What Russia has been doing in Ukraine has NOTHING to do with extending its sphere of influence – this would even be the case, if she would send troops into Ukrainian territory. Russia essentially does, what John F. Kennedy did in 1962 during the cuban missile crisis – with the sympathy of virtually everybody and his grandmother. But who kows? Maybe JFK was at that time also a “Hitler in disguise” !?
Western governments want to deny Russia her “natural” right to care about what is going on next to her doorstep and frame her actions as being “imperialistic” or “expansionist”. But Russia is primarily interested in preventing the development of a hostile military deployment zone a few hundred kilometers from Moscow.
This is basically the scenario, that US President Kennedy foiled in his standoff with Khrushchev, that brought the world to the brink of an atomic war. Only that this time, today, it’s not about missiles alone, but about NATO’s attempt to create an advanced post for military operations of all kinds. (The failed invasion at the Bay of Pigs is another matter).
The western yellow press pretends not to understand this and drags in untenable comparisons with the Soviet Union. For example Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, whom I hold in high regard in other respects. But this is ridiculous:
Evans-Pritchard says in effect, that Putin is more aggressive and expansionist than post-Stalin Soviet leaders with their ideological package of world socialism (while in reality standing in the heart of Europe with many a thousand tanks).
Yeah, right. Talk about twisting the facts.
The fact is, that the influence sphere of today’s “Soviet Union” ends 1.000 Kilometers east of the borders of former Warsaw pact. More than that.
Today’s Russia finds itself in a geostrategic position that can roughly be compared to the Czarist Empire in the 18h century.
Take a look at the above map. It depicts the growth stadiums of the Russian Empire, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Today’s struggle is about the yellow 1800 zone. So how critical you may be about the “merits” of empires – pray tell: Is today’s Russian Federation in an expansionist phase – or maybe in a shrinking, defensive position? Hmm?
And if you don’t like old and new Czars and feel that something has to be done against them – then, please, go to Kiev and enlist for the fight against Russia. But don’t ask the Europeans to bear the brunt for achieving your pipe dream.
Europeans have their legitimate security concerns and would be well advised to keep Russia at a (working) distance. But this is a completely different pair of shoes.
Foto: Mix321, Wikimedia Commons