How does the war in Ukraine end and what does it mean for Russia? In an interview with “t-online”, the American historian Timothy Snyder expresses the thesis: “If Ukraine wins, that would even help Russia in the long term.” It can be deduced from history that imperial striving for power can be slowed down by military defeats. Snyder is convinced that only a defeat “can initiate the urgently needed reforms in Russia”. By that he means a return to democracy and a departure from the Putin system. “Therefore it is very important that Russia loses this war.”

“Russian history shows that change was possible, especially after defeats,” says the Yale professor. It is a fundamental finding of modern European history that “successful rule-of-law democracies (…) emerged after clear military defeats,” Snyder told the news site.

Putin linked his own retention of power to the course of the war. “If Putin sees his position in the Kremlin in jeopardy – that’s when the war will end,” Snyder said. Provided that Putin recognizes the threat to his power in good time.

In the event of an impending defeat, the Russian president could be put under a lot of pressure from within the country. Snyder analyses: “Losing in Ukraine is bad for him. But it’s far worse to lose in Russia.”