Not since the years of the Cold War has Russia been so dominant—or so threatening—in global affairs as it is today. President Vladimir Putin—now in his fourth term—continues to top Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful people. In the four years since the West’s isolation of Russia in the wake of Crimea, Putin has achieved his goal of making Russia once again a major player on the world stage, culminating in the successful hosting of the 2018 World Cup and the Helsinki summit. What drives Russian foreign policy? How does the Kremlin legitimate its authoritarian rule and how do Russian people view their country and ours? Wellesley College’s Russia expert, Nina Tumarkin, Professor of History, and Valerie Sperling, Professor of Political Science at Clark University and author of Sex, Politics, and Putin, will address some of the major challenges and achievements of the world’s largest country at a moment when Russia-U.S. relations are in a dangerous state of flux. Thomas Hodge, Professor of Russian, will serve as panel moderator.
Supported by the Davis Fund for Russian Area Studies.