Stephen Holmes

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de diciembre de 2008. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Hard lessons for the Ukrainian school of war

The ongoing turmoil in Ukraine has frequently been compared to the Yugoslav crisis of the early 1990s — and, indeed, there are many similarities.

But when it comes to understanding why the conflict between Ukraine’s government and Russian-backed separatists has persisted — and why, after a year of increasingly brutal fighting, a resolution seems so remote — the differences are far more important.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tactics in Ukraine do resemble those of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic during the breakup of Yugoslavia. Putin’s misuse of World War II references in propaganda, aimed at fueling intense Russian nationalism, is often said to be a cut-and-paste replica of Milosevic’s disinformation campaigns in the early 1990s, which stirred up anti-Croat sentiment among Serbs.…  Seguir leyendo »

Global temperatures are rising, but the former Soviet Union’s frozen conflicts show no sign of a thaw. On the contrary, the ice is expanding.

Russia’s support for the election held by separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk — key cities in Ukraine’s Donbas region — indicates that the Kremlin has decided to create another semi-permanent “mini-Cold War,” this time in rebel-controlled areas of Russia’s most important neighboring country. But freezing Ukraine’s legitimate government out of the region is potentially far more destabilizing than the Kremlin’s support for the other ex-Soviet breakaway territories: Moldova’s Transnistria and the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Las temperaturas globales están en aumento, pero los conflictos congelados de la ex Unión Soviética no dan señales de querer derretirse. Por el contrario, el hielo se está expandiendo.

El respaldo por parte de Rusia de la elección llevada a cabo por los separatistas en Donetsk y Luhansk -ciudades clave en la región Donbas de Ucrania- indica que el Kremlin ha decidido crear otra «mini Guerra Fría» semipermanente, esta vez en zonas controladas por los rebeldes del país vecino más importante de Rusia. Pero hacerle el vacío al gobierno legítimo de Ucrania en la región es potencialmente mucho más desestabilizador que el respaldo que el Kremlin les pueda dar a los otros territorios ex soviéticos separatistas: Transnistria de Moldova y las regiones georgianas de Abjasia y Osetia del Sur.…  Seguir leyendo »

Projecting an image of control is essential in Russia, a country where many citizens are happy to avoid attracting unwanted attention by publicly siding with whoever holds the reins of power. Until recently, by far the most persuasive way for Vladimir Putin to project that image was to steal elections without triggering massive public protests afterwards. Going by today’s events, it looks like things have changed. I write this having just left a massive opposition protest taking place at Pushkin Square: ringed by police and metal barriers, the anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny is whipping up a crowd with the chant «Putin: thief!…  Seguir leyendo »