Opinion Original Patrick Lawrence Russia-Ukraine

Patrick Lawrence: All Disquiet on the Eastern Front

Russians protest against the Ukraine war in the Czech Republic, one place that stopped issuing visas to Russians. Alex Volter, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

By Patrick Lawrence / Original to ScheerPost

This article has been updated since the time of its publishing.

Have you noticed the latest coming out of Eastern Europe—the Estonians, the Lithuanians, the Latvians, the Czechs, and let us not forget the Ukrainians? Suddenly everyone thinks it is a good idea to begin shutting Russians, as in all Russians, out of Europe. That’s it: No more Russians in Europe because…because they are Russian. End of story, as some people like to say. 

This is a sick business. There is a pathology at work in these proposals. We are listening to the utterances of desperate, insecure, frustrated people. I detect, beneath all the immediate animosity to do with the Ukraine crisis, a case of post-traumatic stress disorder lingering on from the Soviet era. 

The last thing one wants to do with people who suffer pathologies is listen to them as if they are wise in the matters that disturb them. Yes, hear them out about their troubles, in these cases a question of collective psychology. We do our best to straighten them out so that they are restored to psychic health, to balance. But the sufferers of PTSD are not to be assigned the authority of wisdom as to the causes of their disorder. 

Of course, the West being the West and Ukraine being a mess, we now listen to the Estonians and the others as if they know best about the Russian Federation and its people. So the idea catches on these past few days: Yes, let us keep Russians out of Europe, ordinary Russians who come to look at the cathedrals and paintings and have a French dinner and a snifter of Calvados. 

As Volodymyr Zelensky, the great statesman of our time, put it in a Washington Post interview published August 8, “Whichever kind of Russian… make them go to Russia.” 

What Big Volod says has to be right, of course, even if he wandered from television comedy into the Ukrainian presidency like a child lost in city traffic. If anyone has a sound, balanced idea of how to deal with Russia, it is Volodymyr Zelensky. Everyone knows this. When the Ukrainians boast, as they often do, that they consider Russians animals, not humans, we have to accept that they know what they are talking about. 

To begin at the beginning, the three Baltics, Poland, and the Czech Republic had already stopped issuing their own visas to Russians at the end of July. Zelensky’s comments, to go by the chronology, appear to have given others on Europe’s eastern front the confidence to go for the all–Europe adventure. 

The day after Zelensky shared his thoughts with the Post, Kaja Kallas, Estonia’s prime minister, came out with this: “Stop issuing tourist visas to Russians. Visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right.” Two days later, toody-boom, as my father used to say: The Kallas government announced that it will cease honoring Schengen visas—which allow visitors to cross the borders of 26 European nations—in a month’s time. Marika Linntam, who directs the Europe bureau at Estonia’s foreign ministry, told Le Monde her government considers this “a moral issue.” 

Linntam is certainly right about that.

The Finns immediately endorsed Kallas’s idea to press the rest of Europe to follow Kyiv and Tallinn and impose a European Union ban on Russians. Then the Latvians piled on. Jan Lipavsky, the Czech FM, announced a day later that he will take this proposal to a summit of EU foreign ministers at the end of this month. 

In the infra-dig category, we have the Lithuanians. They are now considering legislation to deprive citizenship to naturalized Lithuanians who say favorable things or think favorable thoughts about Russia. This is in response to the news last week—horrible, horrible news—that two Lithuanian figure-skating stars, one Russian-born and naturalized, will participate in a competition to be held in Sochi, the Russian resort on the Black Sea. 

Skating on Russian ice. Can you think of anything worse? 

And do not assume you have heard the end of this. The Zelensky regime is now pressing the White House to sanction all Russian banks so that they are unable to do business more or less anywhere. 

My mind starts to drift in the direction of Versailles, 1919, when the unwise prevailed in the crafting of an excessively punitive settlement imposed on the defeated German nation. Keynes had it right in The Economic Consequences of the Peace: Overkill is eventually detrimental to the overkillers. 

These bans and proposed bans are not the acts of secure, confident nations. I do not think it coincidental that they are advanced as it becomes ever more obvious that the Kyiv regime is on a losing streak in its conflict with Russia and the West has misread this crisis top to bottom. Frustration and desperation are abroad, readers. 

I leave it to lawyers to determine if these bans qualify as a case of collective punishment, which is, of course, against international law. But I don’t need no attorney to tell me Europe’s eastern flank is pushing a national character case against Russia. This is egregiously disgraceful. 

I have written at length about national character analyses elsewhere. In brief summary, they hold that a certain people act because that is who they are and that is how they act. The Japanese invaded China in the 1930s because that is what the Japanese do. The Germans aggressed in the 1930s and 1940s because they are German and Germans will always aggress. The Ukrainian view of Russians is a straight-out example of the national character position.

The Biden regime loves to promote national character arguments, not least against Russians. It finds them very handy as it sustains the national paranoia and enthusiasm for a senseless conflict.

The net effect of national character arguments is the obscuring of politics and history, which are the true determinants of a nation’s behavior. And you bet the Europeans and Americans are now out to dodge the history and politics that produced the Ukraine crisis. This story goes back 30 years, when the Russians asked courteously that NATO not expand to its borders eastward in the post–Soviet era, and the West, overplaying its cards, swiftly broke its word on this point. 

But no, NATO expansion has nothing to do with the Ukraine conflict, we can read in our press any day of the week. Why would anyone think that? It is all about who those Rrrrrussians are and what they have always been and done. 

I have long thought a certain psychological disturbance has afflicted the former Soviet satellites and republics since the Berlin Wall fell. The madness of the east, I will call it. For very understandable reasons, they are unable to judge events concerning Russia soundly. A measure of irrationality colors their conduct of relations with Moscow. Their psyches bear deep scars.

It follows that the last people to turn to guide the West in its relations with the East are the East Europeans and those in the former Soviet republics. And it follows naturally that these are the first people the West Europeans and the Americans turn to as they shape the foreign and security policies that define their East–West relations. Those East Europeans, those Balts: They lived it, they were there, they must know.

Here I will note the Ukrainian case. We ought to keep this problem in mind as we take the measure of Kyiv’s conduct not only toward Russians, but also toward the 40-odd percent of Ukrainians in the eastern provinces who speak Russian as their first language. Those who consider them animals are not balanced people. I say this not to denigrate but in the interest of understanding.

