From Victimhood to Aggression: Russia's Path to War Against Ukraine

February 23, 2023
12:00 PM

The Public Policy Center is proud to support this lecture hosted by the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC).

In this presentation, Professor Gulnaz Sharafutdinova (KCL) will present the key ideas and arguments from her book The Red Mirror: Putin's Leadership and Russia's Insecure Identity (2020) about the political transformation that Russia has undergone over the past 10-15 years. Specifically, the focus will be on the socio-psychological analysis of the central pillars of Putin's leadership including the propagation of ressentiment in the society by constructing the trauma of the 1990s and appealing to the main pillars of Soviet collective identity.

Professor of Russian Politics and Director of Russia Institute at King's College London, Gulnaz Sharafutdinova has recently published The Red Mirror: Putin's Leadership and Russia's Insecure Identity (Oxford University Press, 2020) that explores issues of authoritarian legitimation in Russia relying on social identity theory. She has a forthcoming new book: The Aftermath of the Soviet Man: Rethinking Homo Sovieticus (Bloomsbury Press). Gulnaz holds a PhD from the George Washington University and speaks fluent Russian, Tatar, and English. Gulnaz was born in Tatarstan, Russia.

This event is free and open to the public; participants must register prior to attending.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Connie Sherman at