Russia After the Cold War and Germany After World War I, a Cautious Comparison

From a new friend of the West to a resentful Weimar-Russia and beyond.

Goedele De Keersmaeker

[March 2022]

In the Winter 1990/1991 issue of Foreign Affairs, Charles Krauthammer published a famous article that was the start of a whole school of academic and non-academic analyses describing the world after the Cold War in terms of American unipolarity, primacy, hegemony or even empire.[1] Though the article was entitled ‘The Unipolar Moment’ Krauthammer and his followers were convinced that American dominance in international politics was there to stay for many decades. More particularly he considered the ‘emergence of a reduced but resurgent, xenophobic and resentful “Weimar” Russia’, as an extremely formulated speculation. Such threats to American security could develop, he acknowledged, but they could not be predicted in 1990, just as it was impossible to predict Nazism in 1920.[2]

Thirty years later we are there. Of course, we should always be careful with historical comparisons. As one commentator wrote: “Joe Biden is not Neville Chamberlain. Nor is Putin Hitler or Napoleon or Stalin.”[3] History never repeats itself completely and highlighting differences is at least as important as stressing similarities. But a comparison with another era of crisis and war can help us in clarifying the processes that led to the situation we now face. We will see that not taking an old enemy (Germany after World War I, Russia after the Cold War) serious, either as a partner in a post-war settlement or later as a re-emerged threat, can undermine security.

Germany in the 1920s

The end of the First World War left Central and Eastern Europe in turmoil, with the breakup of Austrian-Hungary, and civil war and wars of secession in the former tsarist empire, that became the Soviet Union. New smaller but vulnerable states emerged: Finland and the Baltic states, Poland, Czechoslovakia. Others, like Romania and Serbia/Yugoslavia, expanded their territory. Germany was territorially weakened but still one of the largest states in Europe. It lost the war, though part of the German public never believed it, misled as it was by nationalistic propaganda. After all in November 1918 Germany still occupied Belgium and great swathes of territory in Eastern Europe. This led to the so-called ‘Stab in the Back’ legend, which blamed internal socialist, liberal and Jewish circles for what was considered an unnecessary armistice.[4]

After the war the allies imposed heavy reparatory payments on Germany, with disastrous effects on its economy, thus enhancing the resentment against the Western powers. Limits where put on the German armed forces and the Rhineland was demilitarised. To add insult to injury the Versailles-treaty put the blame for the war on Germany. Many Germans felt humiliated. At the same time, the Versailles Treaty was innovative in several ways. With the League of Nations it established the first formally institutionalised system of collective security. It founded the Permanent Court of International Justice, and organised a system for protecting the numerous national minorities that ended up on the wrong side of the borders of the newly established states. It even put forward the perspective of general disarmament.[5] But Germany was excluded from membership, whereas as a great power it should have had a permanent seat in the Council of the League.

Many liberal observers, both in Germany and elsewhere, warned against the resentment the treaty caused in Germany.[6] Keynes’ economic critiques are well known. Even after the reorganisation of the German debt – against the background of threats of a right-wing coup – resentment against Versailles remained vivid in Germany. The 1925 Locarno treaty constituted the highpoint of détente between Weimar-Germany and the West. Germany recognised its western borders and the country became member of the League of Nations and its Executive Council. Yet Germany refused in principle to recognise its eastern borders with Poland and Czechoslovakia (where substantial German minorities lived). Moreover resentment continued: against the occupation of the Rhineland, the still heavy burden of debt payment, and the severe limits on the German armed forces. By the time the debt was again rescheduled, the occupation of the Rhineland ended and the League organised a general disarmament conference, Germany was faced with the consequences of the Wall Street crash. Hitler rose to power, and quickly ended the whole Versailles construction.[7]

