War may be politics by other means. But Vladimir Putin also understands that politics can be war by other means.
Having failed to achieve the destabilization of Ukraine on the battlefield, the Kremlin leader now appears to be trying to achieve that goal politically -- by forcing the separatist-held parts of Donbas back into Ukraine, with broad autonomy, as a Trojan horse.
Will Putin be able to achieve his goal of a Ukraine that is decentralized and federalized to the point of dysfunction? Or will the conflict in the Donbas end up being frozen?
On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we discuss the diplomatic and political maneuvers that mark the latest phase of the Ukraine conflict. Joining me are Alexander Motyl, a professor at Rutgers University-Newark and author of numerous books on post-Soviet affairs and Steven Pifer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the former United States Ambassador to Ukraine.
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