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The War in Ukraine: Rallying Point for the Left or New Neocon Adventure?

Western support for Ukraine’s war against Russia has faced continued scrutiny. Critics have compared the conflict to past American wars of choice, such as the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, which were informed by neoconservative foreign policy, aiming to promote peace and democracy through military means. Ukraine and its backers present a contrasting narrative, emphasising both defence against Russia's unprovoked invasion, and forwarding a narrative of this war as the frontline for democracy and freedom. So, is the war in Ukraine a conflict the left can get behind or is it driven by neoconservative ideology?

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Elissa Jobson talk with Hans Kundnani, Associate Fellow at the Chatham House Europe Programme, about the ideology behind Western support for the war in Ukraine and why it matters. They discuss whether the war in Ukraine should be seen as a left-wing progressive war or a neoconservative war, or neither. They explore the values and motivations behind Western support for Ukraine, comparing it to past conflicts and examining the role of democracy and human rights in shaping foreign policy. They also discuss the role of the Global South and the importance of considering its interests in addressing the conflict.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more in-depth analysis of the topics discussed in this episode, check out our Ukraine country page.