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Leonid Bershidsky
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 10, 2015
A year on, Crimeans prefer Russia
Poll data suggests that a majority of Crimeans see Ukraine as a poor and unstable country where the media are hostile toward them.
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 9, 2015
Ukrainians would be wise to heed Georgia's war lessons
Many people in Kiev worry that if Ukraine makes a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he will meddle in domestic affairs to an extent that will make meaningful reforms impossible. But Putin hasn't done that in Georgia since the 2008 war.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 6, 2015
How the West's policies are losing Ukraine
Ukrainians fighting against eastern separatists and Russian forces are bitter about all the supportive Western rhetoric not materializing into weapons and reinforcements. The long-game strategies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama could yet give rise to an anti-Western backlash.
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 2, 2015
Putin's 'family values' only add to his legend
The Kremlin seems to be doing little to stop a fast-spreading story that President Vladimir Putin's younger daughter heads a company that is developing ways to stop the nation's brain drain.
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 27, 2015
Why Putin won't stop fighting
Economic pressure has never stopped Russia from waging wars. Putin will fight on in Ukraine, having convinced himself that the West is aiming to destroy Russia.
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 23, 2015
Obama tries to out-Putin Putin
In his State of the Union address earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama showed that he's either blind to the dangers of the deteriorating relationship between Moscow and the West or is faking pride in a victory that is not even on the horizon.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 9, 2015
Paris' bloody sequel to provocative past
French novelist Michel Houellebecq couldn't have foreseen such a horribly swift real-life sequel to his latest literary provocation, 'Submission,' out this week. With the killings in Paris, he finds himself in the cross hairs again.
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 6, 2015
The Sony hacking scandal and the blame game
The biggest problem with blaming North Korea for the recent hack of Sony Pictures is that Kim Jong Un's dictatorship gained nothing from the hack.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 2, 2015
From president to dictator
President Vladimir Putin's regime is on the verge of transitioning from mild authoritarianism to outright dictatorship. The country's newly amended military doctrine is an especially ominous sign.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 30, 2014
A great year for the far right
The far-right resurgence is impossible to miss, and 2014 will be remembered as the year extreme nationalists in Europe and Asia made a credible bid for power for the first time since the end of World War II.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 26, 2014
End of the Facebook Revolution
When Facebook has already blocked an announcement inviting Muscovites to attend a January rally in support of an anti-corruption activist, imagine what it would do — or, for all we know, has already done — for the U.S. government.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 23, 2014
Making obesity a disability will only fuel problem
The decision by Europe's highest court that obesity can be a disability will only give the many overweight people in rich countries legal grounds to feel righteous about their condition, regardless of its causes.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 22, 2014
U.S. sanctions are a tragedy for Cuba, farce for Russians
Western leaders imposing sanctions on Russia need to ponder whether they really want to turn Vladimir Putin's Russia into something like Castro's Cuba — only far bigger and more dangerous.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 19, 2014
Putin isn't worried, but the West should be
A mere two weeks after delivering a weak, stumbling state-of-the-nation address, Russian President Vladimir Putin makes combative comments on Russian history and the economy that indicate he is still living in a 19th century of his own making.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 15, 2014
The real history of Putin's Crimean 'Jerusalem'
In his state-of-the-nation speech early this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin put forward an astonishing and 'spiritual' justification for his annexation of Crimea. The actual history is murky.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 12, 2014
Did torture report restore U.S. moral leadership?
Global reaction so far to the U.S. Senate report on CIA torture practices suggests there's still a lot of work to be done before the U.S. can fill the global vacuum of moral authority.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY
Dec 11, 2014
Elusive gains from Putin's eastern gas deals
The deal struck earlier this year in which Russia's Gazprom agreed to supply natural gas to China for 30 years does not appear to be moving forward as hoped.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 8, 2014
Putin struggles with oil prices and sanctions
Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn't appear to have any kind of short-term or medium-term plan for Russia's economy that's compatible with the dual impacts of falling oil prices and sanctions.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 2, 2014
Putin's risky gamble on a weakening ruble
Russian President Vladimir Putin is betting Russians will weather worsening economic conditions, if only because the cost of revolt is so high.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 1, 2014
Putin makes a big bet on the French far right
A large Russian loan to Marine Le Pen's far-right party is one more reason for France's mainstream parties to get their act together and keep the National Front from making it big.

Longform

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