The most regrettable, costliest case of the error the West makes in this regard concerns Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as Jimmy Carter national security adviser for four fatefully destructive years, 1977 to 1981. 

Brzezinski descended from an aristocratic Polish family that lost everything when the Soviets took Poland into their sphere of influence subsequent to the Yalta Conference in 1945. He had seen plenty of the Nazis during the war, but it was against the Soviets that he developed a lifelong obsession. “The extraordinary violence that was perpetrated against Poland did affect my perception of the world,” he said in a reflective interview granted Al Jazeera in 2010, “and made me much more sensitive to the fact that a great deal of world politics is a fundamental struggle.” There you have it. 

The worst moment in Brzezinski’s career came in late 1979, when he persuaded the persuadable Carter to back the mujahideen active in Afghanistan so that the U.S. could land the Sovs in their very own Vietnam. Do I have to finish the thought? This strategy indeed gave Moscow a bloody nose, while also giving rise to al–Qaeda, which gave rise to all those murderous Salafists active in Syria, which indirectly gave rise to the Islamic State, which gave rise to other savage militias such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and who can count the other movements elsewhere.

This is where relying on the judgment of a Russian-obsessed Pole got Jimmy Carter—and the rest of us, of course. 

Now Europe’s eastern flank wants to punish the Russians again. Their perspective is, once more, deserving of the West’s understanding, its empathy even, as all who suffer forms of PTSD deserve the understanding and empathy of those around them. But their position is not. It is not deserving of the West’s support, reinforcement, and cooperation. It is deserving of the West’s rejection. It is deserving of the West’s sound counsel, if only the West had any sound counselors to offer.

Check out our special ScheerPost interview + Scheer Intelligence podcast with Patrick Lawrence.

Patrick Lawrence
Patrick Lawrence

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a media critic, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon siteHis Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored without explanation.


  1. I’m not sure (I’m certainly no historian) but it seems like the current climate of Russophobia exceeds, in breadth if not in depth, the worst excesses of the Cold War era.

    1. Actually the history of Western anti-Russian sentiment goes back centuries and it suited the interests of Imperial Britain but not only Britain. Also US foreign interests.

      I depict some of that in this essay – – – https://les7eb.substack.com/p/ukraine-notes-the-long-proxy-war-67b

      US mainstream media were not backwards in pushing anti-Russian racist sentiment in this example, taken from the early part of the 1900s.

      The end result now . . . Russia sends its trade East. It points its formidable and well practiced War Machine at The West. An outcome of the failed US-NATO-UK Ukrainian Proxy War on Russia. Smart!

  2. “No more Russians in Europe because…because they are Russian.”

    Is Russia accountable for the actions of its elected leaders?

    According to Patrick here, the answer is an emphatic no.

    (For the record, let me state the obvious: the suggestion espoused by former soviet imperialism victims is to halt travel visas to Russians for as long as Putin’s imperialist, illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine goes on. It has absolutely nothing to do with Russians as such, but rather with attempting to increase the Russians’ motivation to oppose Putin dictatorial totalitarianism.)

    No surprise here, though.

    According to him, it is not Russia that is responsible for its invasion, conquest, and annexation of Ukrainian territories, but rather the expansion of NATO (at the urging of former Soviet colonies which memories of Russian imperialist aggression stretches for almost the entire 20th century), just as the horrors the Nazis unleashed on Europe are blamed on the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, and Islamic terrorism on the Carter administration.

    In lines with Patrick’s own suggestion, in a response to a comment that disagreed with his ‘analysis’, that the commentator should go elsewhere, I would like to suggest that a more fitting place for Patrick’s alt-facts, delusional obfuscations propagating almost verbatim Russian and Chinese propaganda talking points are ‘The Twilight Zone’, FOX News and/or Breitbart.

    1. Following your reasoning 9/11 didn’t cause the war on Afghanistan & Iraq.

    2. How does one manages to writ a few hundred words that have no connection with reality at all can be explained only by acute mental disorder(or shameless hypocrisy)

      1. @voicum

        Precisely my question to Patrick!!!

        Thanks for the (more than a little rude and crude) assist, voicum!

      2. @voicum i do concur, my friend, but it does appear patrick used several thousand words. not to nit-picky or nothing…

    3. “Is Russia accountable for the actions of its elected leaders?”

      Is the United States?

      How is the Cuban strategy working out?

    4. DGA,

      Given the threat represented by a highly aggressive NATO attempt at encirclement are you at all surprised by the support Russians have for their leadership? You may wish to put yourself i their shoes just for a moment. All you need to do is imagine a nuclear armed alliance parking itself on your border and attempting to make off with a few strategic assets.

      1. @SteveC

        ” a highly aggressive NATO attempt at encirclement”


        “a nuclear armed alliance parking itself on your border”


        “attempting to make off with a few strategic assets”


        “the support Russians have for their leadership”

        FALSE (fear and loathsome is more likely; in any case, this simply negates Patrick’s claim that the ban is simply Ruso-phobic rather than what it really is – a protest against Putin’s illegal, unprovoked, imperialist invasion and annexation of Ukraine)

      2. DGA,

        You’ve just demonstrated a degree of ignorance (or dishonesty? Choose your poison) that pretty much disqualifies you from the realms of adult discussion.

        Good luck with your disinformation campaign, it certainly isn’t rocking any boats on this side of reality:)

      3. americans have always been imperialistic and barbaric—“USA is the most aggressive nation in modern history”. istvan Meszaros….”americans have always been genocidal, enjoying killing from afar”. Philip Slater
        The Spanish -ameri war where 1 million Filipinos murdered, “derived from the bloodthirstiness of the american people”. Richard Hodstdter—‘the paranoias did style in american politics’

    5. Is America accountable for Iraq war over mythical WMD?
      Or destruction of all of Afghanistan for bin Ladin??
      Or napalm of hundreds of villages in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, as well as Agent Orange???
      Of course not. We believe our own alternative facts. TRUMP, on Fox News, 2017, defends Putin: ‘ think our country is so innocent’.
      There are no innocents anywhere.
      America merrily has 700 to 800 military / naval bases around the globe to ensure everyone has accountability and we have our own brand of truth.
      If you don’t like it, Trump’s true heavily armed followers will set up a peaceful response to your dislikes.
      And don’t ask me, I take the 5th, more than 400 times.

