from The Great Debate:

Ukraine looking more like Poland on the brink of World War Two

By John Lloyd
January 28, 2015

Ukrainian servicemen attend a ceremony to bless ambulances in the Mikhailovsky Zlatoverkhy Cathedral in central Kiev

Ukrainian servicemen attend a ceremony to bless ambulances in the Mikhailovsky Zlatoverkhy Cathedral (St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral) in central Kiev January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

from The Great Debate:

Ukraine’s ceasefire has become a farce, with Vladimir Putin the author

By Lucian Kim
January 23, 2015

Members of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic drive a tank on the outskirts of Donetsk

Members of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic drive a tank on the outskirts of Donetsk, Jan. 22, 2015. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

from The Great Debate:

Meet the four autocrats of the apocalypse

By John Lloyd
January 16, 2015

Russian President Putin attends a meeting with his counterpart from Venezuela Maduro at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with his counterpart from Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, Jan. 15, 2015. REUTERS/Pavel Golovkin/Pool

from The Great Debate:

Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu in the top 10 most admired in U.S. Why?

By Neal Gabler
January 9, 2015

Vladimir Putin rides with enthusiasts during his visit to a bike festival in the southern Russian city of Novorossiisk

When Gallup issued its annual poll of the men Americans most admired in 2014, it featured two improbable names at No. 10: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. All things considered, 2014 wasn’t a terribly good year for either.

from The Great Debate:

Vladimir Putin’s economic plan: Bread and vodka

By William E. Pomeranz
January 7, 2015

Russia's President Putin gestures as he watches the launch of the newest heavy-class Angara-A5 rocket at Plesetsk cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk region

President Vladimir Putin needs two years to fix Russia’s current economic mess. At least that is what he gave himself at his December end-of-year news conference.

from MacroScope:

2015 and all that

By Mike Peacock
December 31, 2014

People watch as confetti falls during the annual "air worthiness" test in preparation for New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, New York

The last day of the year and all is quiet – but not for long.

Unless the price of oil bounces markedly or Vladimir Putin walks away from Ukraine thereby loosening western sanctions – both unlikely – Russia could be heading for a serious economic fall. Reserves are being burned defending the currency. They are sufficient for now but without hefty tax increases, public spending cuts and/or a higher pension age the outlook for 2016 and beyond is much gloomier.

from Breakingviews:

Ukraine crisis forced into suspended animation for 2015

December 29, 2014

By Pierre Briançon

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

from MacroScope:

Greeks vote again

By Mike Peacock
December 23, 2014

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is seen inside the parliament during Presidential vote

A second round of voting in the Greek parliament on the government’s nominee for president takes place today.

from MacroScope:

Putin faces the music

By Mike Peacock
December 18, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow

With a deep recession looming and the nose-diving rouble poised to push inflation through the roof, Russia’s Vladimir Putin faces the music at his end-of-year news conference when he will field questions from a studio audience as well as television viewers.

from The Great Debate:

Vladimir Putin in jeopardy on all sides as Russia’s economy stumbles

By John Lloyd
December 18, 2014

Russian President Putin is seen on a screen during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow

MOSCOW – What a difference a plunging ruble makes. A few short days ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin was a strategic genius, outplaying Western leaders everywhere – in the Middle East, in China, and especially in Ukraine. Today, he's the destroyer of his country and his political life could be in jeopardy.