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The factors leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the formation of the post-Cold War security order in Europe remains a topic of serious debate among historians. With Moscow’s threat to escalate its 8-year war against Ukraine by launching a major offensive, transatlantic policymakers have also become increasingly interested in studying the historical factors that led to the end of the Cold War in order to better understand the reason for Kremlin unhappiness with that order and its resort to war to change it.
The Kremlin has made it clear that it aims to revise the post-Cold War security order by reasserting more influence in Eastern Europe like the Soviet Union once had during the days of the Warsaw Pact. In an unusual excursion into history writing, President Putin laid out a vision of history that completely subordinates Ukraine to Russia. Is this idiosyncratic interpretation of history an important factor in Putin’s policy of serial provocation against its neighbors? Debate continues about this and over exactly which historical trends influencing, if not guiding Russian foreign policy, and its seizure of Ukrainian territory and efforts to limit Ukrainian sovereignty.
To debate these points, Eurasia Center Senior Director Ambassador John Herbst will introduce the leading historians Dr. Serhii Plokhii, author of Yalta: The Price of Peace and The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine; Dr. Mary Elise Sarotte, author of 1989: The struggle to create post-cold war Europe and Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate; and Dr. Vladislav Zubok, author of A Failed Empire: the Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev and Collapse: The Fall of the Soviet Union. The panel will be moderated by Europe Center Senior Fellow Ben Judah.
This discussion will take place on Zoom and will be broadcast on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. To receive the event information, please register using the button above. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to watch the event.
Amb. John Herbst
Senior Director, Eurasia Center
Mykhailo S. Hrushevs’kyi Professor of Ukrainian History and Director
Ukrainian Research Institute, Yale University
Mary Elise Sarotte
Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Distinguished Professor of Historical Studies
Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs, SAIS, Johns Hopkins University
Professor, International History
London School of Economics and Political Science
Senior Fellow, Europe Center
The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting stability, democratic values and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe and Turkey in the West to the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia in the East.