In World War II, Russian-ruled Sevastopol fought invaders again – the army of Nazi Germany – and was proclaimed by Stalin a “hero city,” its name carved into the polished stone of a somber memorial outside the Kremlin walls. In 1954, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who had roots in Ukraine, transferred Crimea to the jurisdiction of the Soviet Ukrainian Republic, a declaration of Russian-Ukrainian brotherhood that had no consequence then for the region’s power politics. The consequence is enormous now, as President Vladimir Putin uses the Russians’ emotional sense of ownership over Crimea to win support at home for his seizure of the peninsula from independent Ukraine.
Because of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign a Basic Security Agreement (BSA), NATO is now forced to plan for the withdraw of all of its military forces by the end of 2014. Without substantial coalition forces and, as important, the money and aid Afghanistan receives because of that presence, the Karzai government will be unable to prevent the Taliban, local tribes, warlords and gangs from wresting power and control away from Kabul. Violence, chaos and instability loom as the legacies of NATO’s engagement.
As a Small Nation Faces Russian Pressure, Europe’s Future is on the LineMoldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leancă’s meetings at the White House today are a crucial sign of US support for his leadership and for Moldova’s Euro-Atlantic future, especially alongside Russia’s invasion of Moldova’s neighbor, Ukraine. In November, Moldova, alongside Georgia, signed a European Union (EU) Association Agreement, a step toward what Moldovans hope will be their country’s eventual membership in the EU. Russia’s occupation of Crimea is a blunt reminder of the high price – territorial dismemberment – that President Vladimir Putin is extracting for these countries’ desire to be part of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. Leancă is taking a real political risk by adhering to his people’s wishes despite Russia’s coercion.
The Atlantic Council is at the forefront of an emerging global dialogue on urbanization through its Urban World 2030 project, which brings together foreign and security policymakers and urban specialists to address ways to turn global urbanization into a net positive.
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What Will be the Legacy of the 2014 World Cup for Brazil?From June 12 to July 13, Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup across twelve cities. During the tournament an estimated 600,000 foreign visitors and 3 million Brazilians are expected to travel across the country of more than 200 million people. Over 3 billion worldwide will be paying attention to all that happens in Brazil.
How might the FARC peace negotiations impact Colombia's presidential election?President Barack Obama emphasized "the tremendous progress that’s taken place in Colombia" after meeting with President Juan Manuel Santos at the White House on December 3. His comments come at a pivotal moment as Colombia enters an electoral season.