Long before anyone had heard of Islamic State, Vladimir Putin was keenly following Syria’s descent into anarchy and violence. Bashar al-Assad’s fate means so much to Putin because he sees in it an apocalyptic vision of his own future. Read here how that connection was clear more than three years ago.
The Berlin Wall was built to keep East Germans from seeking a freer, better life in the West. It fell 28 years later when the flow of refugees became too strong to stem.
No wall can save Europe in a globalized world. A commitment to liberty and humanity will.
The murder of Boris Nemtsov is a watershed for Russia. The culture of violence fueled by the war in Ukraine has claimed its first victim on the streets of Moscow.
Nemtsov tirelessly challenged lies, injustice, and war. His assassination is an attack on freedom-loving people everywhere.
Twenty-five years ago, a wave of freedom swept across the Soviet empire, bringing down the Iron Curtain and uniting Europe. Today, the struggle for Ukraine is the last, belated battle of the Velvet Revolution.
Click to read my dispatches for Slate, Newsweek, BuzzFeed and Zeit Online (in German).
In Moscow, all eyes are on Kiev. For the Kremlin, the protests are a nightmare vision of the future. For the liberal middle class, a glimmer of hope for self-emancipation.
Everyone understands: change in Russia begins in Ukraine.