Robert Service

The fatal miscalculation that led to war in Ukraine

(Photo: Getty)

The war against Ukraine – or the ‘special military operation’ as it is compulsorily known in Moscow – has lasted over a fortnight.

For weeks Putin maintained a bristling encampment of forces in western Russia, southern Belarus and Crimea. He hoped this would provoke the collapse of the ‘neo-Nazi’ Ukrainian government and its comedian-president.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles


Written by
Robert Service

Robert Service is Emeritus Professor of Russian History, St Antony's College Oxford and Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His next book, Blood on the Snow, on the Great War and the Russian Revolution, is out in November.

Topics in this article


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in