Khapaeva Publishes Op-Ed on Putin’s ‘Manual’ for War

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Dina Khapaeva, professor of Russian and director of the Russian program in the School of Modern Languages, recently authored an op-ed in The Atlantic titled “Putin is Just Following the Manual.”

In the article, Khapaeva analyzes the similarities between Vladimir Putin’s war strategy and Mikhail Yuriev’s 2006 novel, The Third Empire: Russia as It Ought to Be. Yuriev’s fictional predictions have come to pass in Russia’s recent military campaigns, including the 2008 war with Georgia, the 2014 annexation of Crimea and incursion into the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Yuriev’s book, like Putin’s war with Ukraine, is an expression of post-Soviet neo-medievalism, a far-right, anti-Western, and anti-democratic ideology that assigns ‘Russian Orthodox civilization’ a dominant role over Europe and America,” Khapaeva writes. “The Third Empire is rumored to be popular and highly influential in the Russian leader’s circle; one Russian publication described it as ‘the Kremlin’s favorite book.’”


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