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How Great Power Politics is dictating Ukraine's Foreign Policy

  • 08-03-2022 11:00am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭


    One week into the Ukraine War, I strongly believed Putin via Russia was 100% behind and responsible for the Ukraine War.

    What bothered me most about my belief was I could not understand Why now, What changed?

    What I discovered alarmed me, Great Power Politics was at play and I had no clue on how complicated the political history of Ukraine was and how US Foreign Policy had done.

    What is Great Power Politics?

    Its term invented by John Mearsheimer states great powers (China, US, Russia) seek to maximize their share of the world's wealth because economic strength is the foundation of military strength. Great powers seek to prevent rival powers from dominating wealth-producing regions of the world.

    This lead me to listen to a very interesting talk which in 2005 predicted the Ukraine situation.

    I'll try to summaries the argument:

    1. In 1990 the U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s said “not one inch eastward” assurance about NATO expansion with Mikhail Gorbachev
    2. At the 2008 Bucharest Summit the US insisted to declare that Ukraine would become part of NATO
    3. At the time NATO and Russia were considered allies and worked together on some world security issues breaking trust
    4. In response Russia said Ukraine being part of NATO creates an "existential treat" for its security. To them it was the same as the US not wanting Russia to have missiles in Cuba.
    5. In 2014 an audio recording was leaked of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt was leaked working on their plans to bring Arseniy Yatsenyuk to power as prime minister
    6. In response Russia then annexed Crimea because of a Naval base it had and needed it for strategic reasons ( this is often disputed)
    7. On 28 June 2021, Ukraine and NATO forces launched joint naval drills in the Black Sea codenamed Sea Breeze 2021. Russia condemned the drills and now see Ukraine as a defacto member of NATO
    8. 7 March 2022 Russia invades Ukraine and world falls apart
    9. US & NATO walk away from Ukraine after inferring in the first place

    I would be keen to hear people views on this.

    Are Great Power Politics at play and is the current crisis caused by US Foreign Policy decisions?

    My second question is what does this mean for US and European relations in the future?

    https://www.mearsheimer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Why-the-Ukraine-Crisis-Is.pdf

    Post edited by Kingkong on


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,290 ✭✭✭liamtech


    I think i said before, that Mearsheimer is a legend in IR circles. Required reading in International relations. He is an offensive Neo Realist. And his theories can certainly explain some of what is going on

    Im a big fan of him. 100%. But like all IR theoretical lenses, it can only take you so far. have a look at the link above, yes its wikipedia (i know) but the basics are there?

    • Neorealism (in fact Realism itself) explains how Russia has gotten away with this so far - The international system is anarchic - no true system is in place to stop a large power from doing what it wants
    • Very skeptical of International agreements and organizations: Correctly doubts the power of agreements/Treaties in the system. This explains the impotence of the UN. Why previous guarantees to Kiev (given when they handed over their Nuclear Weapons) have not been acted on. BUT - also explains why any guarantees of no further NATO EXPANSION are also null and void - the door swings both ways on this point
    • The security dilemma could explain partly why Russia has done this, They Fear Ukrainian membership of NATO. Do i buy this as a justification? Not for a second. They were DECADES away from this step, even if NATO accepted them as a candidate member.
    • States have survival as their primary goal. YES. Was Ukraine a threat to Russian Survival? no.. to suggest so would be laughable
    • The 'Stopping power of Water' - not sure if mentioned in wiki but its a big component. Unfortunately it DOESN'T apply in this situation. FYI it would apply for Ireland (only mention given some discussion on Irish security)
    • None of Mearsheimer's theory would explain the downright crazy statements/diplomatic rumblings coming from the Kremlin. (Ukraine are NAZIS, the west collaborators, Sanctions are WAR, Putins Z Cult)

    Iv only woken up (staying up posting on boards is wearing me out lol) - a lot more to say, and discuss. What i will say is that RT has mentioned John on a few occasions (can no longer offer links for obvious reasons but maybe someone will find re-uploads of this). Therefore it may be that Russia seeks to use Johns work as a lofty justification for their actions. All i can say is, its nonsense. The Kremlin is a broken clock now, I expect they will say 2 factual things a day from now on

    Sic semper tyrannis - thus always to Tyrants



  • Registered Users Posts: 28,779 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78


    putin, he be arsehole, and arseholes like being arseholes, end of discussion!



