Staunton, June 10 – Many people have questioned why Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine this year, with many suggesting that his advancing age led him to decide that he needed to do something dramatic to cement his place in Russian history. That may have been a factor, but it certainly wasn’t the most important one, Aleksey Levinson says.
Instead, the Levada Center sociologist says, the Kremlin leader became convinced that the West’s turn toward green energy in response to climate change would eliminate the power Russia’s oil and gas exports gave him over European and other countries and that he needed to take geopolitical action (meduza.io/feature/2022/06/10/pochemu-kreml-schitaet-voynu-v-ukraine-pravilnym-resheniem-nesmotrya-ni-na-chto).
Putin felt, Levinson continues, that any drive to achieve geopolitical hegemony was a now or never situation. Europe was only beginning its move toward green energy, and the US, lagging behind in this, has in his opinion a weak leader who will not be able to make significant changes in economic arrangements.
According to the sociologist, “the green transition over the course of one to three decades threatens Russia with the loss of the placed it has occupied in the world. And it threatens the present rulers and their successors because of the loss of their oil and gas revenues of their ability to rule the country.”
Given that prospect and also that Ukraine may succeed in integrating into Europe, Putin and those around him attacked Ukraine as the only means available of defending Russia’s position in the world and their own position in Russia, two things that for the moment at least Russians as a nation support as well.