Samuel Ramani

Aug 17, 2023

Putin's War on Ukraine

Russia’s Campaign for Global Counter-Revolution

Hurst Publishers 2023

Eight years after annexing Crimea, Russia embarked on a full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February 2022. For Vladimir Putin, this was a legacy-defining mission--to restore Russia's sphere of influence and undo Ukraine's surprisingly resilient democratic experiment. Yet Putin's aspirations were swiftly eviscerated, as the conflict degenerated into a bloody war of attrition and the Russian economy faced crippling sanctions. How can we make sense of his decision to invade?

Samuel Ramani's Putin's War on Ukraine: Russia’s Campaign for Global Counter-Revolution (Hurst, 2023) argues that Putin's policy of global counter-revolution is driven not by systemic factors, such as preventing NATO expansion, but domestic ones: the desire to unite Russians around common principles and consolidate his personal brand of authoritarianism. This objective has inspired military interventions in Crimea, Donbas and Syria, and now all-out war against Kyiv.

Ramani explores why Putin opted for regime change in Ukraine, rather than a smaller-scale intervention in Donbas, and considers the impact on his own regime's legitimacy. How has Russia's long-term political and foreign policy trajectory shifted? And how will the international response reshape the world order?

AJ Woodhams hosts the "War Books" podcast. You can subscribe on Apple here and on Spotify here. War Books is on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

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AJ Woodhams

AJ Woodhams hosts the "War Books" podcast. You can subscribe on Apple here and on Spotify here. War Books is on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

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