      1. What is remarkable is the refusal to consider the history leading up these Forever Wars.
        Most of the media stated the US had been in Afghanistan since 2001. Actually, the US brought in Osama bin Laden and the mujahideen in 1979 TO DESTROY WESTERNIZED SECULAR Afghanistan and establish fundamentalist Sunni fanatics to rule there and fight the Soviets. This is what we do: destroy societies, kill hundreds of thousands, and establish (usually US-trained) corrupt puppet dictators, and call it “American democracy”.
        The Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2005 installed the US-trained Yushchenko (married to an American citizen, a State/ CIA agent). Yushchenko was a good puppet. He borrowed lots of money from the EU that went poof!, he glorified NAZIs and Galicia, and even made Stepan Bandera “Hero of Ukraine” (though not even a Ukrainian.) He did all that was asked of him by the CIA/State Dept. However this did not endear him to the Ukrainians, and he only received 5% of the votes in the next Election, which was monitored by the UN.
        Yanukovych became the democraticly elected President in 2010; he played Russia and the EU against each other for the best deals. He had at least three sets of American handlers who were much more enthralled by the easy money in corruption than in governing Ukraine: Tony Podesta (Hillary’s campaign manager’s brother), Greg Craig (Obama’s consul) and Paul Manafort (who eventually became Trump’s campaign manager, but was brought down by a Ukrainian fake Black Ledger). Yanukovych was a Bad Puppet. He reversed some of the NAZI glorification (but could not keep such groups out of the police, military and other security branches). When forced to choose between the EU and high interest (which Ukraine never repays) and Russia with lower interest, Yanukovych picked Russia. His government was overthrown four months later by the US (Nuland, Pyatt and Biden and their UkroNAZIs) Maidan Coup in 2014. Russia took Crimea (by plebiscite) immediately. Then, after 8 years of bombarding the Donbas and seizing all the coastal cities dominated by ethnic Russian Ukrainians, moving forward on the US plan to destroy all Russian language, Russian culture and ethnic Russian Ukrainians (genocide), Biden decided to escalate the provocation and shelling which had already killed 14,000. Zelensky, elected with over 70% of the vote on a “Peace with Russia” platform, abrogated his campaign promises and became what he is today: Biden’s style over substance Puppet, hoping to re-establish the grandeur of the NAZI Third Reich with US backing.
        It is what we do.
        And of course the Official Narrative is that Russia invaded Ukraine out of the blue, unprovoked. History just started this year.

    6. Interesting. So you categorically deny that one of the driving forces, perhaps the critical driving force, behind Maidan and direct western support in the overthrow of a sitting UA president, elected by the ‘cleanest election ever’ as the OSCE put it, was NATO’s design on Sevastopol. In fact, NATO’s second attempt at the Crimean brass ring, the first being Yushchenko’s call to terminate the Black Sea Fleet’s lease by 2017.

      Is that your position?

      Now tell us that the US as NATO’s bridgehead was of course a neutral, disinterested parties in both those events. How could anyone think otherwise? How indeed.

      Oh and BTW: I haven’t read the above at some pro-Kremlin source and blindly regurgitating. It occurred to me on my very own initiative about 30 seconds after the broadcast of the Nuland-Pyatt tete-a-tete. How about that for linear thinking? I suggest you try it sometime.

      1. @mondo kane…. if ye knew any history, ye would know that VICTOR YANUKOVICH THE CORRUPT fled ukraine after facing demonstrations of up to 800.000 [!!!!] Ukrainians who wanted to be in the EU cause, well. it is a lot more fun than the russian federation. also, ye get poisoned less often., also,ye can call a war a ‘war’ without 15 years in prison, and yer standard of living is substantially higher. for some strange reason [and i would NEVER call it systemic corruption], the average living standard in russia is very shitty] plus, if ye in the EU, ye can go live and work in all these exciting countries where it is not outlawed to call a war a, well, a “WAR”
        so the people of Ukraine -2 months after Janukovich abandoned his presidency by, well, abandoning it when he fled to russia. the people of Ukraine elected a new president in a free and fair election. his name is Petro Poroshenko, and he got elected because he was PRO -EU. thus the Ukrainian people spoke, and all yer “nuland nuland cookies cookies nazinazinazi” idiot bleating won’t change the fact that in a free and fair election the vast majority of Ukrainians voted FOR the EU and AGAINST russia.. so do bleat back with yer criticism of my historic facts, or tuck yer tail and run… oh i can see ye running already…

      2. arvo Cancel, it seems you think you can write anything you feel at the time, regardless of historical facts and reality.
        Victoria Nuland bragged that the US had spent $5billion in “democracy promotion” in Ukraine–documented. This translates into promotion of Western ways and values, frankly deception and lies to corrupt the Ukrainian body politic into thinking if they followed the West, they might see an end to corruption and a little prosperity by joining with Europe. In fact, the IMF deal promised by Europe would have imposed austerity and caused a reduced standard of living for Ukraine. The deal offered by Russia was far superior and so, Yanukovych rejected Europe and opted for Russia.
        At first the Maidan Square resembled the 2004 Orange Revolution–people were pissed and wanted reform (however, they lacked any ideology to guide them to attack the root cause of oligarchy) and had the carefully constructed belief in the West.
        The Galician Ukronazis turned the Square into a charnel ground, blaming the State, and in spite of an agreement formed for early elections, the Nazis stormed the capital and sent Yanukovich fleeing for his life.
        The fruit of this ‘Glorious Revolutin’ was the imposition of a fascist government in Kyiv and imposition of anti-Russian measures that caused the current crisis.
        If Ukraine is to continue as a country, democratic elements in the government must enact a coup to get rid of the Ukronazis and NATO militarists and make efforts to accommodate with Russia.

    7. So the usual Western stooges even read Patrick Lawrence and are not convinced!!
      “Putin’s imperialist, illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine goes on. ” ???????
      Russia is next door; Ukraine is invited to join NATO, which has designated Russia as an enemy and refuses any discussion; Ukraine has a fake leader who has banished all opposition and sends thousands to fight Russia asking for human rights for its minorities in Ukraine; Nuland an the neocons manage to convince the “EU” of unelected overpaid Russophobes to punish Russia.The “democratic world order” falls into line. Patrick has described reality. This commenter ignores it all.

