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Putin’s Pickle

Vladimir Putin
Photo by Alexei NikolskyTASS via Getty
Julia Ioffe
February 3, 2022

One thing that’s been on my mind recently, in fielding questions on TV or in casual conversation about the Russia-Ukraine crisis, is how quickly the political-media narrative calcifies into conventional wisdom. I don’t think that people necessarily do this out of malice. There’s a lot going on in the world at all times, and most people don’t have the bandwidth to follow it all, let alone incorporate all the necessary nuance—especially if you aren’t an expert in the area. 

So with that in mind, I want to share five broader thoughts that I’ve had while reading and thinking about the current Ukraine crisis, in addition to talking to domain experts and people with deep first-hand knowledge of the situation.