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Articles on Imperial Russia

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Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev addresses a group of 150 business executives in San Francisco in June 1990. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)

Gorbachev remembered: Respected in the West, detested in Russia

While Mikhail Gorbachev was feted in the West — he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 — he was widely despised in Russia by those both mourning and celebrating the end of Soviet power.
A view of destroyed Russian military vehicles installed in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine, on Aug. 24, 2022. Kyiv authorities banned mass gatherings in the capital for fear of Russian missile attacks. Independence Day fell on the same day as the six-month mark in the war. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

A former journalist recalls Ukraine’s 1991 vote for independence — and how its resilience endures

Aug. 24, 2022 marked both the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union and the six-month mark of war. As they have for more than three decades, Ukrainians showed resilience.
Rescue workers stand on the rubble following a Russian rocket attack on a residential apartment block, in Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine on July 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

The war in Ukraine: A no-win situation for the left

Those on the political left are conflicted: Supporting military aid to Ukraine involves siding with U.S. imperialism, but opposing military aid means condoning Russian atrocities in Ukraine.
A woman looks at a computer screen as Russian state news editor Marina Ovsyannikova protests the Ukraine war during a news segment. AFP via Getty Images

Putin’s control over Ukraine war news is not total - it’s challenged by online news and risk-taking journalists

Russia is cracking down on freedom of speech and media. But other factors, like outside online information, could make it difficult to control war propaganda - and block out other information.
Children march in a parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, about 100 kilometres east of the Ukraine border, in May 2015. (AP Photo)

Curious Kids: Why did Putin invade Ukraine now? Is it for the U.S.S.R. again?

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants parts of Ukraine to be closer to Russia, and would like to prevent Ukraine from becoming part of NATO.
A woman holds a placard with the words ‘language is a weapon’ written in Ukrainian during a 2020 protest of a bill that sought to widen the use of Russian in Ukrainian public education. Evgen Kotenko/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Long before shots were fired, a linguistic power struggle was playing out in Ukraine

To Russian nationalists, if the Ukrainian language is classified as a derivative of the Russian language, the invasion looks less like an act of aggression and more like reintegration.
Memorial tanks at the Ukrainian Motherland Monument in Kyiv. Madeleine Kelly/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Why did Russia invade Ukraine?

Who are the Ukrainians and when were they part of the same empire as Russia? A scholar answers basic questions on war in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sit far apart during talks in the Kremlin in Moscow a week before Russia invaded Ukraine. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Deep-rooted Russian fear of the West has fuelled Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

Just because deep-rooted Russian fears might not seem reasonable doesn’t mean they aren’t real in Vladimir Putin’s mind.
The century since the first world war is littered with the broken promises of Muslim rulers to bring about a transition to more representative forms of government. AAP/Asmaa Abdelatif

How the political crises of the modern Muslim world created the climate for Islamic State

The rise of Islamic State and its declaration of the caliphate can be read as part of a wider story that has unfolded since the formation of modern nation states in the Muslim world.

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