      1. @rosemerry ye stinking shill, the current freely elected president of Ukraine actually IS a member of the russian segment of Ukraine’s population.
        as ye bleat ‘nazinazinazi’ next in yer predictable, endless regurgitation of kremlin talking points, let me antecede ye by gently informing ye he also happens to be a JEW. ye are welcome – i love sharing knowledge with those who don’t have it cause it interferes with their job.
        now ye can spew yer verbal diarrhea all day about him being a ‘fake’ leader but the election that picked him is deemed ‘free and fair’ by all international observers. no election in yer country, putin the noble, the great, the merciful’s russia, as of late, has been deemed ‘free and fair’. his opponents end up dead, poisoned and/or imprisoned.
        i challenge ye to produce any, i mean ANY evidence that the presidential elections in Ukraine were NOT free and fair. since ye deem Zelensky a ‘fake’ leader surely ye have some [err, evidence]?
        oh i forget – ye just russian shill, mindlessly rebleating russian propaganda. sorry, i did not mean to shame ye by asking for evidence. yer kind does not do “evidence”
        shill off and stink up some other space, will ye.
        Zelensky’s approval rating is above 90% these days. those ungrateful Ukrainians just won’t appreciate the humanitarian indiscriminate GRAD- shellings of schools and hospitals. the only thing truly fake here is ye yerself, “ROSEMERRY”

    8. “It has absolutely nothing to do with Russians as such, but rather with attempting to increase the Russians’ motivation to oppose Putin dictatorial totalitarianism.”
      It is delusional to believe that yhese measures will motivate russians to get rid of Putin. They will increase support for Putin and his actions.

    9. dga fascist lies predictable…”USA is the most aggressive nation in modern history”. Istvan Meszaros….you are a nazi farce

      1. oh, gilligan the shillagain… nice to see ye… [NOT]
        say, ye have any arguments? ye have the intellectual ability to engage in discourse, and debate? cause judging from yer post, ye are entirely limited to flinging insults like a monkey flings shit.
        P.S. i apologize to all monkeys feeling insulted by being compared to shillagain. i am sorry, i did not mean to offend ye…

    10. Pretty weird! When someone offers a rational analysis of events in Europe, a knowledgeable person like @Cancel somehow knows better. Mr Lawrence’s appreciation of the Ukraine and European situation is shared by numerous people who have actually studied the matter and form an opinion based on facts, not “alt-facts” or any kind of fantasy. The herd follows Zelensky and the idiotic European Greens to an ending that will probably destroy European prosperity forever and definitely begins the death-toll of American liberal hegemony.

      1. @ted = rip
        wow, let me unpack yer post. ye state that numerous wise people, who ye cannot be bothered to name, agree with pat ‘the shill’ lawrence,
        on the other hand, according to principles ye will not disclose. only ‘the herd’ follows Zelensky.
        my i am glad ye weren’t alive at the time of Socrates and Plato! why, with yer brilliant evidence- and logic based didactic discourse, ye would have murdered those guys!

      2. better to ignore the nazi arvo—zelensky now despised in ukraine…banned all political formations except his self created servant of the people, banned all non-govt controlled media

    11. It would be a good idea to start reading more history (what about the last 30 years?) and also start with the thought what the USA would do if Russians with allies (Venezuela, Iran, Belarus etc.) bring military and equipment, rocket and missile launchers to Mexico???). So just try to step out of your shoes and try the ‘enemy’ ones (at least a little bit).

      1. Your analogy of Russian, Iranian, etc, military on our border is quite aways off. Primarily because unlike Ukraine/Russia, Mexico and Canada are our allies and do not perceive us as a threat to their sovereignty.

        Analogies do need a bit of the realistic to have any convincing power.

        However, if Mexico did invade and conquer Arizona, I hope we would do something about it.

      2. Mexicans despise americans–they are not an ally of USA—USA has no allies only a few remaining colonies….”it may be be dangerous to be our enemy but it is fatal to be our friend”. Henry Kissinger

    12. Putin’s “dictatorial totalitarianism?” You sound like Adam Schiff after a few glasses of wine. Or maybe Nancy Pelosi That’s not a compliment, sonny. You don’t understand what either a dictator or a totalitarian is. You’re not a serious person, and you can’t be taken seriously. Every time ( every time!) you come in here with your nutty and unimaginative commentary (“Neo-progressives!”) you unwittingly confirm that which you claim doesn’t exist. Low comedy, but I expect you to keep it up.

      1. @timn
        wow, ye sure can bleat a lot of words to obfuscate the truth. but go on now, tell us all in CLEAR WORDS how putin’s russia is a model democracy , no critic ever gets POISONED, ASSASSINATED or IMPRISONED, freedom of speech is STELLAR [unless ye call a war a, well, “WAR”, then it is 15 years in prison]
        yer gratuitous use of insults does not disguise the fact that ye produce ZERO argument against calling putin a ‘dictator’ i think it is cause ye are a stinking liar.
        off ye go, shill somewhere else, sting=k up some other place…

      2. @timn: hey, ye never respoonded to a question i asked ye in another thread. so here we go again. ye keep telling us that the conflict in donbas consisted of Ukrainian forces murdering 14.000 innocent civilians. according to tim the shill that’s it. that’s the whole conflict. Ukraine murdered, the separatists got murdered. ye live in a fantastical parallel world! so without firing a shot, or a shell, without driving anybody out, without killing a single soul the separatists conquered of a large swath of southern Ukraine and managed to hold on to it. all of this without killing a single person themselves!!! why Ghandi would be so proud of them!
        timn has invented a unique civil war where all the victims were civilians, and all just on one side! ! i just wonder how they could hold on to the territory without ever firing a shot, or shell. care to explain how that works, tim? or ye willing to concede ye are full of shite. that is easy. yer failure to respond will be interpreted as a tacit admission of yer mendacity.

    13. racist amerikan astray—you seem miserable bitter lonely—cannot find obese retired senile janitor husband?

  3. This is the rare article by Lawrence that I cannot finish. Too sad for me this Sunday morning.

    The West has gone completely insane and we are being told that the most corrupt country with the most fascist government is to be our model for freedom and democracy.

    Madness abounds.

    1. I have been saying it from the start, the west has gone collectively insane. Patrick Lawrence seems to understand that about certain Eastern European countries, but not about the west as a whole. As with many I believe him simply too much a part of the culture to be able to see it’s irrationality clearly.

      1. I think you misread the column and Mr. Lawrence’s thinking. Reconsider just this, as one example of the author’s regard for the West: “The Biden regime loves to promote national character arguments, not least against Russians. It finds them very handy as it sustains the national paranoia and enthusiasm for a senseless conflict.”

