How would you realistically prevent NATO expansion into Eastern Europe after the Cold War

Why does Ukraine’s ‘importance’ to Moscow (an importance that does not extend to the people themselves, if the current war is any indication) outweigh the will of the Ukrainian people?
The Ukranians in 2019 voted for Zelenskiy- the guy who ran on much less hawkish and pro-Western platform than Poroshenko and by some Zelenskiy used to be considered "Pro-Russian" (by post-Maidan criteria, ofc). He won because Poroshenko didn't manage to give the Ukranians the Western level of living standards they hoped for, the Ukranian population was disillusioned by the naive EuroEuphoria which fueled both Maidans (actually, a pretty common trait of many post-Soviet Urban Philisiters who think that liberal reforms would bring prosperity automatically.) His main promise to the electorate was to end the Donbass conflict as soon possible and other promises included such points as enacting a softer language law, for example.

And he did nothing he promised when elected president. For some reason, the pro-Estern electorate is never able to actually push their agenda even if their candidate becomes president.

And also, the Moscow also used to be very important to Ukraine, considering sheer economic interdependence caused by Soviet economic chains. Hell, current Ukranian president used to be acting in many Russian films and even had a rant in around 2015 that "Nobody is going to watch films in Ukranian".
 

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The Ukranians in 2019 voted for Zelenskiy- the guy who ran on much less hawkish and pro-Western platform than Poroshenko and by some Zelenskiy used to be considered "Pro-Russian" (by post-Maidan criteria, ofc). He won because Poroshenko didn't manage to give the Ukranians the Western level of living standards they hoped for, the Ukranian population was disillusioned by the naive EuroEuphoria which fueled both Maidans (actually, a pretty common trait of many post-Soviet Urban Philisiters who think that liberal reforms would bring prosperity automatically.) His main promise to the electorate was to end the Donbass conflict as soon possible and other promises included such points as enacting a softer language law, for example.

And he did nothing he promised when elected president. For some reason, the pro-Estern electorate is never able to actually push their agenda even if their candidate becomes president.

And also, the Moscow also used to be very important to Ukraine, considering sheer economic interdependence caused by Soviet economic chains. Hell, current Ukranian president used to be acting in many Russian films and even had a rant in around 2015 that "Nobody is going to watch films in Ukranian".
Please confine current political comments to Chat.
 
  1. Russia is entitled to a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe and that the West stopping it from doing so is 'bullying', and
  2. That Eastern Europe has nothing to fear from Russia's intentions and capabilities
Actually, I just don't consider former WarPac countries and former Soviet republics to be exact the same story- mostly because former Soviet republics are very interconnected economically and there are lot of people with family ties. And in most parts of the USSR there was no popular uprisings against the Moscow authorities (except for Baltics and Caucasia)- the Union's dissolution was bargained by Yeltsin, Kravchuk and Shushkevish wihout asking the people at all, while the majority voted for preserving the Union, even if in confederal form via New Union Treety. The Kremlin is ok with losing former WarPac completly, but it wants to have most of former SSRs finlandized because it has vital political and economic intrests here- too much people and industries in Russia itself are dependent on people and industries in Belarus Kazakhstan Ukraine and other former SSRs to just cut all ties. Heck, even the modern Georgian government understands it and pursues a non-conflictory diplomacy with Russia while still being pro-EU. That's basically what Russians excpected from the Zelenskiy

We got too much into current politics now. I just want to clarify that Russian government care very little about former WarPac nations- the thing that really hurts it is when the mobs of political Pogromers start to pose danger to everyone pro-Russian in areas which Russia voluntairly gave up without any bargaining and without being forced to do it by organized resistance.

If you want to see me discussing the thread's topic itself- go to page 1.
 
Ok, but why NATO (North Americans and West Europeans) should care so much about East European concerns? Could you please give a NATO document that says that prime NATO goal is to keep Russia's 17th century borders intact?

Just as an aside, (I guess :) ) but the NATO "prime goal" was essentially stated to allow Western European Nations the right to self-defense and self-determination against "any" aggressor or threat. Yes this meant the USSR when it was organized but its always been viewed in a more general way by many of the nations that make up NATO as being "any aggressor IN Europe" (hence SETO etc) and that carried on once the USSR fell. That Russia has again become the focus of that idea is very much in Russia's wheelhouse and very much due to rhetorical and actual threatening postures and actual actions.

Addressing the initial OP I'd have to say the only way is to somehow NOT have Russia resurgent with it's oil money?

Randy
 
Or Georgia to a lesser extent.

