Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Senior Fellow Stephen Kotkin Quoted in the Wall Street Journal on Putin’s Presidency

Senior Fellow Stephen Kotkin Quoted in the Wall Street Journal on Putin’s Presidency

Senior Fellow Stephen Kotkin Quoted in the Wall Street Journal on Putin’s Presidency


The Wall Street Journal

Russia votes on March 18 in a presidential election that is, let’s agree, lacking in any competitive tension. In fact, says Stephen Kotkin, Vladimir Putin’s re-election is “preordained, a superfluous, if vivid, additional signal of Russia’s debilitating stagnation.”

Few Americans understand Russia better than Mr. Kotkin, who late last year published “ Stalin : Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941,” the second of an intended three-volume biography of the Soviet dictator Mr. Kotkin describes as “the person in world history who accumulated more power than anyone else.”

President Putin, by comparison, is a dictatorial lightweight. “We wouldn’t want to equate Putin with Stalin,” Mr. Kotkin says. The Soviet Union—which Stalin ruled for three hair-raising decades, until his death in 1953—had “one-sixth of the world’s land mass under its control, plus satellites in Eastern Europe and Northeast Asia.” There were also communist parties in scores of countries, which did Russia’s bidding. “We talk about how Russia interferes in our elections today,” says Mr. Kotkin, “but Stalin had a substantial Communist Party in France, and in Italy, inside the Parliament. And when Stalin gave instructions to them, they followed his orders.”

Read the full article here.

The Foreign Policy Research Institute, founded in 1955, is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to bringing the insights of scholarship to bear on the development of policies that advance U.S. national interests. In the tradition of our founder, Ambassador Robert Strausz-Hupé, Philadelphia-based FPRI embraces history and geography to illuminate foreign policy challenges facing the United States. more about FPRI »

Foreign Policy Research Institute · 1528 Walnut St., Ste. 610 · Philadelphia, PA 19102 · Tel: 1.215.732.3774 · Fax: 1.215.732.4401 · www.fpri.org
Copyright © 2000–2018. All Rights Reserved.