Europe
Putin's Wager

Putin’s Wager

Since the invasion of Crimea, Putin’s popularity has soared. The results of the Crimean referendum were obviously welcomed in Russia. Putin gave a speech the next day, proclaiming that the languages of Russians, Ukrainians, and Crimean Tatars, would now be recognised. These events have been interpreted in the West as an illegitimate annexation.  More»

Framing Putin

Framing Putin

Seeking rationality in punditry on foreign policy is a fool’s errand in the best of times. Bombastic statements and ideological polemics are the rule of the field. But when the United States and European Union are facing off against Russia, it is worthwhile to demand some clarity and, yes, even honesty. These have been in short supply on both sides. More»

Tatar State of Mind

Tatar State of Mind

“Oh that? It is complicated, you know?” Cemal Bey was not talking about his çibörek, which is cause enough for savory surprise. Customers in his small restaurant in Çanakkale can expect a treatise on the food if he opens his mouth. Of course, there is more to Tatar culture than çibörek. We discussed the referendum in his homeland of Crimea. More»

Fourth Reich Calling

Fourth Reich Calling

One of the important tasks of the on-going project of Never Again for Anyone, including our own to take place in Berlin during the Holocaust’s 70th anniversary, is to highlight the danger of a resurgence of violent far-right activity in Europe. As a German resident, I think the most notable example in recent times is undoubtedly the case of the National Socialist Underground (NSU). More»

Yeltsin Nostalgia

Yeltsin Nostalgia

Today’s tensions with Vladimir Putin probably make American policymakers nostalgic for the days of Boris Yeltsin. If we wish to understand today’s Russia, we have to look at the way the Federation emerged from the tumultuous collapse of the USSR. Putin’s allegiances were clear from the beginning. He was not a mindless KGB thug, as he is often portrayed. More»

Crimea as Vietnam

Crimea as Vietnam

Britain has invaded or occupied or at some point laid claim to virtually every spot of earth on the planet. So it should not be surprising that British boots once trod the otherwise obscure Ukrainian peninsula which is today attracting so much attention. What’s interesting is that Crimea has such cultural resonance in Britain, and why. More»

Auschwitz to Activism

Auschwitz to Activism

I recently moved to Berlin for an exciting project: to help design and facilitate a conscientization program built around the 70th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust. This has been particularly daunting for me, as the grandchild of four survivors. However, I believe that this project is more necessary than ever. The program for Trauma and Emancipation for 3rd Generation Nazi Holocaust Survivors will help us wade through the Holocaust’s legacy, and understand what comes next. More»

The Tymoshenko Problem

The Tymoshenko Problem

With Ukraine on the verge of civil war, Yulia Timoshenko secured a get-out-of-jail-free card, from a very unlikely source. Her rival, Inna Bohoslovska, introduced a bill dismissing corruption charges brought against her in 2011. The revolt against President Viktor Yanukovych gave Yulia an opportunity to return to the national stage, on Saturday evening, at Maidan. More»

Cossacks for Hire

Cossacks for Hire

Last October, a Russian private military contractor, the Moran Security Group, shanghaied another PMC, the Slavonic Corps, by promising recruits $2,000-5,000 a month if they went to Syria to guard strategic facilities (military bases and power plants) to free up the regular Syrian Army guards for the front line. More»

Revenge on Turkey

Revenge on Turkey

On July 27th, 1983, the Turkish Ambassador’s residence in Lisbon was seized by militants of the Armenian Revolutionary Army, following a failed attempt at storming the embassy. After a standoff with 170 Portuguese riot police, the building was blown up, killing the four ARA fighters inside, one Portuguese policeman and Cahide Mıhçıoğlu, wife of the embassy’s charge d’affaires. More»

Erdogan in Germany

Erdogan in Germany

It was a sight to behold. Yesterday, a large crowd of German Turks gathered at Brandenburg Gate in order to protest against Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The location was perfect. Multiculturalism is frequently attacked as being unsuccessful in Germany. Berlin itself can be seen as evidence of it. More»

Ukrainian Domino Effect

Ukrainian Domino Effect

There’s been a chilling feeling of déjà vu in Yerevan since the Ukrainian government’s decision to opt out of the EU Association Agreement. Though, as in the Ukraine, many Armenians depend on links to Russia for their livelihood, those who prefer a European course sense that Ukrainian demonstrators are managing to do what Armenians cannot. More»