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The “Besieged Kremlin”: Understanding Moscow’s Worldview

Tue, Jun 23, 2015, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

You are cordially invited to an Intermarium Series lecture on the topic of

The “Besieged Kremlin”: Understanding Moscow’s Worldview

Pawel Styrna
Kosciuszko Chair Research Assistant

Tuesday, June 23
4:30 PM

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
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In this Intermarium Series Lecture, Mr. Paweł Styrna, IWP Class of 2015 and Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies research assistant, will discuss the manner in which the post-Soviet Russian leadership views the world. The Kremlin sees the United States in particular, and the West and NATO in general, as deeply hostile forces having no greater objective than to encircle, dismember, and destroy Russia — in collaboration with anti-Russian “Fifth Columnists” and “fascists” in the “near abroad.” This is not solely the attitude of the Putin regime, however, but a geopolitical mentality formed over centuries of Russian history. In effect, the paranoid, anti-American post-Soviet “besieged Kremlin” attitude is a synthesis of Muscovite and Soviet Feindbilder [“images of the enemy”]. In his presentation, Mr. Styrna will trace the historical roots of Moscow’s Weltanschauung and explain why this understanding is highly relevant today.

Paweł P. Styrna was educated at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he received his Bachelor of Arts and his Master of Arts in modern European history, with minor specializations in Polish and Soviet history. He plans to graduate in 2015 from the international relations program at The Institute of World Politics. He also serves as a research assistant to the Kościuszko Chair in Polish Studies.

He has co-edited Golden Harvest or Hearts of Gold? Studies on the Fate of Wartime Poles and Jews (2012) and authored the chapter entitled “The Tale of Two Hamlets: The Case of Wólka-Okrąglik and Gniewczyna.” Mr. Styrna is a Eurasia analyst for the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research (SFPPR) and writes the blog Property Polska for the Journal of Property Rights in Transition.