Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Amy Knight: On Ukraine, NATO and more, Russia’s Vladimir Putin lives in an alternative reality

by Amy KnightJanuary 22, 2022 1:55 am
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual press conference at the Manezh exhibition hall in central Moscow on Dec. 23, 2021. (

As the Biden administration and its Western allies decide how to respond next to Russia’s threatening military presence on the borders of Ukraine, it’s worth probing Vladimir Putin’s psyche. Is he a rational leader who grasps the realities of his country’s current standoff with the West? Does he fully understand what is happening within Russia and the world outside? Or is he operating under serious delusions?

This is not the first time the question of his rationality has come up. After a frustrating telephone call with Mr. Putin over Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told U.S. president Barack Obama that the Russian leader seemed out of touch with reality and was living “in another world.”

Continue reading on The Globe and Mail website

Editor’s Note: This op-ed was published by The Globe and Mail. The Kyiv Independent is aggregating it as a recommendation to our readers.

Amy Knight

Amy Knight is an American historian of the Soviet Union and Russia. She is the author of six books on Russian history and politics, including, most recently, Orders to Kill: The Putin Regime and Political Murder. She is currently working on a book about Vladimir Putin and Boris Berezovsky.

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