Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Is Not Just a Crime. It’s Also Wildly Irrational.

Tony Wood

Very little about the horrific war that Russia is waging against Ukraine seems based on solid calculations by Vladimir Putin. It’s hard to imagine the war benefiting Russia in the long run. Why, then, is Putin waging it?

A Russia analyst argues that the war in Ukraine will erode Vladimir Putin’s legitimacy in the long run. ( / Wikimedia Commons)

Interview by
Daniel Denvir

In the follow-up to Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, analysts have struggled to make sense of Vladimir Putin’s endgame. On Jacobin Radio podcast The Dig, Daniel Denvir spoke with Tony Wood, author of Russia Without Putin, who argues that this latest conflict is a fundamentally irrational move from Putin that is producing immense suffering that will only get worse. But it’s also the product of decades of United States–led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) expansionism, stoking Russian nationalism and treating Ukraine as a battleground.

While members of both the liberal and conservative commentariat call for United States–funded escalation of Putin’s war in Ukraine, Wood outlines the antiwar position of demanding an end to the violence that is tearing Ukraine apart. As working-class Russians defy punitive laws to reject the war en masse, the American left should critique our country’s role in creating this dangerous, irrational conflict and demand that the United States take steps to de-escalate the crisis.

Listen to the full interview here.