Golineh Atai


Mobilising against the West: why Russia’s policies are so dangerous

According to the award-winning journalist Golineh Atai, Russia has redefined itself since the annexation of Crimea as a major international power, using the language of nationalism and imperialism to talk about its acts of aggression. Her new book explores the deeper currents within a body of policies that are unrecognised, misunderstood or simply ignored in the West.

“If you want to understand the new Russian politics, you have to understand the story Russians are telling about themselves and the world,” Atai maintains. The points on the nation’s ideological compass are the Great Patriotic War, Joseph Stalin and right-wing thinkers, resulting in a self-image of “Russia under siege”. Russia describes NATO as “fascist” while Ukraine is portrayed as a “Little Russia”.

Yet these carefully crafted narratives are blindly repeated by parts of the Western media. Russia, Atai says, believes itself to be at war. Its aggression is being conducted in theatres with no clear borders: in old and new media, in cyberspace and in the economic sphere. Golineh Atai’s book explains why Russia is openly challenging a political order whose future is also being questioned across the free world.


Golineh Atai

Golineh Atai

Golineh Atai was born in Teheran in 1974 and was five years old when she came to Germany with her family. She was the ARD’s Cairo correspondent between 2006 and 2008 before taking on a range of assignments and roles for the network’s Tagesschau and Morgenmagazin programmes. From 2013 to 2018 she was the ARD correspondent in Moscow; she is currently based in Cologne and reports for WDR. She has received multiple awards for her journalism, including the Journalist of the Year Award 2014, the Peter Scholl Latour Prize and the Hanns Joachim Friedrichs Prize.