Germany's Anschluss with Austria and Russia's annexation of Crimea: an analytical comparison
Church, Peter D.
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This thesis compares the irredentist and revanchist actions of Nazi Germany and the contemporary Russian Federation with regard to violent and coercive changes of borders as an element of statecraft. It presents an analytical comparison of Nazi Germany's 1938 Anschluss with Austria and Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea with regard to nationalist sentiment and geopolitical aims. Although the revanchist moves share striking similarities, the nationalist movements, political goals, and methods of annexation differ significantly. The Hitler comparison is a frequently used political mechanism to simplify issues and galvanize support. However, using the comparison for Vladimir Putin's behavior impedes serious strategic analysis and frustrates diplomatic dialogues. Such hasty and ill-founded analogies should be avoided in the interests of analytical clarity and the formulation of effective responses and solutions.
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