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Nation in the News

Nation in the News

TV and radio appearances by Nation writers and editors, big Nation announcements.

Stephen Cohen: The New Cold War Escalates Toward Hot War

NATO exercise

US Army soldiers deployed in Estonia take part in Operation Atlantic Resolve, aimed at demonstrating commitment to NATO allies. (Reuters/Ints Kalnins)

Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussion of the new US-Russian Cold War, which this week took a turn for the worse with the announcement that American and NATO offensive weapons will soon be placed in the three Baltic nations on Russia’s borders and in other NATO member countries close to Russia, including Poland. Cohen and Batchelor analyze the reasons behind this unprecedented development and the torrent of misinformation that accompanied it; how the Russian leadership might respond with its own counter-escalation, possibly bringing the conflict to a Cuban missile crisis–type of confrontation; and whether powerful forces in the US/NATO actually seek a military showdown with the Kremlin. Also discussed are the growing political crisis of the US-backed regime in Ukraine and the success or failure of the Obama administration’s stated policy of “isolating Putin’s Russia.”

Stephen Cohen: The US and NATO Are Escalating Their Assault on Kerry and Putin’s Agreement to Seek a Diplomatic Solution to the Ukraine Conflict

US army soldiers

US army soldiers take part in a NATO exercise in Romania planned to reinforce the eastern flank of NATO and the EU, which borders Ukraine. (Reuters/Radu Sigheti)

Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussion of the broadening US-Russian cold war and confrontation over Ukraine. The main focus is on escalating challenges to the agreement reached by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Sochi in May to implement the Minsk plan for ending the Ukrainian civil war through negotiations. Those challenges include Vice President Biden’s repudiation of Kerry’s trip to Sochi; the US-backed Kiev government’s decision to blockade the pro-Russian enclave of Transnistria; a leaked Pentagon proposal to position, for the first time, heavy military weapons in countries on Russia’s borders; and a trip by UN Ambassador Samantha Power to Kiev. Other subjects discussed include how Putin may respond to these provocations and the possibility of a military escalation of the crisis, even involving aggressive deployment of nuclear weapons by both sides; Putin’s visit to Italy (and his meeting with the pope) in light of Obama’s declared policy of “isolating Russia”; and why Putin remains so popular at home despite mounting economic hardships on the Russian people. Also discussed is a recent survey revealing that considerably less than a majority of citizens of Europe’s NATO states support the required mutual defense of a member country embroiled in a war with Russia.

Stephen Cohen: Kerry’s Negotiations With Putin Are Being Sabotaged in Washington

John Kerry and Vladimir Putin

US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia in May 2015. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen continues his weekly ABC radio discussions with John Batchelor about the new US-Russian Cold War and confrontation over Ukraine. Featured subjects include the ongoing struggle over the Minsk Accords for a negotiated settlement, with Secretary of State John Kerry’s progress with Russian President Vladimir Putin undermined by the Obama administration, even in the White House itself; and the US-backed Kiev government’s sudden decision to blockade the pro-Russian enclave of Transnistria, creating yet another potential source of enlarged war.

Why Ukraine’s Civil War—and Confrontation With Russia—May Escalate

Ukrainian tank

An army vehicle in eastern Ukraine, August 5, 2014 (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko) 

In their weekly discussion of the New Cold War and Ukrainian crisis, Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor focus on the astonishing appointment of former Georgian president Saakashvili as governor of turbulent Odessa; the ongoing struggle between warfare and diplomatic policies to resolve the Ukrainian crisis; the implications of the FIFA scandal for the World Cup Games in Russia in 2018; and conflicting political steps by Putin inside Russia.

Stephen Cohen: Ukraine’s ‘Full-Fledged Economic Meltdown’

Damaged buildings in Donetsk

An armed pro-Russian separatist stands in front of damaged buildings in Donetsk. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin)

Stephen Cohen, contributing editor at The Nation, joined The John Batchelor Show on Tuesday to discuss the series of setbacks facing those looking for a peaceful end to the Ukraine crisis—especially the problems facing the Ukrainian economy.

