Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is projecting an autocratic model of governance and working to undermine the influence of liberal democracies, namely along Russia’s historical borderlands. Russia caused an international uproar in 2016, when it interfered in the U.S. presidential election. But Putin’s foreign policy toolkit includes other instruments, from alliances with autocrats to proxy wars with the U.S. in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. How does Putin conceive of national interests, and why do Russian citizens support him? How should the United States respond to Putin’s foreign policy ambitions? Alexandra Vacroux is the Executive Director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and Lecturer on Government at Harvard University.
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