Home Morningside Events - Morningside Area Alliance Talks The Blindsided: How Berlin and Paris Cleared the Way for Russia


Apr 15 2024


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)


The Blindsided: How Berlin and Paris Cleared the Way for Russia


On February 24, 2022, Russia blindsided most of Europe with its all-out invasion of Ukraine. This forced an overdue reckoning for Europeans on the failures of their Russia policy and the realities of Vladimir Putin’s agenda. In particular, France and Germany had been hoodwinked by promises of cheap Russian energy supplies, as well as the pipe dream of a common European security architecture with Moscow. In Sylvie Kauffmann’s new book Les Aveuglés: Comment Berlin et Paris ont laissé la voie libre à la Russie (The Blindsided: How Berlin and Paris Cleared the Way for Russia), she asks how and when France and Germany could have acted differently and changed the path of history. At what point was it clear that Putin was heading down this path? And why did Europeans, again and again, ignore the warning signs? Will Europe emerge more unified or more divided by this war that has opened its eyes?

Sylvie Kauffmann is a foreign affairs columnist for the French newspaper Le Monde. She also contributes to the opinion pages of the Financial Times and has been a contributing writer for the New York Times. She was the editor-in-chief of Le Monde in 2010-2011. She joined the newspaper in 1987 as Moscow correspondent. Since then, she has been Eastern and Central Europe correspondent, U.S. correspondent based in Washington D.C., New York Bureau Chief, and reporter-at-large in Asia, based in Singapore. Prior to joining Le Monde, Sylvie Kauffmann worked for Agence France-Presse as a foreign correspondent, in London, New Caledonia (South Pacific), Warsaw, and Moscow. Sylvie Kauffmann is the author of Les Aveuglés: Comment Paris et Berlin ont ouvert la voie à la Russie (2023), a book about France, Germany and Putin’s Russia.

Alexander Stille is a journalist and author who has written extensively on Italian subjects, among other topics. He has written extensively for a wide range of American publications including The New YorkerThe New York TimesThe Atlantic and the New York Review of Books as well as La Repubblica in Italy. His most recent book is on a decidedly un-Italian subject: The Sullivanians: Sex, Psychotherapy, and the Wild Life of an American Commune. It tells the story of a psychoanalytic institute in New York that evolved into an urban commune and devolved into a cult.

Event organized by the Columbia Maison Française and co-sponsored by Le Monde, and Columbia Global Centers | Paris.

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Maison Fran�aise