I recently read an interesting article titled, “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault,” which appeared in Foreign Affairs,(September/October, 2014). The writer did a good job demonstrating that the West’s pursuit of Ukraine into NATO and the European Union has been an unnecessary provocation of Russia.
It is noted that historically, “Napoleonic France, imperial Germany, and Nazi Germany all crossed [Ukraine] to strike at Russia itself…” The author likened the current Western policies regarding Ukraine to China forming alliances with Canada and Mexico, or the Soviet Union putting missiles in Cuba. Great powers should not be unnecessarily intimidated.
Currently Russia is in decline in both its population and a major industry (oil and gas), coupled with its weak democracy. But its people support President Putin in this matter due to the history of foreign aggression.
I agree with the conclusion stated in this well thought-out piece, that the United States and its European allies, “switch gears and work to create a prosperous but neutral Ukraine, one that does not threaten Russia and allows the West to repair its relations with Moscow. With that approach, all sides would win.” I highly recommend a full reading of the article from this fine magazine. Click here for the online version.