      2. Sorry, but Germany cannot be considered an “Eastern European” country, and she, under the leadership of idiots, has indeed gone insane. It is not hard to extend Mr Lawrence’s arguments to the United States, who has also gone insane. The insanity of the collective West is well understood.

  4. Great Democrat achievements under Obama and Biden.

    — Bringing back McCarthyism
    — Re-establishing fascism in Europe
    — Creating a world where once again an athlete’s race determines which sporting competitions they can enter.
    — Creating a world where race again determines who can enter a nation.

    And of course, this is the little stuff compared to Making Nuclear War Great Again.

  5. You do understand that top-level leaders and representatives of the four leading NATO members (U.S., U.K., France, and Germany unequivocally promised 30 years ago that NATO would not expand one inch closer to the Russian borders as part of negotiating the reunification of Germany (any one of whom had the ability to carry out such a promise by black-balling any new applicant for NATO membership which would have violated it), right? If not, I suggest that you educate yourself about such matters before presuming to offer commentary in such areas.

    1. NATO post ’91 has clearly become an aggressive, offensive organization masquerading as a purely defensive military coalition.

      You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but when your pattern of behavior establishes itself beyond even the lowest common denominator’s doubt, you only end up fooling yourself.

    2. William Todd,
      Thank you. As Gorbachev said, “You can’t trust the Americans.” They never keep any kind of promise. Their word means zero.

      1. @rob ‘bot’ roy: i will never forget yer statement “putin never lies” to the neutral observer that would indicate an advanced degree of madness!!! [or a commitment rarely seen in paid trolls]
        err, and when ye can’t trust someone ye get it IN WRITING – ever heard of a written contract? try googling “the budapest memorandum” i know it makes yer head hurt but ye don’t have to stay dumb!!! to keep harping on about some verbal promise some nato leaders gave is just that, DUMB. why did the russian leaders not get it in writing? now ye will bleat cause they trusted the americans, except ye just stated that they did not. so then ye get it in writing…. or else it don’t count. .
        i leave ye to sort out yer contradictions. and yes, the earth is flat and putin never lies.

  6. Democracy Gone Astray and voicum please go fyck youeselves for you idiocy and pay attention to the wisdom of the other commentators.

    1. Jack,
      Because most of America is like D G A and voicum, we have constant, non stop wars with the rest of the world.
      Nothing anymore says or does will make a difference.
      America is cemented in a path and trend of more of the same.
      Western economic well being depends on domination of Asia, Africa, Latin America.
      Absolutely no other nation is permitted to be better than AngloEuro alliance or even the same level. Japan is considered to be ‘ near white’.
      So, save your breath, those 2 can not be different, no matter what.

      1. Patrick Lawrence knows everything near or far, now and then. Just ask him!

    2. They’re trolls who can reliably be counted on to spew the Party line, at least in the case of DGA.

  7. In its DNA the US is a fearful nation, based on Darwinism and the principle of might makes right.

    This has been evident throughout American history – from the earliest settlers, to slavery, the Red Scare, gun culture, finance and capitalism, the prison industrial complex, war on terror, Ebola/ Covid/ monkey pox, etc.

    There is no god America trusts in except the one printed on its currency – as the 0.6 million homeless will tell you.

    T.S. Eliot had it partly right: “And the wind shall say: ‘Here were decent Godless people:
    Their only monument the asphalt road
    And a thousand lost golf balls.”

    I’m entirely unsure of the “decent” part.

  8. RE: Democracy Gone Astray

    Interesting. So you categorically deny that one of the driving forces, perhaps the critical driving force, behind Maidan and direct western support in the overthrow of a sitting UA president, elected by the ‘cleanest election ever’ as the OSCE put it, was NATO’s design on Sevastopol. In fact, NATO’s second attempt at the Crimean brass ring, the first being Yushchenko’s call to terminate the Black Sea Fleet’s lease by 2017.

    Is that your position?

    Now tell us that the US as NATO’s bridgehead was of course a neutral, disinterested party in both those events. How could anyone think otherwise? How indeed.

    Oh and BTW: I haven’t read the above at some pro-Kremlin source and blindly regurgitating. It occurred to me on my very own initiative about 30 seconds after the broadcast of the Nuland-Pyatt tete-a-tete. How about that for linear thinking? I suggest you try it sometime.

    1. @Mondo Cane

      Thank you for your candor. I believe you when you say it took you 30 seconds to decide that “the critical driving force, behind Maidan” is a vast conspiracy to overthrow a pro-Russian politician in Ukraine. I am curious. Do you believe that Yanukovych’s refusing to fulfill the Ukrainian parliament’s vote to increase economic ties with the EU (the actual driving force behind the Maidan Revolution), reneging on an election campaign promise of his, and opting to sign an economic agreement with Putin (consisting primarily of a few Billion dollars bribe) was also part of that conspiracy?

      I believe your “30 seconds” quip because it reflects exactly the amateurish, anecdotal nature of almost all of the propaganda emanating from left-ish, Neo Progressive pundits (like Patrick) and flock (like you), mirroring Russian/Chinese propaganda (sometime to the letter, as is the case with Patrick’s own claim that the goal of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is “the de-nazification and de-militarization of Ukraine”, a direct quot from Putin’s own broadcast in February).

      For example, are you even aware that what you call “the broadcast of the Nuland-Pyatt tete-a-tete” was released by Russian intelligence listening in, and further, that the Kremlin’s ‘leak’ was published, to my knowledge and researched opinion, only or primarily in pro-Kremlin pages on the web. So much for your “no Kremlin source” nonsense. Finally, it is not only that the actual intercepted phone conversation DOES NOT support the claim of NATO/US/Western conspiracy AT ALL (and DOES support Nuland-Pyatt later statements that the US was involved in an advisory capacity only, and at the request of the pro-EU Ukrainian majority in the Ukrainian parliament in the first place), but there is absolutely NO corroborating information whatsoever! NONE!

