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About David Marples

David Marples is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta, Canada. For summer 2014 he is Visiting Professor at the Slavic and Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University, Japan. Follow him on Twitter @drmarples

Articles by David Marples

This week’s front page editor

Adam Ramsay, Editor

Adam Ramsay is a co-editor of openDemocracyUK.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Poroshenko's choices

marples sent crop.jpgIn theory, with a new parliamentary coalition, Poroshenko can now address Ukraine’s two most pressing problems — Donbas and the economy. But his position is weaker than it appears.


The rhetoric of hatred describing the situation in Ukraine misses the point – Ukraine has problems that are not derived from Russia or the Putin presidency. на русском языке.

The Ukrainian army is unprepared for war

The Ukrainian army is corrupt and badly prepared for war, with either the Donetsk People's Republic or Russia. на русском языке


Long live the Donetsk People’s Republic!

What will ‘Defence Minister’ Strelkov do, now that Slovyansk has been lost? And can he rely on Vladimir Putin?


Igor Strelkov – Moscow agent or military romantic?

Who is Igor Strelkov? He has power, but by whose authority?



Crimean Tatars – tragic past and uncertain present

News coverage of the current dramatic situation in Crimea has so far had little to say about the Tatars. Their history has been one of repression and deportation, but they should not be overlooked.

Ukraine: the view from the west

What is happening in Ukraine has provoked outrage and shock in the west. But do we really understand what we’re talking about?


Ukraine’s choices

The current conflict in Ukraine tends to cast the country’s future choices in terms of membership of either the EU or the Russian Customs Union. The former is unlikely and the latter unworkable. But there could be other ways forward, contends David Marples

‘Minsk bombers’ executed: the questions that remain

Sometime between 11-16 March, the two men accused of planting a bomb on the Minsk underground were executed with a bullet to the back of the head. Amid suspicions that the Belarusian authorities may in fact have been behind the original explosion, their show trial and subsequent killing leave us with a lot to be concerned about, says David Marples.

Is Ukraine heading East?

On the eve of an EU-Ukraine summit on December 19, Ukraine’s relations with Brussels are deteriorating. EU officials have warned that the detention of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko is damaging Kiev’s hopes of signing an Association Agreement by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Ukraine is considering relinquishing a 50%-share of its pipelines to Russia for cheaper gas. David Marples looks at the possible political direction Ukraine is headed for in 2012.

Bankruptcy and privatisation: the end of Lukashenka’s Belarus?

A failed economic model and falling transit subsidies from Russia have propelled the Belarusian economy to the brink. The harsh reality of stopgap sales and emergency loans that awaits will only delay the inevitable, writes David Marples.

Belarus: the president's dilemma

A dramatic devaluation of the national currency has combined with international isolation to plunge the usually reliable Belarus deep in a sea of instability. The crisis is unlikely to seriously threaten President Lukashenka's position, says David Marples. But the country may yet have to pay a high price for his clinging on.

Ukraine: a crisis of self-identity

Ukrainian identity has historically been defined in opposition to Russia, but an anti-Russian agenda is unable to bind together a state with a large ethnic Russian population. With the Yanukovych administration now taking a neo-Stalinist approach to history and education, airbrushing out nationalist heritage, David Marples asks: where does Ukraine go from here?

The EU and Belarus: what next?

The bloody postscript to last month’s Belarusian presidential elections has made any strategy of engagement clearly unfeasible, writes David Marples. Going forward, the European Union faces an extremely delicate task of managing relations with Lukashenka's unpredictable regime. It may well find it has to turn to Moscow for assistance.

Belarus: a most peculiar election (2)

On Sunday, Belarus goes to the polls, ending an election cycle that saw all the usual assumptions turned on their heads. In this, the second of a two part analysis, David R. Marples and Uladzimir Padhol look at the candidates and ask if a Lukashenka victory is anything other than a foregone conclusion.

Belarus: a most peculiar election (1)

On Sunday, Belarus goes to the polls, ending an election cycle that has seen all the usual assumptions turned on their heads. In the first of a two part analysis, David R. Marples and Uladzimir Padhol concentrate on a Russia-Europe tug-of-war that has dominated the campaign. Part II looks at the candidates and ask if a Lukashenka victory is anything other than a foregone conclusion.

Yaroslau Romanchuk: my vision of a post-Lukashenka Belarus

Next year's presidential elections offer a real opportunity of disposing a tired, weakened and unpopular Lukashenka, says Presidential hopeful Yaroslau Romanchuk. In this interview with David Marples, Romanchuk outlines a strategy for election and why his candidature offers the best prospect for the country's stalling economy.

Belarus gears up for election

Alyaksandr Lukashenka's support is waning — both domestically and from Russia — and he now looks the the most vulnerable he has done for years. Yet the opposition's failure to unite behind a single candidate still seems set to hand him victory in the upcoming presidential election.
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