Russia Continues to Escalate

Become a Patron! Russia Continues to Escalate Russian hypocrisy has no limits. They routinely warn the United States and Europe about steps that might escalate the conflict. Yet Russia continues to escalate the conflict with seeming impunity. Last Tuesday President Biden announced plans to provide Ukraine four HIMARS systems able to launch rockets a distance... Continue Reading →

The Russian Imperialist Project

Become a Patron! The Russian Imperialist Project After more than twenty years nobody has provided a clear explanation for what some call Putinism. Its dependence upon public opinion and mass mobilization resemble fascism. At the same time, Russia's economic dependence on state owned firms resembles socialism or even a shift back toward communism. Yet Putin... Continue Reading →

Soldiers Surrender at Azovstal

Become a Patron! Soldiers Surrender at Azovstal Over the past week about half of the soldiers at the Azovstal steel plant have surrendered. Most of the soldiers belong to the Azov battalion whom Russia has demonized as Nazis. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hinted at a prisoner exchange, but Russia has not made similar overtures. Instead,... Continue Reading →

Nuclear Energy Leads to Black Swans

Nuclear Energy Leads to Black Swans In early March Russia seized the Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility in Southeastern Ukraine. It is the largest in Europe and among the ten largest in the world. During an early morning battle for control of the facility, a fire  broke out in the plant. It did not cause a radiation... Continue Reading →

The Heroes of Azovstal

Sing a Song for the Heroes of Azovstal Russia has given up a final assault upon the Azovstal Steel Mill. It's simply too dangerous. Instead they have engaged in siege warfare planning to starve them out of their position. It's an old tactic, but a taxing one. It will commit Russian soldiers to watch over... Continue Reading →

Putin Needs this War

Why Putin Needs this War A recent article from Maria Snegovaya argues Putin will survive his war. Regardless of its final outcome, she argues, Putin will remain in power. Her case makes a lot of sense. For example, popular support for the invasion is strong among Russians. Moreover, Putin's approval ratings increased after the war... Continue Reading →

The Limits to Political Protest

Ukraine Shows the Limits to Political Protest Last week a listener of the podcast emailed me. She raised the possibility of civil resistance as an alternative for Ukraine to oppose Russia's military invasion. Some readers will dismiss the idea as naive. However, the publication of Why Civil Resistance Works by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan brought... Continue Reading →

How will Eastern Ukraine Respond to Russia’s Assault

Eastern Ukraine Under Assault As Russia makes a strategic pivot toward Eastern Ukraine, the challenge goes beyond the battlefield. A divide has long existed between Eastern and Western Ukraine. The most notable difference between the regions is linguistic. Russian is more widely spoken in Eastern Ukraine as opposed to Ukrainian. However, Eastern Ukraine has also... Continue Reading →

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