Russia in the 1990s

Russia too came highly frustrated out of the Cold War. Years later this even led to the development of a Russian version of the ‘Stab in the Back’ myth, when some Duma-members wanted to prosecute Gorbachev for treason for his role in the fall of the Soviet Union.[8] Of course, the Soviet Union/Russia did not lose a war; it is even debatable whether it lost the arms race. The so-called ‘victory’ of the West in the Cold War was above all an economic, political and ideational one.[9] But the results in the 1990s were similar to the situation in the 1920s. Again Central and Eastern Europe was in turmoil. After losing its buffer zone in Central Europe, the Soviet Union itself collapsed. Russia was more or less reduced to its borders under Peter the Great. New states emerged, some peacefully, some through violent wars and secessions (the collapse of Yugoslavia, the Armenian-Azerbaijani war on Nagorno-Karabach, Georgia, Moldova). Russia withdrew its troops from Central Europe in a hurry, without proper housing for its soldiers, which contributed to the frustrations of the armed forces. Later, the disarmament treaties negotiated in the second half of the 1980s by the Reagan-Bush administrations and Gorbachev (INF; START I & II, CFE) were often perceived as ‘unequal treaties’, accepted under pressure in a situation of weakness. This was particularly true for START II, with its deep cuts in the ICBM forces, the heart of Russian nuclear deterrence.

The economic transition was painful everywhere but especially in Russia due to the collapse of the integrated Soviet economic space combined with a Thatcherite-Reaganite market fundamentalism by Yeltsin’s young reformers and their Western advisors. They did not realise that reforming a highly centralised state-led and continent-wide economy was something of another order than privatising British Telecom. They also hoped for larger economic support by Western governments, that did not really materialise. The result was a barbaric, kleptocratic capitalism and enormous hardship for ordinary Russians. No wonder that by 1994 the communists and nationalists where on the rise in the polls. After some years of recovery the 1998 fall of the rouble constituted a new shock.[10]

But just as Germany seventy years earlier, Russia was still a great power. It still had the largest territory on the Eurasian landmass, a large population and a massive army. Most importantly, it remained a nuclear superpower and in 1994, under American pressure, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan even transferred the nuclear weapons on their soil to Russia. The international community never formally denied great power status to Russia, as happened to Germany. Russia smoothly took over the Soviet permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, the successor of the League of Nations, that developed a dynamic it never had during the Cold War and thus gave Russia an important role in world politics.

However, status in international politics is not only defined by one’s formal position in international organisations, but also by daily practice and its perception by major players. In this respect the West and Russian conservatives implicitly agreed that Russia lost the Cold War and that its great power status had substantially declined.[11] In the West there was an unnecessary and inappropriate triumphalism, that humiliated Russia. Just after the collapse of the Soviet Union, president Bush declared in his State of the Union speech: “By the grace of God, America won the cold war”.[12] The analysis was widely shared by pundits and academic analysts. Far into the 2000s a large part of the International Relations literature, whether realist, liberal or constructivist, occupied itself with analysing the consequences of what was considered a unique American preponderance after the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, for many Russian scholars and decisions makers, all these analyses were seen as a form of American self-glorification, and a programme for unilaterally imposing America’s will on a weakened Russia. [13] All this was not meant to be particularly unfriendly towards Russia, but it expressed the overall idea that the United States were the polar star that had to guide the world into the 21st century, and that the rest, especially Russia, had to follow. As a result Russia became extremely sensitive about its status as a great power. Ever since the late Yeltsin years, and even more under Putin, enhancing it became an almost obsessive foreign policy goal.[14]

Reorganizing European security

The way European security was reorganized also played a major role in this. The task was not easy in the confused years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union. Innovative ideas did circulate at the time. The French proposed a large European Confederation, including Russia. The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe was popular both within the Western peace movement and Eastern European dissident circles because it was the only pan-European forum for security, combined with a commitment to human rights and economic cooperation. It was indeed strengthened with institutions to promote democracy and monitoring elections, a High Commissioner for National Minorities (reminiscent of the League of Nations’ Minority System), further development of military confidence building measures, and related to it, a revised treaty on conventional arms reductions. But despite this, a conservative reflex prevailed in the West that can be summarized as follows: ‘let’s stick to NATO and EU that served us so well during the Cold War’. Basically this meant a reorganisation of security and economic life on Western terms, though it was fully supported by the Eastern European states, who considered joining those organisations a way to ‘return to the West or to Europe’.[15] At the same time they considered NATO membership as a way of balancing towards an eventual future threat by Russia. This created a classical security dilemma: what is seen by one party as a purely defensive policy is seen by the other as a form of aggression. Most probably this was not at all NATO’s intention. A great deal can be explained by the iron law that makes organisations look for new purpose once they achieved their main goal. NATO’s focus shifted to new tasks: the promotion of democracy, convinced as we were in the West that peace and democracy are closely interwoven. Above all, for much of the last thirty years NATO or its individual member states were involved in military operations outside of its territory (the defining interventions in former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya), often but not always, as a subcontractor for the United Nations.

