The causes and consequences of the Ukraine war A lecture by John J. Mearsheimer

Professor John J. Mearsheimer will discuss the current Russian invasion on Ukraine whilst exploring the potential causes and consequences of the crisis.

In this lecture, Prof. Mearsheimer will aim to focus on both the origins of the war in Ukraine and some of its most important consequences. He will argue that the crisis is largely the result of the West’s efforts to turn Ukraine into a Western bulwark on Russia’s border. Russian leaders viewed that outcome as an existential threat that had to be thwarted. While Vladimir Putin is certainly responsible for invading Ukraine and for Russia’s conduct in the war, Prof. Mearsheimer states that he does not believe he is an expansionist bent on creating a greater Russia. Regarding the war’s consequences, the greatest danger is that the war will go on for months if not years, and that either NATO will get directly involved in the fighting or nuclear weapons will be used — or both. Furthermore, enormous damage has already been inflicted on Ukraine. A prolonged war is likely to wreak even more devastation on Ukraine.

Prof. John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Chicago.

Disclaimer — The views and opinions expressed in this video are those of the speakers or authors in their personal capacity and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Robert Schuman Centre or the European University Institute.

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  1. Putin will never use nucs in Ukraine, he will use them against US. He said it multiple time (west does not listen) – he said – if US think that they will drug us into nuclear war in Europe, don't even dream that you will be sitting and watching from other side of the ocean, we will hit first of all decision making centers (which all located in US). Putin never bluff, he is pretty straight forward and his first offer if always better then each next one.. But like I said – people just not listening, maybe because he never yells, he speak calm and logical, and he stands his ground.

  2. Me parece una completa estupidez de algunos de los académicos criticando una cuestión puramente metodológica-académica de validación, cuando John está hablando al sentido común, y pareciera que lo ignoran, y el espacio de su reflexión quedará encerrada en una cuestión académica, que estúpidos.

  3. I presume this clown thinks Russia created Transnistrian quasi state inside Moldova in 1992 to stop NATO expansion as well? As well as Abkhazia and South Ossetia quasi states inside Georgia, and Karabakh conflict inside Azerbaijan. Those happened well before Putin and are vivid examples of Russia’s imperialistic policies.

  4. IDK, I've been learning a lot more about the "Russian Soul" from the phone conversation the Orcs make with their friends and lovers between Ukraine and Russia and it's not aligned with anything much but poverty and ignorance. Now I think I know them better, and how shallow the any Russian beliefs are lane.

  5. Weer een triest voorbeeld van de Amerikaanse olifant in de porseleinkast en de door en door weke Europese politici, die zich net als bij de Irakoorlog weer als volgzame hondjes gedragen en weigeren hun eigen rol te zien bij het ontstaan van de voedingsbodem van deze oorlog. Maar misschien is die volgzame houding wel de afkoop voor het al decennia verzaken van de NAVO-norm.

  6. I guess accordingly (if N Korea is little rocket man) then Putin must be Big rocket man. So, now we don't help allies because we're afraid of the rocket men. 40/50 countries are aligned against Russia in this war. Where do we put a stop to it.

  7. So the people in Ukraine were pro russian, huh? No words about russian oligarchs & freedom of speech? What about russian settlements in Moldova, Kaliningrad, Krim? What about Syria? Shooting down planes, intoxicating journalists…all forgotten?

  8. I listened to Mearsheimer's talks regarding the relationship between Russia and the west for a while. The guy talks with authority, but I think he is wrong in many respects. No record of Putin lying to world leaders? Give me a break. Regarding Ukraine, is there significant evidence to support that the US was really behind the orange revolution? Said it like its self-evident, and it really isn't. Sure if you cherry-pick enough, let some details slip, highlight others, you can make a case that makes it seem like the west is bullying Russia. However, if Russia acts so nice and is such a good place, they would not have to force Ukraine to fall in line with war, which Mr. Mearsheimer will not acknowledge in his talks. I actually do not recall him being seriously critical about how Russia is acting in any of his talks…

  9. I seem to be watching a surreal movie in play as UK, US and Europe arm and act for a military solution against Russia, convincing themselves that Russia, with the help of China, is going to destroy Europe and the West. One miscalculation on either side will trigger off a nuclear catastrophe that will wipe humanity off the Earth. Even the peace loving Nordic nations have lost their sanity by taking side instead of moderating the situation.

