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Eastern Europe



  • The Winter War Ghost Haunts Putin's War Today

    by David P. Barash

    Stalin's ill-conceived invasion of Finland gave Russia a small part of Finnish territory as a ransom for a face-saving end to stalemate and gave the world the term "Molotov Cocktail" – a sarcastic rebuke to the USSR's claims to be dropping food relief instead of bombs.



  • Ukraine Beyond the Post-Soviet Frame

    by Ileana Nachescu

    Framing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an extension of grievances that festered during the Soviet era ignores the drastic changes wrought in Eastern Europe by neoliberal capitalism, racism, sexism, migration and patriarchal religion, and sustains an impoverished view of what peace and freedom in Ukraine can be.



  • American Pundits Can't Resist "Westsplaining" Ukraine

    by Jan Smoleński and Jan Dutkiewicz

    "For Eastern European scholars like us, it’s galling to watch the unending stream of Western scholars and pundits condescend to explain the situation in Ukraine and Eastern Europe."



  • What Putin Means by Claiming to "Denazify" Ukraine

    Putin's claims to be protecting Ukrainians from domestic fascism will fail as propaganda, says Jason Stanley, who calls Russian Christian nationalism the real threat to Jews in Ukraine.



  • Ukraine Shows Limits of US Power

    Historians and diplomats including Stephen Wertheim and Joseph Nye offer insight on the limits of what American power can achieve toward stopping Russian aggression in Ukraine. 



  • Putin is a Product of Modernity (Not a Throwback to the Past)

    "All the bad things we see around us are like ghosts from the past whose deathly grip on progress might frustrate it for a while, and with potentially terrible consequences, but cannot stop its wheels from eventually grinding on. This is, of course, total nonsense."



  • Putin Chooses Forever War

    by Tom Nichols

    Putin's invocation of history reflects a belief that only the Russian state is a legitimate actor in the territory of the former Soviet Union. This could be a justification for all manner of aggressive actions. 



  • How Did We Get Here?

    by Rajan Menon

    The roots of the Ukraine crisis lie with American decisions in the 1990s to kick post-Soviet Russia while it was down, promoting neoliberal policies that led to oligarchy, and isolating the Kremlin from the post-Cold War European order instead of integrating it. 



  • A Mournful Legacy: Ukraine and the Recovery of Moral Realism

    by Andrew Bacevich

    Joe Biden should revisit David Halberstam's classic "The Best and the Brightest" to remember what happens when people mistake their own ideological preferences for savvy and realistic pragmatism as he contemplates intervention in Ukraine. 



  • Only Putin Knows What's Next

    by Tom Nichols

    Vladimir Putin's intentions – be they territorial, symbolic, or psychological – remain a wild card for any U.S.-led response to the Ukraine situation. 



  • History Helps Discern Putin's Ukraine Agenda

    by Kathryn David

    Russia today uses the ideological work of Soviet-era historians that claims a fundamental unity between Russian and Ukrainian people to justify its expansionist aims.