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The Charge of the Light Brigade happened 163 years ago, but historians still debate who was to blame for the military fiasco. William Simpson

Could the Charge of the Light Brigade have worked?

The Charge of the Light Brigade was brave but fruitless. Could it have worked if the feuding British leaders had interpreted their orders differently?
A flag with a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin waves over the Moscow crowd during the Vesna (Spring) festival in March commemorating the Crimean annexation. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

How Putin used propaganda to deftly turn Russians against Ukrainians

Vladimir Putin fomented so-called Ukrainophobia leading up to his annexation of Crimea. Ukrainians, on the other hand, held positive views of their neighbours prior to annexation.
We’ll have to see if the Trump administration will have friendlier relations with Russia. EPA/MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV

Russia

This year will likely bring a significant improvement in relations between the United States and Russia, as well as a raft of possible changes to global politics. Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin…
Russian President Vladimir Putin in center. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Why Russians support Putin’s foreign policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has not dropped below 80 percent since March 2014. Russians overwhelmingly support their president's aggression in Georgia and Crimea. Here's why.
The FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile is the sort of ‘lethal defensive weapon’ the US may consider supplying to Ukraine. Wikimedia Commons/US Army

Purely ‘defensive weapons’? There’s no such thing for Ukraine or anywhere else

Barack Obama is considering supplying "lethal defensive weapons" to Ukraine. But how meaningful is that description? There are simply "weapons", all of which can be used for defence or for aggression.
Russian President Putin blamed the West for his country’s economic troubles and collapsing ruble in a news conference. Reuters

Vladimir Putin and Russia’s incredible shrinking ruble

Russia’s currency is in free fall. Since mid-year, the incredible shrinking ruble has lost close to half its value, and it is anyone’s guess how much further it might go. Whatever happens, the geopolitical…
What doll would you choose? Brandt Luke Zorn

Putin, oil, the ruble and the Russian doll

This week we have witnessed a plunge in the price of oil and the astonishing demise of the ruble. These events provide the basis for a great series of conspiracy theories, the type that readily find an…
This crowd wants their president out David W Cerny/Reuters

Prague’s velvet: wearing off 25 years later

The United States had just gone through a bruising election, but in Congress Democratic and Republican leaders gathered to unveil the bust of Vaclav Havel, the playwright and first post-Communist Czech…
Power broker. Vladimir Putin. Fernando Bizerra Jr/EPA

MH17 was a victim of the new cold war’s first proxy conflict

It remains to be seen precisely how and why the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashed over the territory of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” in eastern Ukraine on Thursday. But whatever…
Just not that simple, really. EPA/Maxim Shipenkov

Ukraine referendums: another attempt to rewrite ethnic history

The referendums on independence from Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk, defying Putin’s call to postpone, pose deep questions about what “independence” would actually mean – and whether it can actually be…
Power games unmasked. Pro-Russian protesters gather outside the seized City Hall in in Mariupol, Ukraine. Anastasia Vlasova

Ukraine clashes raise stakes in struggle to control the Donbas

It is the most serious conflagration since armed pro-Russian forces began taking control of official buildings in the Donbas. At least one anti-government protester is believed to have been shot dead by…
On the edge. Pro-Russian protesters clash with police in Donetsk. EPA?Roman Pilipey

Ukrainian troops fight to fill east’s dangerous power vacuum

Kiev is fighting to regain control over the eastern region of Ukraine, with troops acting to take back occupied buildings across the Donetsk region. The occupation of government buildings in cities over…
The protector of “Russians” (wherever they are). Kremlin.ru

How Vladimir Putin has changed the meaning of ‘Russian’

The crisis between Russia and Ukraine reveals how dramatically Vladimir Putin’s nationalism has changed over the past 14 years. After he came to power in 2000, Putin preferred to refer to people in Russia…

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