While there are Putinversteher to be found everywhere in Europe there seem to be no Europaversteher in Russia. Where does this lack of understanding come from?
By Denis MacShane. Published June 25, 2015 at openDemocracy.Reading Russia is never easy. Chatham House recently produced a report on dealing with Russia, written with the help of two former UK ambassadors in Moscow, which painted Russia in almost entirely negative hues. This report lined up with the neo-Cold warriors in Washington and with the prevailing views of Polish and Baltic leaders that see Russia in terms of confrontation and containment.
On the other side of the argument there are the voices of Putinversteher(understanders of Putin), as the Germans call those who seek to explain rather than leap to knee-jerk condemnations of the Russian leader. They include the former UK Ambassador to Moscow, Tony Brenton, Richard Sakwa of Kent University, and the Independent journalist, Mary Dejevsky. Continue reading