Zakaria: Russia Is the Last Multinational Empire, Fighting to Keep Its Colonies
The Soviet Union was history’s last great multinational empire.
The collapse of empire is always accompanied by bloody efforts by the imperial powers to hold onto their former territories. The French waged brutal wars in Algeria and Vietnam, and the British killed more than 10,000 people in Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion. They did this simply because, in their view, the idea of being a great power on the world stage required that they hold onto these colonial prizes.
Viewed through this prism, Russia’s actions in Ukraine are perfectly predictable. But Russia has failed, so far, to bring its neighbor back under its control because Ukrainians have no desire to continue to be colonial subjects.
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