The Economist (Continuación)

We knew the war was coming. But we did not expect it to become a full-scale conflict, displacing millions of people, in just a month. We did not anticipate so much tragedy and destruction. In our worst nightmares we did not expect to witness atrocities not seen in this part of Europe since the second world war.

Millions of people have fled Ukraine and 2.5m have arrived in Poland alone. We estimate that more than half a million refugees have passed through Warsaw, Poland’s capital. Another 300,000 have chosen to stay in the city and its suburbs. In just a month the population of Warsaw has increased by 17%.…  Seguir leyendo »

The war is taking an enormous toll on Ukraine: thousands have been killed, millions displaced, infrastructure has been destroyed and cities are being levelled. It is logical that all attention is focused on the fighting at the moment. However, the resistance and bravery of Ukraine’s armed forces allows us to look ahead to building a free, prosperous country. Defeating Russia will change Ukraine for ever. But the reconstruction will also present challenges that need to be recognised in advance so that we can seize this crucial moment.

The fact of the matter is that, ironically, this war is a result of reforms.…  Seguir leyendo »

“Ukraine is not just a neighbouring country for us”, declared Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in a rambling, raging speech in February which set the stage for war. “It is an inalienable part of our own history, culture and spiritual space”.

It was a shocking speech which reverberated around the world. Western countries mobilised an unprecedented response to the invasion through sanctions and through military aid to Ukraine. Much of the rest of the world united in condemnation of Russia—though heavyweights such as India and China did not.

Although Mr Putin made his case for why war would be justified, for some the fault lay elsewhere.…  Seguir leyendo »

Five years ago, the emergence and then the election of Emmanuel Macron came as a surprise. It should not have. His success was the result of luck and talent for sure, but also of deeper forces which will continue to shape French politics for years to come.

In 2017 in France as elsewhere, people had become increasingly disillusioned with either the right-wing or the left-wing version of social democracy, the mix of market and state control. They did not think either side had delivered, be it on inequality or on growth. On the right, Nicolas Sarkozy had ended his mandate with his popularity at 36%.…  Seguir leyendo »

I am writing this essay as the world has woken up to the horrific scenes from Irpin and Bucha, suburbs of Kyiv in Ukraine. We see pictures of mass graves and civilians murdered by Russian troops. These photos remind Estonians of the killings by the Soviet regime and the NKVD, its law-enforcement ministry. Its machine of state terror murdered civilians in exactly the same way. Deportations and filtration camps take me and every other Estonian family back to painful memories of repression under Soviet occupation and of Gulag prison camps.

Placing civilians at the frontline is a Russian war tactic. The proof?…  Seguir leyendo »

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has dealt a profound blow to Russian culture and its vitality, both at home and abroad. Everything that is Russian has become toxic, leading to bans on Russian works of art and cancellations of Russian artists’ performances. It is an irrational reaction on the part of the global community, but it reflects the intensity of revulsion felt at the horrors of war and suffering inflicted on the people of Ukraine. It also reflects our sense of helplessness, our pain and the desire to do something to register our rejection of, and revolt against, violence.

Culture defines who we are and who we aspire to be.…  Seguir leyendo »

In order to help Ukraine, it’s time for the West to learn from the mistakes it made in Belarus in 2020. I feel a sense of déjà vu watching Volodymyr Zelensky desperately calling for the world’s attention. He does so even as peaceful cities are being destroyed by missiles launched from my own country, Belarus. This is only possible because when Alexander Lukashenko, a dictator who has run Belarus for more than 27 years, claimed victory over me in a rigged election in our country less than two years ago, the West did too little. Vladimir Putin props up his regime.…  Seguir leyendo »

Why is it that John Mearsheimer, a distinguished American exponent of international relations, has reached such an apparently perverse conclusion about Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine? It is a “special military operation” indeed—one whose initiation and conduct have been condemned as violating the most fundamental rules and norms. Yet he argued in an article for The Economist’s By Invitation section on March 19th that “the West, and especially America, is principally responsible for the crisis which began in February 2014”.

