US and EU, NOT Russia/Putin, responsible for Ukraine Crisis

3 09 2014

Here’s the central thesis of Professor John Mearsheimer’s just published and oh-so-important-timely article which can be read in full today at

“The United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the [Ukraine] crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West… Since the mid-1990s, Russian leaders have adamantly opposed NATO enlargement, and in recent years, they have made it clear that they would not stand by while their strategically important neighbor turned into a Western bastion. For Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected and pro-Russian president — which he rightly labeled a “coup” — was the final straw. He responded by taking Crimea, a peninsula he feared would host a NATO naval base, and working to destabilize Ukraine until it abandoned its efforts to join the West.   Putin’s pushback should have come as no surprise. After all, the West had been moving into Russia’s backyard and threatening its core strategic interests, a point Putin made emphatically and repeatedly. Elites in the United States and Europe have been blindsided by events only because they subscribe to a flawed view of international politics…  But this grand scheme went awry in Ukraine.”

*** Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault – Neocons + Liberals Provoked Crisis ***

History of NATO enlargement