War in Ukraine – Ukrainian history, refugees, gas for Ruble, Russia is not Putin


On March 24th 2022 VIPAC journalists Sascha Stipsits and Mag. Christian Janisch spoke with political science professor Gerhard Mangott, one of the leading Austrian policy experts on Russia and international affairs, about Russia´s war against Ukraine and what the situation is like one month after President Putin had given the order to invade Ukraine.

At the beginning of this week’s conversation Professor Mangott takes a look at the history of Ukraine and explains why Ukraine´s resistance to the Russian invasion is so fierce.

The weakness of Russia’s warfare, as reported in the media, does not apply to all front lines; nevertheless, it is obvious that the plan to quickly take Ukraine has failed. Meanwhile, several high ranking members of Russia´s intelligence services have been sidelined.

A new iron curtain and a new cold war are very likely developments for the near future. The massive increase of NATO troops in Eastern European NATO member states and Putin’s narrative of making Russia independent from the West support this assumption.

According to Prof. Mangott, the OSCE will not be able to play a major role in possible negotiations.

Russia´s ruthless bombing of civilian facilities and homes has caused enormous human pain and millions of refugees are pouring into EU countries. Ukrainian refugees are being used by Putin as a political weapon against European countries in the hope of destabiling them.

Mangott explains, how Europe will have to deal with the much higher number of refugees than in 2015, and why the integration of these refugees into the economy and society will be easier.

In addition to the question of how the Russian decision to settle natural gas in rubles in the future will play out, and what expectations one may have of President Biden’s visit to Brussels, the rest of the discussion also focuses on whether we are currently witnessing a turning point away from the liberal model of the West toward the dominance of illiberal countries such as Russia and China.

We conclude this episode with a call not to cut off all contacts with Russia and not to exclude scientists, artists – but also ordinary Russian citizens – from the world because doing so would only support Putin’s narrative. Putin is not Russia.


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War in Ukraine – Part 6 Wolfgang Müller CC BY SA 4.0