Putin’s Russia w/ Samuel Ramani, Richard Shirreff, Marina Litvinenko & John Sweeney

27 Jun 2023 – 19:30 - 20:30 BST
Chalke Valley History Festival
Hiscox Tent
Chalke Valley History Festival Site
Church Farm
Bury Lane
Broad Chalke
Near Salisbury
Wiltshire SP5 5DP

Putin has been continuously in power as President or Prime Minister of Russia since 1999. He rules with an increasingly autocratic and iron grip and has made no secret of his regret at the end of the USSR. But what is it like living in Putin’s Russia? How does he control the state and the people? And what do ordinary Russians really think of him? In this discussion Putin’s War on Ukraine author Samuel Ramani, along with other experts, will provide a fascinating insight into a country about which most people in the UK know remarkably little.

About Putin’s War on Ukraine

Eight years after annexing Crimea, Russia embarked on a full-scale invasion of neighbouring 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?

This book 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.

Samuel 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?

About the author

Samuel Ramani DPhil teaches Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. The author of Russia in Africa, also published by Hurst, and an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, he contributes regularly to Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, the BBC World Service, Al Jazeera and CNN.

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