Russia

3:11am

Thu May 29, 2014
It's All Politics

More Diplomacy, Fewer Military Missions: 5 Obama Statements Explained

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 10:13 am

President Obama and superintendent of the Military Academy, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., take the Pledge of Allegiance at the West Point graduation ceremony on Wednesday. In an interview with NPR, President Obama said U.S. foreign policy should focus more on diplomatic efforts than on large-scale military operations.
Peter Foley EPA/Landov

In an interview with NPR, President Obama says now is an appropriate time to step up aid to moderate Syrian rebels. But most of his foreign policy aims are geared toward expanding diplomatic efforts in a host of regional disputes.

Obama has come under fire from critics who say he has failed to show American leadership on issues ranging from Syria's civil war to Ukraine's crisis to China's growing clout in Asia.

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1:22am

Tue May 27, 2014
The Salt

How Soviet Kitchens Became Hotbeds Of Dissent And Culture

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 12:45 pm

A typical Russian kitchen inside an apartment built during the early 1960s, when Nikita Khrushchev led the Soviet Union — what later became known as Khrushchev apartments.
Courtesy of The Kitchen Sisters

When Nikita Khrushchev emerged as the leader of the Soviet Union after Stalin's death in 1953, one of the first things he addressed was the housing shortage and the need for more food. At the time, thousands of people were living in cramped communal apartments, sharing one kitchen and one bathroom with sometimes up to 20 other families.

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6:02am

Wed April 23, 2014
Europe

Putin's Chess Moves In Ukraine: Brilliant Tactics, But Bad Strategy?

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:06 am

Protesters play chess in Independence Square in Kiev last winter. Some would say that Russian President Putin is playing geopolitical chess when it comes to Ukraine.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

The game of chess is a national pastime in Russia. And you might say that Vladimir Putin is playing a high-stakes game of geopolitical chess when it comes to Ukraine.

Western leaders are plotting how to counter Putin's latest moves with economic sanctions. So to get some insight into what might come next, we talked to an economist who knows Russia — who is also extremely good at chess.

Putin Playing From A Weak Position

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11:01am

Tue April 8, 2014
The Salt

Why Chocolate Is A Bargaining Chip In The Ukraine-Russia Conflict

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 2:21 pm

Roshen is a premium brand but some say it tastes "less refined" than Western European chocolate.
Bodo Flickr

In the political battle between Ukraine and Russia, one of the biggest pawns is chocolate.

That's because the current front-runner in Ukraine's presidential race is Petro Poroshenko, known as "the Chocolate King." His billion-dollar empire was founded on candy factories.

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3:27pm

Tue April 1, 2014
World

Still Reeling From Crisis, Ukraine Prepares For Presidential Vote

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:11 pm

Boxer-turned-opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, right, dropped out of Ukraine's presidential election set for May 25. He says he will help business tycoon and politician Petro Poroshenko, left, who made a fortune selling chocolates. He favors closer ties with the West.
Anatoliy Stepanov AFP/Getty Images

After a winter of lightning-fast changes – a president ousted and a peninsula apparently lost to Russia — Ukrainians are beginning to look ahead to elections on May 25 to replace Viktor Yanukovych.

The opposition leader who seemed to have the inside track a few weeks ago, ex-world champion heavyweight Vitali Klitschko, has taken himself out of the running. Klitschko will stand for mayor of Kiev and throw his support behind billionaire Petro Poroshenko, who made his fortune in the candy business.

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