Ukraine: the west’s shock absorber. But what next?

With the war in Ukraine nearly four weeks old, is the West any closer to putting its finger on what Russia wants, or how to negotiate with Vladimir Putin? Here Timothy Snyder, one of  the pre-eminent thinkers on East Europe and Russia offers some polished opinions on some ragged and terrified perceptions.

Last week saw the Russian leader stage a pro-war rally in Moscow, as he continued to preach his take on Russian and Ukrainian history.

But if the Kremlin misread Ukraine, the West has also failed to understand what Putin was up to.

That’s part of the argument of the historian Timothy Snyder, who specialises in eastern European and Russian history.

spoke to him and began by asking him what we all should have known about Ukraine that we didn’t.

Timothy David Snyder (born August 18, 1969) is an American author and historian specialising in the history of Central and Eastern Europe and the Holocaust. He is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.[2] He has written several books, including the best-sellers Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin and On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.[3]

Snyder is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.