Blog post

"Putin Cannot Erase Ukraine" in Foreign Affairs

By Maria Popova
February 17, 2022

"Putin Cannot Erase Ukraine", written by Maria Popova and Oxana Shevel, was published in Foreign Affairs on February 1, 2022. Here's an excerpt:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin has made no secret of how he regards Ukraine, the nation he is threatening to invade. At the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania, Putin told U.S. President George W. Bush that the former Soviet state “is not even a country.” The Russian president believes the Ukrainians and the Russians are one people. It follows that Ukrainians cannot reject being part of Russia and any “anti-Russian” sentiment in Ukraine must be the result of Western meddling rather than a reflection of the preferences of Ukrainians. Putin has used this argument to characterize peaceful political mobilization in Ukraine as foreign-orchestrated coups. He also dismisses polls showing that Ukrainians now favor European Union and NATO accession over membership in Russian-led political and economic organizations."

About me

Maria Popova (PhD, Harvard 2006) conducts research on the rule of law, judicial reform, political corruption, populist parties and legal repression of dissent across the post-Communist region. She teaches classes on European politics and research methods.

Contact me

Jean Monnet Chair EUROL
McGill University
855 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montréal, Quebec
H3A 2T7
maria.popova [at]
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