Russia as It Is

Russia as It Is

A Grand Strategy for Confronting Putin




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US-Russia relations began to sour in 2011, when large-scale, pro-democracy demonstrations reached the doorsteps of the Kremlin. Russian president Vladimir Putin blamed the United States and invoked nationalism to unite the Russian people against the perceived common enemy. According to former US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, Russia’s subsequent annexation of Crimea marked the start of today’s “hot peace” between the former Cold War adversaries. He calls for new strategies to counter Russia’s threat to the global order. getAbstract suggests his article to readers who wonder how one country can work with another while keeping its distance.


Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea shifted US-Russian relations into a state of “hot peace.” The Kremlin has accused America of promoting anti-Russian elements in Ukraine, and threatened US security interests by upgrading its weapons systems and expanding its influence abroad. In Russia, Putin brands himself as a conservative nationalist standing in opposition to the deceitful liberal international order. Russian media outlets and Internet-based propaganda campaigns promote Putin’s anti-Western sentiments.

As long as Putin remains in power...

About the Author

Michael McFaul is director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He served as the US ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014.

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