Who’s to Blame for the Russian Invasion of Ukraine?

A popular position among American conservative commentators over the past 48 hours is that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (both this week and in 2014) is pretty easy to explain: weakness by Democrat presidents. After all, the argument goes, Russia didn’t invade anyone when Trump was president. That position is simplistic, naïve, politically convenient, and—most importantly—wrong. This is the (very short and probably not sufficient) reason why.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11669

sadly, this is already an effective talking point eagerly gobbled up by today’s GOP…but lazy claims that can stick have good success among Dems, too…


Thanks for explaining the issues clearly. Perhaps another factor that might have motivated Putin to strike now is that the Presidency of the UN Security Council right now is held by Russia, but as of March 1, April and May the president will be from UAE, UK and the US respectively. While China as a permanent member might be inclined to block resolutions directed at Russia, at least the new Presidents are more likely to let resolutions come to the floor. But sadly, we see history being repeated.


Selfish ambition fuels both Putin and other autocrats to use violence, lies and hyperbole when they cannot obtain their goals. We see this in full display now in Russia and with the last POTUS.


Yes, this is yet another analysis of an issue based on American political squabbles. People are dying while rockets are dropping on apartment buildings, and citizens are fighting in the streets for their lives, as the world has the potential for getting embroiled in the next global conflagration - and we are worried about saving Biden and Obama’s reputations; and sticking it to Trump - again.

I had a similar discussion more than ten/fifteen years ago when I commented that Russia was probably going to rear up it’s ugly head still in the future. I got a lot of push-back, just like when Mitt Romney said Russia was the biggest threat on the globe, and Obama scoffed by responding - “The 80’s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back - the Cold War has been over for 20 years”.

The truth of the matter is that Putin, the former KGB officer, has been stewing for the last 30 years about the disassembly of the Soviet Union. Once the shock wore off, he has been trying to find a way to restore the power and “glory” of the Soviet regime. When the other previous satellite nations sought refuge under NATO, the Ukraine had much more complex issues to sort out, dealing with borders and historical boundaries" ; and has not sought NATO protection. Putin is afraid it, too, will try to join NATO, and Russia won’t have a buffer between it, and the West.

So why is Putin attacking now -
The US has become a social and political mess. For a brief list: increase in crime because the police have lost all respect and effectiveness - an open southern border where anybody can just walk in - a steady flow of drugs through that open border - inflation - a reduction of defence spending - racial unrest - a Congress that hates each other…- and the big one being the West’s dependence on Russian oil, thanks to Biden and Germany opening Europe up to the pipeline that makes that possible even more.

If Putin doesn’t take this opportunity now, he never can. He’s getting old, and rumour has it that he’s actually ill. The next election the US is going to make it impossible or at least harder. to do anything like this. And it’s not just Russia that’s on the move - China will take the same opportunity with grabbing Taiwan; and Iran will try to get its nuclear production back on line.


my feeling is that this invasion is going to backfire badly…the protesting crowds in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities are only growing…it’s not out of the question that the Putin regime will collapse, and that Putin himself will be tried as a war criminal…

the sanctions the West is imposing on Russia now, especially today and this past Thursday, are going to cripple the Russian economy…if Putin’s Russia falls, we’ll be one important step closer to the one-world government dominated by the U.S. that I believe prophecy calls for…

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Why do you think Putin wanted Donald Trump elected? Do you think it was because he wanted what was best for America? Really? No one could be that ill-informed. How could anyone misunderstand this so badly. Putin wanted to place an arrogant buffoon in our presidency which would allow him to put his plan in place to recapture the old Soviet Union and we are seeing it unfold. He didn’t need to worry about NATO as long as he had the NATO killer in the Whitehouse. Now that we have someone who will stand up to him rather than joining his fan club, he is striking out, but he will pay a huge price. The great bear of the north will lose its power just like prophetically predicted.


If Republicans want to attack alleged American weakness, that’s fine with me. That attack is far preferable to their idolizing of Vladimir Putin and his stooge, Donald Trump. This is what happened today, as reported by National Review’s Jay Nordlinger:

“At the America First Political Action Conference, Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican congresswoman from Georgia, was the star speaker. The No. 2 star, probably, was the conference’s leader, Nick Fuentes. In the course of his talk, he said, “Can we give a round of applause for Russia?” His audience responded with tumultuous applause. Some started to chant “Putin, Putin.” Fuentes responded, “Absolutely, absolutely.” The atmosphere was totally beer hall. Fuentes also said, “The United States government has become the evil empire in the world.” Great applause. He further said, “The United States government has become the ‘Great Satan,’ as many have called it.” “And now they’re going on about Russia and ‘Vladimir Putin is Hitler’ and . . . and they say it’s not a good thing, and . . . I shouldn’t have said that . . .” From the audience, big laughs.”

Why do Trump supporters idolize Putin? It is because they are white nationalists. They revere Putin because of Russia’s racial whiteness, restrictions on immigration, intolerance of racial minorities, brutality toward LGBT+ persons, and authoritarianism.

Are there SDAs who are white nationalists? Yes. Many of them write for Fulcrum7. It may seem jarring going to an SDA-related website and expecting to read something about Christianity only to find an essay that glorifies Russia and Putin, [The Russia Threat, 05/08/19], but if you enjoy having your sensibilities assaulted, that essay is on that website for your review, written by a white nationalist, Replacement Theorist, disciple of Trump, and anti-Semite who very much sympathizes with the Neo-Nazi chant at Charlottesville: “Jews will not replace us.”

