After Peter the Great, Alexander II is known to be the greatest reformer of the Russian Empire. What his rule teaches us is that historic development does not go in a straight line—usually, when a country takes two steps forward, it also takes a step back.
While early into the war in Ukraine most newspapers and politicians used World War II as an analogy to understand current events, 10 months into the war more and more writers begin to compare the invasion of Ukraine with World War I – here is why.
Part of the Republican Party is growing increasingly sceptical of supporting Ukraine with military and financial aid. If the GOP wins the midterm elections in November, the channelling of American funds to Ukraine might slow down.
Sanctions that target a whole country instead of specific individuals always hurt the innocent, ordinary people the most. Be these people European citizens who cannot afford to pay their electricity bills, or Central Asians who now live in extreme poverty, generic sanctions punish those the most who are the least responsible.
While Russians are desperately trying to flee their country to escape mobilisation, their struggle for life and personal freedom receives little empathy from the West with the Baltic countries bordering Russia gradually closing their borders.
The bleeding out in the Ukraine war may be the beginning of the decline of Moscow’s global influence. With the EU also weakening economically due to the energy crisis, the current multipolar world order is expected to change, leaving the US and China as the leaders of a bipolar world.
The prolongation of the war in Ukraine and the challenges to Russia’s military strength may lead to more armed conflicts all over the post-Soviet sphere, as countries in the region try to capitalise on Russia’s weakness.
Autocracy is not only about a set of institutions—it is also about how people live their lives in a political sytem. As opposed to what the misguided vote in the European Parliament that classified Hungary as an ‘autocracy’ insinuates, Hungarians live freely, which is a testimony to the fact that Hungary is a democracy.
Although Putin was the first world leader Xi Jinping met with outside China since the outbreak of the pandemic, Beijing is probably more interested in a West divided over Ukraine than in Russia itself.
Russia is turning to Iran and North Korea due to Western sanctions preventing its access to cutting-edge technology. Rapprochement between these countries, however, does certainly not serve the interest of the West.
The mural of hugging Russian and Ukrainian soldiers was removed upon the uproar of the Ukrainian community. Given rising dissent in the Russian army, however, there is a case to be made that the mural was appropriate.
Russia has introduced new compulsory ’patriotic rituals’ that all school children are required to perform in schools. The new patriotic lessons include discussions of the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine and the ‘NATO threat’.
The UK economy is under great pressure from the sanctions imposed on Russia. Energy prices have soared, and inflation is sky high. putting a strain on the population’s wellbeing. Meanwhile. the government keeps funding Ukraine.
While joint US-Korean military drills were scaled down in the last couple of years, now they have returned in their past size as tens of thousands of soldiers train for a potential invasion of South Korea until 1 September. The drills are a show of force not only to Pyongyang, but to Beijing, too.
Since the beginning of the tragic war in Ukraine, many have embraced the idea that Russians have collective responsibility for the current events. However, it is crucial to recognise that the notion of collective guilt should not be used to demonise or incite hatred against ordinary Russians.