A car bomb this week killed Col. Maksym Shapoval, a top Ukrainian military intelligence official. It wasn’t the only high-profile assassination that’s struck Kiev lately — nor is it the only one Ukraine is blaming on Russia.
Denis Voronenkov was a former Russian lawmaker. He was also a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. And he was assassinated in broad daylight on Thursday in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. Ukraine's leaders are pointing the finger at Russia.
Perhaps 1 million Ukrainians have settled in Russia since the conflict in Ukraine began in 2014. President Vladimir Putin promised that Russian-speaking Ukrainians would be welcome. But it was largely an empty gesture.
NATO says a Russian invasion of Ukraine is "highly probable." The Ukrainian government says a large convoy of humanitarian aid coming from Russia is just a "Trojan horse." If the humanitarian crisis is indeed a pretext for an invasion, it certainly wouldn't be Moscow's first time.
The psychological game "Mafia" pits a well-connected minority against a civilian majority. It was invented in the Soviet Union as sort of spoof of KGB thinking, but it has gone global. The Russian government uses it to train spies, and would-be entrepreneurs around the world play it to practice their negotiating skills.
When Russia moved into Crimea last year, even NATO admits it was caught off-guard. But now a top NATO general says the West is alert to Putin's plans, and is developing its own moves to stop him from expanding any further.
It's a disturbing time for Jews in Europe right now. But the conflict in Ukraine seems to be making that country a little more welcoming to its Jewish citizens, even as they continue leaving the country in large numbers.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sits at the top of a power structure he helped create. But it wasn't always this way. He was once an unemployed KGB agent looking for a job. He proved a master at upward mobility.