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How unbalanced power dynamics led to the war in Ukraine

Here is a very interesting take on the origins of the Russo-Ukrainian war, with a strong emphasis on power dynamics between states:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/why-john-mearsheimer-blames-the-us-for-the-crisis-in-ukraine

John makes some very good points on how ignoring power dynamics can cause a backlash from the other party.

Here is a snippet from the article:

Interviewer: You keep saying “turning Ukraine into a liberal democracy,” and it seems like that’s an issue for the Ukrainians to decide. nato can decide whom it admits, but we saw in 2014 that it appeared as if many Ukrainians wanted to be considered part of Europe. It would seem like almost some sort of imperialism to tell them that they can’t be a liberal democracy.

John: It’s not imperialism; this is great-power politics. When you’re a country like Ukraine and you live next door to a great power like Russia, you have to pay careful attention to what the Russians think, because if you take a stick and you poke them in the eye, they’re going to retaliate. States in the Western hemisphere understand this full well with regard to the United States.

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Lucio BuffalmanoAlexleaderoffun
Quote from jarvis on March 3, 2022, 12:09 am

John: It’s not imperialism; this is great-power politics. When you’re a country like Ukraine and you live next door to a great power like Russia, you have to pay careful attention to what the Russians think, because if you take a stick and you poke them in the eye, they’re going to retaliate. States in the Western hemisphere understand this full well with regard to the United States.

Great quote, jarvis.

Totally agree.

In my (little informed) opinion, the "West" still shoulder part of the blame though with that poking.
Also, with the ideals of democracy, independence of a sovereign state, and freedom of choice, they seemed to encourage Ukraine to be independent and/or move to towards the EU/NATO.

A colder, more practical approach would do without the ideals and look at bottom line results.
More practical state craftsmen would have never said neither publicly nor to Ukraine that they could join the EU.

Would have been "not nice" towards Ukrainians that want to join the EU?
Of course.
But still a TON lot better war -and a new West-Russia cold war-.

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jarvisleaderoffun
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Very interesting. I agree with you Lucio about shouldering the blame.

I would also quote Zbigniew Brzeziński who was a diplomat, advisor and counselor for several US presidents:

“It cannot be stressed enough that without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire, but with Ukraine suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an empire.”

Obviously all of this is about power dynamics. Most western governments know about that. And Putin doesn't want his country to loose power in the next years.

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Lucio Buffalmano
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