9:02 PM, Mar 3, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Ellen Bork, writing at the Foreign Policy Initiative:
The assassination of Boris Nemtsov just steps away from the Kremlin was shocking but, sadly, not entirely surprising. Mr. Nemtsov, 55, a former deputy prime minister and member of the Duma, had become a leader of the democratic opposition to the authoritarian rule of Vladimir Putin. Now he is the most recent and most prominent of Putin’s murdered critics.
Nemtsov was killed two days before he planned to take part in a march against the war in Ukraine and for democracy in Russia. He and his fellow democrats have been clear that the two are connected. Putin, they argue, is not motivated by an innate drive to restore Russian greatness or respond to NATO’s expansion in the 1990s. Rather, he seeks to distract attention from his authoritarian rule, corruption, and dismal economic record by mobilizing the Russian people against an external enemy, in this case Ukraine, lest it become a model for Russians of a successful, Europe-oriented democracy right next door.
Regrettably, the Obama administration refuses to accept this reality. To do so would require a fundamental change in its policy toward Russia, which ignores the relationship between the nature of the Putin regime and its behavior abroad. Instead, the White House and its European partners prefer to treat Putin’s aggression in Ukraine as a discrete matter, just one of many issues about which the West seeks to engage with Putin. This stubborn belief has persisted even after Putin has flagrantly violated yet another ceasefire in Ukraine.
Not even Nemtsov’s murder seems to have shaken the flawed assumptions about Putin’s Russia that guide U.S. policy. President Obama must know that the “prompt, impartial, and transparent” investigation he called for is impossible. Nemtsov and fellow opposition leaders, journalists, and others are vilified by Putin as a fifth column and enemies of the state. Putin has placed himself in charge of the investigation and delegated it to the state body that leads the persecution of his critics.
Whole thing here.
9:09 AM, Mar 2, 2015 • By JOSEPH LOCONTE
Seventy years ago, on March 1, 1945, Franklin Roosevelt assured a war-weary nation that a new era of international peace and democratic government was at hand. The accords signed just weeks earlier at the Yalta Conference, he told Congress, laid the foundation for postwar cooperation between the Soviet Union and the democratic West.
8:39 AM, Feb 26, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
... “getting worse every day” and Western efforts to deter Russian intervention are having little effect …
5:28 PM, Feb 23, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The CBC reports that:
Ukraine's deputy foreign minister says he is preparing for "full-scale war" against Russia and wants Canada to help by supplying lethal weapons and the training to use them. Vadym Prystaiko, who until last fall was Ukraine's ambassador to Canada, says the world must not be afraid of joining Ukraine in the fight against a nuclear power.
5:29 PM, Feb 22, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Former Texas governor Rick Perry is taking on Russian president Vladimir Putin. The possible presidential candidate says that the "peace and security of the world" depends on how America deals with Russia.
Here's what Perry recommends doing to counter Putin's recent aggression:
Freedom is in danger, from Prague to Budapest.3:41 PM, Feb 20, 2015 • By DALIBOR ROHAC
On his recent trip to Hungary, Vladimir Putin stirred controversy by visiting the monument erected to the memory of the Soviet soldiers who violently crushed the Hungarian ‘counterrevolution’ of 1956.
The perversity of not arming victims.Mar 2, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 24 • By LEON ARON
Last week’s Minsk agreement, by which France and Germany in effect codified the cession to Russia of Kiev’s sovereignty over southeastern Ukraine, has temporarily taken the issue of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine off the table and thus off the conscience of the West. But the question whether the United States and its allies should arm Ukraine (and later Georgia? Moldova? Estonia? Latvia?) is going to arise again and again in the months and years ahead.
Pyongyang and Moscow renew their friendship. Mar 2, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 24 • By DENNIS P. HALPIN
Kim Jong-un, seeking to escape international isolation, has found a willing partner in Russia’s Vladimir Putin and thereby revived Pyongyang’s Cold War art of pitting Moscow against Beijing, perfected by his grandfather Kim Il-sung. The collapse of the Soviet Union just prior to Kim Jong-un’s father’s ascent in 1994 ended the game for a time. But Kim Jong-il tilted a bit back toward Moscow after the arrival of Putin, and his son is doubling down.
8:44 AM, Feb 19, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
That is how British defense secretary Michael Fallon describes the threat Putin poses to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. As Reuters reports, Fallon made these remarks as:
… his ministry announced the Royal Air Force had escorted two Russian long-range Bear bombers away from the south coast of England the previous day, the second such incident in as many months.
10:08 AM, Feb 11, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
In a recent interview with BuzzFeed, President Obama mistakenly gave Vladimir Putin a promotion in the Russian president's previous career in the KGB, saying that Putin "ran the KGB."
2:30 PM, Feb 9, 2015 • By REUBEN F. JOHNSON
The 2001 film Conspiracy reconstructs the infamous January 20, 1942, Wannsee conference, during which the following exchange supposedly took place between Rudolf Lange, a Nazi extermination unit commander who liquidated Latvia’s Jewish population of 250,000 in six months, and Friedrich Wilhelm Kritzinger of the Reich chancellery:
9:13 AM, Feb 6, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden is in Europe today where how spoke out against Vladimir Putin's aggression toward Ukraine.
"Ukraine is fighting for its very survival right now. Russia continues to escalate the conflict by sending mercenaries and tanks and as we euphemistically say in the United States, Little Green Men, without patches in, and very sophisticated special operation soldiers," Biden said at the European Council building in Brussels.