The Great Debate

Putin’s Moscow is anxious, gilded and hollow

By Lucian Kim
October 25, 2014

Putin chairs a meeting with members of the presidential council for civil society and human rights at the Kremlin in Moscow

The last time I saw Maria Baronova on Nikolskaya Street in Moscow, she was taking part in a silent anti-government demonstration before being bundled into a police bus with a half dozen other protesters. Now, almost three years later, we meet for a beer in an English pub on that same ancient street near the Kremlin. So much has changed. The Moscow protest movement fizzled out after Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency; activists like Baronova were prosecuted, and a blanket of repression is muffling the last voices of dissent.

The best role for Kiev provisional government? Exiting.

By William E. Pomeranz
May 19, 2014

kiev rally

Successful provisional governments are quickly forgotten. Failed provisional governments, like the one during the 1917 Russian revolution, can be remembered forever.

To punish Putin, help Ukraine

By Steven Pifer
March 17, 2014

Sunday’s referendum in Crimea and provocative Russian troop maneuvers have raised the Ukraine crisis to new heights.

Putin’s anti-Olympic creed

By Strobe Talbott
February 28, 2014

The Putin era in Russia, now in its 15th year, has given birth to the ongoing diplomatic challenge of reading what’s going on behind the Kremlin leader’s steely eyes.

Ukraine’s Protests: Not (yet) a revolution

By Matthew Rojansky
December 12, 2013

In the three weeks since Ukraine formally suspended talks aimed at signing an Association Agreement with the European Union, two important facts have become clear.