‘His emotions took over’ Putin’s ‘utterly insane’ miscalculation on risk of war analysed

Putin: ‘Court of history will damn him’ says Lord Dannatt

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John Lough, an associate fellow of the Russia & Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, said the Russian President relied on the “Rational Actor Model”. The Rational Actor Model is an approach to foreign policy which assumes the main actor in foreign policy is a rational individual who can be relied on to make informed, calculated decisions that maximise benefits to the state. This, Mr Lough said, led world powers to believe he was a “calculated risk-taker”.

He said Putin’s departure from this has been “damaging” to Russia.

Speaking to Express.co.uk about Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, he said: “It’s an utterly insane policy he has embarked on.

“And so damaging to Russia.

“Putin used the Rational Actor Model, so we felt he was always somebody that was a calculated risk-taker.

“In this case, his emotions took over and something has clearly happened to him over the last few years.”

This comes after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine appears to be stalling, as the Russian army began a retreat from Kyiv last month.

The Russian economy has also been severely damaged by international sanctions.

The UK Government has claimed sanctions imposed by Western allies are sending Russia towards the “deepest recessions since the collapse of the Soviet Union”.

Their analysis reported that £275 billion worth of assets, equivalent to 60 percent of Russian foreign currency reserves, are currently frozen.

Mr Lough, author of ‘Germany’s Russia Problem’, said world leaders such as Angela Merkel had “underestimated” the Russian leader.

Speaking about the former German Chancellor’s relationship with Putin, Mr Lough said: “It was not a warm relationship.

“It was a difficult relationship – but she definitely knew who she was dealing with.

“But I think, like all of us, she underestimated just how far he would go.”

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Germany in general, Mr Lough said, underestimated Putin.

The foreign policy expert told Express.co.uk that Germany’s dependence on Russian gas stemmed from a “naive” and “optimistic” view of Russia.

Mr Lough said: “Europe was going to need more gas, in particular Germany, so it was this very optimistic policy that we’d have more trade and it will calm relations and keep the Russians inside the tent and it will all be okay.

“Of course, this has turned out to be a very naive policy, because the Germans underestimated the processes which were underway in Russia, despite the fact that they were very well-informed about them.

“They just didn’t want to see that Russia was becoming aggressively nationalist.

“And you could argue that we’re seeing increasing elements of a fascist system in Russia and this is really very malign.

“So I think [Germany has] had a very big shock over the last few months.

“They did believe that diplomacy, keeping the channels open, dialogue etc, would deter the Russians eventually. But it seemed to do the exact opposite.”

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