With the headlines speaking of a Russian invasion of the Crimea, I fear for the ancient Tatars who warmly welcomed me to their communities and hope they don't find themselves again facing repression at the hands of their historic oppressors, the Russians.
Putin is playing with a strong hand on his home turf. His ultimate intentions in the Ukraine in the current crisis are opaque. But his goals have been known for years.
The de facto expropriation of Crimea by Russia raises serious questions about the perceived legitimacy of the new government in Kiev, ethnicity in Ukraine, Russian history, Russian pride, and Russia's ability to project its power in the future.
What do you get when you combine ultra-nationalist religious and political conservatism along with homophobia and sexism? That is the toxic mix that is fueling Vladimir Putin's militaristic moves against the people of Ukraine.
Russia's Federation Council believes sending forces to the Ukraine will help 'stabilize' that country and has voted unanimously to allow President Putin to do just that. President Obama's not pleased.
Several weeks ago, when Ukrainian-American Viktor Kee decided that he would embark on a cross-country road trip to generate support for his troubled homeland, he had no idea how unpredictable the headwinds of fate could actually be.
On the wall of my office hangs an original of the November 5, 1956 issue of the Baltimore Sun. The headline story is the Russian invasion of Hungary just the day before. It's a grim reminder of the cold breath of Russia in Eastern Europe, I guess relevant these days.
Let's put aside the question of whether Putin's interpretation is accurate. That's now irrelevant. What matters is that this is how he sees the drama in Ukraine and that this outlook will shape his actions -- now and in the weeks ahead.
The Olympics are over and maybe those of us who deplore the situation of the LGBT community in Russia can again all sound like we are on the same side.
The last thing Ukraine needs now is a paternalism. They need an understanding and helpful West. One that sees the big strategic picture, its own interests and the interest of the Ukrainians in cohesion.
Sochi was a showcase for soft power strategy and there is no doubt that influence plays were being run.
In the end, the street triumphed over the elite. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych tried to hang on to power, and failed. Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to maintain Russian influence, and failed. The EU tried to mediate, and failed. And the United States tried to... well, I'll get to that in a moment.
Marat Gelman, a well-known Russian art figure, wrote that he would like to see, as president of Russia, not Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, but Nadia Tolokonnikova.
We know the path to equality is an uneven course, which is why we, along with our many partners, work tirelessly in more than 170 countries around the world.
Although hate crime provisions weren't applied in this case -- and, truth be told, won't be applied in any case tried in Russia any time soon -- the punishment for the gang is severe. The murder charges do carry aggravating circumstances and were appropriately applied in this case.
While there are differences between the two nations, including the fact that China is a Communist state while Russia is now a democratic one, strong parallels connect the former Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China in their efforts to host the prestigious Olympic Games.