Frankly, I'm less sympathetic to Georgia and the Georgian government of Saakashvili's policies, than to the Ukrainians getting invaded in 2014 or in 2022.

Certainly, the Russian Federation had done newly independent Georgia dirty in the 1990s by proxy supporting sub-independence for Abkhazia and Ossetia and using that to weaken Georgia. But those sub-Georgian ASSR's a) did have autonomy rights, and b) it was somewhat of a case of "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" once you start allowing secessions. Abkhazia and Ossetia, even in local opinion, were somewhat pulling a 'West Virginia' to Georgia's Virginia. That ethnic Georgians fled those regions could be entirely on Abkhaz and Osset bigotry, backed by Russians and Russian forces, or could be a product of both sides' decisions. However, it did seem to me that the Saakhasvili regime in 2008, *after 15 years of frozen conflict* was, confident in US ascendancy, assertiveness, and support under Bush-Cheney, trying to reheat to conflict and prepping violent threats and pressure to retake the regions. Bad idea with Russia. Russia got the last word in terms of using force, but was defending its over a decade old status quo assertively, not conquering Georgia.

Likewise, as an American I am grateful by comparison to the Russians, to have Mexicans, Cubans, and Canadians as proximate neighbors, and indigenous First Nations and Amish as our sub-national groups compared with the Russians having Chechens as alternatively a sub-national group with or without autonomy, or a disorderly neighbor. I doubt that innately Russian characteristics made them uniquely mean or cruel to Chechens in the circumstances of their historical interactions. If Chechens positions in North America somehow got along more happily with neighbors than Chechens in the Caucasus have, it would only be because of the developmental, distracting, and 'taming' consequences of greater wealth. Discussing in an ISOT in ASB if they'd been plopped into the great plains or Appalachia in the 19th century, I'm inclined to believe the Americans [or any other western, popularly responsive government] would have done a truly successful eliminationist genocide to them rather than the Tsarists partial genocide until pacification policy. Though always morally wrong, genocide has sadly been popular at times.

I thought we were talking about NATO expansion into Eastern Europe. Which wasn't so much NATO expanding, as those nations banging on NATO's door asking to be let in so that they had protection against Russian expansion.

Which seems to have been a very real and rational fear on their part.

It was mainly this hedge against a resurgent Russia. But there was also, not entirely absent, a desire to lock down, by Article 5 guarantee, the border of every country surrounding Germany. To leave no 'loose ends' around Germany's eastern side. No temptations, threats or opportunities. Especially once you had a couple Republikaner vote surges and Vladimir Zhirinovsky by 1993 clowning around with napkin maps showing Poland redivided between Russia and Germany.

There was also a desire, while the Yugoslav wars were going on, but before the Dayton Accords, to contain Balkan voting before copycat violence spread to any neighboring regions of Central Europe. For instance, anchor Hungary to the west via NATO (and repay a sentimental debt for past failures from 1848 to 1956) in exchange for hopefully good behavior like not trying to forcefully revise Trianon. Get Slovakia in, at least if they can meet standards, to make sure Hungary really knows they are off limits. A few years later, let Romania in for similar reasons, and for protection from spillover of Transnistira-Moldova, or Yugoslavia troubles.

It may be rational for Baltics (but Russia easily accepted their entrance,
I think it pissed Russia off quite a great deal.

The Ukranians in 2019 voted for Zelenskiy- the guy who ran on much less hawkish and pro-Western platform than Poroshenko and by some Zelenskiy used to be considered "Pro-Russian" (by post-Maidan criteria, ofc). He won because Poroshenko didn't manage to give the Ukranians the Western level of living standards they hoped for, the Ukranian population was disillusioned by the naive EuroEuphoria which fueled both Maidans (actually, a pretty common trait of many post-Soviet Urban Philisiters who think that liberal reforms would bring prosperity automatically.) His main promise to the electorate was to end the Donbass conflict as soon possible and other promises included such points as enacting a softer language law, for example.

And he did nothing he promised when elected president. For some reason, the pro-Estern electorate is never able to actually push their agenda even if their candidate becomes presid
also, the Moscow also used to be very important to Ukraine, considering sheer economic interdependence caused by Soviet economic chains. Hell, current Ukranian president used to be acting in many Russian films and even had a rant in around 2015 that "Nobody is going to watch films in Ukranian".
Please confine current political comments to Chat.
The appropriate place in Chat for your interesting comments is this thread from before the invasion: https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...-a-neutrality-agreement-a-non-starter.522498/

I have quoted them there. No further responses/quotes of them here please.


