Articles by David Marples



Dismantling Ukraine

Although many in eastern Ukraine opposed the Maidan protests, they do not have separatist sentiments.

Trying to Get Inside the Head of Vladimir Putin

On Sunday, Russian troops invaded Crimea, an autonomous republic of Ukraine in which 15,000 sailors of the Russian Black Sea Fleet are stationed.

Ukrainians Building Civil Society on Their Own

As protests in Ukraine continue, it seems worthwhile to consider both their goals and their leaders, some of which have changed since the initial outburst of rage over Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's backtracking on signing the Association Agreement with the European Union.

What Putin, Lukashenko and Yanukovych Share

Last Friday marked the 10th anniversary of the imprisonment of former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Meanwhile, former presidential candidate Nikolai Statkevich, leader of the Belarussian Social Democratic Party, will start the third year of a six-year sentence in a medium security penal colony.

How JFK Beat Khrushchev in Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban missile crisis of 50 years ago is often cited as the closest the world came to a nuclear conflagration during the Cold War. In the U.S., it is generally perceived as the time the two sides went, in the often-quoted words of U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, "eyeball to eyeball and the other fellow blinked."

Lukashenko Gets the Last Laugh

A recent scandal in which officials in Lithuania and Poland provided the banking details of human rights and democracy activists to Belarussian authorities is a serious and unprecedented mistake made by two EU member states that for years have tried to help Belarus overcome the autocratic rule of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Turning Bad Blood Into Good

After Russia's outpouring of support in the wake of the April 10 Polish airplane disaster, the tragedy is offering an opportunity to improve relations between the two countries.

Reviewing a Nazi-Soviet Pact 70 Years On

Sunday marks the 70th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, a nonaggression treaty between the two totalitarian powers of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany as well as a secret protocol that divided Eastern Europe into spheres of influence between Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.

Remembering Victory Day in a Different Way

May 9 marks the 63rd anniversary of Victory Day, the day that Stalin set aside to commemorate the end of the World War II in Europe. The fighting had ended by May 5, and the Western allies accepted Germany's surrender three days later. But the Soviet Union opted to recognize the following day. Victory Day, as its name suggests, was intended originally to celebrate the Soviet victory over fascism. Today, it is used to remember those who took part in the greatest conflict in history and those who sacrificed their lives in the Red Army. Very few of them remain alive today.

The Treaty That Saved Soviet Russia

Ninety years ago Monday, Soviet Russia, Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, in the city that today is located on the western border of Belarus.

Ending an Empire Over a Few Drinks

Sixteen years ago Saturday, the leaders of the three Slavic republics of the Soviet Union gathered at a hunting lodge in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha nature reserve near Minsk and signed an agreement that spelled the end of the Soviet Union.

Ending an Empire Over a Few Drinks

Sixteen years ago Saturday, the leaders of the three Slavic republics of the Soviet Union gathered at a hunting lodge in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha nature reserve near Minsk and signed an agreement that spelled the end of the Soviet Union.