Yet, Russia felt humiliated, cheated and encircled by the continued existence and enlargement of NATO. It claimed that during the informal negotiations on German unification Gorbachev received a promise that NATO would not expand into Eastern Europe, a claim that was denied by the West. This at first sight purely academic debate between historians became a symptom of the growing tension between the two sides.[16]

Two things are clear however. First, the idea that Russia could become a member of NATO, which would have changed the very nature of the organisation, was rejected. Already in December 1991, Yeltsin suggested this to NATO secretary general Manfred Wörner. Much later Putin asked Clinton. In both cases the answer was ‘impossible, Russia is too big’.[17] Thus, Russia was deliberately left at the periphery of the new European security architecture, just as Germany was excluded from the League. Second, once NATO enlargement was officially put on the agenda, Russia saw this as a threat. At the 1994 Budapest summit Yeltsin explicitly and bitterly made the point. “It is a dangerous delusion to suppose that the destinies of continents and the world community in general can somehow be managed from one single capital,” he said.[18] Clinton responded that no nation was excluded from NATO membership in advance, and that no external power could have a veto on it. [19] This ‘open door policy’ has been the official NATO line until today. Yet in 1994 the French president François Mitterrand for example thought it would be difficult for the Russians not to see NATO enlargement as an encirclement.[20] But just as nobody took German complaints about Versailles seriously, nobody seemed to bother about the Russian view. That even goes for the NATO-Russian Founding Act of 1997, signed on the eve of the first round of NATO-enlargements. Though approved by Russia, the text actually expresses Western views on security and hardly takes into account Russian security concerns, for example Russia’s emphasis on traditional hard power, that remained at the heart of Russian security thinking. In particular, it rejects the idea of zones of influence, a concept that is crucial for understanding Russian policy towards Ukraine.[21] Moreover, the US avoided any strong, binding promise that NATO would not deploy Western troops or military installations in the new member states. But the Russians thought they did get such a promise. So rather than easing the tension, the Act became a new bone of contention between NATO and Russia. Lastly the 1999 NATO bombing campaign against Serbia during the Kosovo War without approval by the UN Security Council, upset many Russians because it deprived Russia of one of the few power tools it still had: its veto right in the UN Security Council.

If we go back to our comparison with Weimar Germany, we see one major difference. The Versailles system had definitely a deliberate anti-German undertone (demilitarisation, unilateral disarmament, exclusion of the League of Nations). This was not the case with Western policy towards Russia in the 1990s. But just as the West did not take German complaints serious in the 1920s, it did not take serious Russia’s economic problems, it did not care about Russia’s perception of its security interests and it organized a European security architecture around NATO without Russia. For the West, Russia became to a large extent ‘an international irrelevance’, as Kristina Spohr summarized it.[22] But what happened in the 1990s is now used by Russia in its dispute with the West on the current security crisis in Europe. So much so that a 2015 Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) panel was not able to develop a common analysis on what happened, but just summarized the different views.[23] In any case, just as the Western policies in the 1920s provided the breeding ground for the rise to power of Hitler, the 1990s and the early years 2000 did the same for the Putin regime today.

Germany in the 1930s, Russia after 2000

What happened in Germany and Europe after 1930 is general knowledge and there is no need to repeat it here. Moreover, because of the brutality of the Nazi-regime, its extreme revanchism, its deeply racist nature, and because of the horrors of the holocaust and the Second World that followed, a comparison with Hitler is too often used as an easy way to end all forms of discussion or debate. As we already said, historical comparisons only go that far, but this should not prevent us from making a comparison between the Western policies towards Nazi-Germany and Putin’s Russia, more in particularly when it comes to foreign policy.

To start with a major difference, Hitler’s rise to power was sudden. It constituted a clear break with the Weimar-republic, and he quickly left the League of Nations, started to rearm, tried to destabilise Austria and promoted his revanchist ideas. By contrast, after 2000 it took Russia more than ten years to develop from a proto-democracy into an outright conservative authoritarian regime. This path was not straightforward, as the Medvedev-episode illustrates. It can explain why some of the warnings about Russia’s foreign policy goals were neglected. ‘Russia needed time’, the argument went. Moreover, Putin’s foreign policy was not outright anti-Western from the beginning. He did try to establish a working relation with Bush junior, defended the START II Treaty during the Duma-ratification debate and supported the US in its war on terror after 9/11. But in 2002 the US withdrew from the ABM Treaty, a clear sign that it did not care at all about Russian security concerns. A new round of NATO enlargements, now including the former Baltic Soviet republics followed, despite Russian protests. The definitive turning point came in 2008 when the vague promise of a NATO-membership for Georgia and Ukraine was answered by a short Russian-Georgian war. Yet even then the West did not seem to take the whole issue serious, as it officially continued its ‘open door policy’. Only after the Maidan-crisis in Ukraine, the annexation of the Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of the Donbass region by a Russian organized ‘frozen conflict’, NATO took the Russian threat serious and Europe imposed sanctions.

