Why did Putin invade Ukraine? A public lecture by Professor Paul Dibb

Event details

Public Lecture

Date & time

Thursday 20 March 2014


Lecture Theatre 1, Hedley Bull Centre (130), corner of Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU
ANU Canberra


Emeritus Professor Paul Dibb


kerrie hogan
+61 2 6125 2173

Abstract: This talk examines why Putin decided to intervene in Ukraine. What were the major deciding factors from his point of view? Getting inside Putin's mind requires understanding Russia's perspectives on the geopolitics of Ukraine's potential membership of the EU and NATO; the military importance of the naval base in Crimea; the deep history of Russia's relationship with Ukraine--both ancient and modern; and how Putin is playing the Ukraine/Crimea issue in domestic politics. None of this is to ignore a very different and legitimate perspective coming out of Kiev. But we need to understand what is driving Putin and how much further is he likely to go militarily.

Professor Dibb also addresses the issue of the use of force by Moscow and the reactions of the West. Have we returned to a previous era where military strength is supreme and spheres of influence prevail? And will the Russian experience be replicated in our part of the world by an increasingly powerful and assertive China?


Paul Dibb is Emeritus Professor of strategic studies in the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies, College of Asia and the Pacific at the ANU. He was head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre from 1991 to 2004. Before that he held the positions of deputy secretary for Defence, director of the Joint Intelligence Organisation and head of the National Assessments Staff. He studied the former Soviet Union for over 20 years both as a senior intelligence officer and academic. He advised ASIO on certain Soviet activities. His book The Soviet Union--the Incomplete Superpower was published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London in 1986, reprinted 1987 and second edition 1988.

Updated:  18 May 2022/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team