The Great Debate

from Compass:

Arming Ukraine will put the West in danger

By Nader Mousavizadeh
February 6, 2015

A member of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic looks on near a building destroyed during battles with the Ukrainian armed forces in Vuhlehirsk

A member of the armed forces of the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic stands near a building destroyed during battles with the Ukrainian armed forces in Vuhlehirsk, Donetsk region, Feb. 4, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

What does Vladimir Putin really want in Ukraine?

By Nina Khrushcheva
February 2, 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin inspects laboratory projects as he visits the National Mineral Resources University in St. Petersburg

Russian President Vladimir Putin inspects laboratory projects as he visits National Mineral Resources University in St. Petersburg, January 26, 2015. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

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.

On Ukraine battlefield, one act of mercy becomes an Internet meme

By Lucian Kim
January 29, 2015
Chaban_russian_tank

Alexey Chaban stands in front of the Russian tank he damaged and then commandeered. REUTERS/Courtesy of Alexey Chaban

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

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.

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.

U.S. sanctions fail two-thirds of the time. And allies are often to blame

By Bryan Early
January 5, 2015
Handout photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guiding the multiple-rocket launching drill of women's sub-units under KPA Unit 851

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un guides a multiple-rocket launching drill in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, Dec. 30, 2014. REUTERS/KCNA

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

December 29, 2014

By Pierre Briançon

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