Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire fought against Russia in what many see as one of the world's first modern conflicts....

  • Originally published 08/05/2014

    Money Talks - and Putin Can Afford to Compromise

    Western analysts waffle between portraying Putin as a leader so powerful even Russian billionaires are afraid to speak out against him, and a leader so constrained by the rabid anti-Ukraine, anti-U.S. sentiment he initially encouraged that he finds himself with limited ability to change course.  The truth is that his interests lie in compromise. 

  • Originally published 05/09/2014

    The War Against the Nazis: A Source of Cold War Antagonism and Current Superpower Conflict

    For the U.S. and Russia, the two superpowers who have taken such an “interest” in Ukraine’s political turmoil, the Second World War could be upheld as a past example of successful diplomacy and as a model for future collaboration in resolving today’s crisis. After all, it stands for a moment when East and West worked together – as part of the “Big Three” coalition of the U.S., Great Britain, and the USSR – to bring down Adolf Hitler. Yet even the initial V-E Day in May of 1945 was an imperfect joint triumph, one marred by troubling indications of just how quickly a U.S.-Russian alliance could dissolve and one global cataclysm spill into another.

  • Originally published 05/02/2014

    We Are Not Ukraine: Kazakhstan Stages a Show of National Reassurance

    In Kazakhstan, the government is anxious to demonstrate to its people that the fighting that has riven Ukraine for the past four months could never happen at home, inside a country which has, since Soviet times, been advertised for its ethnic diversity. As one state employee told me, tongue-in-cheek, Kazakhstan is routinely praised for its 150 different national and ethnic groups, although researchers have never actually discovered more than 80. Today the regime of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, an autocrat who has led Kazakhstan since independence in 1991 via ritual “elections” held every five years, is, I am told, focusing its full public-relations powers on advertising not only the country’s vast diversity but also, and more importantly, its alleged harmony – exactly that which is missing, these days, in Ukraine. In order to emphasize the country’s rock-solid level of peaceful coexistence, the government is, of course, relying on media censorship in which the conflict in Ukraine is barely mentioned on television, and when, then “gently and carefully” referenced, with an absence of dramatic pictures that show any fighting. (Their coverage varies tremendously with that found in Russia, where the government also controls most television media, but where state-sponsored reporting of the Ukraine crisis strives to be maximally sensational, and to upset and excite its viewers through exaggerated stories of anti-Russian conspiracy and persecution. One such example is the arson attack on Odessa's House of Trade Unions, in which at least 40 pro-Russian activists died: Russian television is not only blaming the tragedy on "Nazi-fascists" but also repeating, over and over again, elaborate tales of the attackers shooting and killing anyone who tried to jump out the windows of the burning building and later rifling through the charred corpses for valuables -- all echoes of genuine, well-known Nazi atrocities perpetrated during World War Two.) In addition to ignoring such events, the Nazarbayev regime is also focusing on what, in Soviet times, was referred to as “positive censorship,” staging ostentatious mass demonstrations of the love that all its citizens ostensibly share. [Click on title to read more.]

  • Originally published 04/24/2014

    Is the Only Solution for Ukraine an Appalling One?

    CLICK HERE TO READ "Only an Appalling Solution in Ukraine?"Even if mountains of cold hard cash were at hand, Ukraine will never make it, without more middle ground being found among the country's main superpower patrons. And quickly! 

  • Originally published 04/24/2014

    Ukraine Crisis in Russia

    This Is Crazy: Travels to Russia (Part One) 22. April 2014 Nothing like a shot of adrenaline, when suffering from jet lag. After arriving in St. Petersburg on Tuesday (coincidentally the 144th birthday of Vladimir Lenin), I crashed for 12 hours, only to wake up, groggy, to television headlines proclaiming: 1. Ukraine has turned off all water supplies to the peninsula of Crimea (which run through the North Crimean canal, normally at 50 cubic meters per second). TV and internet news sites in Russian are showing pictures of empty canal trenches and calling such actions "inhuman." 2. Ukraine has started a second round of military "special operations" in the East which the U.S is supporting. (This report plays on the one remaining independent Russian cable TV station Dozhd -- "Rain" -- that has been dropped by major satellite carriers in recent months, only to be handed a potential olive branch by Vladimir Putin at his news conference on 17. April. So is the story true? Or is it one more shaped to please the Russian government, as part of a peace-making quid-pro-quo -- Dozhd survives, but they do a better job of towing the official line?) On second thought, I'm confused - did I really hear that at all? My Russian "second family," people who have known me for 20 years, are all talking, loudly, in one tiny little kitchen, over the already-loud TV and as the report goes on, it's easy to get confused. "How did you sleep?" "What do you want to drink, tea or coffee?" "Don't bother her Sergei, she's working." "Was it too cold last night?" "Sergei, I told you that shelf is too low, she keeps hitting it with her head.""Eat, you have to eat." "Ummm, " I ask, shaking my head to clear it. "Did they just say the U.S. is directing military actions in East Ukraine?" "Well, they could have said it!" answered my Russian dad without missing a beat. "Because it's true!" There followed an animated discussion about the surreptitious visit of CIA Director John Brennan to Kiev earlier this month, with Brennan allegedly flying in under an assumed name and flying out the next day, apparently just before Ukraine announced its first "anti-terrorist campaign" against eastern separatists. Now THAT story made me laugh. Until I checked it on the internet, and found out that the CIA had confirmed the visit "as part of pre-scheduled trip to Europe." Dang - a hundred stories about Ukraine a day, and that's the one I miss. [CLICK HERE TO READ MORE]

  • Originally published 03/18/2014

    Crimea: Power on Display

    With Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to annex Crimea, we are witnessing a grand act of political theater.

  • Originally published 03/18/2014

    The Double Standards of Crimean Cold-War Diplomacy

    The regrettable tendency of U.S. leaders to immediately view the conflict in Ukraine in outdated Cold War terms succeeded only in squeezing out all room for Realpolitik diplomacy and now has led us to a point of crisis unimaginable just weeks ago.  CLICK HERE TO READ "The Double Standards of Crimean Cold-War Diplomacy"

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