Vladimir Putin says that he will not be running for a third term, and pledged to organize elections for a successor in 2008 "in a proper democratic way." He also questioned whether the U.S. was trying to isolate Russia. Michael McFaul explains that the elections in Ukraine are not an American plot. Anders Aslund has a few thoughts about the Orange Revolution. He is optimistic. Vytautas Landsbergis, Lithuanias first elected president, thinks Putin has "neo-imeperialist" designs. There will be an unprecedented number of foreign
election monitors observing the vote in the Ukraine. By the way, Richard Pipes has a nice piece on the Ukraine crisis (and some history) in the current (December 27) issue of National Review (not on-line). He thinks that the Ukrainian revolution is a most heartening phenomenon, for it may well spill into Russia itself.
He explains something that has always bothered me: the word "Ukraine" is derived from the Slavic word for "borderland," which explains why its name was traditionally--and Pipes thinks correctly--preceded by "the," as is the case with "the Netherlands" or "the Low Countries."