Cohen explained that Ukraine’s economy had been in a “complete meltdown”—unable to balance its budget or to pay its bills or sovereign debt—long before the crisis started. At Riga, Ukraine was unable to obtain the money it needed and further, was told “‘No, you’re not going to be a member of the European Union,’” Cohen said. He believes that it appears the EU will not give Ukraine money because it’s giving this money to Greece.

On top of this economic instability, Cohen said, is an increasing crisis of political faith. According to a recent poll, only 17 percent of Ukrainians approve of the president’s performance. The same poll also showed that only 1 percent of Ukrainians “see the government as fulfilling its obligations.”

“Unfolding before our eyes is a deepening economic, financial, political and military crisis in Kiev,” Cohen said. “The regime is becoming wobbly. It can’t do anything except call for war.”

—Ava Kofman

Read Next: Stephen Cohen on the geopolitical transition of the Ukraine crisis

Katrina vanden Heuvel: Economic Inequality Is the Crisis of Our Time

Katrina vanden Heuvel on Sophie&Co

Katrina vanden Heuvel (Russia Today)

With six Republicans and two Democrats officially in the race, America’s seemingly never-ending presidential campaign is in full swing. The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel joined RT’s Sophie&Co to discuss how a new wave of social movements might alter the upcoming election.

“We’re looking at a populist moment in this country,” said vanden Heuvel. “Economic inequality has become the crisis of our time.” Citing the fast-food workers' movement and Mayor de Blasio’s recently unveiled inequality agenda, vanden Heuvel expressed optimism that the growing political momentum in the streets is provoking a shift in Democratic policy.

“We are in the fight of our lives for people’s control of corporate power and our democracy, but the fight is on,” said vanden Heuvel.

James F. Kelly


Read Next: Katrina vanden Heuvel on why the GOP still doesn't get it on Iraq

Stephen Cohen: The White House Policy Pivot on Russia

Kerry and Putin

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, on May 12, 2015 (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Almost two weeks ago, Secretary of State John Kerry went to Sochi. And last week on the The John Batchelor Show, The Nation’s Stephen Cohen explained why it mattered: In meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Cohen said, Kerry was signifying that the “White House policy towards Russia during the last year has failed.”

President Obama’s strategy has been to “isolate Russia and bring its leadership and the person of Putin to his knees,” Cohen explained. Obama had hoped that the new Cold War would force Russia to “make the concessions that the United States and NATO wanted in Ukraine.” Clearly, that has not happened and, as Cohen said, the White House is now making a “pivot in the Ukrainian crisis.”

Putin’s decision to meet with Kerry, Cohen continued, is a “very big symbolic diplomatic deal” that points to the possibility of a thaw in the new Cold War. The question now is: “What’s the new American policy?” And how will Obama convince Putin to cooperate on Ukraine? This, Cohen said, is “the major international crisis of our time.”

—Khadija Elgarguri

Read Next: Stephen Cohen on why Mr. Kerry went to Sochi

Stephen Cohen: Why Mr. Kerry Went to Sochi

John Kerry and Vladimir Putin

US Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia in May 2015. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA-Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent sitdown with Russian President Vladmir Putin in Sochi has ushered the Ukrainian crisis onto a new and far more public stage. The Nation’s Stephen Cohen joined The John Batchelor Show to comment on the long-awaited meeting of the minds, as well as the competing strategies for stability in the Ukraine.

It was not certain, Cohen explained, that Putin would make time to meet with Kerry. But prior to Kerry’s visit, Angela Merkel met with Russian leaders to stress the importance of a non-military solution. Cohen speculated that “Merkel and Putin must have decided that this was the last chance to actually implement the Minsk agreement and compel Kiev…to negotiate with the rebels in the East.” Kiev’s close ties to Washington, Cohen said, were likely on Putin’s mind when he “agreed to meet with Kerry, seeking that commitment…to get Kiev to the negotiating table.”

