The specific motives behind political murders are often less important than the impact those crimes have on the country's larger political processes. It is noteworthy that some observers are already comparing the murder of Nemtsov with the "Reichstag fire" or the murder of Sergei Kirov. The former marked the start of the Nazi terror in Germany while the latter served as a pretext for former Soviet leader Josef Stalin to unleash his political repression.
Putin came to power, not in a vacuum, but into a specific context of economic, political and cultural conditions that Boris Nemtsov helped shape, both for better and for worse.
In the midst of war and heightened nationalism in Ukraine, many demonstrators who participated in protests at Maidan Square just one year ago are gripped with a profound sense of shock and wonder what has happened to their country.
Yet there's something unsettling about this scenario, in which Ukraine buys weapons from the Emirates and Russia sells to and makes weapons with the Emirates. This thriving, happy triangle boils down to very bad news for the civilians facing a protracted war in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine.
While Muslim-dominated countries like Iran harbor contempt for Israel -- the reason Netanyahu is speaking to Congress -- Azerbaijan could not be more different. As one publication recently pointed out, "What started as a marriage of convenience has netted Israel its closest Muslim ally."
Only a negotiated settlement, no matter how unsatisfying, offers the possibility of a stable resolution of the ongoing conflict. Indeed, the alternative may be the collapse of the Ukrainian state and long-term confrontation between the West and Russia, at great cost to all sides.
Amid the ashes of World War II, with the stench of industrial-scale genocide in their nostrils, the nations of the world pledged to do better. They signed onto the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Call it the year of the bucket list. A strong dollar in destinations around the world is making this an amazing time to go farther and do more for much, much less in 2015.
The anniversary of the Maidan massacre (February 18-21 2014) invites 'on the other side of the hill' thinking to form a picture of how Ukraine looks from President Putin's pedestal. The West seems oblivious that Russia has suffered a strategic defeat disguised by tactical victories. But have a look.
There is a valid concern that the countering violent extremism initiative could provide justification for governments to broaden surveillance online and use it to curb human rights and civil liberties.
Will social work solve the problem of "violent extremism?" Well, it has the virtue of not having been tried. But that's probably because it's largely beside the point.
The men's movement of the 1980s in America renewed an important discussion about what it means to be a man in this world. It did so in the aftermath o...
Everyday language is rife with pitfalls and easy misunderstands. One of the beautiful things about hockey is that the sport -- like art or music -- is a universal language. It's something we can appreciate, love, support and nurture.
UN-mandated Peacekeepers have several negative implications for the Ukraine government, as well as the positive of securing at least a temporary halt to the fighting. On the negative side, the conflict becomes frozen in place with Ukraine effectively divided and potentially partitioned.
Whether this ceasefire or some future one proves durable, Ukraine must eventually make some very difficult decisions concerning its future. Above all, it must figure out a way of exiting the steel trap that has clamped down on its nether regions. The Crimean peninsula has already been sliced off. Should Ukraine sever another one of its own limbs in order to survive?