Why so late? Why did we not see the writing on the wall? Maybe we did not read the relevant texts. In the 1930s warnings by Germany-experts in the foreign offices were not taken seriously. Translations of “Mein Kampf” were hardly circulated outside Germany and its content dismissed as hollow rhetoric.[24] Similarly, Russian specialists in academic circles and think tanks have been warning for years that Putin’s Russia was on a revanchist track.[25] But 19th and 20th century ultra-conservative and nationalist Russian thinkers, whose writings were broadly circulating in post-communist Russia and clearly inspired Putin, are totally unknown in the West, except for a small circle of Russian speaking specialists. Influential public opinion leaders in Russia never recognised the border with Ukraine, just as Germany never accepted its eastern border. Even Putin’s repeated remarks that he did not consider Ukraine a real state or his long article of July 2021, in which he outlined his vision on Russian and Ukrainian history, were considered too grotesque and too out of touch to be taken seriously.[26]

Looking back to the 1930s we find several other reasons for the ‘appeasement policy’. Memories of the Great War were still fresh, so people were deeply afraid of a new one. Moreover the Western powers were convinced they were not ready for a military confrontation and the economic crisis made it difficult to sell higher defence spending to the public. The French and the British were also occupied in colonial struggles. The United States, never a real member of the Versailles system anyway, focused on its own “New Deal” and was more isolationist than ever. There was the rising threat of the Soviet Union under Stalin. British business circles and pro-German lobbies promoted good relations with Germany because of their economic interests and a naïve belief in the merits of dialogue. The extreme right was on the rise almost everywhere in Europe. It admired Germany and had sometimes a certain influence on foreign policy, as for example in France.[27]

We see similar arguments and mechanism playing out to day. Apart from the fact that a direct military confrontation with Russia will always include some risk of nuclear war (a defining difference with the situation in the 1930s), nobody in the West really wanted to go back to the Cold War, to a new iron curtain and a new East-West divide. Paris and Berlin wanted to keep communication lines with Russia open, partially because of gas dependency and business interests, but also inspired by the strong memories of the French and German ‘Ostpolitik’ of the 1960s and 1970s that had done so much to soften the Cold War. The 2008 financial crisis constituted a major challenge for Europe and the United States. It made American demands for an increase in European defence expenditures futile. In the meantime, the Americans themselves made their ‘pivot to Asia’ and focused on their relation with China. Thus, they declared Europe a secondary theatre in their global strategy, without however given up their dominance in NATO.

There was the new internal and external threat of jihadi terrorism and war that worried the West much more than what was seen as the rather theoretical possibility of Russian expansion. Indeed, it looks like NATO did not even bother to develop real plans to support or defend Ukraine, while it continued to claim that it could become a member. In the meantime right-wing populists in the West, from Donald Trump to Marine Le Pen and Victor Orbán expressed their admiration for the Russian leader. Sometimes these people were in government and thus could influence the policies of the EU and NATO. Putin also tried to destabilise Western societies, using the new internet technologies that made both Hitler and the Soviets look like propaganda amateurs.

By 2020, as a result of the combined negligence, or at least tolerance of the West, and Russia’s moody way to cope with (at least partially) unnecessary frustrations and perceived threats, the whole post-Cold War European security architecture and even the heritage of the 1970s détente years were in ruins. There were no longer any European nuclear or conventional arms control agreements, and even the functioning of the OSCE, a platform Putin’s predecessors loved, had been blocked by him and other authoritarian leaders.[28] After the occupation of Crimea, as a clear example of a self-fulfilling prophecy, NATO started to look more intensely on how to defend its eastern member states, and created multinational battalions at its eastern borders. Though they were small, they constituted even more proof of NATO’s aggressiveness in Moscow’s eyes.