      1. astray now denies reality and confirms her fascism—-functionally illiterate in your own language

    2. @mondo_ loook, buddy, ye need to stop embarrassing yerself with yer stinking lies. there was an attempt by EU negotiators to settle things, but Victor Yanukovich, the most corrupt leader Ukraine ever suffered [and believe me, there were plenty others] with his $5.000.000 chandeliers in his ill-begotten mansion, RAN. or in other words, FLED, one could also say he ABSCONDED, or that he VACATED his post it might be fair to say he abandoned his position, or that he made a cowardly retreat to russia. ye pick the wording most palatable to ye. but what did NOT happen is that he was ‘forced out’ . he – being a crook of major proportions – simply had his marie antoinette moment, wher ehe wanted to eat his cake in russia. within 2 months he was replaced in a – wait – FREE AND FAIR – election by Petro Poroshenko. chosen by the UKRAINIAN PEOPLE, not nuland nuland nuland nazinazinazi shillshillshillmondoshitymondoshitmondoshit
      Poroshenko promised pursuing EU membership which won him the election. one wonders why. russia is such a fun country, just ask Brittney Griner she is having so much fun she mighgt never leave!!!
      Poroshenko was corrupt, too – but somewhat less…. oh if only we could all live in putin the great, putin the noble, putin the merciful’s russia, where free and fair elections abound, corruption does not exist and the bounty of the country’s gas and oil revenues is shared freely amongst the pop[ulation who happens to be putin’s cronies… i have mentioned their stellar free speech before. just don’t call a war a, well, “war” [15 years in prison]

      1. griner the criminal—yet you racists incarcerate more per capita than any nation in history and have capital punishment…”only he least developed societies punish widely and severely”. Durkheim….you are a farcical insecure child—monolingual that has never lived in a civilized nation where freedom and justice exists

    3. @mondo: i do apologize for calling ye a stinking liar. that was an unqualified generalization, for which i am sorry. when ye tell us that it takes ye an average of 30 seconds to form a ‘solid’ opinion i do believe ye completely. it explains the evidence-free moronic style of “debate” ye submit us to….

  9. Thanks again to Patrick for sanity . His articles in consortium news are essential.


    Ask the nations on American Indian reservations how trustworthy U.S. govt agreements are. Or about collective PTSD–especially when it isn’t even post. Genocide and its lesser form, repression, aren’t forgivable.

    Yet just as not every white American is automatically guilty of racial repression, so then the same for Russians. Fantasies of vengeance against an entire people for what some did is also a form of bigotry. And is spiritually, psychologically, and sociologically unhealthy.

    Of course playing on old hatreds is useful politically. If THOSE PEOPLE can be blamed for collective or personal problems, then the leaders of a country don’t have to do the hard work of governing. Plus there’s a built-in excuse for failure.

    Best summed up in P.L.’s last sentence: “…if the west had any sound counselors to offer.” Nope. We’re in a full re-run of The Best and the Brightest (per D. Halberstam) where arrogance rules. The current incarnation as the Ivy Dem party elitist leadership so pretentious as to believe itself a meritocracy.

    This speaks also directly to the irony of that self designation “Democracy Gone Astray.” Democracy didn’t wander off. It was banished as a threat to the 1% /MIC and their elitist D enablers. Who along with the propaganda of their media allies are trying to convince us that as usual, war is the answer. Variations of the same sick strategy as destroying the Vietnam village in order to save it. How long until everything is gone?

  11. In recent poll (May 2022) about 70% of all Poles over 50 declared that greatest threat to Polish nation is Germany not Russia.

    What is interesting that this age group is the one who supposedly directly suffered from Soviet occupation 1945-89, alleged persecutions and total control of domestic and foreign economic policies.

    They personally knew Soviet “evil” so to speak. But when they compared Russian evil with German or Austrian evils they suffered as well they feel threatened more by Germany.

    Those younger Poles who know Russian evil from .. propaganda books only while have no clue about German and Austrian evils have not surprisingly opposite views.

    Views are shaped by ideologies and supportive propaganda. Poles historically learned not to trust any side and that continues today and as a matter of fact this is opinions of most of Central Europeans who are untainted by nationalist propaganda.

    If Poles had they way Germans would be first on black list with Russians second or there will be no blacklist at all. It is because almost no older Pole is identifying himself with government policies and characterize Polish government, any government as a gang of thieves working to loot the country for benefit of foreigners.

    I think author is incorrect about Eastern or rather Central European nations’ one sided inherent Russophobia. Historically relations between nations and ethnic groups were much more complicated which means rejecting equivalency of government and people.

    Punishing ethnic groups constituting a nation for deeds of their governments is a extreme nationalist or even fascist concept as these are ordinary people who are victims which elites thrive.

  12. “some European politicians are calling for an end to the short-term visas that allow Russians to holiday in the EU as the war in Ukraine rages on.

    Countries including Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Finland and the Czech Republic have called for the EU to limit or block short-term Schengen visas for Russians, in protest at their country’s invasion of Ukraine.”

    note the following statements:
    “as the war in Ukraine rages on”
    “in protest at their country’s invasion of Ukraine”

    Patrick’s disassociation of the visa ban proposals, as expressed clearly in his fabrication “No more Russians in Europe because…because they are Russian”, is a clear violation of any acceptable journalistic practice.

    It is not the only one here.

    His attempts to place the primary causal weight of WWII on the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, the Islamic terrorism on the Carter administration, and Putin’s imperialism on the so called NATO expansion are blatant revisionist propaganda.

    1. Not only was WW II caused by the Versailles Treaty, but the Great Depression itself–at least that is the convincing argument made by Michael Hudson in his ‘Super Imperialism’. No person who has looked into the history doubts that the Carter war on the Soviets by funding the mujahideen initiated Al Qaeda, 9/11, ISIS and so on. After the fall of the USSR and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the Russian Federation poised no threat to the West whatsoever, and the continuation of NATO itself was a political and economic decision based on declaring the new Russian Federation as ‘enemy’. NATO’s expansion could only increase that threat and it was consistently objected to by the Russian government (not just Putin).
      Not only did NATO expand, but after Putin kicked the Western vultures out of Russia, people like Bill Browder, the West began a vilification campaign resulting in Putin’s demonization unlike that of any other Western ‘enemy’, a campaign that currently bears fruit.
      The genuine revisionist history tries to find causes that excuse Western elites, especially the American elites with their ‘liberal hegemony’. This intellectual exercise actually blinds Western leaders and propagandists so that they are incapable of making decisions that benefit humanity.

      1. @Ted+Tripp

        You seem as confused as Patrick, my boy.

        It is desperate left-ish, Neo Progressive demagogues and propaganda buffs like Patrick who try to fault the so called “Western elites” of all the failures of the past century, all evidence to the contrary.

