Samuel Ramani, "Putin's War on Ukraine: Russia's Campaign for Global Counter-Revolution" (Hurst, 2023)


Even as Vladimir Putin massed close to 200,000 troops on Ukraine's border in February 2022, many experts claimed it was a bluff. At worst he would take the Donetsk and Luhansk regions but a full-scale invasion could only fail in the long term and the Russian president wasn't stupid. How to explain his decision? Did Russia feel besieged by NATO's eastern expansion and did Putin himself feel threatened by internal challengers? 

No, writes Samuel Ramani in Putin’s War on Ukraine: Russia’s Campaign for Global Counter-Revolution (Hurst, 2023) "The primary motivation for Putin's invasion of Ukraine was to overturn the 2014 Euro-Maidan revolution and its outcomes. Putin's counterrevolutionary agenda stemmed from his desire to reassert Russia's hegemony over Ukraine and promote his brand of illiberalism within the post-Soviet space."

A tutor in politics and international relations at Oxford and an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, Samuel Ramani works at the intersection between Russian domestic politics, national identity and foreign policy-making and is a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, Newsweek, the BBC, and CNN.

*His book recommendations are Weak Strongman: The Limits of Power in Putin's Russia by Timothy Frye (Princeton University Press, 2021) and How to Fight a War by Mike Martin (Hurst, 2023)

Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Advisors, who also writes the Twenty-Four Two newsletter on Substack and hosts the In The Room podcast series.

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Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Advisors .

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