Putin, Ukraine and the Trappings of History
When Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a “special military operation” in Ukraine last February what were his reasoning and his endgame? Did he want to punish Ukraine for turning towards the West by destabilizing its government, destroying its military infrastructure as well as parts of the country in its totality? Did he want to challenge the West for its perceived “unjust” world domination by waging his own unjust war on this, what he often calls, “brotherly nation”?
Many months since the conflict began there are still debates as to what the Kremlin’s exact motivations had been, and how far the Russian president can go to achieve his goals. In her presentation, Nina Khrushcheva, professor of International Affairs at The New School in New York, will discuss Putin’s actual reasons for invading Ukraine. They are much less political or pragmatic than one should expect in 21st century geopolitics. Khrushcheva will address instances of history, both czarist and Soviet, that drive Putin’s current actions. In this context, marking the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, she will explain how the events of October 1962 compare to the Ukraine crisis today.