Political science professor offers insight into predicting Putin’s next move

Feb 25, 2022, 5:18 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:56 pm
BANGKOK, THAILAND - FEBRUARY 25: A Ukrainian protester holds up a poster of Russian President Vladi...
BANGKOK, THAILAND - FEBRUARY 25: A Ukrainian protester holds up a poster of Russian President Vladimir Putin with the word "killer" during a rally outside the Russian Embassy on February 25, 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand. Protests have erupted around the world in support of Ukraine after Russian forces invaded the country. (Photo by Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY— As Russian troops intensify their assault on Ukraine and its people, it’s difficult to determine what will happen next. Occupation presents long-term challenges for Russia, and a political science professor from the University of Utah said the Ukrainians have fought for their independence before.

“Ukraine has a tradition of fighting for its independence,” said Political Science Professor Marjorie Castle, who has studied that part of the world for several decades.

She said the international political order has been relatively stable in Eastern Europe over the last 50+ years. Now, it’s been fractured in a matter of days. The Russian invasion of Ukraine dramatically, and quickly, changed the regional balance of power. Castle believes uncertainty is as high as it’s been a long time.

“We don’t know what Putin’s plans for Ukraine are,” she said.

It remains unclear how much of the country Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to control.

“It seems unfortunately certain that he may be planning to set up a puppet regime,” Castle said.

The political science professor characterized that as a depressing and dark possibility.

“Given Ukraine’s size, given its significance, given Ukraine’s hard won democracy,” she said.

Despite Russia’s military might, Castle points out that occupying a neighboring country is complicated, and expensive. If there are Ukrainians willing to help Putin establish a regime, it may be less costly politically and financially.

“If that turns out to be difficult, then I think that he is going to have a very hard, long, expensive slog with it,” she said.

Professor Castle cited a recent survey of Ukrainians that shows nearly 60% are willing to personally, actively resist a Russian invasion.

We cannot assume that Putin aims to rebuild the Soviet Union. But, the invasion of Ukraine raises that question.

“I agree that he doesn’t want to reassemble the Soviet Union,” Castle said. “But, his vision of Russian security, Russian prosperity, Russia taking the place that it should take in the world requires dominating its neighbors.”

Which leaves the US and its allies very nervous.

“The world has changed, and we’re facing a gigantic amount of uncertainty, both about what will happen in Ukraine, and about the international order.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Shelby Lofton

Steal. Sell. Repeat. Wave of construction thefts leaves Utah buyers stuck paying the price

They thought it was a steal. Turns out, they got scammed. The law caught up to a man who stole construction equipment and sold it to unwitting Utahns, but his victims say they’re the ones paying for his crimes.
23 hours ago
Unified Police Department squad vehicle. (KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

Woman in custody after crashing into 3 civilian cars and 3 police cars in Midvale chase

A police pursuit resulted in damages to three Unified Police Department cars and three civilian cars Thursday night.
23 hours ago
(Andrew Adams/KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

Two arrested in Glendale shooting

Two men were arrested Thursday for the fatal shooting of a 35-year-old man in the Glendale neighborhood
23 hours ago
A search is underway for Austin Madsen, 32, of Mapleton, Utah. (Mapleton Police Department)...
Shara Park

Search underway in Garfield County for missing father suffering mental health crisis

A desperate search is underway right now in Garfield County for a 32-year-old father from Mapleton, who was last heard from almost a week ago.
23 hours ago
Mike Anderson

Utah is developing a flying motorcycle

We live in a time, where inventions can be built at home and where 3D printers, and machining devices help realize dreams.
23 hours ago
FILE: The Utah State Capitol (Jason Olson, Deseret News Archives)...
Shelby Lofton

Utah lawmakers introduce school safety bills

Lawmakers have unveiled a number of school safety bills after hearing concerns from their constituents.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Political science professor offers insight into predicting Putin’s next move