In Russian official discourse of the late Putin era, Ukrainians are seen as part of the Russian people rather than a separate ethnic group. They are to be “liberated” from the small group of “Nazi” nationalists currently ruling Ukraine, itself an artificial entity that was created on lands torn away from Russia. Ukrainians are neither part of the Russian people nor of the Russian empire, and any Russian road to democracy will need to begin from this acknowledgement. It is a war of a political regime identifying with the past against a multiethnic civil society representing the future. One needs to know history in order to understand this war, but one does not need to be a historian to know that Putin will fail - gain insight into the war in Ukraine from the What Everyone Needs to Know® series.
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