Do We Understand Putin’s Russia?

We should not assume that making sense of post-Soviet Russia was ever going to be easy. Great Powers that lose empires bear grudges and the speed with which an empire is lost can exacerbate the problem. No one can expect that a powerful country run by a former secret policeman is going to operate by the same rules of the game to which we are accustomed. Quite simply, what may seem sensible or rational to ourselves is irrelevant. In this public lecture, Jonathan Haslam, George F. Kennan Professor in the School of Historical Studies, explores the realities of Russia today, and in so doing, attempts to answer the question on so many minds: “What is Putin up to and why?”