Don't blame Nato for war in Ukraine. The roots lie in Russia itself

Russia expert Stephen Kotkin tells The New Yorker in an interview why he disagrees with those who say that had Nato not expanded, Putin would not have invaded Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces at a front-line position in Odessa on March 16, preparing for a Russian attack on the strategic port city. PHOTO: NYTIMES
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Stephen Kotkin is one of our most profound and prodigious scholars of Russian history. His masterwork is a biography of Joseph Stalin. So far he has published two volumes - Paradoxes Of Power, 1878-1928, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Waiting For Hitler, 1929-1941.

A third volume will take the story through the Second World War; Stalin's death, in 1953; and the totalitarian legacy that shaped the remainder of the Soviet experience. Taking advantage of long-forbidden archives in Moscow and beyond, Kotkin has written a biography of Stalin that surpasses those by Isaac Deutscher, Robert Conquest, Robert C. Tucker and countless others.

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