Magazine April 6, 2020, Issue

Vladimir Putin’s Encirclement of Europe

(Roman Genn)
‘Strategic autonomy’ will be insufficient to the challenge

Russian propaganda, going back to czarist and Soviet times, often claims that Western powers are encircling Russia, forcing Moscow to be belligerent against its wishes. Russia is the perennial victim of aggressive foreign powers trying to keep Moscow locked in the steppes and, in the worst case, to install themselves in the Kremlin. Undoubtedly, Russia has been invaded repeatedly in the past: Mongol hordes, Napoleon, and Hitler all tried to extend their power over it. But now claims of a potential repetition of such invasions by Russia’s Western neighbors ring hollow. Neither Europe nor the United States has any interest

Jakub Grygiel is a professor of politics at The Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.) and a senior adviser at The Marathon Initiative.

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