Tag: authoritarianism

Background Briefing: February 24, 2022


Why Did Putin Start a War Against Ukraine and What Will He Get Out of It?

We begin with Putin’s invasion of Ukraine with his forces attacking Russia’s neighbor from three sides penetrating deep into the country to surround its capital Kyiv. Joining us to try to make sense of why Putin started the first major war in Europe since 1945 and what he hopes to gain out of it is Nina Khrushcheva, a Professor in the Graduate Program of International Affairs at The New School and a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute. She is also an editor of and a contributor to Project Syndicate and the author of The Lost Khrushchev: A Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind and her latest book is  In Putin’s Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia’s Eleven Time Zones and she has an article at Project Syndicate, “Putin Is No Nixon.”


Assessing the Sanctions Announced Today by President Biden

Then we look into the sanctions announced today by President Biden and speak with Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Stockholm Free World Forum, a professor at the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University and a former senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. A member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, he worked as a Swedish diplomat in Moscow and served as an economic advisor to the governments of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine. His books include Ukraine: What Went Wrong and How to Fix It and Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy and we discuss the fate of a country he knows well, now undergoing a brutal invasion.


Putin and How Dictators are Reinventing Politics For the 21st Century

Then finally with a dictator and kleptocrat threatening world peace in a war of his choosing because he has the power to do so, having extinguished democracy and the rule of law in Russia, we speak with Moisés Naím, a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an internationally syndicated columnist. He previously served as editor in chief of Foreign Policy, as Venezuela’s trade minister and as executive director of the World Bank. He is the author of the new book, just out, The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century and we discuss his article at Foreign Affairs, “The Dictator’s New Playbook: Why Democracy Is Losing the Fight.”