Podcast: Listen to the Battle of Ideas debate.
Since the conflict began last year, the fighting in Ukraine has claimed over 6,000 lives. Although a ceasefire was agreed in February, the country is hardly at peace. Almost invariably, the media and politicians in the West have blamed the conflict on Russian aggression. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is portrayed as an unreconstructed Cold War leader, keen to grab territory and keep as much of Ukraine as possible within Russia’s sphere of influence. Some commentators, however, have pointed to the role of the EU and US in interfering in Ukraine, leading to the overthrow of the Russian-leaning former president, Viktor Yanukovych, and a longer-term effort to expand NATO right up to Russia’s borders. This debate examined what caused the conflict and who was to blame.
Professor Ivan Krastev
Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia; permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna
Dr Tara McCormack
lecturer in international politics, University of Leicester; author, Critique, Security and Power: the political limits to emancipatory approaches
producer, BBC News
Dr Kataryna Wolczuk
reader in politics and international studies, University of Birmingham
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