Anne Applebaum's Blog

July 18, 2014

Before there is any further discussion of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, it’s important that one point be made absolutely clear: This plane crash is a result of the Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine, an operation deliberately designed to create legal, political and military chaos. Without this chaos, a surface-to-air missile would not have been fired at a passenger plane.

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Published on July 18, 2014 11:57 • 11 views

July 11, 2014

WARSAW

Last month, Andrei Kuznetsov left his native St. Petersburg and flew to Ukraine. When he arrived at the Kiev airport, he asked for political asylum. The bemused guards, unaccustomed to any sort of asylum-seekers, let alone Russian asylum-seekers, couldn’t figure out what to do with him. Finally, he told a Radio Liberty reporter, “they let me in as a tourist and gave me the link to a U.N. site with procedures for applying for asylum.”

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Published on July 11, 2014 16:51 • 6 views

June 12, 2014

Like a time-honored ritual, the run-up to any world-class sporting event is always the same. A few months before, the stadiums aren’t ready and the hotels have no hot water. The highways are dirt tracks and the athletes have nowhere to sleep. The local newspapers predict calamity. Will the beach volleyball final not be held for lack of a net? Will the qualifying match between Paraguay and Ivory Coast be abandoned because the referees couldn’t land at the unfinished airport?

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Published on June 12, 2014 18:11 • 4 views

May 30, 2014

WARSAW

By any measure, it was a landmark, landslide victory — for Europe. On May 25, Petro Poroshenko declared victory in the first round of the Ukrainian presidential election. He had won more than 55 percent of the vote — and Ukrainians knew exactly what they were getting. Poroshenko campaigned on integrating his country into European institutions. After his victory, he repeated that goal. Ukraine is on the brink of financial catastrophe and is fighting a de facto invasion: Well-armed Chech...

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Published on May 30, 2014 17:02 • 13 views

May 16, 2014

LONDON

At a highly orchestrated “election rally” in Cairo last weekend, supporters of Abdel Fatah al-Sissi sang, danced and waited in vain for him to show up. Unsurprised, most assumed that Sissi — the military leader who ousted and jailed Egypt’s previous president — didn’t come for “security” reasons. Since taking power last summer, Sissi has overseen the murder of hundreds of members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the arrest of some 16,000 others. He has declared he will eliminate the organ...

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Published on May 16, 2014 16:29 • 8 views

May 1, 2014

LONDON

Seven Russians were added this week to the U.S. sanctions list , along with 17 Russian companies. In Brussels, the European Union also lengthened its sanctions list from 33 to 48. Once again, analysts are looking at the names, the assets, the influence of the people targeted. Once again, some ask whether any sanctions can ever work, at least well enough to change anyone’s behavior.

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Published on May 01, 2014 17:08 • 13 views

April 16, 2014

WARSAW

In the Western imagination, the words “war” and “invasion” carry clear connotations. From books, movies and television, we know that such events involve tanks, airplanes and artillery, as well as soldiers in uniform, advanced weaponry, sophisticated communications. They look like the invasion of Iraq or, to go back in time, D-Day.

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Published on April 16, 2014 15:08 • 20 views

March 28, 2014

TBILISI, Georgia

Halfway through an otherwise coherent conversation with a Georgian lawyer here — the topics included judges, the court system, the police — I was startled by a comment he made about his country’s former government, led by then-president Mikheil Saakashvili. “They were LGBT,” he said, conspiratorially.

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Published on March 28, 2014 16:37 • 17 views

TBILISI, Georgia

Halfway through an otherwise coherent conversation with a Georgian lawyer here — the topics included judges, the court system, the police — I was startled by a comment he made about his country’s former government, led by then-president Mikheil Saakashvili. “They were LGBT,” he said, conspiratorially.

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Published on March 28, 2014 16:37 • 78 views

March 20, 2014

LONDON

There have been high moments: Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, locked in a bear hug; George W. Bush looking into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and seeing “a sense of his soul”; Hillary Clinton pressing the “reset button.” There have been some very low moments, too. But for more than 20 years of Russian independence, a single narrative about Russia in the West has nevertheless prevailed.

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Published on March 20, 2014 17:52 • 7 views

Anne Applebaum's Blog

Anne Applebaum
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