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Roots of Russia's War in Ukraine

Roots of Russia's War in Ukraine by Elizabeth A. Wood, William E. Pomeranz, E. Wayne Merry, and Maxim Trudolyubov


Woodrow Wilson Center Press with Columbia University Press, 2015


978-0-231-70453-3 paperback; 978-0-231-80138-6 ebook
Roots of Russia's War in Ukraine by Elizabeth A. Wood, William E. Pomeranz, E. Wayne Merry, and Maxim Trudolyubov




Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine presents four perspectives on the origins of the ongoing war in Ukraine that began in February 2014, concentrating on Russian motivations and intentions. What propelled Russia to send troops into Crimea and then declare that Crimea had formally chosen to “join” Russia? Why did the conflict spread to eastern Ukraine, almost certainly with Russian support? What does the crisis say about Russian political, economic, and social priorities? How does it reflect EU-Russian differences over international jurisdiction? What role did Russian president Vladimir Putin’s cultivation of his own image play? The exploration of these and other questions gives historians, political watchers, and theorists a solid grasp of the events that have destabilized the region.

Elizabeth A. Wood is professor of Russian and Soviet history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; she was a fellow at the Wilson Center in 2015. William E. Pomeranz is deputy director of the Kennan Institute, the Wilson Center’s program for Russian and post-Soviet studies. E. Wayne Merry is Senior Fellow for Europe and Eurasia at the American Foreign Policy Council; he served for six years as a US diplomat at the embassy in Moscow. Maxim Trudolyubov is editor-at-large with Vedomosti; he also writes for the International New York Times, and was a Wilson Center fellow in 2014–15.

ByElizabeth A. Wood, William E. Pomeranz, E. Wayne Merry and Maxim Trudolyubov

Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier U.S. center for advanced research on Russia and Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the surrounding region though research and exchange.  Read more