Why did Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine come as such a surprise to the West? This is a key question considered by this reflective and wide-ranging book.
The book argues that Russia and the West were playing different games: while Russia under Putin had become obsessed with using hard power to restore the Cold War security architecture in Europe, the major Western powers had become equally obsessed with value promotion that would ensure a global triumph for the values of the West, touted as “universal values.” The Russian play for spheres of interest was clearly defined and demarcated, the Western play for values was, by definition, without limits. Hence there could be no common ground, no constructive communication, and no common understanding.
While Russia convinced itself that it would be successful in forcing the West to accept its claims for a new security order, based on hard power, Western governments deluded themselves into believing that value promotion would transform Russia into a liberal democracy and a rules-based market economy.
Examining the full situation, exploring political, military, economic and business spheres, the book provides a deep analysis of how the present confrontation has come about.