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Ukraine’s Embattled Far Right

By William Risch Last week in Kyiv, I saw that the Maidan had changed. The heart of Ukraine’s protest movement that overthrew President Viktor Yanukovych, it looked like a war zone. The Trade Unions Building was a burned-out shell. Entire sections of pavement were gone, the stones used as...

Approval of Putin Hits Eighty Percent

Brian Whitmore often says on the Power Vertical podcast that approval ratings in 60 percent range just aren’t good enough for a politician like Vladimir Putin. Given the lack of political alternatives and the dominance of the state’s narrative on television, Putin needs approval ratings in 70 or 80...

Putin’s Autocratic Moment

The latest round of US sanctions imposed on Putin’s associates assumes that if you squeeze the oligarchs orbiting Putin, then they will in turn compel him to change his policy toward Ukraine. The idea an oligarchy rules Russia, where the tsar acts as an arbiter over elite conflicts is...

Ukraine: Two Heroes, Two Revolutions

By William Risch I have made three trips to Ukraine since protests began there in late November 2013.  On January 18, I found myself taking Ukraine’s revolution into a new direction. In the city metro stations, I helped activists spread leaflets denouncing the dictatorship laws issued by the authoritarian...

The Gendarme of Eurasia

My new article for Warscapes, “The Gendarme of Eurasia.” Here’s the opening excerpt: In 1830, in response to the crowning of Louis-Philippe as king of France after revolution deposed Charles X, Russia’s Nicholas I wrote, “However, our allies, without agreeing beforehand with us on a step so important, so...

Infantilizing Putin

My new column for Russia Magazein, “Infantilizing Putin.” Here’s an excerpt: Last week, The New York Times lamented the dearth of Russian specialists to comment on the crisis in Crimea. “As a result, Russia experts say, there has been less internal resistance to American presidents seeking to superimpose their notions on a...

Interview with Mark Adomanis

My interview with Mark Adomanis who blogs about Russia at the Russian Hand on Forbes.com. You can follow him on Twitter @MarkAdomanis. [display_podcast]  

The Cost of Crimea

If and when Russia absorbs Crimea, acquiring the peninsula isn’t going to come cheap. The real cost of Crimea might not be sanctions from the US and EU but the funding it’s going to take to support the region. Here’s how Leonid Bershidskii breaks down the numbers for subsidizing...

No Room for No in Crimea

Thus far I’ve been silent on the Russian military occupation of Crimea. I’ve found the deluge of media on the crisis quite overwhelming. I do have a stance: Russia has violated Ukrainian sovereignty, an irony considering Moscow’s often paeans to sovereign integrity. I agree with Mark Adomanis that Russia...

Putin’s Partition of Ukraine?

By William Risch @williamrisch The Russian occupation of Crimea over the weekend has alarmed President Barack Obama, the UN, NATO, the EU, and, last but not least, the people of Ukraine.  A week ago, it looked like the Euromaidan protest movement , which began in late November over President...