How the Soviet Union Responded to HIV/AIDS

On the surface, HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 seem as dissimilar as two viruses could possibly be. Yet the ways in which the Soviet Union reacted to the arrival of HIV/AIDS, and how it spread in the first years of the outbreak, yield valuable insights into the coronavirus pandemic

In Death, Boris Nemtsov Embodies the Hope of a Better Russia

March 03, 2015

For Russia to make peace with its troubled post-Communist history, it needs a 1990s hero to remember. Boris Nemtsov was killed just before midnight on February 27 in Moscow. His death was both the culmination and the continuation of his extraordinary political life. I first encountered...

The Fallacies of Russia’s Apologists

April 02, 2014

There is simply no justification for Russia's invasion and annexation of Crimea. The erroneous rationalization offered for Russia's annexation of Crimea proceeds along one or more of the following lines: 1: The US, NATO and other Western governments left Vladimir Putin and Russia no...

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...

Rouhani’s Iran: Striking the Balance Between Continuity and Change

February 21, 2014

Is Rouhani really Ayatollah Gorbachev? Analysts have been quick to make assumptions about President Hassan Rouhani’s diplomatic maneuvers, translating his diplomatic skills as reminiscent of Mikhail Gorbachev’s era of Perestroika and Glasnost. Jochen Bittner of Die...

Human Trafficking In and Out of Russia

September 08, 2013

Russia has developed into a major hub for human trafficking. The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world, stretching from Europe to the Pacific, and is a massive landmass for the origin, transit and destination of women, men and children who are trafficked into forced labor. In the...

Obama vs. Romney: Whom Would Putin Pick?

November 01, 2012

A re-elected Barack Obama, despite his support for Russia's WTO membership, the signing of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and his overlooking of the Kremlin’s crackdown on the opposition, may not really be preferred by Russia's leaders over Mitt Romney. By Lilia...