Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual news conference in Moscow on December 23. Putin’s insistence that Ukraine stay in Russia’s sphere of influence is shaped by a history of foreign invasion and a rejection of Ukrainian sovereignty. Photo: AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual news conference in Moscow on December 23. Putin’s insistence that Ukraine stay in Russia’s sphere of influence is shaped by a history of foreign invasion and a rejection of Ukrainian sovereignty. Photo: AP
James V. Wertsch
Opinion

Opinion

James V. Wertsch

How Russia and Ukraine’s duelling national narratives are stoking the threat of conflict

  • Russia’s actions towards Ukraine can be understood through the lens of history, with a legacy of foreign invasions informing Putin’s thinking
  • Ukraine has its own narrative, though, that highlights Russia’s aggression and rejection of Ukrainian sovereignty

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual news conference in Moscow on December 23. Putin’s insistence that Ukraine stay in Russia’s sphere of influence is shaped by a history of foreign invasion and a rejection of Ukrainian sovereignty. Photo: AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual news conference in Moscow on December 23. Putin’s insistence that Ukraine stay in Russia’s sphere of influence is shaped by a history of foreign invasion and a rejection of Ukrainian sovereignty. Photo: AP
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