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Tag: Putin

The political psychology of war

Political ideologies are influenced not only by socio-demographic factors, but also by psychological variables such as personal needs, social identity processes and information processing. It is difficult to give a simplistic answer as to why people follow the ideological constructs of lies. The rejection of information, the instrumentalisation of the media and the erasure of dissenting voices, as well as the creation of confusion and fear, create weaponised narratives aimed at undermining civilisation and the personal as well as cultural identity of the opponent.

The current Russian war in Ukraine raises many questions about the human willingness to use violence and especially so when the justifications for war are based on false and fabricated claims. Systematic manipulation and ideological indoctrination have been clear parts of Vladimir Putin's leadership style for quite some time now. He has almost perfected the tactics of psycho-political governance. This is accomplished through certain tactics and mind tricks that mobilise people to support the war or even participate in it.

July 14, 2022 - Rasan Baziani Raze Baziani

Russia’s targets: children, pregnant women, civil institutions and infrastructure

Not a day goes by without a war crime being deliberately committed by Russia in Ukraine. Documenting these crimes is a huge task that cannot be done by just one organisation. What is needed here is an alliance of various organisations, media groups and volunteers, both abroad and on the ground. They need to document Russian atrocities, sort them, process them for the media and forward them to the authorities for sanctions and prosecution.

No crime is too big for Vladimir Putin to commit, no lie too absurd to utter. This was true even before Russia's troops officially invaded Ukraine on February 24th. The images from Ukraine bring back memories of Grozny in Chechnya and Aleppo in Syria. There, Russian planes also destroyed homes, clinics, schools and other civilian facilities through mass bombardments. The West remained silent when the Russian army was rampaging through Chechnya and Syria. The West apparently did not care about the people there and they did not want a confrontation with Putin. In particular, the war against Syrian civilians was a test for the Russian army.

April 25, 2022 - Jan-Henrik Wiebe

Why Russians still regret the Soviet collapse

In 2019, a Levada Centre poll revealed that 66 per cent of Russians regretted the collapse of the Soviet Union while just a quarter did not. This represented an increase of 11 per cent in ten years. In the same time, Russia’s economy shrank by 23.2 per cent. The most stated, and consistent, reason for regret was the “destruction of a unified economic system”.

On December 25th 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev admitted defeat live on Russian television. The red flag came down from the Kremlin after more than 70 years. Thirty years later, Muscovites found themselves voting in a referendum on whether to restore Felix Dzerzhinsky’s statue to Lubyanka Square (headquarters of the FSB, formerly the KGB). Its toppling symbolised the rejection of Soviet socialism and a repudiation of the October 1917 revolution, which few initially believed in. Yet since 1991, a clear majority of Russians have consistently regretted the USSR’s collapse.

April 25, 2022 - James C. Pearce

Why did Vladimir Putin invade Ukraine?

The world has been gripped by ongoing developments in Ukraine. However, less attention has been paid to the Kremlin’s ideological justifications for the war. Whilst Putin’s claims may sound strange, they reflect ideals central to the Russian leader’s worldview.

March 28, 2022 - Taras Kuzio

The Kremlin wants to dismember Ukraine

An interview with Vladimir Socor, Senior Fellow with the Jamestown Foundation. Interviewer: Adam Reichardt.

March 15, 2022 - Adam Reichardt Vladimir Socor

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: a dramatic game-changer

The Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the international security architecture. But we cannot say we did not see it coming, since the premises of Putin’s future actions could be noticed in both his previous statements and actions, and the West’s arrant dismissal of them. Now, with both NATO and EU standing closely behind Ukraine, we wonder how it was possible to let this happen, and where we are now.

