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Ukraine invasion suggests Putin is more Vladimir the Reactionary than Peter the Great

By Olivia Durand, Postdoctoral associate in history, University of Oxford
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Vladimir Putin’s recent evocation of the military successes of 18th-century tsar Peter the Great against Sweden is just the latest example of his distinctive cherry-picking of imperial predecessors, Soviet rulers and religious icons to justify his invasion of Ukraine. It’s all part of the imperial nostalgia that the Russian president has enthusiastically embraced since the mid-2000s.

In a meeting with young entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists in St Petersburg in early June, Putin recalled Peter the Great…The Conversation


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