Author: Alexander J. Motyl, opinion contributor

How to understand Russia and the war

Navigating the debates on Russia’s war in Ukraine can be confusing for the uninitiated. In fact, the differences are largely due to different assumptions regarding politics in general and Russian politics in particular. The assumptions matter, because they inspire policies. They also matter because some assumptions are more plausible than others. To what do you…

Putin’s war makes a clear case for Ukraine membership in NATO

Russian President Vladimir Putin ironically appears to have greatly increased Ukraine’s chances of joining NATO. He has thereby achieved the opposite of what he claimed was his goal: keeping Ukraine out of the alliance. Before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, everyone — Americans, Europeans, Ukrainians and Russians — knew that Ukraine had no chance…