Through a careful review of recent history, Russia and Soviet scholar Paul Robinson debunks the claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is directing the rebels fighting in Ukraine’s eastern region.

“No plausible evidence has been produced to indicate that members of the Russian army were involved at the start of the uprising,” says Robinson of the civil war in the Donbass.

Robinson made his remarks in a panel titled “Who has done what, and why?” at the University of Toronto’s “Ukraine and Russia Peace Conference” on Feb. 22. He writes about foreign policy at Irrusianality, a site devoted to understanding “the relationship between Russia and the West; and the apparently irrational decision making processes which dominate much of international relations.”

The clip above came to Truthdig via James Carden, a former adviser at the State Department’s Office of Russian Affairs, contributing editor at The National Interest and contributor to The Nation magazine.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig