The Donald on Crimea

David Marples Donald J. Trump’s co-chairman, Sam Clovis, maintains that the presidential candidate “was thinking about something else” when he made his comments on Crimea to ABC network’s “This Week” program (July 31, 2016) (http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/trump-crimea-ukraine-sam-clovis-226501 ). Yet they are consistent with his astounding lack of knowledge about all parts of the world beyond the borders […]

Ukraine and Russia: Rewriting Histories

David Marples Introduction The 2016 commemorations of victory in World War II illustrate the growing divide between Russia and Ukraine, one that mirrors their current conflict over Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine. Whereas Russia celebrated the traditional May 9 with ceremony and military swagger, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, clashes broke out between pro-Russians and young Ukrainian […]

Poroshenko, Polls, and the Rise of the ‘Gas Princess’

David Marples The past week has seen a veritable media circus around the revelations of the Panama Papers, in which, among many others, the name of Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko appears, accused of opening an offshore account while his country suffered its worst defeat in the war against Donbas separatists in August 2014. What is […]

THE ‘IMMINENT COLLAPSE’ OF RUSSIA: A RESPONSE TO ALEXANDER MOTYL

David Marples Alex Motyl’s most recent commentary on the imminent demise of Vladimir Putin’s Russia (Foreign Affairs, Jan 27, 2016: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russian-federation/2016-01-27/lights-out-putin-regime) provides a now familiar synopsis, based on broad simplifications, innuendos, and precious little hard analysis. Almost exactly one year ago, he provided a similar offering: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2015-02-05/goodbye-putin and in mid-December another editorial in which he […]

Decentralization: Pros, Cons, and Prospects

David Marples Introduction The reform process in Ukraine introduced after the Euromaidan protests has a number of facets. One of the most critical falls under the headline “decentralization.” This paper explores what is meant by this term in the context of contemporary Ukraine. It also examines the prospects for the success of the reform, its […]