When justifying the seizure of Crimea, the Russian president pretended to be a victim of the Western policy and manipulatively argued that the only way to confront NATO’s illusory penetration into the Ukrainian peninsula was to “facilitate” its “reunification” with Russia. The obsession to tear Crimea away from Ukraine appeared to be one of the stark examples of an expressly frustrated policy by Vladimir Putin, who enjoyed his aggressive “victory” by displaying at the same time his passion for artificially constructed self-victimisation. The article argues that an ongoing hybresia (hybrid aggression) against Ukraine is irrational and destructive for both Ukraine and Russia but vitally needed for Putin’s regime survival.

Dr. Sergii Glebov is an associate professor and deputy dean of the Faculty of International Relations, Political Science and Sociology at Odessa I. I. Mechnikov National University, where he has been teaching a course on foreign policy of the Russian Federation. In 2000-2001, he was a visiting scholar at the Centre for European Studies, University of Exeter (UK) and in 2003 at Columbia University, Harriman Institute (New York City, USA). He spent academic year 2018- 2019 at the University of California San Diego (USA) as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar with the School of Global Policy and Strategy. He published more than 70 scientific works on foreign and security policy of Ukraine, international relations in the Black Sea-Caspian region, European and Euro-Atlantic security, foreign policy of Russia, NATO-Ukraine and EU-Ukraine relations.

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