Eight months into Russia’s war against Ukraine, POLITICO talks to the Russia analyst about whether Putin’s aims are evolving and what it would take to end the war.
Now, despite the setbacks Russia has suffered on the battlefield, Hill thinks Putin is undaunted. She sees him adapting to new conditions, not giving up. And she sees him trying to get the West to accede to his aims by using messengers like billionaire Elon Musk to propose arrangements that would end the conflict on his terms.
“Putin plays the egos of big men, gives them a sense that they can play a role. But in reality, they’re just direct transmitters of messages from Vladimir Putin,” Hill says.