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Was it inevitable? A short history of Russia’s war on Ukraine

NWRatCon

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Was it inevitable? A short history of Russia’s war on Ukraine (Guardian) "To understand the tragedy of this war, it is worth going back beyond the last few weeks and months, and even beyond Vladimir Putin", by Keith Gessen

For three months everyone argued about whether there would be a war, whether Vladimir Putin was bluffing or serious. Some of the Russia experts who had long told people to take it easy were now telling people to get worried. Others, who had long criticised Putin, said that he was just trying to draw attention to himself, that it was all for show. Among the analysts, there was a debate between the troop watchers and the TV watchers. The troop watchers saw the massive concentration of Russian forces at the border and in Crimea and warned of invasion. The TV watchers said that Russian TV was not ramping up war hysteria, as it usually does before a Russian invasion, and that this meant there would be no war.
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That everyone was wrong did not prevent everyone from immediately claiming that, in fact, they’d been right. Russia experts who had been arguing for years that Putin was a bloody tyrant rushed forth to claim vindication, for he had undoubtedly become what they had claimed he was all along. Russia experts who had been arguing for years that we needed to heed Putin’s warnings could also claim vindication (though more quietly) because Putin had finally acted on those warnings. As usual, officials from US presidential administrations of yore were trotted out on TV as talking heads, dispensing their wisdom and accepting no responsibility, as if they had not all contributed, in one way or another, to the catastrophe.
It's a long but balanced read that explains the machinations and missteps that have brought us to this conflict.
 

Rogue Valley

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The Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Belarus were all created as independent and sovereign nations at the same time via the same documents on 8 December 1991.

As long as Ukraine and Belarus remained vassal states, Moscow was content.

On 29 November 2013 when pro-Russia Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych refused his campaign promise to sign a letter of intent for Ukraine to join the EU, everything changed.

Mr Yanukovych, who attended an EU summit in Lithuania on Friday, cited pressure from Russia for his decision.

 

Nomad4Ever

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It's a long but balanced read
They perfectly threaded the needle; recognizing some of the foreign policy mistakes of the US without framing those mistakes in a way that gives weight to Putin's cited "security concerns" justification for the invasion. Their criticism and praise of Zelensky was similarly fantastic.

The only other piece I've read that was able to run that line was a short op ed by Slavoj Zizek. I'll have to see if I can find it.

Very strong article well deserving of its length. I think the historical context they chose to include adds a lot to their analysis.
 

Rogue Valley

Putin = War Criminal
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I agree, but that was never a realistic expectation.

It was for an independent and sovereign nation. Ukrainians still expect EU membership someday.
 
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