Manage episode 322510299 series 2930374
On this episode, we have a discussion with political geographer Dr. Gerard Toal about the 2008 August War that embroiled Georgia, Russia and South Ossetia in conflict, along with the contingencies and background that led to the fighting and what this event can tell us or not tell us about Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
Dr. Toal wrote a book in 2016 entitled "Near Abroad: Putin, The West and the Contest Over Ukraine and The Caucasus" - here's a description of the book below:
"Before Russia invaded Ukraine, it invaded Georgia. Both states are part of Russia's "near abroad"--newly independent states that were once part of the Soviet Union and are now Russia's neighbors. While the Russia-Georgia war of 2008 faded from the headlines in the wake of the global recession, the geopolitical contest that created it did not. In Near Abroad, Gerard Toal moves beyond the polemical rhetoric that surrounds Russia's interventions in Georgia and Ukraine to study the underlying territorial conflicts and geopolitical struggles. Central to understanding are legacies of the Soviet Union collapse: unresolved territorial issues, weak states and a conflicted geopolitical culture in Russia over the new territorial order. Toal explains the road to invasion and war in Georgia and Ukraine, thereafter, and provides an account of real life geopolitics, one that emphasizes changing spatial relationships, geopolitical cultures and the power of media images. Not only a penetrating analysis of Russia's relationships with its regional neighbors, Near Abroad also offers an analysis of how US geopolitical culture frequently fails to fully understand Russia and the geopolitical archipelago of dependencies in its near abroad.