Let’s keep Thucydides out of Russia’s war against Ukraine “Ukraine is confronted with a stark choice: fight on through a bitter winter with death raining from above, or initiate negotiations with Russia under unfavourable terms. Two-and-a-half millennia ago, the leaders of the Greek island of Melos confronted a similar choice.” The quote is from the… Read more »
Combat operations in Ukraine have largely contracted to a 10-mile battleground between Bakhmut and Soledar. During this fierce fighting, the command structure of Russia’s “special military operation” was suddenly upgraded on January 11. General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, is now in charge, and the previous commander, General Sergey Surovikin, has… Read more »
No cease-fire can possibly mute artillery barrages in Donbas, but the intensity of political battles exceeds the intensity of this cannonade. Russian stubborn and costly attacks on Bakhmut may yield only tactical success, but in geo-strategic terms, it is the shift in Western positions on supplying heavy arms to Ukraine that signifies the most significant… Read more »
It was a striking image for a traditional season of joy and hope: Russian President Vladimir Putin attending the Orthodox Christmas service all alone in one of the Kremlin’s cathedrals. This loneliness stands in contrast with his persistent attempts to show himself actively engaging with subordinates, particularly servicemen — for example, during his visit to… Read more »
The new year of cheerful celebrations and renewed hopes has failed to arrive in Russia, which is sinking deeper into the vortex of President Vladimir Putin’s devastating war against Ukraine. Putin has duly delivered his traditional New Year’s message, emphasizing the sacred duty of defending the motherland (Meduza, December 31). However, his best wishes did… Read more »
The lessons an ancient Greek war can teach Ukraine today. Ukraine is confronted with a stark choice: fight on through a bitter winter with death raining from above, or initiate negotiations with Russia under unfavorable terms. Two-and-a-half millennia ago, the leaders of the Greek island of Melos confronted a similar choice.
On December 5, two Ukrainian strikes on Russian air bases deep into Russian territory and far from the frontlines produced a painful shock for Russian forces and could signify a further mutation, if not escalation, of the war. Each time Ukrainian forces deliver a long-range high-precision attack — from the sinking of the Moskva cruiser in mid-April… Read more »
The liberation of Kherson by Ukrainian forces on November 11 was both predictable and surprising. The strategic imperative for withdrawing Russian troops from the indefensible position along the west side of the Dnipro River had been abundantly clear long before the “difficult decision” presented by the commander of Russian forces in Ukraine, Sergey Surovikin, to… Read more »
The Norwegian Nobel Committee had to make an exceedingly difficult decision this year. At a time of war raging in Europe, was the proposition of a peace prize even relevant? Ukraine is certainly fighting a just war and deserves every measure of support that the global West can muster, but it is still a party… Read more »
Democracy and separation of powers are in decline. In many countries, individuals have taken all the power into their own hands. This is true not least of Russia and China. Vladimir Putin has used his power to invade Ukraine. Recently, Xi Jinping practised encircling Taiwan. Could Xi be as willing to take risks as Putin?