Skip to content
Niall Ferguson

Putin’s Ukrainian War Is About Making Vladimir Great Again

Current conditions are ideal for a Russian invasion, but the historical inspiration is more tsarist than Soviet.

Bigger than life.

Bigger than life.

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg 

War is coming — a not-so-great northern war. 

Don’t be fooled by last Thursday’s conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden, with its promise of further negotiations in January. When one party is bent on war, this kind of diplomatic activity often continues until just hours before hostilities begin. We should not be deluded: Putin is bent on war against Ukraine.