March 3, 2022 - Łukasz Kamieński Maciej Smółka Wojciech Michnik

De-Putinisation. The politics of justice

The sanctions temporarily introduced against Russia as a result of its brutal invasion of Ukraine are not a tool of strategic change for Putin’s actions. The key to success will lie in a complex process of holding those responsible for the war and its consequences accountable and eliminating all of influences that the Putin system has in Europe. Just like there was a denazification of Germany after the Second World War, today we will need to de-Putinise Russia and eliminate his influence abroad. Such a plan should include both legal and international activities as well as political actions to condemn Putin’s wrongdoing.

March 1, 2022 - Karol Przywara Paweł Kowal

We should not have let Putin become what he is today

An interview with Linas Linkevicius, the former minister of foreign affairs of Lithuania. Interviewer: Vazha Tavberidze

February 26, 2022 - Linas Linkevičius Vazha Tavberidze

Imperial mania. The road to the third empire

Growing Sino-American rivalry has directly influenced Vladimir Putin’s plans to restore Russia’s sphere of influence in our part of Europe. In order to create the country’s third empire, Putin needs to concentrate on three states: Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Of the three of these countries, the most important is Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden has continued to pursue a China-focused foreign policy ever since his election victory in 2020. This pivot to Asia is clearly not the only legacy from the previous Donald Trump administration. During the first decades of the 21st century, America’s increasing focus on China and the challenge of a potential war in South-East Asia influenced US foreign policy in other regions of the world, including Central Asia and Central and Eastern Europe.

February 15, 2022 - Paweł Kowal

Is today’s Russia a “USSR 2.0”? Putin wants us to think so

The West’s lack of inner cohesion, slow reactions and a preference for dialogue provide the Kremlin with a chance to effectively play its own game. Putin surely discovered a long time ago that bluffing and good brinkmanship are enough for the West to do everything to prevent conflict. There is only one condition: it must believe that Putin's Russia is a “USSR 2.0”.

“I think that’s right,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on January 9th when asked by CNN if he agreed that Russian President Vladimir Putin seeks to restore the Soviet Union. “I think that’s one of President Putin’s objectives, and it is to re-exert a sphere of influence over countries that previously were part of the Soviet Union.” This is exactly what the Russian president would like the West to believe. Whilst the head of US diplomacy was making this statement, Russian-American negotiations were about to start in Geneva.

February 15, 2022 - Agnieszka Bryc

Vladimir the historian: Putin’s political revision of Ukrainian history

For roughly a half a decade now, there has been a radicalising shift in the Kremlin’s understanding of its relations with Ukraine. As Ukraine continues to follow its own path, Vladimir Putin assumes an evermore extreme position that Ukraine, its peoples, language and culture simply do not exist. For Putin, Ukraine has always been and will always be a part of Russia.

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s longest-serving president and champion of post-Soviet stability, has accomplished much over the past 21 years. He has delivered Russia from the economic turmoil left by Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s, fought and won two wars in Chechnya, and brought unprecedented levels of prosperity and technological development to Russia. He has also defended traditional values the world over, once again placing Russia on the map of the world’s great powers at the expense of democracy and a fruitful relationship with the West. Putin has won many titles for this, including that of the most powerful man on earth, a modern dictator, or the greatest Russian.

December 2, 2021 - Joshua Kroeker

The new Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre is a Trojan horse for Putin’s hybrid war

An interview with Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern, a historian, philologist and essayist. Interviewers: Aleksander Palikot and Jerzy Sobotta

ALEKSANDER PALIKOT AND JERZY SOBOTTA: You’ve been visiting Babyn Yar since you were very young. The 80th anniversary has just passed. Was it different this time?

YOHANAN PETROVSKY-SHTERN: Most importantly this time there were two different commemorations. Between September 29th and 30th, there was an unofficial or semi-official event. I would have been there too, if not for my Northwestern University teaching commitment. Many people came, including representatives of various public organisations and representatives of different Ukrainian Jewish communities. They paid tribute to the 33,771 Jews massacred at Babyn Yar over two days in September 1941 during the Nazi occupation of Kyiv.

December 2, 2021 - Aleksander Palikot Jerzy Sobotta Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern

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