        The fact these mis and disinformation campaigns are prompting totalitarian dictators like Putin and Xi is a clear indication of the absurdity of these revisionist attempts on the one hand, and a clear sign of the dangerous totalitarian and dictatorial intentions embedded in the left-ish political aspirations, and that the newfound ideological alliance between right-wing extremism and Neo Progressive pundits (e.g., Greenwald’s slide into trans-phobia territory) goes deeper than the irrational hatred of the (majority) liberal democratic centre.

      2. Anyone who simply claims that Xi Jin Ping and Vladimir Putin are “totalitarian dictators” know nothing of the Russian nor Chinese political systems, do not know the meaning of ‘totalitarian’ nor ‘dictator’ and are hopelessly misinformed.
        You revel in the propaganda of the US corporate media propaganda that demonizes China and demonizes Russia by pointing misleading fingers at their leaders. This stance is both ignorant and dangerous as it prevents the person holding those views to accurately assess the world as it is but condemns him to dwell in fantasy.

      3. astray and WDD are clearly CIA—nobody else can be this stupid and overtly fabricate

    2. there is no Russian imperialism you nazi scum. Russia has defeated your nazi effort to militarize Ukraine and now you need therapy….you have no argument; you are a tiresome fascist…this insecure stupidity is common in all diseased empires near collapse

  13. The Soviet juggernaut pushed the German Nazis out of Eastern Europe as they destroyed the Third Reich. The formerly occupied countries were devastated by war and their only political leadership had been hated collaborators with fascism.
    Of course, this was true all over formerly occupied Europe. In Western Europe, the Allies (Americans) imposed rightist, capitalist governments and worked very hard to neutralize any remaining communists or socialists. The Americans invested heavily to rebuild their occupied territory.
    In the Soviet zone, the Soviets also imposed government on their occupied territories. Naturally, they worked with socialist forms, those being the only ones they knew after almost 30 years of communist rule. The contradiction I see, however, is that in Russia, the people rose up to form a socialist state, while in Eastern Europe, the people had one imposed on them.
    I can only assume that dissatisfied elite Poles et al, much like dissatisfied elites in Russia after 1917, naturally opposed losing their land and privilege. As to the Eastern European masses, all I know is from Western propaganda that they were miserable under the “communist yoke.” I would enjoy finding out the truth why the Eastern Europeans still hate the Russians, or what ordinary Russians had to do with their past suffering.

    1. @tedandtrick: ye bleated the following :I would enjoy finding out the truth why the Eastern Europeans still hate the Russians.
      i can help- ye out, buddy -i will just speak for one country which i am familiar with. i have roots there. it is Estonia.
      Estonia has about 40% russian population. mind ye, those were people that were installed there by the soviet regime after their violent military takeover of the independent republic of Estonia. [or the”special military operation to liberate Estonia” , as yer masters would tell you to see it – and it is true, the soviet union liberated Estonia from being a free country, and those fucking Estonians did not appreciate it!!! the gall of these people!!]. in other words, the russians are not indigenous, like in Ukraine.
      anyways, Estonia is a free country again. and they BEGGED Nato to accept them cause they did not want to be “liberated” a second time. can ye blame them? are ye an imperialist racist for whom the right of self-determination simple just does not apply for “dwarf” nations who should just accept that they are just some other country’s “sphere of influence” not worthy of their own identity? are ye that despicable?
      but is there the HATRED that yer troll masters want ye to conjure up? no, actually not at all. the russians living in Estonia somehow really enjoy the much higher standard of living they have compared to their [putin’s] thoroughly corrupt motherland. there is peace in Estonia between Estonians and russians. shared prosperity can do that!
      see, ye take a page right out of israeli shill school and israeli troll tech. any criticism of israel must be labeled “ANTISEMITISM”, e.g . a visceral hatred of Jews. never mind that lots of righteous Jews are critical of israel. they just get labelled ANTISEMITIC SELF-HATING JEWS. brilliant move, from a GOEBBELS perspective. ye never have to answer to criticism cause it is -by yer definition – just an expression of irrational hatred.
      so ye – being of limited intellectual prowess, but nonetheless a good student of GOEBBELS/ISRAEL try the same. any action any country takes against a cynical, brutal, colonial, unnecessary war of aggression is just “hatred of russia” well ye are a stinking liar. Estonia does not hate, or fear, their russian population. they fear Putin who is so much NOT a dictator, and such a noble great merciful democratic leader i really wonder why this crops up all the time….
      i had a russian hitchhiker at my place for a week. so i can tell ye, just as it is entirely possible to criticise israel without being antisemitic, it is also fucking possible to object to a needless, cruel, colonial war of the self-aggrandizing dictator putin [the noble, the great, the impeccable democrat] without harboring ill feelings towards individual russians.
      nice try, shill. the israelis might hire ye. can ye bleat”antisemitism” real loud?
      anyway, yer kind don’t do studies, or evidence…. but Estonia is zero hatred of russia but full fucking condemnation of this stupid war y’all go out of yer way to present as “justifiable” do tell that to the mother of a murdered Ukrainian child.
      look at it this way ; Estonia had their freedom taken away once by russia/soviet union, and hence they can sympathize with Ukraine. ditto all the other eastern european nations that ye – evidence-free – accuse of antisemitism, or hatred of russia, or witchcraft i lost track of yer lies. that thought fit in yer russian shill-head? prolly not. shill off and stink up another space. then… all criticism of israel is antisemitism… all criticism of putin’s war equals hatred of russia…. the earth is flat…. the holocaust never happened……and there IS an easter bunny.

      1. disgusting liar–estonia is a depopulated US colony with distinction of #1 alcohol consumption all nations—your standards—poverty ugliness crime—Russia far more prosperous all measures than Baltics—little poverty homelessness—only 90% own their home no mortgage —3.5 million Ukrainians emigrated to Russia since March 1 , hundreds of thousand coming for work where unemployment is less than 1% except in eastern villages—then 4.5%…since you are a nazi–u oppose denazification of Russian populated ukieland—but you can do nothing but whine at SP—Russia has already humiliated the USA and will liberate more territory while you rot in your bitterness…

    2. actually in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Serbia Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria Egypt Kazakstan, Uzbekistan there is little Russophobia—it is mainly observed in the most anti-semitic nations—Poland Baltics, Czechia and USA the most anti-semitic racist nation—Adorno and Gorer found amerikans far more antisemitic than ordinary Germans of the 1940’s

    3. arvo –lies; Estonians banning Russian language preventing Russians in Narva—all Russian from traveling to Russia except for funerals, emergencies…poverty in Baltics shocking while in Russia the prosperity is obvious…Baltics depopulating—millions moving to Russia for opportunity and civilization—universal health care , state paid maternity leave, tuition free university, 13% flat income tax except for the rich, inexpensive gasoline public transport, etc

  14. In response to this authors justification of Putin’s “NATO made me do it,” ruse excuse for the invasion of Ukraine, I noticed he did not mention the Budapest agreement wherein Russia agreed to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. That agreement contained no NATO expansion provisions.

