Khrushchev's Grandaughter: Putin Lost His Marbles
Prof. Nina L. Khrushcheva, a professor of international affairs at the New School and granddaughter of the late Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev, says President Vladimir Putin will not stop the violence he inflicts on Ukraine in an interview with Project Syndicate.
Photo Insert: Prof. Nina L. Khrushcheva is the granddaughter of the late Soviet President Nikita Khrushchev.
Khrushcheva, who is Ukrainian like her grandfather, said that “while nuclear brinkmanship has come to the fore with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the ground was prepared in 2001 when President George W. Bush decided to withdraw the United States from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which was considered a foundation stone of strategic stability.
Following that move, both the US and Russia began gradually eroding the strategic arms-control regime that had emerged in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis to prevent similar confrontations.”
Khrushcheva argued that Putin is acting strangely, as if he relishes the nuclear threat. She added the Cuban Missile Crisis took 13 days to resolve. Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy both recognized that the smallest miscalculation or accident could lead to a global nuclear catastrophe.
The first step back from the brink must be recognition and appreciation of the existential nature of the nuclear threat. Putin moved quickly in Georgia and it was over in two weeks, like what he did in Crimea in 2014.
“The invasion of Ukraine – which occurred in full view of the world, after three months of very loud international conversations about the possibility – was very uncharacteristic of Putin. While Putin’s rhetoric questioning Ukraine’s right to exist as an independent state had been escalating for some time, the decision to invade seemed reckless and impulsive, not least because it runs counter to Russia’s national interest. Now that Putin has made that decision, however, there is little chance that he will give up easily. Instead, he will continue the violence until his demands are met,” Khrushcheva warned.
Very much like a boy who has lost his toy.