Patricia Herlihy

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de mayo de 2009. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

KGB agents are apparently not taught history, or so it would seem from Vladimir Putin’s recent statement that only “God knows” how a portion of southeastern Ukraine ever became part of that country. The Russian president refers to the region as “New Russia,” an old idea that has always been — and remains — an aspiration rather than a fact. Luhansk, Donetsk, Odessa and other New Russian cities have been a part of Ukraine for nearly a century. And even before that, they were never truly Russian.

It was Empress Catherine II who first articulated the ambition that this territory, which she acquired from the Ottoman Turks in the latter half of the 18th century, would become “Novorossiia.” Catherine wanted her subjects to settle the new, mostly vacant land, and she did her best to lure Russian nobles into the area.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Kremlin has just issued a 12-year plan to address Russia’s demographic crisis — that is, its high mortality rate and low birthrate. Buoyed apparently by a recent rise in the birthrate — 1.9 million Russian children were born in 2012, compared with 1.2 million in 1992 — the country has announced that it will give bonuses to families that have more than two children and will provide better healthcare, housing and education for families.

In addition to these “carrots,” the government has announced some “sticks”: Divorce will be taxed as an “act of hatred toward children,” and a fixed sum of alimony will be demanded even of those who are poor or unemployed.…  Seguir leyendo »