  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    Hi Liam;

    Thanks for the post, I need to read up on your other aspects and agree the view of John Mearsheimer can be unpopular.

    However the fact is he predicted the Ukraine's would suffer terribly as a result for the politics at play back in 2005. Its very hard with the benefit of hindsight to agree with his point of view now. He was 100% right and he is an American telling us, this could have been avoided.

    Consider this if China & Russia & Cuba create a defense alliance resulting in military bases in Cuba do you think US would allow it? why the double standard? (is it because the US/NATO is a democracy its the good guy (Syria /Afghanistan/ Lebanon!)

    The major issue I have is US interfered with Ukraine to over throw its Prime minsters , lied to Russia about NATO expansion and then had war games in the black sea with Ukraine in June 2021. I believe US knew what he was doing and effectively pushed Ukraine into a unfair war with the Russians. If Ukraine declared neutrality in 2008 and over threw its own prime minster the disaster would have been avoided. No civil war and likely would have Crimea still.

    Its not fair because the Ukrainians were led into thinking NATO would stand up for them. Its was lies and Power Politics at place. The real fight here is between US ,China & Russia power and influence, Europe is going to be a causality of war and the US planned this.



  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,264 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    While US foreign policy is littered with examples of meddlesome over-reaching and catastrophes of its own making, you can't pin this one on them. This is Russia's creation.

    While Baker's 1990 undertaking has frequently been wheeled out in the past couple of weeks, that was given to the Soviet Union, a state that no longer exists. Even if you consider Russia today as a continuation of the same entity, the nature of the beast has changed. Not since Stalin has one man controlled the state to such a degree.

    It's a mistake to view U.S. shifts on promises made in relation to Ukraine in isolation. What undertakings did Russia make and has it been true to them?

    Finally, if you're concerned about the expansion of NATO, surely to God the last thing you should be doing is, more than 70 years after its foundation, finally and unequivocally justifying its existence?

    There's no doubt this was intended as a move on the Great Power chessboard. But he got it badly wrong. The problem now is that he's no way of backing out while saving face, so he'll just double down.



  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    Don't disagree he a terrible person but the politics and foreign policy decisions at play lead to this outcome. Ukrainians were led into thinking NATO would stand up for them and told Russia to f**k off. Interfering with other Nations politics is irresponsible now the Ukrainians people suffer.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    Hi Chips;

    Very fair points. I completely agree Russia has unequivocally justify the existence of NATO and perhaps the Baker's commitment holds little weight nowadays.

    However the U.S war games in the black sea last year and then supplying and training Ukrainian soldiers made Ukraine a defacto member of NATO. The Russians stated very clearly they see Ukraine joining NATO as a treat to their security would never let Ukraine become part of NATO and called it.

    I don't believe you can avoid not pining some blame on the US foreign policy.

    If at least they committed to defending Ukraine you could some what excuse the past actions as genuine but walking away military after so much interference over the past 20 years



  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,264 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    Again, you're making the mistake of examining U.S. actions in isolation and not in the context of Russian actions. In that light, many of those actions are reactions to Russian policy.

    Put in very simple terms, if the U.S. and Russia agree not to interfere in Ukraine and Russia breaks that agreement by exerting a malign influence in order to turn it into a client state, do you a.) ignore that action and abandon Ukraine or b.) react and attempt to assist Ukraine in maintaining its independence?

    I'd also disagree that Europe and U.S. are walking away. I think the response has been more severe than anyone expected. The only reason they aren't supporting with their own troops and planes is the risk of Russia retaliating with nuclear weapons. And if you think Putin wouldn't resort to that, well he's already done one irrational thing this month.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,465 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    I'll try to summaries the argument:

    1. In 1990 the U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s said “not one inch eastward” assurance about NATO expansion with Mikhail Gorbachev

    Since this is the very first point in your summary and underpins a lot of the rest of it, it's worth actually challenging it:

    Putin loves to state this as fact but Baker himself as denied that any assurances were made beyond hypotheticals:

    President Vladimir V. Putin and other Russian officials have asserted that Mr. Baker ruled out NATO expansion into Eastern Europe when he served as President George H.W. Bush’s top diplomat. The West’s failure to live up to that agreement, in this argument, is the real cause of the crisis now gripping Europe as Mr. Putin demands that NATO forswear membership for Ukraine as the price of calling off a potential invasion.

    But the record suggests this is a selective account of what really happened, used to justify Russian aggression for years. While there was indeed discussion between Mr. Baker and the Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev in the months after the fall of the Berlin Wall about limiting NATO jurisdiction if East and West Germany were reunited, no such provision was included in the final treaty signed by the Americans, Europeans and Russians.


    “The bottom line is, that’s a ridiculous argument,” Mr. Baker said in an interview in 2014, a few months after Russia seized Crimea and intervened in eastern Ukraine. “It is true that in the initial stages of negotiations I said ‘what if’ and then Gorbachev himself supported a solution that extended the border that included the German Democratic Republic,” or East Germany, within NATO. Since the Russians signed that treaty, he asked, how can they rely “on something I said a month or so before? It just doesn’t make sense.”


    You also entirely neglected to mention the 1994 Budapest Memorandum where Russia agreed to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine in exchange for it giving up its nuclear weapons.

    In fact, while Mr. Putin accuses the United States of breaking an agreement it never made, Russia has violated an agreement it actually did make with regard to Ukraine. In 1994, after the Soviet Union broke apart, Russia signed an accord along with the United States and Britain called the Budapest Memorandum, in which the newly independent Ukraine gave up 1,900 nuclear warheads in exchange for a commitment from Moscow “to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine” and “to refrain from the threat or use of force” against the country.

    Russia trampled Ukrainian sovereignty when it annexed Crimea and sponsored proxy forces to wage war against the Kyiv government in eastern Ukraine. And it is once again threatening the use of force by assembling 100,000 Russian troops along its border to extract guarantees that Ukraine will never be allowed to join NATO.


    So no, you cannot paint Russia as the innocent victim here in geo-political terms. At the very minimum they have trodden over assurances that they themselves have given.


    link



  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    Hi Chips;

    I would argue Russia is reacting to US Policy actions in the most part taking the 20 year history of events into account. I don't see many clear examples where Russia made the first move escalating the situation (except for the obvious war today). NATO expanding toward Russia not the other way round.


    If we take Minsk II agreement & Donetsk region conflict. A common argument is Russia started this. However it was a credible civil war dispute due to ethic differences. Ukraine branded the group as terrorist and effectively refused to follow through on the Minsk II accord.

    On your last point, when the decision was made to arm & train Ukrainian soldiers, Russia see this as a clear aggression followed by war games in the black sea. The US must have known it was risking Russia invading Ukraine. So if it did, it knowingly lead Ukraine into a war that the US would not back.



  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    Hi Brussels;

    As in one of my previous posts I said the Baker's commitment holds little weight nowadays but should be acknowledged.

    I also never painted a picture of Russia as the innocent victim. They are most certainly not.

    I would encourage you to watch or read John J Mearsheimer talk on "Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault"

    I am not proposing an absolute here but proclaiming Power Politics are at play with Ukraine and that US foreign policy played a major role in creating the circumstance leading to the Russians invasion of Ukraine.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,290 ✭✭✭liamtech


    Im coming and going at the moment, but just want to reply to one point right now

    If we take Minsk II agreement & Donetsk region conflict. A common argument is Russia started this. However it was a credible civil war dispute due to ethic differences. Ukraine branded the group as terrorist and effectively refused to follow through on the Minsk II accord. (from above)

    False: There were certainly nationalists and pro Russians in the region in question prior to the 2014 Annexation of Crimea, and East Ukrainian Conflict. But the Russians armed and encouraged Ethnic Russians in this region. This was clearly done in advance of what we are now witnessing. It is the equivalent of the UK suddenly arming the UVF/LVF, while simultaneously urging 'Britons in the North' to 'Resist Irish-ization' - and then seeking an end to violence that would undoubtedly erupt due to THEIR ACTIONS

    I welcome this chat folks but there have been games played by the Russians for many years. Trust me, Russia would like you to believe that the East Ukrainian conflict was a civil war - it most certainly was not -

    I will respond RE NATO Expansion in a bit - i have more to say - but on the above, i personally have no doubts

    IMHO

    Sic semper tyrannis - thus always to Tyrants



  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    Hi Liam;

    Thanks for the reply, I will 100% admit I am no expert on the eastern Ukrainian conflict. I found it very hard to follow. My understanding before it became Russian backed it was a genuine dispute and a domestic matter not started by Russia.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,290 ✭✭✭liamtech


    Well look i value the chat. And the posts. And i think we all are speaking our minds.

    I just think there can be no equivocation on the facts Prior To, During, and After the 2014 Ukraino-Russian Conflict.

    Without needing to cite anything, remember Euro 2012? There was a 'curious absence' of 'concern for growing civil war in east Ukraine' - especially considering there were matches played in Donetsk - Russia is effectively trying to foster the opinion that 'civil war in the region was inevitable' and the 'conflict predates their annexation/actions in 2014' - This is, without ambiguity, a lie.

    AT MOST, there was political unrest/anxiety between ethnic Russians and Ukrainian nationals, but even this is a stretch. Political unrest if it did indeed exist prior to 2014 was no more than bickering - imho

    Sic semper tyrannis - thus always to Tyrants



  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    Hi Liam;

    Same here, I think it’s a worthwhile discussion as I don’t think it black and white when you look back.

    what your view on how European and US relations will be impacted?

    Do you see closer cooperation or turbulence ahead?



  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,264 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    To be honest, I'm not sure I can say much to change your opinion if your view of the past 20 years is the polar opposite to mine. From my perspective Russian interference in Ukraine began with soft power through its alignment with the Kuchma/Yanukovych faction and its attempts to undermine a nascent democracy and progressed to hard power in 2014 when that stopped working. It requires a degree of naivety to think that Russia had no involvement with anything that happened pre-2014 (as exemplified by the fact that it, the last I heard, continues to harbour the main suspects for Yushchenko's poisoning).

    There's also an element of self-contradiction to your assertions that it was fine for Russia to arm and support separatists in Donbas because it was a "credible civil war", yet it's a provocation for the US to arm and train with Ukrainian forces.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,290 ✭✭✭liamtech


    My View off the top of my head (open to debate of course)

    • I think thus far the EU and US are aligned on the broad strokes
    • Russian Responsibility/Guilt, The need to Arm Ukrainian forces, Sanctions et al - thus far almost completely aligned
    • I have seen evidence that the EU plan to unanimously expel Russian Ambassadors, and break off diplomatic relations with Russia. I could see other non EU states taking a similar approach (probably if Kiev Falls in my view - see link below and some commentary from my old IR lecturer)
    • I could for see small scale disagreement on certain economic actions and sanctions - for example Oil
    • Oil boycott is opposed in Europe, specifically in Germany; (I would keep a close eye on IRAN RE this. This crisis presents them a GOLDEN opportunity to partly normalize relations with the west AND GET IRANIAN SANCTIONS reduced - already seeing the first faint rumblings)
    • in terms of seeing any EU state (or the UK) BREAKING RANKS and dealing with the Russians. Unlikely. its not impossible, but imagine the consequences for such a state (diplomatically, Economically if such states contaminate themselves by having contact with 'Toxic Russia')


    Sic semper tyrannis - thus always to Tyrants



  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    Hi Chips; My view remains 100% open. I'm an analyst by trade and will always looks at hard facts over opinions.

    Lets remember what the discussion is about ' Power Politics' dictating Foreign policy in Ukraine.

    This isn't a Russia vs US matter. The Hague will deal with Russia crimes at some point I hope.

    However US Foreign Policy did get the hands so very dirty here:

    1. Declared that Ukraine would become part of NATO in 2008 despite Germany and Poland not wanting to
    2. Was caught in 2014 working to overthrow Mykola Azarovbringing and bring in Arseniy Yatsenyuk to power as prime minister (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26079957)
    3. In response Russia then annexed Crimea because of a Naval base access to the Black Sea
    4. In June 2021, Ukraine and NATO launched joint naval drills in the Black Sea and promoting Ukraine as a defacto member of NATO
    5. 24 Feb 2022 Russia invades Ukraine and world falls apart

    Are you seriously telling me US Power Politics did not dictate Foreign policy in Ukraine?

    One last point.

    If Russia or China put a defensive military base in Cuba and the US declared war on Cuba would that be seen as OK to the international community?

    Post edited by Kingkong on


  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    Hi Liam;

    I see a big problem ahead as the pain of this crisis will be borne by Europe alone and obvious energy security problems.

    This might be enough to trigger a look at whether US and European strategic interests are truly aligned.

    Europe has more interest in Eastern Europe and Arab Emirates

    US has more interest in Asia Japan, China, Taiwan

    UK will likely side against Europe going forward.



  • Registered Users Posts: 908 ✭✭✭JPup


    Hi Kingkong. It looks to me like you've stumbled down a rabbit hold of Russian propaganda. You can go back in time and argue that the actions of all sides could have been better, but the blame for this current war lies with Putin and his close advisors. There really is no reasonable equivocation on that point.



  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,264 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    OK, I think we'll have to leave it there so. I didn't really followed the line of the last post. If you're analyst by trade, I'm sure you won't mind doing a bit more reading up.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    Hi JPup;

    No rabbits holes or propaganda here. No argument on Putin is to blame for invading Ukraine.

    How we got here does matter and the facts and political science behind it is worth discussion.

    I strongly encourage reading the Mearsheimer 2005 paper written by an highly credited American academic.

    https://www.mearsheimer.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Why-the-Ukraine-Crisis-Is.pdf



  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    Hi Chips;

    I don't think its a issue on my side. I have done a good job laying out how US Foreign Policy has played a major role in why Russia invaded citing academic and western media sources.

    The problem is this goes against popular opinion.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,290 ✭✭✭liamtech


    The Hague will deal with Russia crimes at some point I hope. - Alas Russia RE the International Criminal court is complex. Official position is: withdrew their signature from the Statute. More chance of being taken out IN Russia, or tried there.

    1. Declared that Ukraine would become part of NATO in 2008 despite Germany and Poland not wanting to. OK. Fine, and i know Mearsheimer (you should also google Stephen M Walt - also Neo Realist). I understand his point. But saying 'Ukraine will join' is like saying 'We will go to the moon' - in the case of the Moon, it worked for JFK, we went. In the case of the Ukraine, it was a relative empty gesture, given that it would take decades. The French apparently offered to guarantee a 20-35year moratorium on Ukraine/NATO - think about that. Problem solved for many years, plenty of time to discuss options, and seek a deal. Russia was offered A LOT not to do this, and it has COST THEM EVEN MORE (Nordstream) - We can assume at this stage, that it didnt matter what we offered. They DECIDED to this. Given Putin's essay on 'Ukraine not being a real country 2021'. we can infer they decided a while ago
    2. Was caught in 2014 working to overthrow Mykola Azarovbringing and bring in Arseniy Yatsenyuk to power as prime minister - In my view this is not comparable to Russian political machinations within the Ukrainian Political system. The senator admitted in the link you provided that this was not a shining moment for USFP - But i ask you. Is it comparable to the Russia 'Arming Seperatists', and 'Urging unilateral Declarations and Statements of Allegiance to Moscow'?
    3. In response Russia then annexed Crimea because of a Naval base access to the Black Sea - Planned well in advance. I dont judge this as anything but the opening salvo of this conflict. The destabilizing nature of what Russia did in arming separatists, was IMHO even more dangerous. It laid the ground work for all of the disinformation being thrown around by the Kremlin. it was THIS ACT - that led to false narratives from Kremlin re 'NAZIs killing Russians,et al'
    4. In June 2021, Ukraine and NATO launched joint naval drills in the Black Sea and promoting Ukraine as a defacto member of NATO - yes you could say provocative. But be advised. If any government decides to invite a naval power to complete training exercises in their waters, they are more than entitled to do so. In any case, it was easily seen as a warning not to attack. and, sadly it was ignored. As to promoting Ukraine as a DeFacto Member - nonsense, with all due respect, IMHO - nonsense
    5. 7 March 2022 Russia invades Ukraine and world falls apart - Not having a go but this is a mistake - you should correct it - the invasion defacto and dejure began, odd two weeks ago. I assume this is just a mistake so, il refrain from further comment

