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Can Putin achieve any of his objectives?
Syracuse University professor Brian Taylor, who specializes in Russian politics, says that it is hard to see Russian President Vladimir Putin achieving any of his goals in the current situation along the Russia/Ukraine border.
“It’s hard to imagine Vladimir Putin achieving his political objective with respect to Ukraine – ‘returning’ Ukraine to the Russian sphere of influence – through political means. But it’s equally hard to see him achieving this objective through military means. Putin, however, may not agree, which is why the world is so on edge right now,” said Brian Taylor, the author of “The Code of Putinism,” which examines the impact of Putin dominating Russian politics for more than two decades.
In his book, Taylor explains that Putinism, unlike Marxism-Leninism which was an explicit ideology, is a mentality, or code, consisting of not just ideas (such as great-power statism, anti-Westernism and anti-Americanism, and conservatism or anti-liberalism) but also habits (such as control, order, unity or anti-pluralism, loyalty, and hypermasculinity) and even emotions (including desiring respect but feeling humiliated by the West, resentment, and vulnerability or fear).
Previously, Taylor said that Putin is focused on his historical legacy.
“The prospect of Russia ‘losing Ukraine’ is one of his worst nightmares. The Russian military buildup near Ukraine is serious and worrying. At the same time, there are major economic and political risks for Putin if he escalates the Russian war against Ukraine,” said Taylor.
Taylor is the author of “State Building in Putin’s Russia: Policing and Coercion After Communism” (2011) and “Politics and the Russian Army: Civil-Military Relations, 1689-2000” (2003), both from Cambridge University Press.
You can see talks that Taylor has given about Putin and foreign policy:
- What’s Putin Up To? Russia’s Assertive Foreign Policy
- Security in the 21st Century: Dr. Brian Taylor Professor Political Science at Syracuse University
To schedule an interview, please contact Ellen James Mbuqe, director of media relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-496-0551 (cell).
Taylor’s past interviews:
- France 24, Trouble ahead? Russia, US in Black Sea showdown over Ukraine
- Foreign Affairs, Putin’s Rules of the Game. The Pitfalls of Russia’s New Constitution, (commentary)
- Washington Post, Putin’s plans post-presidency could see him wielding influence for life
- Vox, Moscow’s elections dealt a blow to Putin’s party. But it’s complicated
- New York Times, What a Soccer Ball Said About Putin’s Meeting With Trump in Helsinki
- Wall St. Journal, The Code of Putinism’ Review: Summing Up a Summit Partner
- USA Today, Kaliningrad is the World Cup (and Russia’s) weirdest city
- Newsweek, China’s role in Russia’s largest war games since Cold War shows Beijing-Moscow relations are deepening, experts say