A Method, Yet a Madness: Understanding Russian Democracy

March 24, 2014

As Western media focuses on the Crimean crisis, Russia intensifies its assault on civil society. When Nikolai Gogol wrote about the winged troika in his 19th century masterpiece on provincial corruption, The Dead Souls, little did he know that he was creating a perennial image that would...

Putin’s End Game in Crimea

March 15, 2014

The Crimean referendum highlights the differences in strategy between the West and Russia. As Crimea's referendum on March 16 dawns, tensions in Simferopol begin to escalate. Russian troops, whose presence has become increasingly intimidating over the past week, have made attempts to...

Barking at Russia is Easy, Biting is Not

March 06, 2014

Bungling with Russia over Crimea will send the West knocked out with a bloody nose. One way or another, it was a crisis a long time coming. Europe has arguably sleepwalked into a reluctant confrontation with Russia. The continent’s next-door behemoth of a neighbor, saddled by a man it...

Return of the Great Game or the Cold War?

March 05, 2014

Is the Crimea crisis a sign of a return to the Great Game or the Cold War? The crisis in the Crimea Autonomous Republic of Ukraine, wrought by the recent fall of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president and subsequent introduction of Russian troops in Crimea, revives memories of the 19th...

The Crimean Crisis and the Middle East

March 03, 2014

Assad and Iran might turn out to be the biggest winners of the Ukraine crisis. The Russian intervention in Crimea is more direct and dramatic than the one in Syria, with actual troops deployed. But there are similarities. One of the little-noted rationales of Russian support for the Ba'ath...