The World Putin Wants - How Distortions About the Past Feed Delusions About the Future

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Posted Aug 30, 2022 | Foreign Affairs

As he moves toward a quarter century in power, Vladimir Putin seeks to build his version of a Russian empire. In their Foreign Affairs article, Fiona Hill and Angela Stent argue that the Russian leader is “gathering in the lands” as did his personal icons - the great Russian tsars - and overturning the legacy of Lenin, the Bolsheviks, and the post–Cold War settlement. In this way, Putin wants Russia to be the exception to the inexorable rise and fall of imperial states. The West needs to understand that it is dealing with a leader who is trying to change the historical narrative of the last hundred years - not just of the period since the end of the Cold War. Peter the Great took Russia into the future, Putin is pushing it back to the past. Understanding his objectives is central to crafting the right response.


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