Many Western analysts perceive Putin’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine as an irrational or miscalculated act that defies any logic or rationality. The economic costs faced by the Russian population and the elites as the result of the Western sanctions, casualties incurred by the Russian armed forces during the military campaign, and squandering of Russia’s soft power are only some of the consequences of the aggression.
Was this aggression irrational? Or can it it still be explained by the mainstream theoretical approaches to the use of hard power in international relations?
This virtual roundtable brings together scholar from leading U.S. and EU institutions to discuss the importance of the Black Sea for the Russian national interests, the attitudes of the elite and the masses towards the situation in Ukraine, and the economic effects of the sanctions, and other factors potentially affecting the Kremlin’s decision to invade Ukraine. Understanding how the Kremlin perceives the current situation in Ukraine and the Western response is indispensable for developing effective strategy for preventing the Kremlin from winning in Ukraine and deterring it from any further aggression.
Moderator: Gaelle Le Pavic, PhD Fellow, UNU-CRIS
Vsevolod Samokhvalov, adjunct professor, Brussels School of Governance, VUB
Thomas Sherlock, professor of political science, United States Military Academy, West Point
Olesya Tkacheva, research professor, Brussels School of Governance, VUB