Days of Freedom in Belarus

David Marples On Saturday, Belarusians will commemorate March 25, the Independence Day of 1918 or as it is more simply known, the Day of Freedom. This year the march has unusual significance because it takes place following a series of protests and mass demonstrations across the country. How serious is unrest in Belarus and what […]

Death of a Separatist Leader

David Marples The death of Mikhail Tolstykh (1980-2017), better known by his nickname Givi, was affirmed on February 8 by Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the Prime Minister of the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ (DNR), a separatist enclave within Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine. Tolstykh died when a bomb exploded in his office around 6am. Zakharchenko accused the Ukrainian authorities of […]

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 […]

RUSSIANS AS TERRORIST VICTIMS

People gathered to light candles during a day of national mourning for the plane crash victims at Dvortsovaya (Palace) Square in St Petersburg, on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. The Metrojet charter crashed after taking off from Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. All 224 people on board died. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) David Marples Should […]