Book talk: Russia's Road to War with Ukraine - 4 October 2022
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When Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, many in the West were left stunned at Vladimir Putin's act of brutal imperialism. To those who had been paying attention, however, the warning signs of the bloodshed and slaughter to come had been there for years.
Tracing the relationship between the two countries from the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 to Putin’s invasion in 2022, what emerges is a portrait of a nation caught in a geopolitical tug of war between Russia and the West. While Russia is identified as the sole aggressor, we see how Western bodies such as the EU and NATO unrealistically raised Ukraine’s expectations of membership before dashing them, leaving Ukraine without formal allies and fatally exposed to Russian aggression.
Come along to hear from author, Samir Puri, who was present for several of the major events covered in this book. He uses this experience to ask honestly: how did we get here? Why does Putin view Ukraine as the natural property of Russia? Did the West handle its dealings with these countries prudently? Or did it inflame the tensions left amidst the ruins of the Soviet Union? Were there any missed opportunities to avert the war? And how might this conflict end?
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About the speaker
Dr Samir Puri served as an international observer at five Ukrainian elections, including the Orange Revolution in 2004. After the first Donbas war began in 2014, he spent a year in east Ukraine working along both sides of the front line as part of a ceasefire monitoring mission. During Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine, his analysis of the war has been featured by the BBC, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, CNN and the Wall Street Journal. He is a visiting lecturer in War Studies at King’s and taught full-time between 2015 and 2018. His previous book was The Great Imperial Hangover: How Empires Have Shaped the World.
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4 October 2022