    It bears repeating that NATO member countries take up only 600 miles of Russia’s 12,500 mile border and, except for North Macedonia and Montenegro, both hardly a threat to Russia, the most recent admissions to NATO took place over 18 years ago.

    The author says that Russia courteously asked The West not to expand NATO in 1992 and, indeed, the Bush 1 administrations did make such assurances but there was never a treaty. Was there anything in writing?

    But did Putin courteously ask Ukraine if it was ok to invade the Crimea or send his little green men into the Donbas or bomb Kyiv. Naked aggression is a better description.

    The author makes a claim that Biden has been demonizing the Russian people. “National character arguments” the author calls it. Will he provide a quote? My clear impression is that Biden puts all of this squarely on Putin, as an individual.

    The author criticizes the movement to restrict the travel of Russians into Western Europe. I wonder how many German’s Britain let travel to its shores after 1939. However, in this case the travel restrictions do seem to be counterproductive. After all, the travelers would spend money in the West and become exposed to the West’s version of the war. Maybe they would stay.

    No doubt Brzezinski gave Carter some bad advice, as the author notes (. It the worst was to allow the deposed Shah into the U.S. for medical treatment) but the very little, very early on support that Carter gave to the mujahideen he’d little influence Russia’s decision to invade Afghanistan. Their primary motivation was the overthrow of their man in Kabul by Hafizulah Amin, who risked a takeover of the country by radical Islamic elements.

    Charlie Wilson’s War was fought under Reagan. But one cannot argue that the U.S. policy toward Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan was the classic “be careful what you wish for.”

    Alas, John Maynard Keynes aside, the ghosts of Versailles live on but I am not sure why the author brings this up. Much newer research and commentary makes a case that the punitive aspects of Versailles have been greatly overstated.

    For example, one author posits that the reduction in the costs of German armaments, which were prohibited under the treaty, provided a sufficient source to pay the reparations.

    In any case, by the time of the rise of Hitler maybe only 15% of the payments had been made. The Dawes and Young plans significantly reduced the reparation sburden as the House of Morgan and Rothschild came in with loans to Germany that financed the repayments. The British renegotiated its loan schedule, Hoover declared a moratorium on repayments when the Stock market collapsed in 1929.

    Hitler essentially ignored the Versailles treaty and the allied powers did almost nothing to enforce it. Not commonly known to many is that starting right after the end of WW I, Germany and the Soviet Union engaged in long standing cooperation for the exchange of military technology and German weapons that were built in Russia. Where do people think Germany got all those “tractors?” Indeed, German rearmament was well under way long before Hitler came in the scene.

    For Putin, The war in Afghanistan is starting to look a lot like Brezhnev’s Afghanistan.

    1. @WDD thanks, but sadly presenting facts here i like shedding tears in the rain [blade runner reference]. it won’t make any difference cause 90% of the posters here are shills for russia… i mentioned the budapest agreement in an earlier post….but the willful ignorance of those who shill for a living is overwhelming. i just come here to learn how to type. with limited success, yes yes. as long as ye can live with the kalens, mavericks. timns, tedandtrick, mondos, rosemerries etc who will NEVER debate yer argument and ALWAYS RESPOND WITH TANGENTIAL LIES AND INSULTS, , well welcome to the club…

    2. Rarely have I read a more complete regurgitation of MSM talking points justifying US aggression and attempts at world domination. One can read every word and just say, NOT. You include little bits of possibly pure invention, but otherwise your historical view is entirely conventional and entirely wrong.

    3. you are a disgusting nazi—unlike USA invasion USSR was requested by Afghan govt to defeat Muhadjadin created by fascist USA—after USSR defeated muhjadin they voluntarily withdrew—your fascist lies are tiresome—-wdd and astray=sisters

    4. wdd is a lying scum—hitler cooperated w USA—not USSR…Stalin requested France UK USA ally to oppose nazi Germany—rejected…..nazi USA financially assisted hitler—Henry Ford was one famous example—USSR non-aggression pact required to delay nazi invasion…eisenhower had to purge 20,000 nazi officers in US military…only USSR defeated nazis and Japan….you should be speaking German like obedient nazi…you are humiliated by complete Russian denazification in Ukraine —you can do nothing but post reactionary fabrications at sp

      1. I’m sorry but I can’t follow on your incoherencies but I do detect a high level of anger, have you tried therapy?

    5. While you don’t seem to be suffering from nearly as severe a case of verbal diarrhea as the most recent visitor from MSMland, you do appear to be throwing quite a bit of garbage up against the wall to see if it will stick.

      So I won’t bother to address it but will answer the one substantive question you asked, “Was there anything in writing?”

      Yes, there was, in the form of transcripts of the discussions obtained from the U.S. National Archives via FOIA requests and obtained from the national archives and other sources in other NATO members (e.g., the U.K., France, and West Germany) who made similar assurances. Researchers at George Washington University published extensive excerpts five years ago, e.g., https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2017-12-12/nato-expansion-what-gorbachev-heard-western-leaders-early, venues as diverse as https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/the-us-betrayed-russia-but-it-is-not-news-thats-fit-to-print/ and https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/when-washington-assured-russia-nato-would-not-expand/ found them convincing, and a 500+ page tome “Not One Inch” tome by M. E. Sarotte published late last year by Yale University Press contains decades of her research on this matter.

      Thus, short of attacking NATO itself, attacking Ukraine was Russia’s only means of enforcing NATO’s guarantees (which any one member of the NATO members who had made them could have enforced simply by black-balling Ukraine’s desire for membership, which the U.S. had engineered by supporting the Maidan coup in 2014 to the tune of $5 billion according to Victoria Nuland). You really aren’t required to like that, but a great many people around the world do seem to find it reasonable given the circumstances (which include entirely understandable disgust with the U.S. for its international behavior over many decades, especially the past two or three).

  15. for accurate summary of actual US humiliation by Russia–“how Russia thwarted US imperialism….” at PopularResistance online

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