Matthew Omolesky

Matthew Omolesky specialized in European affairs at the Whitehead School of Diplomacy’s graduate program, and received his juris doctor from The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. Formerly a researcher-in-residence at the Institut za Civilizacijo in Kulturo (Ljubljana), he is presently a researcher for the Laboratoire Europeen d’Anticipation Politique (Paris) and a specialist in international human rights law.

Where the Truth Wanders

 

On the night of April 9, 2015, masked men belonging to an anti-Russian militant group launched an audacious nighttime raid in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Their targets were not pro-Russian partisans, but rather three Soviet-era statues of Bolshevik heroes, including the Red Army commander Nikolai Rudnev. A week later, a similar nocturnal razzia […]

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The Dnieper and the Lethe

 

The silver thread of the Dnieper stitches a winding seam through the fabric of the Ukrainian steppes, binding together a variegated national patchwork. Its dark-rolling waters “pierce the stone hills,” as the ancient Tale of Igor puts it, irrigating Ukraine’s countryside while nourishing its spirit. So central was this river to the medieval castellans of […]

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Dwelling in the Fire: Boko Haram’s War Against the West

 

A common vial sits perched on a police laboratory shelf in the arid northern Nigerian city of Kano, its cap smeared with rubber cement and fastened with an official seal. The contents of this bottle are unmistakable, with ashen powder, charred molars, and bone residue bearing all the hallmarks of a hasty cremation. Affixed is […]

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Crimea on the Brink

 

“Imagine the Crimea is yours,” wrote the Russian statesman Grigory Potemkin to his imperial mistress Catherine II late in the autumn of 1782, “and the wart on your nose is no more.” The annexation of the Crimean peninsula had become Potemkin’s cause célèbre in recent years, as the Romanovs locked horns with the Ottomans and as rival […]

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Destinies Unknown: Ukraine on the Brink

 

Deep within the recesses of Krakow’s Czartoryski Museum, amidst priceless antiquities and artworks, resides a cabinet of historical curiosities unlike any other in Europe. Therein the visitor encounters an eclectic assortment of Polish and European artifacts, including the hero-king Jan Sobieski’s plush camp bed, Voltaire’s razor-sharp quill, and even a morsel of Napoleon’s half-eaten bread, […]

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Behind a Quilt of Mist

 

On a mid-November day in 1840, the Argentine intellectual Domingo Faustino Sarmiento found himself in the Zonda Valley, on the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains, amidst the evergreen scrub and dusty, snow-eating wind of that desolate land. Still smarting from the blows he had received the day before from a band of mazorqueros, the […]

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Black Sea Changes

 

In the summer of A.D. 95, the Greek orator Dio Chrysostom sailed across the Black Sea’s brine-salt waves to the city of Borysthenes, a once-stirring center of trade nestled along the right bank of the River Bug, in what is now Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast. Strolling along the riverbank one noon, Dio mused upon the state […]

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Yahya Jammeh’s Charnel House

 

It was in the summer of 1845 that Thomas Eyre Poole parted from his family, picked his way through the jagged lanes of Wapping, and descended to the Thames docks at Shadwell Basin, boarding the fast-sailing brig Soundraporvy, bound for Senegambia. Prior to accepting the post of colonial and garrison chaplain of Sierra Leone, Poole […]

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An Island Adrift

 

DRAWN IN PALE BROWN INK on two skins of soft vellum, the Gough Map, kept in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, presents a haunting image of a Britain half-formed in the consciousness of a mid-14th-century cartographer. While a russet-robed William Langland sat nestled in the Malvern Hills, gazing eastwards and dreaming of a tower, a dungeon, and […]

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Into the European Fold

 

In the spring of 1991, as the reborn Croatian state emerged from the rubble of the collapsed edifice of post-Tito Yugoslavia, it was only natural that unbridled optimism should attend the rampant nationalistic fervor of a newly liberated people. With the ancient unicameral Sabor firmly reconstituted, with 94 percent of voters supporting independence in a […]

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