March 7, 2014 |
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly told President Obama on Sunday that Vladimir Putin was out of touch with reality. When it comes to Ukraine, however, it's not just Putin who seems to be operating in a parallel universe. In Washington, this crisis is causing politicians from both parties to lose their grip. I don't just mean Republican hawks, who see an opportunity to bash Obama for foreign-policy weakness. Or Florida's presidential hopeful, Sen. Marco Rubio, who opposed authorizing force in Syria and now claims Russia's use of force in Crimea threatens to reverse "the hard-fought gains of the Cold War. " Democrats, too, have joined the chorus.
March 4, 2014 |
In just one week, the mood of the local Ukrainian community has swung from hope to despair. Last weekend, hundreds gathered near City Hall in Philadelphia to rejoice over the ouster of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych after the deaths of dozens of antigovernment protesters in his country. Sunday, many of them came together again, this time in front of Independence Hall, in anger and anguish over Russian troops' occupation of Crimea - "a declaration of war to my country," as Ukrainian interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in Kiev.
March 22, 2014 |
Like the multinational companies they represent, American lawyers in Russia are collectively holding their breath. U.S. law firms, including major players in the Philadelphia market, have moved into Russia in a big way, drawn by multibillion-dollar energy deals and expansion into the region by multinationals seeking to feed the insatiable Russian appetite for American-made consumer goods. But Russia's lightning-swift occupation of Crimea has revived questions about the safety of investments, and some have put projects on hold.
March 3, 2014 |
Russia's apparent seizure of Crimea stirred new outrage Saturday from Philadelphia-area descendants of the former Soviet republic, and spurred plans for a demonstration to protest what they call the "aggressive military provocation. " "Events have escalated to an emergency level," said Mary Kalyna of Mount Airy, an organizer with the local group Razom, United for Ukraine, which is cosponsoring a 2 p.m. Sunday rally on Independence Mall. Also expected to demonstrate with banners and flags are members of the Belarus, Georgian, Polish, and Russian communities of Philadelphia.
April 20, 1986 |
Late last summer, a middle-aged woman from the Crimea took up position on the sidewalk in front of the U.S. Embassy with her wheelchair-bound 24-year- old daughter. She had come to Moscow to deliver appeals both to the American ambassador and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev. In her handwritten statements, pressed upon an inquiring American diplomat, she said that she and her husband had been caring for their paralyzed daughter since birth - feeding her, bathing her, changing her clothes when she urinated or defecated.
May 29, 1992 |
As Yugoslavia burns, one of the most encouraging developments in the ex- communist empire is an ethnic conflict which is not exploding. Russia and Ukraine, two nuclear powers locked in bitter ethnic and territorial disputes, could really rock Europe if they turned to violence. But, so far, both seem determined not to follow the Yugoslav example. Their actions show what a difference responsible leadership can make. Russia, Ukraine and Yugoslavia's core republic, Serbia, are all headed by beefy ex-communist bigwigs with the unmistakeable look of Slavic apparatchniks.
March 10, 2014 |
Last week, I wrote that the Ukraine crisis did not mean the return of the Cold War. Since then, I've received e-mails from readers confused about what it does mean and why it should matter to Americans. Their confusion is warranted. The Ukraine crisis is far more complex than a simple matter of East vs. West or Obama vs. Putin. So here are some answers to a few of the queries I've received. If the Cold War is over - meaning the end of an existential and global conflict between two superpowers armed with nukes - why should the United States involve itself with Ukraine?
March 31, 2014 |
Dear President Obama: Last week, you were super-busy in Europe, warning Vladimir Putin not to invade eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, Moscow's takeover of Crimea is a done deal, and there's even more worrying stuff going on elsewhere. Your CIA chief, John Brennan, just told a House panel that al-Qaeda central is now using Syrian territory to train Western jihadis to attack Europe and America. In Afghanistan (remember Afghanistan?), Taliban bombers are threatening this week's elections.
June 24, 1994 |
LONDON SUPERMODEL'S NEXT 007 LOVE INTEREST? Supermodel Elle MacPherson will be the new James Bond's love interest in the latest film to be made about the martini-swilling spy, the Daily Star newspaper reported today. The British tabloid said MacPherson was close to signing a contract to make the film, titled "Goldeneye," with the newest Bond, Pierce Brosnan. "Elle is the one that they want," the newspaper quoted a so-called Hollywood insider as saying. "An announcement is very close to being made.
March 12, 2014 |
Russia has a great stock market if you are a trader - but not if you invest for the long term. That's the upshot from the last few weeks, ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin concluded the 2014 Sochi Olympics, then promptly moved into Crimea to slap down Ukraine's revolutionary movement. "So far, the economic and political costs for Russia as a result of its aggressive reactions to the revolution in Ukraine look to be significant," said Bill Witherell, chief global economist for Cumberland Advisors, with offices in Sarasota, Fla., and Vineland, N.J. "It is difficult to see a positive outcome on balance for Putin, whatever his planned end game may be. We intend to continue to exclude Russia from our international and global equity ETF portfolios.