Last week, Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, said he could take Kiev in two weeks. This week, he disavowed a cease-fire, then proposed a peace plan. Now a cease-fire is in effect. These zigzags did their job, leaving the West confused about his intentions, just as the European Union and NATO were meeting to figure out how to counter them.
In the information war, Ukrainians have been striking back. When Russian soldiers openly engaged Ukrainian forces at the end of August, a new hashtag began to trend on Twitter. Invented by a Belorussian and enthusiastically promoted by Ukrainians, #RussiaInvadedUkraine was used nearly a half a million times in the first few days.… Seguir leyendo »
Over the past two weeks, residents of Kiev have lived through its bloodiest conflict since the Second World War, watched their reviled president flee and a new, provisional team take charge, seen Russian troops take control of part of the country, and heard Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, assert his right to take further military action. Yet the Ukrainian capital is calm.
Revolutions often falter on Day 2, as Ukraine has already bitterly learned twice — once after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and then again in 2005 after the Orange Revolution. That could happen again, but the new revolution is enjoying a prolonged honeymoon, thanks to Mr.… Seguir leyendo »
When Soviet communism collapsed, the West’s declarations of triumph were so full of hubris that it was easy to forget what was right about them. The Ukrainians protesting in downtown Kiev are a reminder that there was actually a lot to glow about.
But the struggle that seemed to be over in 1989 is still going on, and today’s battleground is the square that protesters have renamed the Euromaidan, or Euro-place. The people there are again insisting on the choice of a regime, a type of government, that they and their Soviet compatriots first tried to make in 1991. They know they want what we have and what we are.… Seguir leyendo »
Forget the "Ground Zero mosque," Michelle Obama's Spanish holiday and even the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. When future historians look back to the summer of 2010, the event they are most likely to focus on is China's emergence as the world's second-largest economy.
Mostly, this is a very good thing. The rise of China, and the related, albeit slightly slower, emergence of India, is the story of hundreds of millions of very poor people joining the global economy and getting a little richer. Gross domestic product per capita in those two countries was basically stagnant from 1820 to 1950.… Seguir leyendo »