Michael Weiss

Russia Is Firing Missiles at Ukraine

As the U.S. slaps additional sanctions on Moscow and Donetsk separatists, new evidence emerges that short-range rockets are being launched from Russia into Ukraine.

Just as news broke today that the U.S. Treasury Department was instituting a new suite of sanctions against Russia, video evidence has emerged apparently showing the most definitive proof yet of Moscow's direct participation in the ongoing war in eastern and southern Ukraine: Russian rockets being fired toward Ukraine.

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All Is Not Well in Novorossiya

From Moscow to Donetsk, Russia's resurgent revanchists are turning against each other. Are Ukraine's pro-Russian firebrands too hot for Russia?

In the week since eastern Ukraine's pro-Russian separatists withdrew from Slavyansk on July 5, ceding control of their de facto capital to Ukrainian armed forces, their allies in Russia have begun to turn on them. The rebels repaired to Donetsk, some 70 miles to the south, where they burrowed into the civilian infrastructure and, more or less, vowed to use residents as human shields against a feared Ukrainian invasion.

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Trust Iran Only as Far as You Can Throw It

American talking heads say that Iran is the key to defeating ISIS. But those in the know say the two "enemies" are actually secret allies.

"There has never been any doubt in my mind that elements within Iran's security services have facilitated ISIS," Col. Derek Harvey told Foreign Policy, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, a terrorist network-cum-jihadist army that has now taken over territory in Syria and Iraq that, when combined, is roughly the size of Jordan. "When given opportunities to interdict, or have an effect, [the Iranians] have refrained." 

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The Corleones of the Caspian

How Azerbaijan's dictator woos the United States and Europe.

On Oct. 9, 2012, the American subsidiary of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) purchased a five-story, 23,232-square-foot mansion in the heart of Washington, D.C., for the purposes of "expand[ing] its operations in the United States," as the Washington Business Journal put it. Oil is the one thing Azerbaijan has plenty of, and it's the one thing the United States is most interested in, so SOCAR's "operations" are bound to be extensive.

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Sympathy for the Devils

Inside the shadowy Washington PR network with ties to dictators' cronies, war criminals, and suspicious Ukrainian arms transporters.

Russia's annexation of Crimea and its creeping invasion of southern and eastern Ukraine have had a small but discernible impact on the tenebrous world of Washington public relations. Yesterday's plausibly defensible "partner" in the Kremlin has become today's revanchist bully, intent on an Anschluss of sovereign European territory. As a result, those who have worked quietly over the past few years to enhance the image and credibility of the Kremlin, its former allies, its client states, or its commercial associates now find themselves on the receiving end of greater scrutiny -- and of the more emboldened legal countermeasures of nongovernmental organizations whose efforts to uncover or investigate these unflattering associations have been previously hampered by the constant threat of civil litigation.

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