Financial TimesFinancial Times

How Putin blundered into Ukraine — then doubled down

By Christopher Miller, Max Seddon and Felicia Schwartz

23 Feb 2023 · 16 min read

The FT spoke to longtime Putin confidants and people involved in Russia’s war effort to provide an inside look into how the country became enmeshed in a "quagmire of historic proportions."

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At about 1am on February 24 last year, Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, received a troubling phone call.

After spending months building up a more than 100,000-strong invasion force on the border with Ukraine, Vladimir Putin had given the go-ahead to invade.

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