[..] What is the relationship between Russia and the former Soviet Union?
All countries resemble their past, to an extent. There are similarities in terms of the authoritarian system, the essential corruption of the elite and suchlike, but I think this is a country that has gone through some quite dramatic changes. First of all, it’s not ideological. The Soviet Union, however half-heartedly and haphazardly, did at least pretend that it had some grand global vision. But Russia is very much in a process of transition: it is moving, very slowly admittedly, into a more western pattern that is familiar to us. Therefore, what we’re seeing is not so much the growth pains of a new Russia as much as the dying pains of the Soviet Union.[..]
What are Putin’s key motivations?
They are essentially emotional. One of them is for his own security and, most importantly, legacy. It’s striking the extent to which he is trying to build his place within the grand march of Russian history. This is also a battle for respect. Time and again, what comes up is that Russia wants to be treated as a great power. And that is really the challenge, because in any objective terms Russia is not a great power.[..] But my view is that history is not on Putin’s side. On the whole, ordinary Russian people, but also the Russian elite, do not want to be in some ideological crusade against the west. I am ultimately optimistic about Russia’s trajectory. [..]
vēl labs raksts par RU un PU