Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine

In a recent artickle, “Who caused the Russo-Ukrainian war, NATO or Russia?”. Alexander J. Motyl answers the question better than do the Pope, John Mearsheimer, or Jeffrey Sachs by placing the cause on Russia instead of on NATO.

But his question is not revealing enough. Although we do speak of countries as if they were agents, this kind of talk is misleading. It is the governments of countries which are the responsible agents, and we must understand the structure of governments before we can locate the responsible parties. For example, the recent Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe vs Wade was decided by the majority members of the nine-member Supreme Court, and we can name them. But Russia is not like, for example, Switzerland with a seven-member executive; it is a country with a permanent leader – a dictator: Putin, who does not need to consult anyone in order to take action. It was Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. Putin – not Russia – is the cause of the genocidal invasion of Ukraine.

See also: Why Mearsheimer is wrong about Russia and the war in Ukraine. Five arguments from Alexander Stubb.

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