Global Affairs

Russia and China - lessons in avenging national humiliation

While both are animated by similar grievances, China’s policy response – to gain respect by way of internal change – has been more successful

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Chinese President Xi Jinping during their meeting in Brazil in 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS
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The present confrontation between Russia and the West over Ukraine has many reasons and just as many interpreters. Yet regardless of the explanation one chooses, at the core of this crisis lies the issue of national humiliation.

Russia is determined to avenge the national humiliation the country allegedly suffered when the Soviet Union collapsed three decades ago. Its President Vladimir Putin is explicit about this objective: he aspires to a Russia that is, if not respected, at least feared, a nation that regained its place among major powers by avenging past wrongs.

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