Felslut och önsketänkanden

Om Rysslandsforskarna, Putin och utvecklingen fram till kriget


  • Bo Petersson


Fallacies and wishful thinking: on Russia studies, Putin, and the lead-up to the war

When President Putin over the years repeatedly raged and ranted about how Russia had been deceived by the West over NATO’s eastward expansion, how Ukraine’s rightful president allegedly had been illegally overthrown in a coup instigated by the West, and how these actions had the hidden purpose of bringing destruction and devastation to Russia, few were inclined to believe that he was not just repeating a mantra, but actually believed in what he said and prescribed a program of action. This essay provides a background to the steady growth of the authoritarian essence of the Putin regime and its growing ambitions beyond Russia’s borders and discusses what academic area studies specialists in the West and other Russia pundits generally should have been able to foresee about Russia’s aggressiveness and its upcoming assault on Ukraine. Perhaps the current situation could have been avoided, had there been a greater inclination to bring together the clues that were there and take preventive action to meet the danger.