Professor Mearsheimer does not let Vladimir Putin off the hook entirely: “There is no question that Vladimir Putin started the war and is responsible for how it is being waged”, he writes.…  Seguir leyendo »

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine becomes more violent, the world is on the cusp of what may become the worst energy crisis since the 1970s. Whereas those crises only involved oil, Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of nearly every form of energy—oil, natural gas, coal, and even the fuel used in nuclear power plants. The unfolding energy calamity demands an immediate response to keep cars moving, homes powered and heated, and to prevent a global recession induced by high energy prices. But as policymakers look for quick fixes, there is also the urgency of weaning the world from fossil fuels, as a major United Nations report made clear last month.…  Seguir leyendo »

VLADIMIR PUTIN once said that he did not like hearing Russia described as an “energy superpower”. It reminded him, he said, too much of the cold war. But he has revelled in what his country’s energy resources have brought him–global political clout and massive revenues. But the consequences of the Ukraine war will turn Russia into a “reduced energy power”.

This marks the end of an era that began three decades ago with the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the years afterwards, for the first time since the Bolshevik revolution, the Russian oil industry rebounded and largely integrated with the global industry.…  Seguir leyendo »

I HAVE BEEN fighting a personal war with Vladimir Putin for nearly 20 years. It led to my being jailed in Russia for ten years and then expelled, with a warning that life imprisonment awaited me if I ever returned. Do I know the man who did all this to me? I think I do. That is why I look with despair at the defeatist approach of Western leaders, such as Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron and Naftali Bennett.

It is difficult for me to judge how their actions are seen by their electorates. However, I know well how they are perceived by Mr Putin, sitting at the end of his long table.…  Seguir leyendo »

He appeasement of autocrats today only emboldens them tomorrow. Concessions to tyrants are never temporary, and they certainly never bring lasting peace.

The European continent is in crisis because Vladimir Putin has chipped away at Ukraine’s sovereignty to the extent that today he denies its territorial integrity and its right to exist. Russia’s president pursues a dangerous imperialist policy that permits one country to choose the fate of another simply because it has the military might.

This war is Mr Putin’s way of testing the democratic world and it is an attempt to break our democratic spirit. Instead the war has brought the democratic world together in a way not witnessed for decades.…  Seguir leyendo »

The war in Ukraine is the most dangerous international conflict since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. Understanding its root causes is essential if we are to prevent it from getting worse and, instead, to find a way to bring it to a close.

There is no question that Vladimir Putin started the war and is responsible for how it is being waged. But why he did so is another matter. The mainstream view in the West is that he is an irrational, out-of-touch aggressor bent on creating a greater Russia in the mould of the former Soviet Union. Thus, he alone bears full responsibility for the Ukraine crisis.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russia’s attack on Ukraine—horrific as it is in itself—has raised concerns in many Western capitals of an even-worse outcome: escalation to a broader war with NATO allies which could involve nuclear weapons. While such a war is far from inevitable, the possibility of the current conflict spiralling beyond the immediate theatre of hostilities is real. Understanding how that could happen is essential to minimising the risk that it does.

Escalation—an increase in the intensity or scope of conflict—can occur because of a deliberate decision to up the ante, or because of a step or accident that unintentionally produces the same effect.…  Seguir leyendo »

This war between Russia and Ukraine shows why the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the most successful of the international bodies created in the wake of the second world war. As Russian forces built up along Ukraine’s borders in the final months of 2021, the NATO alliance was watchful and active, continuing its exercises and policing the sea and airspace near Russia and Belarus. This was despite the insurrectionist riot at the US Capitol in January, the shambolic withdrawal of alliance forces from Afghanistan in August, and the ravages of the Delta and Omicron variants across Europe and North America.…  Seguir leyendo »

It is horrifying to write about Ukraine now. Kyiv, our capital, faces missiles. News arrives that a close friend has died defending it. Reports show strikes on residential areas, hospitals and cities’ central squares. We do not know how much longer this reality will last. If you’re staying in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv or other cities, you cannot be sure that you will be alive in a month.

It is important that the world understands one thing: Ukraine is resisting and will continue to do so. It has an incredible spirit of independence. This spirit has been there for centuries but is showing itself now in full strength.…  Seguir leyendo »

Devolution has been good for Spain, but it may have gone too far

The hardest problem for the authors of Spain’s democratic constitution was to strike a balance between the central government and the claims of Catalonia, the Basque country and Galicia for home rule. The formula they came up with was known as café para todos, or coffee for all: Spain was divided into 17 “autonomous communities” (plus the enclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the Moroccan coast), each with its own elected parliament and government. This estado de las autonomías seemed a neat solution. Over the past 30 years more and more powers and money have been devolved.…  Seguir leyendo »