At the Kremlin in 1943

Stalin presented Orthodox leaders with a proposal: the Soviet state that had destroyed their Church would bring it back Russian Orthodox Monks, Zagorsk, USSR 1958. Photo courtesy Cornell Capa, International Center of Photography/Magnum Kathryn David is a historian with the Office of the Historian, US Department of State. She was formerly a Mellon Assistant Professor of Russian and East European Studies at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. The views presented here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the US Department of State or the US government. She is working on the book One Ukraine, Under God. In September 1943, as … Continue reading At the Kremlin in 1943

Why Combat Veterans Are Turning to Oxygen Therapy for PTSD

Top: Army Sgt. Margaux Mange experienced severe PTSD symptoms after serving in Iraq. She says hyperbaric oxygen therapy helped her symptoms significantly improve. Visual: Courtesy Margaux Mange The unapproved and, to some, unproven treatment is attracting many PTSD patients for whom other treatments have failed. BY GITIT GINAT IN 2007, United States Army Sgt. Margaux Mange was driving through Baghdad when the Humvee behind hers was hit with a bomb. She recalls grabbing a fire extinguisher and running toward the vehicle to try to rescue her best friend. But Mange was pulled back from the wreckage. Days later, Mange recalled, her left … Continue reading Why Combat Veterans Are Turning to Oxygen Therapy for PTSD

As Western Liberalism Declines, Civilization States Return

Moonassi The civilization state is reemerging and taking us beyond the opposition between liberalism and nationalism.  BY BRUNO MAÇÃES, was Portugal’s secretary of state for European affairs from 2013 to 2015 and is now a senior adviser at Flint Global and a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. His two most recent books are “History Has Begun” and “Geopolitics for the End Time.” KYIV, Ukraine — Samuel Huntington, who is often thought of as having written about civilizations, in fact wrote about identity. The two concepts have nothing in common, and the confusion between them explains why Huntington argued … Continue reading As Western Liberalism Declines, Civilization States Return

Geopolitics is for losers

Adolf Hitler with high-ranking Nazi officers during Operation Barbarossa, the failed offensive against the Soviet Union, 7 August 1941. Photo by Ullstein/Getty The concept of geopolitics comes from German and Russian attempts to explain defeat and reverse loss of influence Harold James, is the Claude and Lore Kelly Professor in European Studies at Princeton University, professor of history and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, and an associate at the Bendheim Center for Finance. His books include, most recently, The War of Words: A Glossary of Globalization (2021) and Seven Crashes: The Economic Crises that Shaped Globalization (forthcoming, 2023). Today everyone talks geopolitics. The … Continue reading Geopolitics is for losers

Trenches in Chernobyl

An abandoned Russian trench near a military post in the Chernobyl exclusion zone in Ukraine, 13 September 2022. Photo by Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Disturbing and inhaling radioactive dust, in their haste Russian soldiers unburied the wrecked, undead Earth itself Michael Marder is Ikerbasque Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country in Vitoria-Gasteiz, northern Spain. His books include Green Mass (2021), Philosophy for Passengers (2022) and The Phoenix Complex: A Philosophy of Nature (forthcoming, 2023). Contemporary events appear in ever-shifting configurations. They seem to be entirely contingent, their amplification on the global scale dependent on how many people are paying attention. The … Continue reading Trenches in Chernobyl

‘Whoever compares Putin to Hitler must be prepared for an all-out war’

French politician Henri Guaino, a senior adviser to former President Nicolas Sarkozy, says “Everyone contributes to the outset of a war; at some point we are at a point of no return.”  By  Eldad Beck Is the prolonged war in Ukraine, running its fifth month and with its economic implications felt worldwide, starting to raise a different train of thought in European capitals regarding the management of the military crisis vis-à-vis Russia? One of the first to warn against the “lust for war” and the total recruitment on Ukraine’s side was French politician, Henri Guaino, a senior advisor to former President … Continue reading ‘Whoever compares Putin to Hitler must be prepared for an all-out war’

The will to fight

Throughout history, the most effective combatants have powered to victory on commitment to core values and collective resolve Scott Atran is co-founder of Artis International and emeritus director of research at France’s National Center for Scientific Research; he also holds research positions at the University of Oxford and University of Michigan, and is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of Talking to the Enemy (2010) and In Gods We Trust (2002). Leonidas, King of Sparta, arrived at Thermopylae with a small advance guard to hold off a massive Persian assault in 480 BCE. The invading Persian army was thousands-strong, … Continue reading The will to fight

The discontent of Russia

Lenin envisioned Soviet unity. Stalin called Russia ‘first among equals’. Yet Russian nationalism never went away Joy Neumeyer is a writer and historian of Russia and Eastern Europe. A former reporter in Moscow, her writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic, among others. On 19 November 1990, Boris Yeltsin gave a speech in Kiev to announce that, after more than 300 years of rule by the Russian tsars and the Soviet ‘totalitarian regime’ in Moscow, Ukraine was free at last. Russia, he said, did not want any special role in dictating Ukraine’s future, nor did … Continue reading The discontent of Russia

What Is War?

The Zen master and the straw mat By Lewis Richmond One day after a Saturday lecture, my Buddhist teacher Shunryu Suzuki opened the floor to questions. This was in 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War. I was in my early twenties at the time, working as an antiwar activist by day and learning about Buddhist meditation at Suzuki’s temple on weekends. I raised my hand and asked the question that was troubling me and so many of us in the room. “Suzuki Roshi,” I said, “What is war?” He pointed to the goza mat in front of him, a six-by-three-foot thin rush mat … Continue reading What Is War?


A look at the grim scenarios—and the U.S. playbook for each By Eric Schlosser The 12th main directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense operates a dozen central storage facilities for nuclear weapons. Known as “Object S” sites and scattered across the Russian Federation, they contain thousands of nuclear warheads and hydrogen bombs with a wide variety of explosive yields. For the past three months, President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have been ominously threatening to use nuclear weapons in the war against Ukraine. According to Pavel Podvig, the director of the Russian Nuclear Forces Project and a former research fellow at the Moscow Institute of … Continue reading WHAT IF RUSSIA USES NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN UKRAINE?