June 20, 2022
What the Fall of Empires Tells Us About the Ukraine War
The Soviet Union is commonly described in the West as the “Soviet empire”—or even “Russian empire”—and in key respects this was indeed the case. During the Cold War, Moscow occupied and controlled a collection of states along its periphery, and the historical record of Russia’s expansion through conquest and colonization is abundantly clear. But in neither journalism nor academia has this led to what should have been a logical conclusion when it comes to understanding conflicts in the former Soviet space: Namely, to place these conflicts into the wider context of what happens when empires fall.