Russia's war against Ukraine

Hosted by the European Institute

In-person and online public event (Sumeet Valrani Lecture Theatre, Centre Building)


Professor Gwendolyn Sasse

Professor Gwendolyn Sasse

Professor Samuel Greene

Professor Samuel Greene


Dr Abby Innes

Dr Abby Innes

This event launches Gwendolyn Sasse’s new book Russia's War Against Ukraine. On 24 February 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, giving rise to the deadliest conflict on European soil since the Second World War. How could this happen in twenty-first-century Europe? Why did Putin decide to escalate Russia’s war against Ukraine, a war which began with Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014? 

In her book, Sasse analyses the background to this war and examines the factors that led to Putin’s fateful decision. She retraces the history of Ukraine’s struggle for independence from Russia and shows how democratic developments in Ukraine had become a risk for Russia’s political system. She also shows that ambiguous Western policy towards Russia encouraged elites in the Kremlin to think that they had more room for action than they did.  

Following her presentation Sasse will be joined by Sam Greene, Professor in Russian politics at King’s College London for a discussion. 

Meet out speaker and chair  

Gwendolyn Sasse (@GwendolynSasse) is the Director of the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) in Berlin and Einstein Professor for the Comparative Study of Democracy and Authoritarianism at Humboldt University, Berlin. She is also a Professorial Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. She holds a PhD in Political Science from LSE and her research has concentrated on different dimensions of regime change, with a particular emphasis on the post-communist region. Since 2014 she has been a non-resident associate at the think tank Carnegie Europe. 

Sam Greene (@samagreene) is Professor in Russian politics at King’s College London. He lived in worked Moscow for 13 in roles including director of the Centre for the Study of New Media & Society at the New Economic School, and deputy director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. He holds a PhD in political sociology from LSE. Alongside his work at King’s, Sam is an Associate Fellow of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a Trustee of Pushkin House, and Editor-in-Chief of Russian Politics & Law. 

Abby Innes (@innes_abby) is Associate Professor of Political Economy in the European Institute at LSE. She has published widely on issues of party-state development and state capture in Central Europe, and, more recently, on the political economy of the neoliberal state in the UK. 

More about this event 

The European Institute (@LSEEI) is a centre for research and graduate teaching on the processes of integration and fragmentation within Europe. 

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Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Russia's War Against Ukraine

A video of this event is available to watch at Russia's War Against Ukraine

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