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Stalin’s War and Peace

In dealing with Vladimir Putin's Russia, the West has both underestimated and overestimated the country, often simultaneously. An examination of Soviet history – from World War II through the Nuremberg Trials – shows just how dangerous such miscalculations can be.

MOSCOW – From the 2008 war in Georgia to the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the build-up of troops along Ukraine’s eastern and southern borders just this spring, Russia’s actions in recent years have been increasingly worrying. Could history – in particular, the behavior of Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union after World War II – give Western leaders the insights they need to mitigate the threat?