Pushback with Aaron Maté
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After weeks of US claims that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was imminent, Vladimir Putin instead recognized the breakaway republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. The decision has triggered a new round of US-led sanctions while bringing attention to rebel-held areas, where, according to UN figures on the Donbas war, 80% of civilian casualties have occurred since 2018.
Professor Richard Sakwa analyzes the factors behind Putin’s move, and its likely consequences. Putin’s decision, he says, comes after Kiev refused to implement the 2015 Minsk accords, which could have ended the conflict, and a longstanding US-driven project to expand NATO to Russia’s borders.
Guest: Richard Sakwa. Professor of Russian and European politics at the University of Kent. His books include “Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands” and his latest, “Deception: Russiagate and the New Cold War.”
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