Eastern Europe

  • How the Russian Jews Became Soviet

    The novelist Gary Shteyngart, who emigrated from the USSR to the US as a child, reviews Sasha Senderovich's "How the Soviet Jew was Made," a work that gives short shrift to neither the "Soviet" nor "Jewish" sides of the question. 

  • Eastern Europe Brought Soccer Into the Modern Age. Why is it a Wasteland Now?

    A legacy of innovation spurred by Hungarian clubs in the 1930s and 1950s sustained high quality soccer in eastern Europe through the fall of communism, but changing economic and social currents have diminished the competitiveness of former eastern bloc countries in today's big-money game. 

  • The Winter War Ghost Haunts Putin's War Today

    by David P. Barash

    Stalin's ill-conceived invasion of Finland gave Russia a small part of Finnish territory as a ransom for a face-saving end to stalemate and gave the world the term "Molotov Cocktail" – a sarcastic rebuke to the USSR's claims to be dropping food relief instead of bombs.

  • Ukraine Beyond the Post-Soviet Frame

    by Ileana Nachescu

    Framing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an extension of grievances that festered during the Soviet era ignores the drastic changes wrought in Eastern Europe by neoliberal capitalism, racism, sexism, migration and patriarchal religion, and sustains an impoverished view of what peace and freedom in Ukraine can be.

  • American Pundits Can't Resist "Westsplaining" Ukraine

    by Jan Smoleński and Jan Dutkiewicz

    "For Eastern European scholars like us, it’s galling to watch the unending stream of Western scholars and pundits condescend to explain the situation in Ukraine and Eastern Europe."

  • What Putin Means by Claiming to "Denazify" Ukraine

    Putin's claims to be protecting Ukrainians from domestic fascism will fail as propaganda, says Jason Stanley, who calls Russian Christian nationalism the real threat to Jews in Ukraine.

  • Ukraine Shows Limits of US Power

    Historians and diplomats including Stephen Wertheim and Joseph Nye offer insight on the limits of what American power can achieve toward stopping Russian aggression in Ukraine. 

  • Putin is a Product of Modernity (Not a Throwback to the Past)

    "All the bad things we see around us are like ghosts from the past whose deathly grip on progress might frustrate it for a while, and with potentially terrible consequences, but cannot stop its wheels from eventually grinding on. This is, of course, total nonsense."

  • Putin Chooses Forever War

    by Tom Nichols

    Putin's invocation of history reflects a belief that only the Russian state is a legitimate actor in the territory of the former Soviet Union. This could be a justification for all manner of aggressive actions. 

  • How Did We Get Here?

    by Rajan Menon

    The roots of the Ukraine crisis lie with American decisions in the 1990s to kick post-Soviet Russia while it was down, promoting neoliberal policies that led to oligarchy, and isolating the Kremlin from the post-Cold War European order instead of integrating it.