Why Putin went to war: ideology, interests and decision-making in the Russian use of force in Crimea and Donbas
Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, and the country’s prominent role in instigating and supporting an anti-Kiev rebellion in Donbas, surprised the world. This study seeks to explain Russian behaviour in these two cases. Because of the recent nature of events, there is so far not an abundance of reliable sources. Thus, some of the findings in this study should be seen as suggestive rather than conclusive. It is argued that dominating Russian axioms about Russians and Ukrainian being one people; the West using popular uprisings as a means of war against unwanted regimes; and Western exploitation of Russian weakness for 20 years; all constitute necessary preconditions for the Russian behaviour. However, the explanation is not complete without considerations on the dominant position of people with background from the Federalnaia Sluzhba Bezopasnosti in the inner decision-making circle, and on Putin’s risk-taking, improvisation and emotions.
Bukkvoll, Tor. Why Putin went to war: ideology, interests and decision-making in the Russian use of force in Crimea and Donbas. Contemporary Politics 2016 ;Volum 22.(3) s. 267-282