Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to order a full-scale invasion of Ukraine defies any and all political logic, even his own hardened authoritarian reasoning.

With his unprovoked assault, Putin joins a long line of irrational tyrants, not least Joseph Stalin, who believed that sustaining his power required a constant expansion of it. That logic led Stalin to commit horrific atrocities against his own people, including causing a famine that starved millions of Ukrainians to death.

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