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  • Originally published 03/20/2018

    Vladimir Putin’s politics of eternity

    Timothy Snyder

    Since consolidating his power in rigged elections at the start of the decade, the Russian leader has pioneered a politics of fictional threats and invented enemies.

  • Originally published 11/14/2017

    The cautionary tale of the Bolshevik revolution

    Niall Ferguson

    A century ago it was the West’s great blunder to think it would not matter if Lenin and his confederates took over the Russian Empire. Incredible as it may seem, I believe we are capable of repeating that catastrophic error.

  • Originally published 06/27/2017

    Stalin More Popular Than Putin, Russians Say

    Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin has been voted the most “outstanding” figure in Russia’s history, beating the country’s most beloved poet, Alexander Pushkin, and current Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

  • Originally published 03/20/2017

    The Putin Anomaly

    Leon Aron

    In modern European history, Vladimir Putin is the first classically reactionary and even revanchist leader who is not, or at least not yet, an anti-Semite.

  • Originally published 03/03/2017

    American Suspicion of Russia Is Older Than You May Think

    Though the U.S. and the Soviet Union were allies in World War II and helped each other to victory, that cooperation was followed by decades during which the opposition between the two systems they represented dominated global politics.

  • Originally published 02/16/2017

    Carl Bernstein Smells a Cover Up

    Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein told CNN the Trump administration is trying to cover up its ties to Russia.

  • Originally published 08/30/2016

    Are Trump and Putin in Cahoots?

    Bruce W. Dearstyne

    This lesson from history suggests the charge came early enough for Trump to defuse it, but he might not be so lucky if another bombshell comes late in the race.

  • Originally published 10/13/2015

    Playing Patience While Syria Burns

    Niall Ferguson

    The bigger flaw in "strategic patience" is one identified long ago by Henry Kissinger. In 1963 Kissinger summed up what he called the "terrible dilemma" confronting any strategic decision-maker.

  • Originally published 10/09/2015

    Putin’s Imperial Adventure in Syria

    Simon Sebag Montefiore

    Moscow lacks the resources to replace America and will find in Syria a quagmire, but Russians feel that a great imperial Russia has always been a player in the Middle East — and boldness counts for much in this wild world.

  • Originally published 10/01/2015

    Why Obama and Putin are Both Wrong on Syria

    Juan Cole

    Obama wants al-Assad to stand down as a prerequisite for effective US action against Daesh in Syria. Putin thinks al-Assad is key to defeating Daesh and that everyone should ally with Damascus. What's needed is a synthesis of both approaches.

  • Originally published 07/24/2015

    Understanding Russia

    Walter Laqueur

    Russia may still be to some extent a riddle, but the mystery is not so much in what Russian leaders are doing and thinking, but the way they are misinterpreted by some circles in the West.

  • Originally published 03/30/2015

    Moscow's Twisted History Lessons

    Maxim Trudolyubov

    Putin bends the narrative of Russia's past to justify his mission to reclaim the country's lost glory.

  • Originally published 02/27/2015

    Putin’s war of words, decoded

    Elizabeth Wood

    The current Russian mythologizing of World War II contains a number of outright falsifications and dangerous tendencies.

  • Originally published 02/20/2015

    What Putin Learned From Reagan

    Stephen M. Walt

    Russia’s power play for Ukraine takes a page out of the Gipper’s playbook. We should have seen it coming.

  • Originally published 12/18/2014

    Putin and the Art of Political Fantasy

    Walter Laqueur

    For some considerable time the element of fantasy in Russian political discourse has been strong (and growing stronger), not only at the popular level but in official statements.

  • Originally published 08/06/2014

    The Vladimir Putin school of leadership

    Leonid Bershidsky

    The leaders of some of the biggest developing nations ― China, India, Turkey, South Africa ― are increasingly acting like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • Originally published 07/29/2014

    Cold War Strategies Are Back in Russia's Playbook

    Alexander Golts

    The theory that history unfolds first as a tragedy and then repeats itself as a farce is not always true. Sometimes, history repeats its tragedy all over again, and with the same terrible consequences.

