Chu Zhaogen

Chu Zhaogen

Director, Center for Belt and Road & Non-Traditional Security Studies, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University; Distinguished Professor, Research Center for the Belt and Road, Lanzhou University

Chu Zhaogen is the Director of the Center for Belt and Road & Non-Traditional Security Studies, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, and Distinguished Professor at the Research Center for the Belt and Road at Lanzhou University.

An activist wearing a mask of Russia's President Vladimir Putin stands next to fellow activists of the IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) peace organisation posing behind a mockup of a nuclear bomb as they demonstrate for the abolition of nuclear weapons in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin on 23 June 2023. (Odd Andersen/AFP)

Will Russia act on its threat to use nuclear weapons?

Chinese academic Chu Zhaogen notes that while Russia tends to threaten the use of nuclear weapons, especially amid the current war in Ukraine, chances are that it is well aware that doing so would invite unwelcome and devastating consequences. This makes it unlikely that it will actually act on its rhetoric.
A woman walks past a poster depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin holding his own body, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Sofia, Bulgaria, 28 March 2022. (Spasiyana Sergieva/Reuters)

Emperor Putin's missed opportunities and delusions

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambition and is seen as part of his grand strategy for restoring the nation's past glory. However, Chinese academic Chu Zhaogen notes that since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia has missed opportunities for technological advancement and societal reform. Also, Putin’s inner circle seems to perpetuate his delusion of Russia’s situation and military capabilities. China has lessons to take from all of this.