Woodrow Wilson Center Press / Columbia University Press
In February 2014, Russia initiated a war in Ukraine, its reasons for aggression unclear. Each of this volume's authors offers a distinct interpretation of Russia's motivations, untangling the social, historical, and political factors that created this war and continually reignite its tensions.
What prompted President Vladimir Putin to send troops into Crimea? Why did the conflict spread to eastern Ukraine with Russian support? What does the war say about Russia's political, economic, and social priorities, and how does the crisis expose differences between the EU and Russia regarding international jurisdiction? Did Putin's obsession with his macho image start this war, and is it preventing its resolution? The exploration of these and other questions gives historians, political watchers, and theorists a solid grasp of the events that have destabilized the region.
"Because it is short, engagingly written, and authored by well-established experts, the book will appeal not only to specialist audiences in academia and government, but also to students." — Henry Hale, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
"Roots of Russia's War in Ukraine shows the primacy of economic factors and cultural/intellectual choices in leading Russia and the EU to the brink of confrontation without necessarily realizing the gravity of the crisis until it was too late. It also highlights the important role played by symbolic politics in the decision-making of senior Russian leaders during the crisis." — Dmitry Gorenburg, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University
"This short anthology of four articles concerning Russia's annexation of Crimea and involvement in eastern Ukraine provides valuable context for President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy." — Library Journal
List of Figures
Chronology: The War in Crimea and Ukraine
Introduction, by Elizabeth A. Wood
1. The Origins of Russia's War in Ukraine: The Clash of Russian and European "Civilizational Choices" for Ukraine, by E. Wayne Merry
2. Ground Zero: How a Trade Dispute Sparked the Russia-Ukraine Crisis, by William E. Pomeranz
3. Russia's Grand Choice: To Be Feared as a Superpower or Prosperous as a Nation?, by Maxim Trudolyubov
4. A Small, Victorious War?: The Symbolic Politics of Vladimir Putin, by Elizabeth A. Wood
Conclusion, by William E. Pomeranz