Tag: soviet union

A Conversation With Carl Bildt

A while back, I interviewed the most enigmatic diplomat in the world: Carl Bildt. Mr. Bildt has served as Sweden’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, and held a number of posts in the Balkans, including as the EU’s Special Envoy to the former Yugoslavia, Co-Chairman of the Dayton Peace Conference…

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New Fears in Chernobyl

A series of strange events inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone has the Ukrainian government making accusations of arson and scientists wondering if an entirely different kind of nuclear disaster is possible — and imminent. You can’t visit the village of Buryakivka, but if you could, this is what you’d see:…

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Post-Soviet Frozen Conflicts and Quasi-States

Now that the newly elected rebel leaders of the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples’ Republics have taken office, the West believes that long-held fears about a “frozen conflict” taking shape in eastern Ukraine might finally become a reality. The post-Soviet landscape is already scarred with several unrecognized pseudo-statelets that have…

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Shevardnadze, Revisited

The recent passing of former Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze, the man who helped end the Cold War, has offered us an opportunity to reflect on his legacy. And as politics in the Eurasian sphere return to petty power struggles between Russia and the West, it becomes clear that his characteristic idealism…

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Life and Death in Five Former Secret Soviet Cities

The Soviet Union used to operate over 100 secret cities, stretching across Eurasia from Estonia to Kazakhstan. Their main purpose was to manufacture weapons of mass destruction. Today, at least 43 of them are still “closed cities” (ZATO), and they remain largely inaccessible to outsiders. But now it’s possible to…

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