April 18, 2014
by James Robbins

The four-power deal regarding Ukraine concluded Thursday in Geneva gave hope to some for a de-escalation of the crisis and resolution of the outstanding issues. However, the deal did nothing to change the facts on the ground or to alter Moscow’s strategy to force Ukraine either to acquiesce to losing its eastern regions or face Russian military intervention masked as humanitarian assistance.
Putin Moving Toward Checkmate in Eastern Ukraine
Pro-Russian separatists guard a seized government building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 18, 2014. The rebels maintained control of government buildings they have seized a day after Kiev struck a deal with Russia and the West aimed at easing the crisis in Ukraine. (Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia Quickly Fills Void as US Evacuates Kyrgyzstan
April 14, 2014
As the United States prepares to leave its base in Kyrgyzstan, Russia is poised to greatly expand its influence in a resource-filled country near Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. Over the past month, Russia has purchased Kyrgyzstan’s state-owned natural gas company, bid for its airports and increased pressure on the country to join its trade organization.
Will Kerry Abandon His Middle East Peace Effort?
April 14, 2014
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s growing frustration over Israeli-Palestinian peace talks may soon lead him to give up on this effort. The likely collapse of the talks became more apparent last week when Kerry said that the moment for a peace settlement went “poof” after Israel did not release a group of Palestinian prisoners on March 29 and Israeli officials said 700 new Israeli homes would be built in East Jerusalem.
Argentina: Violence Prompts Outbreak of Good Governance
April 14, 2014
The social fabric of Argentine society continues to fray, forcing the government to revise previously falsified economic statistics and come to terms with disaffected foreign creditors. The sudden interest in external help follows a series of vigilante attacks in the province of Buenos Aires leading to a state of emergency there, a nationwide wave of drug-fueled organized crime and a general strike over inadequate wage increases.
China Invests Billions in Huge Political Surveillance Network
April 11, 2014
Threatened by rising domestic strife, China’s leaders are spending tens of billions of dollars to wire hundreds of Chinese cities with Internet, video surveillance cameras, cellphones, GPS location data and biometric technologies, all of them fused into a monitoring system of Orwellian proportions. Chinese officials are partly acting out of fear of organized opposition to official corruption, but the surveillance effort also extends to suppressing discontent among ethnic minorities.
Venezuela Struggles Under the Economic Legacy of Chavez
April 11, 2014
Special Economic Analysis
by Peter Warburton, PhD

Venezuela is undergoing a period of severe economic and political instability. Rising violent crime, homicide, rocketing inflation and a shortage of essential items – from milk to insulin – have resulted in a wave of protests by the middle class and growing dissatisfaction among the poor. The authorities’ heavy-handed response has only added fuel to the fire.
Russia Applies Crimean Takeover Model in Eastern Ukraine
April 11, 2014
Eastern Ukraine is quickly turning into a flashpoint in the struggle between Moscow and Kiev over territories bordering Russia with ethnic Russian populations. Similar to Crimea, ostensibly local pro-Russian separatists have taken over buildings and called for independence votes. However, Ukraine’s early response has been quite different this time.
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