Modern Russia acts in many ways like a medieval country. Vladimir Putin – once a middling mid-level bureaucrat in the Soviet Union’s Secret Police – became its leader in the post-collapse period, and then became the leader of Russia, replacing the failed civilian government of Boris Yeltsin. Since then he has increasingly run Russia as his own medieval state, and politics in Russia today mirror those of a medieval country.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused an estimated 500,000 casualties and significant infrastructure damage. Rebuilding Ukraine could cost half a trillion dollars, but can we make Russia pay for it? What’s the optimal recovery plan to reduce tensions, and and have peace and prosperity? What does history show will result from punishing Russia for this conflict?