Harlan Ullman

//Harlan Ullman

Why PUTIN Will Fail

Here is a prediction: Vladimir Putin is on a course to fail as president of the Russian Federation. Do not expect failure this year or even next. However, it is as inevitable as was the overthrow of party leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1964 and the implosion of the Soviet Union less than three decades later. The reason is the fatal flaw in autocratic rule: the inability to keep powerful centrifugal political forces in check forever. Despite Putin’s popularity---which is transient---and his huge electoral majority in the Duma, irreversible political, economic, social and cultural forces are at work. One reason that these forces have not yet reached a critical mass has [...]

By | 2017-11-14T21:27:37+00:00 octombrie 4th, 2016|Blog, Harlan Ullman|0 Comments

How does PUTIN do it?

An expected 100 million Americans and probably an equal or greater number of overseas viewers will be watching the first presidential debate tonight between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Expected at the least are fireworks and the likely shedding of a great deal of rhetorical blood, bile and vitriol.  But no matter how the debate turns out, either candidate could only imagine achieving after the vote on November 8th what Vladimir Putin accomplished in Russia’s election of the Duma last week.  With a personal favorability rating of over 80% and 343 of 450 Duma, Putin exceeded the most stunning electoral victories of any American president. Of course, Russia is not [...]

By | 2017-11-14T21:27:37+00:00 septembrie 28th, 2016|Blog, Harlan Ullman|0 Comments


The visit of Donald Trump to Mexico and his extraordinarily clumsy speech on immigration that followed Wednesday evening have pre-empted a column on Russia.  While Mr. Trump may have reinforced his base, if elected, he has set in place a non-declared war with Mexico. This is not 1846 and the Mexican-American War we won.  Nor is there a single chance in the world that Mexico would pay for this great wall Mr. Trump would build to seal the border with south. America does have thousands of miles of sea coasts as well as a longer border with Canada.  What would Mr. Trump do with those? But the larger issue is [...]

By | 2017-11-14T21:27:37+00:00 septembrie 12th, 2016|Blog, Harlan Ullman|0 Comments


NATO’s former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and today the Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, Massachusetts, retired Admiral James Stavridis, observes that understanding Russia today can be aided by reading the great Russian writers of the past. A variant of this theme is to view Russia through the lens of its dark humor.  Consider this incisive tale. While plowing his field, a peasant named Nikolai stumbled across a bottled genie.  In exchange for his freedom, the genie promised one wish.  However, there was a stipulation. Whatever Nikolai received, his neighbor Igor would get twice as much.  Nikolai hated Igor.  After thinking for a moment, Nikolai [...]

By | 2016-09-11T12:56:51+00:00 septembrie 11th, 2016|Blog, Europa/Rusia, Harlan Ullman|0 Comments


(Note to Readers:  The UPI Editors have asked for a series of articles on Russia.  This is the first) America’s infatuation with Russia can formally be dated from May 1867 when the U.S. paid $7.2 million ---worth about $1.3 billion today---for the purchase of Alaska.  Called “Seward’s Folly” after Secretary of State William Seward who negotiated the deal, one of the reasons for the sale was Russian expectation that by buying Alaska, the U.S. would become a more deeply involved Pacific power and a counter balance to Britain---the Tsar’s greater worry at the time.  Even then, geopolitics was not an unknown art to St. Petersburg outside the traditional European sphere. [...]

By | 2017-11-14T21:27:38+00:00 septembrie 11th, 2016|Blog, Europa/Rusia, Harlan Ullman|0 Comments
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