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Civilising the great bear

By Tom Nuttall  

Is the west on the verge of a new cold war with Russia, as the Economist correspondent Edward Lucas suggests in his new book of the same title? Hardly, says Stephen Kotkin, a Russia specialist at Princeton University, writing in the new issue of Prospect.

Kotkin suggests we all calm down a little. Just as the chaos and impoverishment under Yeltsin’s rule in the 1990s hardly amounted to a liberal democracy, despite the wishful thinking of western analysts, the authoritarian tendencies at home and muscle-flexing abroad that characterised Putin’s reign do not make contemporary Russia an international menace that demands…

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