  • Originally published 06/20/2014

    Russia’s sacred land

    Peter Turchin

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

  • Originally published 05/13/2014

    What If historian Timothy Snyder is Wrong About Ukraine?

    Jim Sleeper

    While Snyder is surely right to remind us that most Ukrainian nationalists aren’t fascists, as Putin claims, that doesn’t make them as democratic and freedom-loving as Snyder keeps telling us.

  • Originally published 05/11/2014

    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

    Patricia Herlihy

    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 04/21/2014

    Why Do So Many Russians Seem to Dislike the West?

    Juliane Fuerst

    To understand how Putin relates to the West, one must remember that the West meant two very different things in the Soviet Union, which at first sight seem incompatible.

  • Originally published 04/08/2014

    Putin, Man of Mystery? Hardly.

    Mark D. Steinberg

    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 03/31/2014

    Russian Professor Fired for “Immoral Act” Offered Job by Czechs

    Zubov’s offense was writing an op-ed for the nation’s No. 1 daily newspaper, comparing the actions of Russia’s leader President Vladimir Putin, who bloodlessly annexed Ukraine’s largely Russophone Crimea, with Adolph Hitler, who bloodlessly annexed Germanophone Sudetenland.

  • Originally published 11/12/2013

    Did the Nazis steal the Mona Lisa?

    The extraordinary tale of the Nazi art thieves believed to have stashed the world's most famous painting in an alpine salt mine.

  • Originally published 10/21/2013

    A Conversation With: Historian Ramachandra Guha

    Ramachandra Guha is one of India’s foremost public intellectuals and historians. “Gandhi Before India,” his first volume of a two-part biography of Mohandas K. Gandhi, was published in India earlier this month.

  • 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 09/20/2013

    '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 01/22/2013

    Mark N. Katz: Leaving Syria Ship Before It Sinks?

    Mark N. Katz is a professor of government and politics at George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia, USA), and is the author of Leaving without Losing: The War on Terror after Iraq and Afghanistan (Johns Hopkins University Press).(CNN) -- As numerous news organizations have reported, Russia has sent two planes so that about 100 of its citizens who want to can leave Syria. Tellingly, the planes were not sent to Damascus where the security situation around the airport has reportedly deteriorated, but to Beirut instead to which the Russians departing Syria traveled by bus.In its characteristic fashion, the Russian government has denied that this is an evacuation. An unnamed Russian diplomat in Damascus, though, did not rule out the possibility of further flights. Russian naval exercises in the Mediterranean may also be the prelude to a seaborne evacuation from the Syrian coast.

  • Originally published 02/07/2015

    Are You Ready To Fight Putin's Russia?

    There's No There There

    There's only one way out of the Ukrainian mess and that's patient, deliberate, nonviolent diplomacy. The alternative could be a nuclear war.

  • Originally published 11/04/2014

    Putin, Putin, Putin & More Putin

    There's No There There

    Whatever the eventual outcome in Ukraine, Russian interests will have to be atken into account.

  • Originally published 08/05/2014

    Money Talks - and Putin Can Afford to Compromise

    CHooper's Post-Soviet Futures Blog

    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

    CHooper's Post-Soviet Futures Blog

    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 03/18/2014

    Crimea: Power on Display

    CHooper's Post-Soviet Futures Blog

    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

    CHooper's Post-Soviet Futures Blog

    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"

  • Originally published 03/16/2014

    Not "Back in the USSR"

    CHooper's Post-Soviet Futures Blog

    Twenty years ago, when I was learning Russian one summer in St. Petersburg, I managed to lure both my best friend from college and my little sister from my local host family on a spontaneous and, in hindsight, somewhat ill-conceived trip to the middle of Siberia. -- Excerpt from our newest blogger, Cynthia Hooper.

  • Originally published 02/22/2014

    The Strategic Consequences of an East-West Ukrainian Split

    Walid Phares

    With freed former PM Yulia Tymoshenko rallying protesters in Kiev and President Yanukovych defiantly taking to the airwaves in Kharkov, the possibility of an East-West Ukrainian split remains dangerously high.