  10. if Russia wins this war ( i expect that) who will pay the bill for ukraine? Who will give money to rebuild ukraine? If money will come from Russia, then the west is out anyway?! Putin will not agree to build up ukraine with western money?! Russia now must take ukraine at all, for being safe in future, that west will not invade any more or puting influence to Ukraine. Nato can´t get into this conflict, its for defending countries not invadeing countries! There is one argument, which wasn´t said, what about the chinese and the Bric States, i think if it comes to a worst point, they will help the russians! Then West is history!

  11. Jeffrey Checkel (Yellow Shorts guy) is so smug in his ignorance. He talks down to Mearsheimer as though the Professor was a moderately talented first year doctoral student. Bizarre.

  12. Thank you. Great work. There is alot people can look up before the war even back to 2014. There are even Black Sun Cult coverage by big media that seems to be ignored in 2022 for some odd reason.

  13. Mr. Mearsheimer has based his arguments on what Russia has been telling. However, it seems that he has not heard ebverything Russia has been telling. I'm quite bilingual as a former citizen of USSR and I have followed what has been discussed in Russia on state TV. Even there were quite a lot of lies, it was absolutely clear that the reasons listed by Mr. Mearsheimer were just excuses. The real reasons were and are – the wish of Mr. Putin to enter the history as Peter the Great of XXI century by adding and collecting territories. Nothing else.

  14. I am surprised at how under educated he is in military matters. Russia definitely intended to take all of Ukraine. They did the closest thing to a blitzkrieg that they could and attacked along every axis of every border of Ukraine. The only reason they only attacked with 200,000 people and didn’t get the whole country is that they literally don’t have the people to do it. They removed their conscription age and are now admitting unfit men into their military to make up for losses. They also felt the need to keep their borders and Moscow defended from possible NATO counter attack. Make no mistake they would have taken all of Ukraine if they could have and they’re slowly on their way to doing so.

  15. A US military veteran said what Russia did in Kyiv is really smart.he went on to explain that, sending 40000 troops to the city is not to take the city of over 2 million, it’s impossible but it gave Ukraine that impression so they pulled almost all their resources to fortify the city then Russia retreated going after their main target eastern Ukraine. Splitting Ukraine army is the key to winning because it’s weakens Ukraine. If Ukraine moves out of Kyiv they get hit by Missiles so they travel in small groups in civilian cars to reinforce their positions in the east. Anyway in the end I hope some kind of deal is done.

  16. Time tells more and more that prof. Mearsheimer errs. 50:00 "In all of Putin's public statements leading up to the war there is not a scintilla evidence that he was contemplating conquering Ukraine and making it part of Russia, much less attacking other countries in Eastern Europe." (See referendum in Kherson oblast.) Understand that prof. trusts collective Putin 50:22.

  17. And what everybody must understand is that Russias goals in Ukraine are nothing less than destroying the Ukrainian culture as such. It is not an overstatement. Russia wants to destroy even the idea of Ukraine, annihilate all traces of it. There is no other way avoiding it but helping Ukraine to fight back

  18. where I think Mr. Mearsheimer gets it wrong is when he says that america and its allies implemented policies that Putin & Co deem existential threats (well he gets it all wrong right from the beggining 😅). Not that what he says is a lie but that his assumptions take precedent on the priciples at stake. On his part there is no thought on the legitimacy of the russian fears, interests and so on. Apparently he should be right. But we are talking about a dictatorship with a twisted view on the world and the soverainty of 3rd party countries and Mr. Mearsheimer makes a 2 hour diatribe on the way we "hurt the russian feelings" and caused this. Its as ludicrous as arguing that the raped woman didn't give due thought on the rappist triggering by using a short skirt. I totally disagree with Mr. Mearsheimer on this. There is no difference beetween Russia now and Germany during the 30's. The West is doing what should have been done back then. Mr. Mearsheimer even speaks in a way as to deny the fact that Putin believes that Ukraine is not a nation, that it belings to Russia and all that rubbish. Mr. Mearsheimer stop the falacy. Russia wants to expand no matter how much we could possibly care about its fears, feelings or reasons and that is against our values and interests. The actual situation was inevitable unless we stood passively by.

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