Letter From the Editors: March 14 - 20, 2016

Author: Laurence Bogoslaw

Step Aside, Old Guard - New Guard Is Stepping In

Throughout the world, the lines of power are being redrawn. Ukraine is one example. Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk has finally conceded he is willing to step down (after he retained his post by the skin of his teeth just a few weeks ago) - but the question is: Who will replace him? Meanwhile, President Poroshenko is reasserting Ukraine's sovereignty in his new Security Concept, which emphasizes the need to protect the country from Russia's attempts to destabilize it. Aleksandr Sharkovsky cautions that this is not so much a power move on Kiev's part as a bid to win protection and economic assistance from the West: "Kiev's calculation is obvious: to declare war on Moscow, engage in minimal hostilities and then immediately turn to the West for protection from the ‘Russian aggressor.' Once the fighting starts, no one will be able to determine which side started it." In other words, this already troubled corner of Eastern Europe could become the site of active confrontation between the age-old rivals, the USSR (oops, we meant Russia!) and the West.

But speaking of that age-old confrontation, some people in Russia unapologetically long for the days of the Soviet Union. Dmitry Agranovsky speaks for that contingent in the March 17 issue of Sovetskaya Rossia: "To us, the Soviet Union will always be our motherland, and losing your motherland is like losing a loved one." Agranovsky reminds readers of a series of referenda held throughout the Soviet republics exactly 25 years ago, in which the vast majority of voters supported the preservation of the USSR.

One of the subjects on which Agranovsky waxes nostalgic is the power the immense nation used to have: "The Soviet Union was able to quickly mobilize and concentrate immense resources - military as well as economic - wherever necessary." In the same vein, former ...

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