I side with Ukraine. If this war might cause some in our faith community to appropriately repent and pivot to less odious positions, again, that’s fine with me.


something’s happened to David…he wasn’t as radical when he was a regular here on Spectrum, at least from what i recall…

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Its hard to believe 70 -80 million trump voters are white nationalists or love putin’ A lot of us on the Texas border are upset with the massive illegal immigratiom and the destruction of our property and although we support Ukraine and its sovereign borders we wonder why the current administration doesnt care about our nation"s borders=ask the “white Nationalists” Latinops on the Rio Grande Valley how they feel. We wonder why we are paying Putin for our oil and gas even now when under Trump we were self supporting. Treump wondered why and asked the NATO leaders why the US was paying more vfor their defense than they were while Europe buying gas and oil from Russia. The current administration "s “successful exit” from Afghanistan must have also encoraged Putin"s aggression’ Maybe Phil should consider some of these issues before calling Trumo a “stooge of Putin” and his supporters “white Nationalists”


You are really getting off topic…

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That’s like saying all Democrats have pointy white hats hiding in their closets.


Thank you for a thoughtful look at this horrific attack by the Russians agains the Ukrainians. Blaming one political party/politician or another here in the US plays right into Putin’s overall plan.

These excerpts from the Mueller report demonstrate Russian efforts to crack our society over hot button issues:

The first form of Russian election influence came principally from the Internet Research Agency, LLC (IRA), a Russian organization funded by Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin…. IRA employees posted derogatory information about a number of candidates in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. By early to mid-2016, IRA operations included supporting the Trump Campaign and disparaging candidate Hillary Clinton…. In certain cases, the IRA created accounts that mimicked real U.S. organizations. For example, one IRA-controlled Twitter account, @TEN_GOP, purported to be connected to the Tennessee Republican Party.46 More commonly, the IRA created accounts in the names of fictitious U.S. organizations and grassroots groups and used these accounts to pose as anti- immigration groups, Tea Party activists, Black Lives Matter protestors, and other U.S. social and political activists.

My take from this is that the Russians started out with a shotgun approach targeting a number of political candidates and issues and then focused down to the candidates and issues that gained the most traction and were most effective at generating interest and dividing us as a nation.

In addition to sanctions and support for Ukraine, one of the most important ways we can fight back against Putin’s overall plan is by seeking ways to bridge and repair our own divisions. Spiral Dynamics is a theory of individual and societal development that offers some hope for transcending our current divisiveness. I am helping to plan an online Spectrum pop-up to explore this idea further.


In a two person foxhole would you choose Biden or Bone Spurs?


Do some research about being “energy independent” and not take Trump’s word for it. I can’t include the chart that shows American has been buying from Russia all along. Look at the numbers during Trump’s administration. Energy independent doesn’t mean what you must think it means.

I thinks paying $7 a gallon for gas now compared to #2.50 per gallon should tell us there has been a disruption in our enrergy independence

Ignorance is not knowing the truth, but in this day and age demonstrates that you are also unwilling to search for it. Instead you repeat hyperbole and the constant stream of falsehoods from sources that appeal to you.

Your comments betray that while knowing the truth you stubbornly refuse to agree with it because it doesn’t fit your views.

Those who disagree with you only further cement your views and cause you to be more resistant to the truth.

In this day and age you have to stop under-analyzing facts because you don’t like the direction they point you in. You must abandon your hubris and eschew hyperbole and become humble and honest.


so sorry You are right–I just have to learn not to believe my lying eyes

Only the first 20 mins (in the video bellow) are required viewing to understand why this has occurred in Ukraine. I watched Prof. John Mearsheimer’s lecture a few months back, which was given 6-7 years ago, on the situation we face at the moment. I’ll post are more recent video, which was only days prior to Russia invading Ukraine. As noted above, the first 20 mins are of Prof. Mearsheimer laying out the situation, and the rest is Q&A.

This interview was recorded on Tuesday 15th February before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Professor John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1982. He graduated from West Point in 1970 and then served five years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. He has published six immensely influential books on international relations theory. In 2020, he won the James Madison Award, which is given once every three years by the American Political Science Association to “an American political scientist who has made a distinguished scholarly contribution to political science.”

Prof. Noam Chomsky, who brings up Mearsheimer in this interview, explains it in a much shorter time - 7 mins in fact. Primarily in the last 3-4 mins.

Remarks by Noam Chomsky on Ukraine and Russia from his talk at The Royal Society, A British Academy event, London, UK, 26 November 26 2014.

Yes, as usual, America holds much of the blame if not all. This has been years in the making, and by that I mean, a hated for Russia, not just Putin. There will be zero sympathy from the West, toward the Russians, if America attacks. We’ve been condition, the media has made sure of that. Just like we were with the Iraqis. And by the time most Americans found out they were duped (WMD) it was too late.

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What we have going on is the continuous composition of different narratives. They have metaphoric value capable of evoking differing reactions. Apart from the issue of Trump which is beneath our cognitive health, and without psychoanalyzing Putin, or analyzing his personal and political intentions, the West has been insulting Putin, his economy, and his nation for reasons we are not aware of. Behind all political actions lie the hidden factors such as differences in economic philosophy, and accordingly who controls resources that feed economies. These issues drive narratives. When there multiple narratives we should remember, “When there are two people of the same opinion, one of them is unnecessary.” For all we know, Putin may be driven to action by love of Mother Russia, which being demeaned, must be defended and protected. The “facts” integrated into that metaphor would give us another narrative, thus new proposals for solutions. Living by metaphors demands improvisation and compromise. Failure to recognize this results in conflict, and raises the question of what values a person is willing to die for, or for that matter destroy the world along with one’s self and the mother.