—Cole Delbyck

Read Next: Stephen Cohen on how America misremembers Russia’s central role in World War II

Hot Type: 150 Years of The Nation

The Nation, America’s oldest weekly magazine, founded in 1865 and now in its 150th year, has long been considered one of America’s definitive journalistic voices. Hot Type, the new film by Barbara Kopple, a two-time Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Feature, tells the riveting and surprising story of The Nation.

The film captures daily life at the magazine, introduces staff writers and editors past and present, and follows members of The Nation’s sought-after internship program. At the heart of the film are the reporters covering stories in the field, and the in-depth coverage and long-term perspectives that The Nation provides on core issues like racial justice, foreign intervention and climate change. It is the story of The Nation—and the nation—evolving into the future, as it is guided by its remarkable past.

Who Wrote for The Nation?

The Second Part of the Sentence

Amy Wilentz in Haiti

Hot Type premiered at the MoMA Film Festival in February and has since screened in Los Angeles, Tucson, Kansas City, Chapel Hill, Madison, and Montclair as part of The Nation’s 150th Anniversary tour. Next up will be the first public New York City screening on May 26 as part of the IFC’s Stranger than Fiction series. Check The Nation’s 150th events page for info on other screenings and events coming up coast to coast in 2015.


Read Next: Living Liberally honors The Nation

Living Liberally Honors The Nation, ‘A Place for Rebel Voices.… Incredible Luminaries’

Living Liberally logo

Living Liberally,” the national organization dedicated to creating politically engaged progressive communities, “promoting democracy one pint at a time,” honored The Nation along with editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel this month at their annual spring gala—“celebrating 150 years of the magazine’s leadership in progressive journalism and opinion and 20 years of vanden Heuvel’s leadership at the helm of the great institution.”

The proclamation, delivered by Congressman Jerry Nadler, Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, City Council Member Ben Kallos, State Senator Gustavo Rivera, and City Council Member Brad Lander, is below.

We the undersigned are proud to honor The Nation’s 150th anniversary, and Katrina vanden Heuvel on her 20th year at the helm of the magazine; and

WHEREAS: The Nation was founded on July 6, 1865 and is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. Among its founding objectives were to discuss “topics of the day…with greater accuracy and moderation than are now to be found in the daily press,” to maintain and diffuse the “true democratic principles in society and government,” and the earnest and persistent consideration of the condition of the laboring class”; and

WHEREAS: Established and still headquartered in New York City, The Nation has always been a place for rebel voices and those outside of the mainstream; and

WHEREAS: The Nation counts a long list of incredible luminaries as former writers, including: Pat Buchanan, Hunter Thompson, Theodore Dreiser, H. L. Mencken, John Dos Passos, James Agee, Sinclair Lewis, Tony Kushner, Toni Morrison, Emma Goldman, Henry James, W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Willa Cather, Kurt Vonnegut, E. L. Doctorow, Gore Vidal, all of whom exemplify the excellence and spirit of The Nation’s work; and

WHEREAS: Katrina vanden Heuvel has capably led the magazine for 20 years, keeping a relevant and powerful voice for outsiders in the digital age. She is also a frequent commentator on news sites and pens two columns—one for the Washington Post and the “Editor’s Cut” for The Nation; and

WHEREAS: Katrina vanden Heuvel has received multiple awards for her powerful work and commitment to keeping The Nation an independent voice, including Planned Parenthood, Liberty Hill Foundation, the Correctional Association and the Association for American-Russian Women. She is also a recipient of the NYCLU Callaway Prize for the Defense of the Right of Privacy and the American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee’s 2003 “Voices of Peace” award; now, therefore

BE IT KNOWN: That we, the undersigned Council Members, gratefully honor Katrina vanden Heuvel and The Nation for their many years of extraordinary achievements and contributions.

Signed this 7th day of May in the year Twenty Fifteen.

New York State Assembly Member, 75th District

Council Member, 5th District

Council Member, 39th District

Congressman, 10th District

State Senator, 33rd District


Read more on The Nation’s special 150th anniversary plans

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