In continuation of our alumni interview series, we talked with Title VIII-supported Research Scholar Alyssa Park to hear her reflections on her fellowship. Dr. Park has a PhD in History from Columbia University and is Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa. She is currently working on a project that traces the migration of Koreans to the Russian Far East and Manchuria in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
It’s not unusual to describe a prominent political figure as a figurative “rock star.” Well in the case of social activist, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, lead vocalist for Okean Elzy (the most successful post-Soviet rock band in Ukraine), it happens to be literally true.
No one will judge Putin domestically for aiming at Homs instead of Raqqa, or for sending the ruble down 60 percent instead of 20 percent—as long as his regime is in place.
The collective decision of the NATO Alliance on Wednesday to extend an invitation to Montenegro to begin accession talks toward NATO membership represents formal recognition of Montenegro’s accomplishments in fulfilling a range of demanding reforms and requirements for membership over the past decade. Montenegro’s membership in the Alliance is not about attempting to provoke Russia or to counter or undermine Russia’s interests. Although the “historic” decision comes at a time of high tension for the NATO-Russia relationship, the invitation results from the culmination of a process that was initiated long before the crisis in Ukraine, tensions over Syria and NATO member Turkey’s downing of the Russian aircraft.
"The constructed reality of the state-run media has become a matter of national security. The heavier the allegations, the deeper the Kremlin has to go into denial," writes Maxim Trudolyubov.
The Kennan Institute launched the Solzhenitsyn Initiative in 2014 to translate major works by Nobel Laureate Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2007) for the first time into English. Solzhenitsyn, best known in the West as the author of The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, wrote a number of other books, including a history of the Russian Revolution and his autobiography of his years in exile in the United States, that have been translated into other languages, but not into English.
Can French President Francois Hollande turn a coalition of the risk-averse, self-interested, and unwilling, into a functional coalition finally willing and ready to defeat the Islamic State? To succeed, Hollande will have to overcome four key obstacles.
"As long as Russia’s appetite for military force has been growing, Russia’s ability to use soft power, never large in the first place, has been diminishing," writes Maxim Trudolyubov.
Henri Barkey gives some possible reasons behind this week’s high-stakes standoff between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande have vowed to put together a broad, anti-terrorist coalition that would go beyond previous disagreements and even sectarian conflicts. But Tuesday’s downing of a Russian fighter and the major differences that remain between Russia and the United States may prevent this grand vision from being implemented soon, writes Maxim Trudolyubov.