With Putin’s war in the Ukraine, we are not even back in the Cold War, as since 1945 there has been no attack by any European great power on a smaller neighbour in order to take its territory, as we saw in 2014 and again now. The use of step-by-step tactics by Putin (first invading Georgia, then annexing Crimea and creating the Donbass puppet states, now the war in Ukraine) is strikingly similar to the ones Hitler used. However, the West took sanctions against Russia. Officially it always stood by the principle that the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine was sacrosanct, and that it was free to choose its own alliances. This at least from the moral point of view spared it a new 1938 Munich affront. But at the same time the West, despite fourteen years of projected NATO-membership for Ukraine, was not able and – for good reasons – not willing to defend it, thus leaving Ukraine to the mercy of Putin. Here too the resemblance with Czechoslovakia, a country that had an alliance treaty with France and the Soviet Union, is striking, though there is also a difference: the West sends weapons to Ukraine, and thus supports it indirectly.


We have shown that there are remarkable similarities but also differences between the way the West did not take German complaints seriously in the 1920s and Russia in the 1990s. We also have seen that for a long time, sometimes for similar reasons, sometimes for different, it took some time before western countries took appropriate measures against renewed aggressive policies of the former enemies. When looking at these two cases, two lessons can be drawn: First, take your old enemies/new friends seriously, do not humiliate them and respect their security concerns, even if their perception differs fundamentally from your own. Second, take your old enemies seriously once they decide they are no longer interested in your friendship and will restore their old status by their own means. Realise in time that at a certain point, your diplomatic influence on them is limited, that they not always share your views on how international relations should be organized and so that other measures than diplomacy might be more appropriate.

Many commentators who blame the West for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have used similar arguments as we did. Even the offensive realist John Mearsheimer, who in his theoretical works makes the deterministic claim that great powers wars are unavoidable and that aggression constitutes the best defense, has repeated this critical chorus.[29] But detecting certain patterns in behaviour and policy is not the same as making a moral judgment. Moreover, from an ethical point of view, there is a fundamental difference between invading an independent country on one hand, and not taking the threat of such invasion seriously on the other. Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, not the British and French who sanctioned the Sudeten annexation a year earlier in the hope to preserve peace. Putin invaded Ukraine, not the West. It should probably have reacted more firmly after the annexation of Crimea, but that does not make it guilty of the invasion. Nobody forced Putin’s hand. It was his decision and the thirty years old, often understandable, frustrations about how the West treated Russia in the 1990s do not justify this. This being said, it might be good to remember what Hans Morgenthau wrote more than seventy years ago. Despite all the economic and military might a nation may have, he argued, it will only lead to temporary successes if its diplomacy and statecraft is not up to the task.[30] Perhaps in the 1990s the West, despite all its power, was indeed not up to the enormous task of organizing a new inclusive order in Europe together with Russia. Ukraine now pays the price.


[1] Goedele De Keersmaeker, Polarity, Balance of Power and International Relations Theory: Post-Cold War and the 19th Century Compared (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

[2] Charles Krauthammer, "The Unipolar Moment," Foreign Affairs 70, no. 1 (1990/1991): 31-32.

[3] Simon Jenkins, "Beware, Boris Johnson: In War, Drawing Historical Parallels Is a Dangerous Game," The Guardian, March 3, 2022.

[4] Ian Kershaw, To Hell and Back: Europe 1914-1949 (Allan Lane, 2015); J. Adam Tooze, The Deluge: The Great War and the Remaking of Global Order, 1916-1931 (London: Penguin Books, 2015): 312-320.

[5] Stewart  Patrick, The Best Laid Plans: The Origins of American Multilateralism and the Dawn of the Cold War (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009):12-24; Howard Elcock, Could the Versailles System Have Worked? (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018): 38

[6] For example, Max Weber criticized the victors for not taking into account the interests but above all the honour of the Germans. Max Weber, "Politik Als Beruf," in Gesammelte Politische Schriften (Tübingen: Johannes Winckelmann 1988  (originally published in 1919)): 548.

[7] Elcock.: 114-124; Tooze.: 462-477

[8] "Russian MPs Say Mikhail Gorbachev Should Be Persecuted for Treason," The Guardian, April 10, 2014; W. C. Wohlforth and Vladislav Zubok, "An Abiding Antagonism: Realism, Idealism and the Mirage of Western-Russian Partnership after the Cold War," International Politics 45 (2017): 411; For an assessment of Gorbachev's role see Zubok in Vladislav Zubok et al., "A Cold War Engame or an Opportunity Missed? Analysing the Soviet Collapse Thirty Years Later," Cold War History 21, no. 4 (2021).

