Russia's default state is not that of a democracy; its authoritarianism has deep roots. And Russians are more than happy to trade liberties for security, says political academic Thomas Ambrosio.
The Ukrainian town of Odessa has traditionally continued with business as usual even during times of war. But Ukrainian journalist (and chess grandmaster) Mikhail Golubev says Russian aggression has spurred the town into action.
Russia's increasing aggression in the Ukraine is a result of its deep-seated fear of outside aggression. Without a pliant Ukraine, Russia may take more drastic measures.
Don't think that Ukraine's social unrest will usher in a golden era of social democracy. Unfortunately for the former Eastern bloc state, its future is likely to be more of the same.
Historian and Oxford Jesus College senior research fellow R.J.B. Bosworth travels to Uzbekistan to find a strange history and a forced culture. He writes at Inside Story.
In one of the most bizarre sallies in the ongoing, nasty kulturkampf against Manning Clark, Ross Fitzgerald joins his voice to those who saw the great historian as some sort of Soviet stooge.
What's the difference between the predicament that the Soviet occupiers in Afghanistan faced in the late '80s with those that America and its allies face there today? Not as much as some would like to believe, says Charles Richardson.
Documents smuggled out of the Kremlin have revealed details of a secret meeting between Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989, where the Iron Lady stated plainly that Britain did not want Germany to be reunited.
The independent nation of Mongolia and the Chinese-controlled Inner Mongolia may share a common history, but have taken two very different paths over the last 20 years. Stunning photos show neighbouring countries that are worlds apart.