The Great Debate

Russia sanctions’ unintended consequences: More cheese, less bread

June 9, 2015
A woman chooses cheese at a hypermarket of French grocery retailer Auchan in Moscow

A woman chooses cheese at a hypermarket of French grocery retailer Auchan in Moscow, January 15, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Why this Ukrainian ‘revolution’ may be doomed, too

By Lucian Kim
May 17, 2015
U.S. serviceman trains Ukrainian soldiers during joint military exercise in Yavoriv

A serviceman of the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team (R) trains Ukrainian soldiers during a joint military exercise called “Fearless Guardian 2015″ outside Lviv, Ukraine, May 12, 2015. REUTERS/Oleksandr Klymenko

An Oscar Russia really doesn’t want to win

By David Gillespie
February 1, 2015
Aleksey Serebryakov as Kolya in Leviathan. REUTERS/Sony Pictures Classics

Aleksey Serebryakov as Kolya in Leviathan. REUTERS/Sony Pictures Classics

“Leviathan” is due to become one of the most celebrated Russian films in the West in decades, yet it may be banned in Russia. The film, which was the first from the country to win a Golden Globe since “War and Peace” in 1968, has also been nominated for an Oscar. But in Russia, the film has provoked a host of polarized reactions.

Navalny is a thorn in Putin’s side, but silencing him won’t be easy

By Lucian Kim
December 31, 2014

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In Russia, August is commonly believed to be the month of bad surprises, when planes fall out of the sky and economic crises begin. But from the point of the view of the Kremlin, the last days of December are preferable for shock announcements. On Christmas Day 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as the first and last president of the Soviet Union; eight years later, on New Year’s Eve, Boris Yeltsin handed over the Russian presidency to an unknown former secret police chief named Vladimir Putin.

from Breakingviews:

Ukraine crisis forced into suspended animation for 2015

By Pierre Briancon
December 29, 2014

By Pierre Briançon

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

from John Lloyd:

Ukraine’s vote proves Putin wrong and puts anti-Semitic past behind

By John Lloyd
October 31, 2014

Local resident listens before receiving a ballot during a parliamentary election inside her house in the village of Havronshchyna near Kiev

One of the themes that Russian President Vladimir Putin tried out to besmirch the Ukrainian revolt against pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich earlier this year was that fascists and anti-Semites were behind the uprising. The protesters, he proclaimed, were revolting in both senses of the word: They had chased out an elected president (true) and their actions had allowed “anti-Semitic forces [to go] on a rampage” (not true).

from John Lloyd:

Ukraine’s future lies with the West, but there is much suffering ahead

By John Lloyd
September 19, 2014

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Ukraine did something very Ukrainian this week. It sued for peace with Russia, apparently confirming a centuries-old subordination to Big Brother to the east. Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister jailed by the deposed President Victor Yanukovich and now leader of the political party Batkivshchyna, called the laws implementing peace by granting autonomy to parts of eastern Ukraine “humiliating and betraying.”

Ukraine fight shows how far Russia’s star has fallen from Soviet ‘glory’

By Jason Fields
August 24, 2014


How far the Soviet star has fallen A statue of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, stands near Sputnik in the first gallery of the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow. REUTERS/Jason Fields Russia's just not the same under President Vladimir Putin. It wasn't long ago that Russia didn’t need to paint its military convoys a pale white to cross international boundaries. The trucks and tanks were green and boldly emblazoned with red stars — not crosses — on their sides and turrets. And when they …

View “How far the Soviet star has fallen” on Spundge

Pity Moscow’s foodies as Putin’s sanctions bite deep

By Jennifer Eremeeva
August 20, 2014

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I find Vladimir Putin annoying at the best of times, but this month my distaste has blossomed into unbridled loathing. By imposing sanctions on food imports from the United States, European Union, Canada and Japan, Russia’s kefir-drinking head of state scuppered my chances of making a decent plate of cacio i pepe or a batch of brownies for the next calendar year. The specter of Soviet-era scarcity is already making itself felt in eerie ways in supermarkets all over Moscow.

from John Lloyd:

Could Vladimir Putin give peace a chance in Ukraine and beyond?

By John Lloyd
July 3, 2014

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What would it take for Russia to walk a way from violence and seek peaceful coexistence with its neighbors? It's certainly hard to see a way out right now.