What is it with Putin and the Olympics?

Just in case you’d lost track of the conflict in Ukraine amid all the other conflicts around the world, things are starting to get tense again around Crimea. Russia is claiming that it foiled a Ukrainian plot to infiltrate Crimea and carry out terrorist attacks against Crimean infrastructure over the weekend. A couple of Russian… Continue reading What is it with Putin and the Olympics?

Obama and Putin talk past each other on Ukraine, Syria

There were so many thinkpieces spawned yesterday about the big Putin-Obama UNGA meeting (OMG PUTIN AND OBAMA TALKED TO EACH OTHER) that I gave up reading them after about 4 or 5. Add in the detailed analyses of their dueling speeches to the General Assembly (OMG DUELING SPEECHES) and the whole news and analysis thing… Continue reading Obama and Putin talk past each other on Ukraine, Syria

BREAKING: Congress elects not to train and fund Neo-Nazis

It should go without saying that this is a good idea: The House of Representatives has unanimously approved an amendment to the U.S. military budget, proposed by Conyers and Florida Republican Ted Yoho, banning support and training for “the Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary militia ‘Azov Battalion.’” Azov was set up in May 2014 to fight pro-Russian separatists… Continue reading BREAKING: Congress elects not to train and fund Neo-Nazis

Ukraine on the brink of heavy fighting again

The sides in the Ukraine/Donbas civil war look about ready to resume serious violence again after clashes earlier this week between government troops and fighters for the “Donetsk People’s Republic” in the town of Marinka, on Donetsk’s western outskirts, killed somewhere in the neighborhood of 21 people. Shockingly, Kiev and Western governments have blamed the… Continue reading Ukraine on the brink of heavy fighting again

Ukraine’s newest citizen used to be President of Georgia

Ukraine’s Odessa Oblast, home to, yes, that’s right, Odessa, Ukraine’s third-largest city and most important seaport now that Crimea is in Russian hands, is a region of great concern to Kiev. As you can imagine, it’s of great strategic value both to Kiev and to those who might be looking to establish a separate Russian… Continue reading Ukraine’s newest citizen used to be President of Georgia

Ukraine is teetering on the brink of war again

The September 6 ceasefire that supposedly halted the war in eastern Ukraine has never actually been implemented in practice, but the low-level violence that’s been ongoing since then is now threatening to escalate back into full-scale war. The flashpoint is Donetsk’s international airport, which has been contested by Kiev and the rebels since late May… Continue reading Ukraine is teetering on the brink of war again

What if Petro Poroshenko CAN’T cut a deal with Donbas separatists?

I suppose I’ve been a little hard on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko around here, and I want to acknowledge that maybe I’m being unfair. I suppose I have a natural disinclination toward ultra-wealthy oligarchs in elective office, but that’s my own bias. Anyway, my view has been that Poroshenko spoiled an opportunity to end the… Continue reading What if Petro Poroshenko CAN’T cut a deal with Donbas separatists?