232 Items

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Blog Post

Average Age of Ukrainian Soldiers Is Past 40 and That Could Be a Problem

| Nov. 03, 2023

Time journalist Simon Shuster has just published an article titled “Volodymyr Zelensky’s Struggle to Keep Ukraine in the Fight,” which contains three revelations that do not bode well for that struggle. First, the article reveals that Zelensky—who remains staunchly opposed to either truce or peace—is so convinced of Ukraine’s victory that one of his closest aides describes him as “delud[ing] himself.” Second, the article reveals that after his September trip to the U.S., Zelensky has been feeling betrayed by his Western allies, who he feels have left him without the means to win the war, only the means to survive it. Last but not least, even if the West did come through with all the weapons they have pledged, “we don’t have the men to use them,” one of Zelensky’s close aides told Time’s Shuster, revealing that the average age of a Ukrainian soldier has already reached 43.1 That third revelation is, perhaps, the most consequential of the revelations that Shuster—who has been relentlessly covering post-Soviet conflicts for decades—makes in his Nov. 1 article

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Analysis & Opinions

Thomas Graham on Why and How America Should Start Getting Russia Right

| Oct. 19, 2023

Multiple books have been published since Vladimir Putin’s re-invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 that explore the sources of Russia’s aggressive conduct. In fact, some of these books were rushed to hit the shelves of digital and brick-and-mortar stores less than half a year after Russian tanks started rolling toward Kyiv on Feb. 22, 2022. Thankfully, Thomas Graham, who has been among the most thoughtful of the Western world’s Russia experts for decades, took his time, “Getting Russia Right.”

Exodus of ethnic Armenians from their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh

Public Domain/Voice of America

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

Biden Needs to Act on Nagorno-Karabakh

| Sep. 28, 2023

The plight of Armenians (in Nagorny Karabakh) is not of America's doing. A string of poor leaders in Yerevan, Armenia, are at least partially to blame. Russia's failure to live up to its formal and informal commitments to come to the rescue of Armenia and Artsakh played a significant role, too. But even though the current tragedy is not America's fault, Biden should act to defend America's values and interests by, at the very least, compelling Aliyev's government to immediately offer legally binding, verifiable guarantees of security and safety for Karabakh Armenians as well as of their right to preserve their identity and culture.

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Analysis & Opinions - Russia Matters

Mutiny in Russia: What Happened, What’s Next and What To Be Thankful For

| June 29, 2023

What drove Yevgeny Prigozhin to lead his PMC Wagner troops on a “march for justice” across southern Russia, toward Moscow? Was it a mutiny meant to overthrow Vladimir Putin and install the ex-convict in the Kremlin? Or was the owner and political leader of Russia’s most powerful private army actually — as he assured his followers — trying to convince Putin to meet his demands, which included the firing of his arch-enemies and Russia’s top generals, Sergei Shoigu and Valery Gerasimov, over their poor conduct in the Ukraine war? And what made Prigozhin agree to abort the march toward Moscow, with Wagner’s reconnaissance teams reportedly spotted some 55miles south of the Russian capital, even though his demands had been left unmet? More importantly, has the rebellion weakened Putin, or has it made him stronger? And what’s next for Russia, Ukraine, and other countries whose national interests have been affected by this crisis? Finally, should we be thankful that the “march for justice” turned out the way it went? Despite having combed through hundreds of primary sources over the past several days, I still don’t have definitive answers to all of these key questions, but here’s how I would go about answering some of them if asked to do so, based on what was known as of June 29.