(Russia in Global Affairs) Although the bipolar Cold-War-style mentality is still quite widespread among the rulers of Russian society, it is not a fundamental feature of their global viewpoint. Rather, Russia’s sense of being insulted and disappointed after it failed to join the “premier league” is behind this mindset.
Few political observers consider the conflict in Ukraine an internal affair. Both domestic and foreign analysts tend to interpret events in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics not just as attempts to settle old scores between separatist-minded residents of peripheral regions and the central government, but as a standoff between the United States (and to a lesser extent other NATO countries) and Russia; or even as a new round of the Cold War. However, experts’ opinions vary regarding the underlying factors for the crisis.
Some argue that the root causes lie in an increase of expansionist sentiment within the Russian elite. The most radical advocates of this view blame Russian President Vladimir Putin’s imperial ambitions. Others point to the aggressive policies the U.S. and NATO pursued during the escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. […]
Co-authored by Eduard Ponarin and Boris Sokolov, National Research University–Higher School of Economics.
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