EUROPEAN BOOK CLUB – The Blind­sided: How Berlin and Paris Cleared the Way for Russia

with Sylvie Kauffmann, Jörg Lau, Jarosław Kuisz and Ralf Fücks

June 6th, from 6 pm to 8 pm
Center for Liberal Modernity
Rein­hardt­straße 15, 10117 Berlin. 


Dear Sir or Madam,
ideas matter! That is why the Center for Liberal Modernity launched a new format: the European Book Club. Throughout the year, we will have the pleasure of inviting you to discus­sions with inter­na­tional intel­lec­tuals about their newest books.

The next discus­sion will take place on the 6th of June and will be devoted to the book The Blind­sided: How Berlin and Paris Cleared the Way for Russia (Stock, 2023) by Sylvie Kauffmann. Sylvie Kauffmann is a French jour­nalist, special­izing in foreign affairs. Sylvie Kauffmann is a jour­nalist at Le Monde, where she was editor-in-chief and writes a weekly column on geopol­i­tics. She was a contrib­utor to the New York Times and writes regularly for the opinion pages of the Financial Times.

France and Germany’s approaches to Vladimir Putin have been severely crit­i­cized for being misguided and detached from reality. Germany, in partic­ular, developed signif­i­cant reliance on Russian energy supplies, a strategic move that ulti­mately backfired as Moscow exploited and weaponized this depen­dency to its advantage. On February 24, 2022, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine shattered the European order. Then came the questions: why did we get it so wrong? What signals did we ignore?

Sylvie Kauffman’s book delves into the testi­monies of key figures, exploring pivotal moments spanning twenty years that led to a failure to recognize the true nature of Putin’s Russia. This includes the American retreat from global lead­er­ship, Germany’s histor­ical baggage and economic interests blinding its judgment, the disregard for the perspec­tives of Eastern European democ­ra­cies, and the persis­tence of outdated pro-Russia senti­ments among certain French elites.

The author will be joined by Jörg Lau, inter­na­tional corre­spon­dent and former Foreign Editor of the German weekly DIE ZEIT. After intro­duc­tory remarks from Ralf Fücks, the CEO of the Center for Liberal Modernity, Jarosław Kuisz, the Program Director and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Liberal Modernity, will moderate the discussion.

For a Sneak Peek into the book, listen to the Podcast with Sylvie Kauffmann and Timothy Garton Ash.

We cordially invite you to join us in unrav­eling the intri­ca­cies and short­com­ings of the key players in Paris, Berlin, and Brussels, in under­standing what drove them, and in exploring whether there was another way and what lessons can be learned.

We kindly ask you to register by June 4th via the Sign-Up button. If you have any queries, please contact

We look forward to seeing you!
Ralf Fücks


Did you like this article? If yes, you can support the inde­pen­dent editorial work and jour­nalism of LibMod via a simple donation tool.

Donate via PayPal

We are recog­nized as a non-profit orga­ni­za­tion, accord­ingly donations are tax deductible. For a donation receipt (necessary for an amount over 200 EUR), please send your address data to

Related topics

order Newsletter

Stay tuned with our regular newsletter about all our relevant subjects.

Mit unseren Daten­schutzbes­tim­mungen
erklären Sie sich einverstanden.