The Great Debate

Why do Vladimir Putin and his Kremlin cronies look so nervous?

By Andrei Kolesnikov and Andrew S. Weiss
September 8, 2015
Russian President Putin listens to Crimean Prime Minister Aksyonov and presidential aide Levitin while inspecting transport infrastructure facilities in southern Russia onboard helicopter in Novorossiysk

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) listens to Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov (L) and presidential aide Igor Levitin onboard a helicopter in Novorossiysk, Russia, August 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russia is condemning itself to repeat history

By John Lloyd
September 3, 2015
Visitors look at works on display at the opening of "The Commissar Vanishes" exhibition in the state museum of Gulag history in Moscow

Visitors look at works on display at the opening of “The Commissar Vanishes” exhibition in the state museum of Gulag history in Moscow, April 2, 2012. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Why $40 oil is killing Iraq, Venezuela and others, but not Russia

By John Lloyd
August 28, 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with journalists after submerging into the waters of the Black Sea inside a research bathyscaphe as part of an expedition in Sevastopol, Crimea, August 18, 2015. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with journalists after submerging into the waters of the Black Sea inside a research bathyscaphe in Sevastopol, Crimea, August 18, 2015. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Are there any reasons for hope in the Middle East? Maybe.

By Henri J. Barkey and David F. Gordon
August 27, 2015
An image distributed by Islamic State militants on social media purports to show the destruction of a Roman-era temple in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra

An image distributed by Islamic State militants on social media on August 25, 2015 purports to show the destruction of a Roman-era temple in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. REUTERS/Social Media

A $620,000 watch tells what time it is in Vladimir Putin’s Russia

By Gregory Feifer
August 23, 2015
Russia's President Putin's spokesman Peskov attends a meeting with the Venezuelan delegation, led by President Maduro, at the Kremlin in Moscow

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a meeting with the Venezuelan delegation, led by President Nicolas Maduro, at the Kremlin in Moscow, July 2, 2013. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Ukraine shifts closer to open war with recent attacks

By James Miller
August 19, 2015
An employee works on a turret as armored vehicles are repaired at the Kiev armored plant

An employee works on a turret as armored vehicles are repaired at the Kiev armored plant, Ukraine, Aug. 14, 2015. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

When it comes to war in space, U.S. has the edge

By David Axe
August 10, 2015
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A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the third Mobile User Objective System satellite for the U.S. Navy lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, January 20, 2015 U.S. Navy

Vladimir Putin’s most effective weapon is gas – but not the poison kind

By Josh Cohen
July 28, 2015
Russia's President Putin and China's Vice Premier Zhang attend a ceremony marking the start of the construction of the "Power of Siberia" pipeline in Us Khatyn

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L) and China’s Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli attend a ceremony marking the start of the construction of the “Power of Siberia” pipeline at the village of Us Khatyn September 1, 2014. REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

The whining of the militants

By John Lloyd
July 23, 2015
Still image taken from video of a man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi making what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in Mosul

A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq’s second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV

Why Estonia’s not worried, despite its neighbor to the east

By Lucian Kim
July 22, 2015
U.S. Air Force 510th Fighter Squadron's F-16 fighters are seen at Amari air base

U.S. Air Force 510th Fighter Squadron’s F-16 fighters are seen at Amari air base March 26, 2015. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins