Russia and the West

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
I think this pair of articles by Pukhov make an excellent point regarding the current deterioration of relations between Russia and the west, Russia and NATO, and Russia and the US. I think that essentially Pukhov is correct in thinking that whoever replaces Putin is going to be no softer or more amenable to the West. In fact a number of people in the current government have significantly stronger anti-western sentiment, and that there is a good chance that Putin will be remembered as a milder historic figure then whoever follows him.

NATO is the obstacle to improving Russian-Western relations

One of the distinctive features of the modern Western political narrative with regard to NATO is an almost total misunderstanding of how the alliance is perceived in Russia. First and foremost, the Western political establishment seems blithely unaware of the fact that the issue of NATO is the main stumbling block in Russian-Western relations, and that any detente is impossible while that obstacle remains unresolved.


In Russia, NATO is generally viewed as part of the American war machine and an instrument of U.S. global dominance. That view is shared by almost the entire Russian political spectrum. In fact, the same view also prevails among NATO members from eastern Europe, where the alliance is seen as an instrument of U.S. influence and U.S. defense assurances.

That is why Russia is utterly baffled by U.S. accusations that the Kremlin — and President Vladimir Putin specifically — are trying to “drive a wedge between NATO partners.” No one in Moscow has ever regarded NATO as an independent entity that exists separately from the United States. There is a deep conviction in Russia that NATO is nothing more than an instrument of U.S. military policy, and that Washington will always be able to ram any decision through the NATO governing bodies, regardless of what its Western European partners might think of that decision.

That explains why any NATO enlargement is automatically regarded in Russia as a ruse to deploy U.S. forces in close proximity to Russian borders; NATO’s own role in that ruse is seen as a cover story — nothing more. The ongoing deployment of NATO forces in eastern Europe with the ostensible purpose of “containing and deterring Moscow” is seen in Russia as another piece of evidence to confirm that view. These new deployments are conducted under direct U.S. leadership, and most of the new forces deployed are American. The military presence of other NATO members in places such as the Baltic states is insignificant and purely symbolic. Washington and NATO describe these deployments as a “clear signal to Moscow.” In Moscow itself, that signal is read as clear evidence that all the Russian criticisms and concerns about NATO have always been entirely justified, and that the moderate Russian reaction to NATO’s enlargement in the 1990s and early 2000s was a colossal strategic blunder.

The Russian hawks have always insisted that the only reason for admitting the Baltic states to NATO was to give the United States a new forward-staging post for military deployment against Russia. It now turns out that the hawks were right all along. That is why Russia is now determined not to make the same mistake again; it will do all it can to prevent any further NATO encroachment into former Soviet territory — namely, into Ukraine and Georgia. It’s only a matter of time until this unspoken “red line” drawn by Moscow becomes an official stance.

The West does not realize that Russia views NATO enlargement as a threat of U.S. forces (potentially including missile systems) deployed ever closer to critical Russian targets. As a result, Western decision-makers underestimate the strength of the Russian national consensus on this issue. There is a popular opinion in the West that Russia opposes NATO only because of President Putin’s personal animus. That opinion is a gross and primitive misreading of the situation.

The Russian political elite was actively opposed to NATO enlargement even during the era of former Soviet and Russian President Boris Yeltsin. That opposition was solidified by the hostile U.S. and Western reaction to the first Chechen campaign of 1994-1996. That reaction convinced Moscow that the West has no intention of accommodating Russian interests even on the most fundamental national security issues, including the protection of territorial integrity and the fight against terrorism.

It became clear that the Western approach to Russia was radically different from the approach to Germany and Japan after World War II: Those two nations were turned into U.S. satellites in exchange for U.S. security assurances and a recognition of their right to self-defense. But when the Chechen crisis broke out in Russia in the 1990s, Moscow realized that Washington had no intention of offering it any security benefits or recognizing its right to self-defense, even as a theoretical proposition. Russia was required to become a loyal U.S. satellite without receiving anything in return. What is more, the situation gave rise to a deep and widespread Russian suspicion that Washington is seeking to assure Russian status as a loyal vassal by means of further disintegration, weakening and decline of the Russian state.

The gradual conversion of the Russian elites to such a view in the 1990s was the main reason for the collapse of Russia’s pro-Western orientation in the 1990s. The proponents of a pro-Western Russian policy (which essentially implied Russia becoming a U.S. satellite) have since been completely marginalized because they cannot explain what tangible benefits such a course would bring Russia to outweigh the inevitable losses for Russian national security and statehood in general.

Even now, the few remaining Russian liberals tend to avoid any discussions on foreign policy and national defense issues. Much to the disappointment of their Western “friends,” they make it clear by doing so that a well-articulated, pro-Western political platform has essentially ceased to exist in Russia.
Russia’s efforts against NATO enlargement are a result of the foreign policy consensus that had coalesced even before the arrival of President Putin. Ever since the first Chechen crisis, the United States has come to be seen as a potential threat to the very foundations of Russian statehood, and as a foreign power that has no interest in supporting that statehood, even in return for Russian loyalty. That is why the deployment of American proxy forces in the shape of NATO are seen as a threat when they move ever closer to Russian borders without any security assurances being offered to Moscow.

Meanwhile, Washington never had any intention of offering Moscow any such assurances. It believed that sooner or later, Moscow would become a U.S. satellite in any case; it also wanted to preserve a certain freedom of maneuver with regard to Russia. Such a stance served only to deepen Russian suspicions and reinforce the vicious circle of mutual distrust.

As a result, NATO came to be seen by most Russians as a deeply hostile, anti-Russian military coalition long before the current crisis. Russians believe that NATO’s sole task is to maintain a state of confrontation with Russia, and most would subscribe to the idea that “without Russia, there would be no NATO.”

Ruslan Pukhov is the director of the Moscow-based think tank Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

NATO is the obstacle to improving Russian-Western relations
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
NATO’s growing membership, demonization of Putin drive anti-Western policies

At the beginning of his presidency, Vladimir Putin tried to pursue a flexible and moderate policy. In the early years, his foreign policy course was as pro-Western as possible under the circumstances. But his pro-Western policy pursued during 2000-2003 was unappreciated by the United States, which regarded Moscow’s policy as evidence that it was well on its way to becoming a U.S. satellite. Washington drew the conclusion that Russia would always have to accept, unconditionally, any and every decision made by the West.

Contrary to the popular but simplistic Western narrative, the collapse of Russia’s pro-Western foreign policy course in the 1990s had nothing to do with “Russian grievances against the West.” The real reason involved a fairly rational assessment of the pros and cons of various foreign policy alternatives by the Russian political elite and the public in general.

To summarize, NATO enlargement was instrumental to the collapse of Russia’s pro-Western foreign policy course in the 1990s. And the year 2003 saw another wave of NATO enlargement: The alliance admitted the three Baltic states. It also launched efforts to secure Ukraine’s and Georgia’s accession at some point in the future. To that end, the West energetically supported the “color revolutions” in the two countries in 2003 and 2004. By doing so, it turned Ukraine into a nuclear time bomb in Russian-Western relations.

Meanwhile, President Putin continues to pursue a moderate, centrist and evasive foreign policy in an effort to preserve what little common ground still remains between Russia and the West. Despite saber-rattling by Russian hawks, he decided against a full-scale invasion of Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. The Western mainstream, however, paints Putin as the devil incarnate and the leader of the world’s autocrats, hellbent on “undermining global democracy”.

That demonization of Putin ignores fundamental problems in Russian-Western relations and pretends that all would be well between Russia and the West were it not for Putin’s personal role. It also feeds into the mass, Western delusion that these problems can be resolved or ameliorated once Putin is out of the way. It is, after all, crystal clear that the main goal of the successive waves of Western sanctions against Russia is the deposal of Putin and a regime change in Moscow.

The truth is that the NATO enlargement has made any potential pro-Western foreign policy agenda in Russia impossible for decades to come. Any attempt by a Russian government, whatever its orientation, to make significant concessions to the West would quickly and inevitably run up against the question of Ukraine’s admission to NATO and the inevitability of U.S. troops and missiles being deployed a mere 500 kilometers from Moscow.

Meanwhile in Ukraine, no settlement is possible without Ukraine itself becoming a reliably neutral state, but the United States would never allow that. Further, any attempts at normalizing the broader Russian-U.S. relationship would also fall foul of the Ukraine problem and of Washington’s resolve to indefinitely maintain sanctions against Moscow as an instrument of pressure on a broad range of issues. Many among the Russian elite are already resigned to the idea that “the United States will never lift the sanctions, no matter what we do.” Washington’s rhetoric and actions only serve to reinforce that conviction.

As a result, the scenario of Russia reverting to its former position of a U.S. satellite is almost completely unrealistic for the foreseeable future, regardless of who succeeds Putin at the Russian helm. The foreign policy and domestic costs of the “satellization” course would quickly become unbearable for any Russian government. As a result, even the most “democratic” regime would sooner or later follow the same trajectory as the Yeltsin and Putin administrations did: from attempts at “friendship” and “partnership” with America to an inevitable new confrontation and the same kind of rhetoric we are hearing now.

A normalization between Russia and the West (which essentially means with the United States) would only become possible if the United States concedes to Russia a place in the U.S.-led global order that would satisfy key Russian security interests, probably in return for Russia relinquishing any claims to “a sphere of influence.”

Right now, the political elites in both countries lack such a vision of Russia’s place in the world order. Besides, the U.S. elite sees no need for granting such a place to Russia among its own satellites. It still entertains the delusion that once Putin is deposed and Russia “capitulates,” the Russian problem will be resolved automatically. That is the very same delusion that existed in the U.S. establishment in the early 1990s.

As a result, there is no realistic model of a Russian integration into the Western community in the foreseeable future, and the ongoing crisis between Russia and the West will continue unabated for a very long time.

Ruslan Pukhov is the director of the Moscow-based think tank Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

NATO is the obstacle to improving Russian-Western relations

 
While I hear what you say, isn't the whole counter problem that the Russian border former satellite states have a well justified fear of again being dominated by Russia - which is why they wanted NATO protection.

After all, it Russia testing their borders with aggressive flights and war games - not the other way around.

And its Russia which has grabbed back the territory of some of those states, not NATO which has made military land grabs in Russia.

NATO's stance is defensive. It might have expanded its area of defense at the request of the border states, but its not doing anything that suggests a movement into Russia.The same cannot be said of Russia.

Maybe a less aggressive stance from Russia might tone down the whole situation.
 
The big argument here is whether those undeniably aggressive Russian moves have an underlying cause in the US policies post-Cold war. Clearly, in Russia NATO expansion towards its borders (preceding the two wars) is viewed as aggression. One could argue that besides the strategic value of chopping off pieces of land from potential adversaries (which in both cases incidentally had deep cultural underpinnings), it was also a way to prevent further expansion since NATO rules require applicants not to have any unsettled border disputes.

I wouldn't make much of the border flights and war games - these are just good practices for a military force such as Russia's. Maybe it is not as visible in the media but Russian border regions get their fair share of visitors as well, both on land and in the air.

As to the right of the satellite states to choose what organization to join - I don't think there is much discussion in Russia arguing anything otherwise. The central grievance is not towards those states (however ungrounded their fears may be in the current situation, they can be justified in the context of history) but the West and US in particular as the decision makers. Was it a wise policy to try to protect those satellite states from a questionable threat at the expense of potentially starting a new cold war? Did that make them safer at the end?
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
While I hear what you say, isn't the whole counter problem that the Russian border former satellite states have a well justified fear of again being dominated by Russia - which is why they wanted NATO protection.
It's a tricky subject. For example, look at the positions in government that ex-emigrants took place in the Baltic states, and their ties to the UK and US. It's not just that they're afraid of Russia. In fact, rationally speaking, they have little reason to be afraid of Russia. Russia has made no threatening military moves towards those states, and Russian military deployment in the northwest is much weaker then in South MD. Yet, their elites routinely throw out panic and anti-Russian sentiment, as if they're on the brink of falling to a Russian invasion.

After all, it Russia testing their borders with aggressive flights and war games - not the other way around.
I mean... war games hardly constitute testing borders. I'd be more worried about Russian influence with separatist groups and movements if anything. But it's more complex than that. For example, look at Georgia. Initially they had no conflict with Russia. It's not until a western-funded color revolution replaced the government that Saakashvili took Georgia on the pro-Western course. And it was hardly a reaction to Russia. Initially Russia was more then willing to deal with him. They even assisted him in recovering Adzharia (the third breakaway region). It's not until Saakashvili went back on his own promises to the Adzhars, and began seeking ties with NATO that Russia took steps against him.

More often than not local nationalism causes the separatism. After many years of being part of the Empire or the USSR, local nationalists want to assert themselves. When they can't do that at the expense of the much larger Russia, they do so at the expense of domestic minorities (Russian or otherwise). And with the nationalism being also linked with anti-Russian sentiment, it pushes minorities and separatists towards Russia while causing frictions between the government and Russia. Look at Crimea, and look at northern Kazakhstan. Both are areas with a very large Russian population, but attached to a country that used to be part of the USSR and Russian Empire, and now isn't. And look at the difference in the levels of separatism in the two regions. Not to say things are all so great in northern Kazakhstan, but Nazarbayev is no Yuschenko. So no mass discontent just waiting for the opportunity to erupt into a secession crisis.

And its Russia which has grabbed back the territory of some of those states, not NATO which has made military land grabs in Russia.
The only grab of territory Russia has made is Crimea. And the circumstances are rather particular. The Georgian separatists are regions that historically aren't Georgian anyway, but were simply "assigned" to Georgia under the USSR. Their separatism was also inflamed by a Georgian ultra-nationalist government in the early 90's.

NATO's stance is defensive. It might have expanded its area of defense at the request of the border states, but its not doing anything that suggests a movement into Russia.The same cannot be said of Russia.

Maybe a less aggressive stance from Russia might tone down the whole situation.
I think Russian leadership saw Yugoslavia, and later Iraq and Libya, as clear signs that NATO and the US will happily invade anyone if they think they can get away with and it suits their interests. Russia's stance is now is to try and make it as difficult as possible for such an intervention to take place. Hence the paranoia over BMD, the continued investment in modernization of strategic nuclear forces,
 
Well, Caucasus history is not quite that simple. The region had overlapping borders for the local kingdoms throughout its long history.
Also, the tensions between Russia and Georgia started right after the breakup since Russia either supported or didn't mind the separatist wars of the early nineties.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
I believe what Feanor says on 'assigned' territory under USSR to it's republics is one of main reason on border dispute and separatist movement.

Many in West has to recognize that some population in the 'assigned' area don't fell really belong to their 'assigned' republic..but doing so under pressure of USSR..when USSR gone..like many people in the world..they go back their loyalty to their own or their larger etnics identity.

Just like Crimea..well the Russian Empire sheed their bloods for generations for that area..it was part of Russian Empire and only Stalin 'administrative' purpose that put it under Ukrainian Republic..but it's only for administration purpose since in the end everything belong to USSR.
When Ukraine moving to West and NATO.. Realistically Russia (or its Russian ethnic citizen) off course will never allowed Crimea become NATO based for purpose to encircle Mother Russia.

Right or wrong..any dissolution of an 'Empire' will left their people back their loyalty to their own etnics identity..we see it on dissolution of Yugoslavia.. breakdown of Ottoman Empire..and long throughout history of breakdown of Roman Empire..
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Well, Caucasus history is not quite that simple. The region had overlapping borders for the local kingdoms throughout its long history.
Also, the tensions between Russia and Georgia started right after the breakup since Russia either supported or didn't mind the separatist wars of the early nineties.
Not quite. The tensions started before the breakup of the Soviet Union, with the Georgian Supreme Soviet and Supreme Soviet of the USSR going at it over questions of autonomous republic status for ethnic groups. When the USSR was dissolved, the Soviet Army units in Georgia refused to take orders from the new government. When Gamsakhurdia started his "Georgia for Georgians" campaign, it sparked ethnic cleansing, with Soviet Army units becoming Russian Army units, and the newly independent country found itself in a civil war, with no real military. And Gamsakhurdia quickly declared that the local ethnic separatists were provoked by Russian agents. Between the rather vile campaign of ethnic cleansing, and the xenophobic slogans, and the attacks on refugees fleeing the country, and the virtually unavoidable involvement of the now Russian Army units in the fighting (they were in a number of locations, and could not be withdrawn in any sort of timely manner), it was pretty obvious which side Russia would be on. But Russia was also instrumental in ending the fighting and working out peace accords with international involvement. Russia was also more than open to allowing Georgia to re-integrate the separatist regions, again the example of Adzharia. Saakashvili blew that chance himself.

But of course this only scratches the surface, and barely at that. The Caucuses are an extremely complicated place.
 

Feanor

Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
I feel it's important to talk about Russian policy, or "policy" in the early to mid 90s. It's important to realize that the USSR didn't fall in a day. The dissolution took several years to fully work out. And the newly independent countries didn't really behave like independent countries, with unofficial ties persisting across borders for some time and the details took several years to work out, including the future of certain army units, and bases. For example, in Moldova, general Lebed practically fought an entire small war, despite contrary instructions from the Kremlin. It's important to keep this in mind when talking about Russian policy towards separatist regions in Georgia in 1992.
 

Larry N Stout

New Member
I think this pair of articles by Pukhov make an excellent point regarding the current deterioration of relations between Russia and the west, Russia and NATO, and Russia and the US. I think that essentially Pukhov is correct in thinking that whoever replaces Putin is going to be no softer or more amenable to the West. In fact a number of people in the current government have significantly stronger anti-western sentiment, and that there is a good chance that Putin will be remembered as a milder historic figure then whoever follows him.

NATO is the obstacle to improving Russian-Western relations

One of the distinctive features of the modern Western political narrative with regard to NATO is an almost total misunderstanding of how the alliance is perceived in Russia. First and foremost, the Western political establishment seems blithely unaware of the fact that the issue of NATO is the main stumbling block in Russian-Western relations, and that any detente is impossible while that obstacle remains unresolved.


In Russia, NATO is generally viewed as part of the American war machine and an instrument of U.S. global dominance. That view is shared by almost the entire Russian political spectrum. In fact, the same view also prevails among NATO members from eastern Europe, where the alliance is seen as an instrument of U.S. influence and U.S. defense assurances.

That is why Russia is utterly baffled by U.S. accusations that the Kremlin — and President Vladimir Putin specifically — are trying to “drive a wedge between NATO partners.” No one in Moscow has ever regarded NATO as an independent entity that exists separately from the United States. There is a deep conviction in Russia that NATO is nothing more than an instrument of U.S. military policy, and that Washington will always be able to ram any decision through the NATO governing bodies, regardless of what its Western European partners might think of that decision.

That explains why any NATO enlargement is automatically regarded in Russia as a ruse to deploy U.S. forces in close proximity to Russian borders; NATO’s own role in that ruse is seen as a cover story — nothing more. The ongoing deployment of NATO forces in eastern Europe with the ostensible purpose of “containing and deterring Moscow” is seen in Russia as another piece of evidence to confirm that view. These new deployments are conducted under direct U.S. leadership, and most of the new forces deployed are American. The military presence of other NATO members in places such as the Baltic states is insignificant and purely symbolic. Washington and NATO describe these deployments as a “clear signal to Moscow.” In Moscow itself, that signal is read as clear evidence that all the Russian criticisms and concerns about NATO have always been entirely justified, and that the moderate Russian reaction to NATO’s enlargement in the 1990s and early 2000s was a colossal strategic blunder.

The Russian hawks have always insisted that the only reason for admitting the Baltic states to NATO was to give the United States a new forward-staging post for military deployment against Russia. It now turns out that the hawks were right all along. That is why Russia is now determined not to make the same mistake again; it will do all it can to prevent any further NATO encroachment into former Soviet territory — namely, into Ukraine and Georgia. It’s only a matter of time until this unspoken “red line” drawn by Moscow becomes an official stance.

The West does not realize that Russia views NATO enlargement as a threat of U.S. forces (potentially including missile systems) deployed ever closer to critical Russian targets. As a result, Western decision-makers underestimate the strength of the Russian national consensus on this issue. There is a popular opinion in the West that Russia opposes NATO only because of President Putin’s personal animus. That opinion is a gross and primitive misreading of the situation.

The Russian political elite was actively opposed to NATO enlargement even during the era of former Soviet and Russian President Boris Yeltsin. That opposition was solidified by the hostile U.S. and Western reaction to the first Chechen campaign of 1994-1996. That reaction convinced Moscow that the West has no intention of accommodating Russian interests even on the most fundamental national security issues, including the protection of territorial integrity and the fight against terrorism.

It became clear that the Western approach to Russia was radically different from the approach to Germany and Japan after World War II: Those two nations were turned into U.S. satellites in exchange for U.S. security assurances and a recognition of their right to self-defense. But when the Chechen crisis broke out in Russia in the 1990s, Moscow realized that Washington had no intention of offering it any security benefits or recognizing its right to self-defense, even as a theoretical proposition. Russia was required to become a loyal U.S. satellite without receiving anything in return. What is more, the situation gave rise to a deep and widespread Russian suspicion that Washington is seeking to assure Russian status as a loyal vassal by means of further disintegration, weakening and decline of the Russian state.

The gradual conversion of the Russian elites to such a view in the 1990s was the main reason for the collapse of Russia’s pro-Western orientation in the 1990s. The proponents of a pro-Western Russian policy (which essentially implied Russia becoming a U.S. satellite) have since been completely marginalized because they cannot explain what tangible benefits such a course would bring Russia to outweigh the inevitable losses for Russian national security and statehood in general.

Even now, the few remaining Russian liberals tend to avoid any discussions on foreign policy and national defense issues. Much to the disappointment of their Western “friends,” they make it clear by doing so that a well-articulated, pro-Western political platform has essentially ceased to exist in Russia.
Russia’s efforts against NATO enlargement are a result of the foreign policy consensus that had coalesced even before the arrival of President Putin. Ever since the first Chechen crisis, the United States has come to be seen as a potential threat to the very foundations of Russian statehood, and as a foreign power that has no interest in supporting that statehood, even in return for Russian loyalty. That is why the deployment of American proxy forces in the shape of NATO are seen as a threat when they move ever closer to Russian borders without any security assurances being offered to Moscow.

Meanwhile, Washington never had any intention of offering Moscow any such assurances. It believed that sooner or later, Moscow would become a U.S. satellite in any case; it also wanted to preserve a certain freedom of maneuver with regard to Russia. Such a stance served only to deepen Russian suspicions and reinforce the vicious circle of mutual distrust.

As a result, NATO came to be seen by most Russians as a deeply hostile, anti-Russian military coalition long before the current crisis. Russians believe that NATO’s sole task is to maintain a state of confrontation with Russia, and most would subscribe to the idea that “without Russia, there would be no NATO.”

Ruslan Pukhov is the director of the Moscow-based think tank Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

NATO is the obstacle to improving Russian-Western relations
I agree with this. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO, instead of settling into a peaceful-coexistence status quo, aggressively recruited Eastern European nations into the military compact, which indeed is little more than an extension of U.S. military assertion. Ukraine was the ultimate prize in this ceaseless eastward aggressiveness, and NATO (USA) knows full well that Ukraine's relict Soviet borders encompassed the Crimea, which is historically and remained ethnically and culturally Russian, and which is home to Russia's sole warm-water port for both commercial and naval operations. NATO (USA) forced Russia to annex the Crimea. It was fully predictable, and now Russia is being penalized for doing what any other country in a comparable situation would have done. I further believe that the so-called Orange Revolution was a CIA-orchestrated putsch. Ukraine is today one of the most corrupt polities in the world.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
I agree with this. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO, instead of settling into a peaceful-coexistence status quo, aggressively recruited Eastern European nations into the military compact, which indeed is little more than an extension of U.S. military assertion. Ukraine was the ultimate prize in this ceaseless eastward aggressiveness, and NATO (USA) knows full well that Ukraine's relict Soviet borders encompassed the Crimea, which is historically and remained ethnically and culturally Russian, and which is home to Russia's sole warm-water port for both commercial and naval operations. NATO (USA) forced Russia to annex the Crimea. It was fully predictable, and now Russia is being penalized for doing what any other country in a comparable situation would have done. I further believe that the so-called Orange Revolution was a CIA-orchestrated putsch. Ukraine is today one of the most corrupt polities in the world.
Interesting post. It also reads as a fair amount of either propaganda, or the resulting beliefs inspired by propaganda and disinformation campaigns.

Any real evidence to support your belief that the 'Orange Revolution' was orchestrated by the CIA or any other western intel agencies? Or even non-Ukrainian groups/organizations?

The post-Soviet breakup can also be viewed from the perspective of ethnic non-Russian ex-Soviet/Warsaw Pact nationalities. People might consider taking into account the beliefs and perceptions of these groups, particularly with regards to how they viewed the treatment they received while being ruled by the Tsars and then the Soviets. It would also be worth keeping in mind the colonization efforts to introduce ethnic Russians to Russian ruled territories during the time of the Tsars, and then the even more pronounced efforts which included mass forced migrations/ethnic cleansing under Soviet rule, especially in the immediate aftermath of WWII.

I do agree that the Ukraine at present is one of the more corrupt nations within Europe, but then again a number of the former Soviet republics are in a similar state, and Russia itself I suspect is far more corrupt than most people realize.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I agree with this. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO, instead of settling into a peaceful-coexistence status quo, aggressively recruited Eastern European nations into the military compact, which indeed is little more than an extension of U.S. military assertion. Ukraine was the ultimate prize in this ceaseless eastward aggressiveness, and NATO (USA) knows full well that Ukraine's relict Soviet borders encompassed the Crimea, which is historically and remained ethnically and culturally Russian, and which is home to Russia's sole warm-water port for both commercial and naval operations. NATO (USA) forced Russia to annex the Crimea. It was fully predictable, and now Russia is being penalized for doing what any other country in a comparable situation would have done. I further believe that the so-called Orange Revolution was a CIA-orchestrated putsch. Ukraine is today one of the most corrupt polities in the world.
@Larry N Stout Interesting hypothesis. Something that maybe Leon Trotsky or Stalin may have written had they been alive; or did comrade Putin author it? Anyway how about some reliable authoritative sources for your claims. Since we are a professional run defence forum we do have rules about such things and it would behove you to read said rules since you have already unwittingly breached two cardinal rules that really get the Moderators twitchy. We do not accept TASS, RT, or Fox News as reliable sources, because of their political biases.
 

Larry N Stout

New Member
Interesting post. It also reads as a fair amount of either propaganda, or the resulting beliefs inspired by propaganda and disinformation campaigns.

Any real evidence to support your belief that the 'Orange Revolution' was orchestrated by the CIA or any other western intel agencies? Or even non-Ukrainian groups/organizations?

The post-Soviet breakup can also be viewed from the perspective of ethnic non-Russian ex-Soviet/Warsaw Pact nationalities. People might consider taking into account the beliefs and perceptions of these groups, particularly with regards to how they viewed the treatment they received while being ruled by the Tsars and then the Soviets. It would also be worth keeping in mind the colonization efforts to introduce ethnic Russians to Russian ruled territories during the time of the Tsars, and then the even more pronounced efforts which included mass forced migrations/ethnic cleansing under Soviet rule, especially in the immediate aftermath of WWII.

I do agree that the Ukraine at present is one of the more corrupt nations within Europe, but then again a number of the former Soviet republics are in a similar state, and Russia itself I suspect is far more corrupt than most people realize.
RESPONSE: As you suggest, I have been subjected to a steady stream of propaganda and disinformation campaigns. Because I'm an American, these primarily emanate from such sources as Fox, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, the U.S. government, Republican politicians, Democrat politicians, and the U.K. government. I am not naive, and I know full well that no country and no politician anywhere is innocent of such things. All "news services" are thoroughly laced with propaganda and disinformation, including the disinformation of remaining silent about very important things. I think the fact of NATO recruitment aggressiveness speaks for itself, as does the annexation of the Crimea; it would have been strategic suicide by Russia not to annex the Crimea. NATO plainly forced it. As for the "Orange Revolution", where do you get the straight dope, if I may ask?
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
RESPONSE: As you suggest, I have been subjected to a steady stream of propaganda and disinformation campaigns. Because I'm an American, these primarily emanate from such sources as Fox, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, the U.S. government, Republican politicians, Democrat politicians, and the U.K. government. I am not naive, and I know full well that no country and no politician anywhere is innocent of such things. All "news services" are thoroughly laced with propaganda and disinformation, including the disinformation of remaining silent about very important things. I think the fact of NATO recruitment aggressiveness speaks for itself, as does the annexation of the Crimea; it would have been strategic suicide by Russia not to annex the Crimea. NATO plainly forced it. As for the "Orange Revolution", where do you get the straight dope, if I may ask?
Interesting, how you again assert that NATO was engaging in "recruitment aggressiveness" which does not, at least to me, align with the Partnership for Peace programme which NATO started in 1994 to build relationships with then non-NATO European nations, including Russia. It also does not seem to track with the sentiments many citizens within former Soviet and Warsaw Pact nations have towards Russia and the Russian gov't for things the Soviet Union did during and after WWII. Can you enlighten us with a rational reason why Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic would not be concerned with being able to maintain their respective independence from Russia and/or Russian influence, keeping in mind the impact of events like the mass deportation and/or execution of Poles by the Soviets from 1939-1941, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, or the Prague Spring of 1968?

At this point, I do have to wonder what 'sources' you are using and whether you consider them propaganda and/or disinformation.
 

Larry N Stout

New Member
"Partnership for Peace", a most excellent euphemism indeed.

@Larry N Stout One line posts by newbies are not allowed either. We require more that 2 lines of original input by the poster.
Ngatimozart.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
"Partnership for Peace", a most excellent euphemism indeed.

@Larry N Stout One line posts by newbies are not allowed either. We require more that 2 lines of original input by the poster.
Ngatimozart.
Okay... So far, aside from a repetition of what you seem to think or believe, there has not been any information presented which supports that, just some innuendo.

I have explained why I believe several of the ex-Warsaw Pact nations joined NATO, some a decade after becoming 'independent' of Moscow. Naturally, I have a potentially different perspective from others which colours my thinking.

Are we going to get an alternate explanation for why countries like Poland joined NATO? If all someone is going to post is their opinions and assertions, without providing supporting facts, then the discussion is not going to go anywhere and will likely be shut down rather quickly.
 

Larry N Stout

New Member
Why someone joined NATO (what were the economic carrots?) and why NATO recruited them are two different questions. Meanwhile, what is your source for "facts" about the "Orange Revolution" putsch? Are "we" going to get that?
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Meanwhile, what is your source for "facts" about the "Orange Revolution" putsch? Are "we" going to get that?
The onus of providing proof or at least supporting information is on the person who makes the assertion or statement of belief.

At this point, with the continued absence (despite requests) of information to support assertions and statements of belief being made, then I find that I am unable to see or understand your POV, much less have any sort of agreement with it. This in turn makes me suspicious that the whole point of making the posts but not providing any way for people to understand how or why someone reached the conclusions they did was that the posts were intended to troll a response out of readers.

It is akin to someone stating, "blue is the best colour," and then when others question the speaker on why and/or why they stated that, the speaker just repeats a variation of, "blue is the best colour."
 
Top