What went wrong with Russia in the 1990s
On the origins of Putinism
Who lost Russia?
Or, more prosaically, how is it that Russia is ruled by a despotic and expansionist regime while the vast majority of post-communist Europe is peaceful, more-or-less democratic, and willingly integrated into the western system?
After all, though the war in Ukraine is new, the conflict with Ukraine dates back to Russia seizing Crimea in 2014, which came on the heels of a decade of deteriorating relations between Russia and the United States. And this is all grounded in the fact that Vladimir Putin, having consolidated power at home, clearly had no interest in turning his country into a supersized version of Australia or Canada focused on exporting natural resources and being chill. Nothing Putin did before this month was nearly as costly as invading Ukraine, but he has long had Russians paying a high price in order to maintain a large military establishment and an independent industrial capacity. Different choices would have left Russia with less autonomy, but higher liv…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Slow Boring to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.