On the 21 March 202, History & Policy hosted a special online seminar on Russian foreign policy towards Ukraine in a historical perspective. Experts from across the world will considered some of the following questions:

  1. How might long-term readings of Russian history, epitomised by George F. Kennan’s characterisation of the ‘natural outlook’ of the Russian people in his 1946 telegram, offer us insight into the current crisis? Are there indeed perennial elements to Russia’s strategic outlook and foreign policy?  
  2. To what extent do parallels between the current war in Ukraine, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and Cold War clampdowns in Czechoslovakia and Hungary further our understanding of the potential outcomes of this conflict?  
  3. How does the current international response to the conflict compare to previous reactions to Soviet expansionism, which have ranged from official condemnation to proxy warfare, and what does this suggest about the efficacy of the current scheme of sanctions and humanitarian and lethal aid? 
  4. To what extent has the history of the region become part of public diplomacy and ‘information warfare’ in the Ukraine crisis?  


  • Dr Nikolay Anguelov (Associate Professor, Department of Public Policy, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth)
  • Prof Marta Dyczok  (University of Western Ontario, specialist in international politics and history, with a focus on East Central Europe and Eurasia, and specifically Ukraine)
  • Prof Jamil Hasanli (Azerbaijani historian, author, and politician. Visiting fellow at the Institute of Historical Research)
  • Prof Roger E. Kanet (Professor emeritus in the Department of Political Science at the University of Miami)

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