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Taylor Weighs in on Putin’s State of Mind in Foreign Policy and Riddle Articles

March 9, 2022

Foreign Policy,Riddle

Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor


Putin’s decision to launch a renewed and brutal invasion of Ukraine has made some Western officials and observers question the mental state of the man in charge of the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons. Others view Putin’s recent behavior not as an aberration but more of a magnification of tendencies that have long been observed in the Russian leader.

“It’s not accurate to see him as simply an instrumentally rational actor. He has strong ideas. He’s got dark emotions, and he has been expressing those for a very long time,” says Brian Taylor, a professor of Russian politics and author of “The Code of Putinism.” “In that sense, the trajectory is not a total surprise. But obviously, this is something much bigger than anything he has done before.” Read more in the Foreign Policy article, “Has Putin Lost the Plot?

Taylor also authored an article, “Has Putin Lost It?,” that was published by Riddle. “We should not kid ourselves that Putin has suddenly gone mad. He has been harboring these grievances and dark ideas for a long time, and now he is acting on them,” writes Taylor. “His self-isolation gave him time to stew in his resentments and watch with growing alarm as Ukraine moved closer to the West and cracked down on pro-Russian political and economic actors.”


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