In an article titled “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,” Vladimir Putin states “Just have a look at how Austria and Germany, the US and Canada live next to each other. Close in ethnic composition, culture, in fact, sharing one language, they remain sovereign states with their own interests, with their own foreign policy. They have very conditional, transparent borders.” Putin does not intend to conquer Ukraine, he is concerned with NATO establishing a military nuclear presence in the country. In meetings with NATO, Putin has outlined his concerns. 1. NATO must stop expanding east towards Russia. 2. NATO must not house troops in Eastern Europe. 3. The U.S. must not form a military alliance with East European allies. The West has poured over $5 billion in new weapons into Ukraine, paid for by loans, when Ukraine already is facing default on $4 to 5 billion in debt. NATO has plans to place nuclear missiles in Ukraine, less than five to ten minutes flights to Moscow. Just as during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when America had reason to fear Soviet nuclear missiles 103 miles from the US border, Russia has reason to fear NATO nuclear missiles so close to home. The difference is that in 1962 Russia had the good sense to back down, whereas the United States and NATO are lacking in wisdom.
A proxy war is a war that results when opposing powers use third parties as substitutes for fighting each other directly. What’s happening in Ukraine is a proxy war between NATO and Russia. The United States and its European allies aim to make Ukraine a western bulwark on Russia’s border and incorporate Ukraine into NATO. In 2014, a western-backed coup succeeded in replacing Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych with an anti-Russian government. This coup by the US and its transatlantic partners has resulted in a new cold war with Russia. The new government imprisoned and threatened opposition leaders and shut down opposition media. Because the eastern republics of Luhansk and Donetsk, two disputed territories in Donbas, consider themselves Russian, Poroshenko, who ruled the country from 2014 until 2019, waged war against them, resulting in thousands of casualties. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a former comedian, replaced Poroshenko in 2019.
After separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions took power in 2014, they voted to declare independence. The West has refused to recognize these two regions as separate from Ukraine. Russia recognized the freedom of the two self-proclaimed republics on Feb 15th, 2022. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is to prevent a NATO military bulwark on the Russian border and free the two republics of Luhansk and Donetsk from western domination.
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