Author Archive

Neither War Nor Peace

As separatists in Eastern Ukraine hoist new Donetsk Republic flags over captured government buildings, Russia masses 40,000 troops along the Ukrainian border, and the Ukrainian acting President puts his nation’s forces on combat alert, European Union and American officials are pondering over what to do next. The West is trying to help Ukrainians diplomatically, financially,...

And the Gold Goes To…

Sochi, a small resort town on the Black Sea with only a single mountainous access road, was never going to be the least expensive site to host the Olympic Games.  To Russia’s credit, the infrastructure for the games has been duly constructed – new roads, light rail, power plants to service the guests and stadiums,...

Go West Young Land

On the ninth anniversary of the Orange Revolution that overturned the election of Viktor Yanukovich as Ukraine’s president, Kiev and Yanukovich are again facing massive protests.  More than 50,000 Ukrainians braved cold, rain, and tear gas to stage protests in favor of integration with the European Union.  Opposition politicians are calling for the president’s impeachment...

Heroin of Our Times

Russia’s struggle with Afghanistan extends beyond the Soviet Union’s 1979 – 1989 occupation.  Today, it comes in the form of heroin, derived from Afghanistan’s opium poppies, flowing north through Central Asia.  Afghanistan is the source of around 80% of the world’s heroin, and Russia is the largest market.  Russian authorities estimate that 30,000 to 40,000...