    All of the Russian statements and commentary on Kyiv housing a 'Rampant Nationalist Neo Nazi Regime' has been going on for years. And it ALL LED to this war. Its not inappropriate to say that regardless what had happened, Russia Planned to do this. And there was nothing anyone offered that could have prevented it. It began with 2014 - spent 8 years softening up the Russian Population for this war. And launched it, unprovoked, 2 weeks ago


    ALL IMHO - happy to debate

    Post edited by liamtech on

    Sic semper tyrannis - thus always to Tyrants



  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,264 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    I don't know. I think "The U.S. is the real bad guy and nobody gives Russia a break" is a popular enough opinion, at least until a week or so ago.

    I felt you're being weirdly selective in the facts you cited. I suspect that that's not intentional on your part and probably because you read something that cited these facts out of context in support of this line. Hence the suggestion of further reading.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭Cyclingtourist


    If I remember right Russia had a naval base in the Crimea prior to their 2014 non-invasion.



  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    Hi Liam;

    Enjoying the debate Stephen Walt is interesting too.

    Where did you study IR?

    My comments:

    1. NATO in 2008 - I agree over time this became less of an issue. However their was no reason why the US insisted on stating this at the time. It inflamed a situation for no reason.
    2. 2014 Prime Minister - This event really matters I think, we don't know the true facts but a Democracy putting in place another Democracy which suits it needs stincts. Russia I suspect seen this as a significant threat and over reacted. But US was stupid to start it :(
    3. Annexed Crimea - Major over reaction by Russia here but I can understand why the naval base was so important. I am not so sure they had a master plan, they already had plenty of soldiers in Crimea and likely had plans in place to protect it, so taking it over wasn't a problem. I think the propaganda machine nonsense on Russia side was more aimed at internal Russian audience not the rest of the world.
    4. Naval drills - I disagree here. The black sea, Turkish drone imports, US weapons and training. If Russia/China did the same drill near un Cuban water near the US they would have seen it as a major threat too. So I don't think Ukraine being seen as a defacto member of NATO by Moscow is unreasonable assertion
    5. Russia invades - Date corrected

    I agree that escalations really began in 2014, you raise an interesting point I had not considered, that the various escalations were a pretext to Ukraine invasion which was planned in advance.

    I don't think Russian economic interests are served at all by invading Ukraine and therefore Russia primary purpose is to eliminate a security threat as it see's it.


    I suspect paranoia in Moscow plays a huge role and small actions by the west may have been overreacted too



  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    Yes - Russia was leasing the land, the naval base was always Russian operated



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭Cyclingtourist


    So if they already had a naval base doesn't that rather negate your bullet point?

    "In response Russia then annexed Crimea because of a Naval base access to the Black Sea"



  • Registered Users Posts: 562 ✭✭✭Kingkong


    The point was about retaining it strategic placed naval port not acquiring a new military base. Russia saw a threat to its interests from the change in Ukraine political leadership which at the time looks like the US had been involved in. That’s one of the prevailing political theories why it happened.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭Cyclingtourist


    So it wasn't to get a naval base, that they already had, it was to safeguard it against a perceived threat. Bit like if Britain invaded Andalucía because it didn't like the politics of the government in Madrid?



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