Thomas Kent (Adjunct Associate Professor of International Affairs) has a new article in CEPA on how “Russia now seems to be embracing the role of an international pariah – an attitude with substantial implications for the country and for Putin personally” (August 11, 2022).
Russia still scores some propaganda points with its claim that it is an innocent forced into war by Western militarists and Ukrainian Nazis, even as Putin continues to formally refer to Western nations as “our partners.” Increasingly, however, Russia seems less concerned about whether anyone believes what it says. Its main focus appears to be on forcing the world to accept Russia on its own terms.
“Russia is not white and fluffy. Russia is what it is. And we are not ashamed of showing who we are,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the BBC in June. Political scientist Sergei Mikheyev argued this month on a top Russian TV show that membership in the “world community” destroys Russia’s identity. “As for these constant conversations as to what we can offer the world, the world can go screw itself,” he said.