In episode 135 of Berkeley Talks, UC Berkeley political scientist George Breslauer and economics professor Yuriy Gorodnichenko discuss Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — what his motivations are and how they compare to Adolf Hitler’s and Joseph Stalin’s, if the invasion was avoidable and what should be done about it.
“This could have been avoided,” said Breslauer, professor emeritus of political science and author of the 2021 book, The Rise and Demise of World Communism, at the Feb. 25 event. “Putin has now shown his worst instincts. He has shown his dark side, taking no prisoners in this attack on Ukraine. I just hope that he is retrievable toward a diplomatic compromise that calls for no Ukraine in NATO and no ceding to the Russian sphere of influence, formal neutralization. But we’ll see if that is even possible in light of what’s going on now.”