The Paradox of the Russia–Ukraine Crisis

The Paradox of the Russia–Ukraine Crisis

Despite what you think, it’s not about land.


espite recent reports of a slight lessening in tensions, Russia seems to be on the brink of invading Ukraine, with perhaps 150,000 troops massing on three sides. Americans of both parties are increasingly resolute in their anti-Russian stance, wary of once again appeasing a tyrant with territorial ambitions. But is it really territory that Russia wants now?

For most American experts, the answer is obvious. Putin has already annexed the Crimean peninsula on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. He is supporting the breakaway “people’s republics” of Luhansk and Donetsk in “Donbas,” the Russian-speaking region of eastern Ukraine. The conflict has already killed …

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