[9]  Ibid., 546.

[10] Ibid., 566.

[11] Ibid., 560.

[12] George Bush, "Address before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union, January 28, 1992,"

[13] De Keersmaeker; Tatyana A. Shakleyina and Aelksei D. Boguaturov, "The Russian Realist School of International Relations," Communist and Post-Communist Studies 37 (2004): 37-51.

[14] There is a large literature on status in Russian foreign policy. See for example: Thomas Ambrosio, "The Russo-American Dispute over the Invasion of Iraq: International Status and the Role of Positional Goods," Europe-Asia Studies 57, no. 8 (2005): 1189-210; D.W. Larson and A. Shevchenko, "Status Seekers: Chinese and Russian Responses to Us Primacy," International Security 34, no. 4 (2010): 63-95; "Special Issue on Status in Russian Foreign Policy," Communist and Post-Communist Studies 47 (2014).

[15] Frank Schimmelpfennig, The EU, NATO and the Integration of Europe: Rules and Rhetorik (Cambridge: Cambridge University Ptess, 2003); Wohlforth and Zubok.

[16] Mary Elise Sarotte, 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe, new - Kindle ed. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009); "A Broken Promise? What the West Really Told Moscow about NATO Expansion," Foreign Affairs 5, no. September/October (2014): 90-97; Kristina Spohr, "Exposing the Myth of Western Betrayal of Russia over NATO's Eastern Enlargement,"  (March, 2nd 2022),; Zubok et al.

[17]  551; Jonathan Steele, "Understanding Putin's Narrative About Ukraine is the Master Key to this Crisis," The Guardian, February 23, 2022.

[18] Daniel Williams, "Yetlsin, Clinton Clash over NATO's Role," The Washington Post, December 6,1994; Putin almost literally repeated this argument in his infamous speech at the 2007 Munich Security Conference. Wladimir Putin, "Speech at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy 02/10/2007,"  Münchner Konferenz für Sicherheitspolitik (2007),

[19] Williams.

[20] Sylvie Kauffmann, "Derrière la crise en Ukraine se profile un autre foyer de tension: Un possible redéploiement d'armes nucléaires en Biélorussie," Le Monde, no.february 6, 2022.                                                           

[21] Wohlforth and Zubok; Falk Ostermann, Die Nato: Institution, Politiken und Probleme kollektiver Verteidigung und Sicherheit von 1949 bis Heute (München: UVK Verlag, 2020), 106-09; A. Zagorski, "The Limits of Global Consensus on Security: The Case of Russia," in Global Security in a Multipolar World. , ed. L. Peral, Chaillot Papers (Paris: EU Institute for Security Studies, 2009).

[22] Zubok et al.,  573.

[23] OSCE, Back to Diplomacy: Final Report and Recommendations of the Panel of Eminent Persons on European Security as a Common Project, (Vienna: OSCE, 2015),

[24] Goedele De Keersmaeker and Dries Lesage, Conflict en Samenwerking: Internationale Politiek van 1815 tot Heden (Gent: Academia Press, forthcoming)

[25] To give only two examples: Edward Lucas, The New Cold War: The Future of Russia and the Threat to the West (New York, N.Y.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); Dimitri Trenin, "Russia Leaves the West," Foreign Affairs 85, no. 4 (2006): 87-96.

[26] Michel Eltchaninoff, Inside the Mind of Vladimir Putin (London: Hurst & Company, 2018); Cécile Ducourtieux et al., "Guerre en Ukraine: Face à Poutine, un déni européen," Le Monde, March 3, 2022; Vladimir Putin, "On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians”, July 12, 2021,

[27] De Keersmaeker and Lesage.

[28] Andrew Lohsen, "Can the OSCE Help Resolve the Russia-Ukraine Crisis?,"

[29] John. J Mearsheimer, "Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault: The Liberal Delusions that Provoked Putin," Foreign Affairs, no. 5 (2014).: 77-89; Isaac Chotiner, "Why John Mearsheimer Blames the U.S. for the Crisis in Ukraine," The New Yorker, March 1, 2022.

[30] Hans J. Morgenthau and Kenneth W. Thompson, Politics among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, Revised/ brief edition ed. (Boston, Ma: McGraw Hill, 1993), 155-56.

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