If you want to see me discussing the thread's topic itself- go to page 1.
Here it is for everyone - interesting comment:

Ok, as a Russian, I have some thoughts on it:
1) The first thing is to have the USSR intact and managing to bargain the "Finlandization" of Eastern (or the entire) Europe from the West. It was already mentioned here, that even if the so-called "Informal Bush senior promise" had existed, it was completely dead after the Union's dissolution (it's a fun thing that the end of the Cold War was declared by Bush senior and Gorby during the Malta summit, while nowadays everyone think that it came onlly after the complete Soviet collapse in 1991).
So, having a stronger Moscow (which still maintains reasonable level of relations with the West, ofc) would be really helpful. The propositions to Finlandize Eastern or the entire Europe were floating around since late Cold War and seemed to be the logical end game of the Soviet detente started during the Brezhnev Era (although, the first such proposals from Moscow is the Stalin's Note on Germany). In order to achieve that, you may play with some PoDs in around 60s-80s, which would make the US weaker/less hawkish (thus more willing to make a deal with the Kremlin) and/or making the USSR stronger, with earlier and more sensible reforms (while keeping at least Brezhnev pre-Afghan level of US-USSR tensions).

2) The second thing is to make the US more intrested in Russia during the 90s. The thing is that the first foreign minister of Russian Federation, Andrey Kozyrev, really hoped that the US would provide a "Second Marshall plan" for Russia, thus providing many concessions in order to boost the image of Russia in the West (for example, making the process of Russian troops withdrowal from Baltics b5 years faster than initially planned- setting up 1993 as the year for all Russian military to witdraw instead of 1998). For that we could use the Ross Perot victory in 1992 (the guy was very Anti-Chinese and wante to make Russia into "Citael of democracy"). [A big, big problem with a US Marshall Plan for the collapsed Russia were the Reagan-Bush deficits and accumulated debts and limited service cuts of the 1980s, and the recession of 1990-1992 that left the United States feeling less generous than it might have felt than if the Soviet Union had fallen prostrate in the rising tide of American middle-class prosperity 1950s or 1960s or at least less debt-ridden 1970s (or at least in the 1970s private sector interest in Russian and Central Asian energy would have been a motivator for cooperation. The bloated Reagan military build-up, and tax cuts, of the 1980s, left the USA feeling in no position to do a Marshall Plan in the 1990s. Additionally, evolution in economic theory had killed confidence in big spending and Keynesian pump-priming. Unfortunately, the Communist bloc made the strategic mistake of collapsing on itself and throwing itself at the mercy of the west *after* the breakdown of the welfare state consensus and mixed economy consensus and *after* the entrenching of neoliberal, market-fundamentalist Thatcherite and Reaganite views that had a naive nostalgia for Gilded Age ccapitalism as practiced in Marx's day. Also, during the early 1990s recession, despite feeling victorious politically and militarily, the USA felt outcompeted *economically* by Germany and Japan, and so would have felt they *they* owed the money for any Marshall Plan. Indeed, the USA was able to pawn off much of the bill for the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91 to Germany, Japan, and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.]


And 1993 WTC bombing succeeding would be a good PoD too- with War on Terror strating 8 years earlier, the US would be too occupied with islamic terrorists to intervene in Yugoslavia (and the Bosniaks wouldn't receive the US backing dur to the earlier rise of islamophobia). The First Chechen War is easier to win for Russia with better PR (while the Chechen leadership during the First War, unlike the Second, used to be secular nationalists, it's easy for propaganda to play on the islamophobic themes). So, with Muslims being the "common enemy" for both Americans and Russians during the 90s, we may see much less strains in US-RF relations. [Or a war with North Korea and China]

3) Chernomyrdin succeeding Yeltsin. Basically, Viktor Chernomyrdin was a long-serving premier, who'd initially been chosen as a compromise candidate to replace Gaidar in 1992. Basically, I came up with that idea due to the Gore-Chernomyrdin comission. Let's say that in US Gore is also elected in 2000 and the two develop an early Putin-Bush junior kind of relations with each other. Under Chernomyrdin, Russia may become a something like "Giant Ukraine"- a country run by Oligarchs without a stongman-ish leader like Putin. So, there is no "restoration of pride" in early 2000s Russia, the aftershocks of the 90s (gangs) last a bit longer- but Russia still looks as humilated as during the 90s, so there is less reasons for the Eastern Europeans to distrust her (although their fears of Russia have roots deep in history, so they would likely call for further "containment" no matter what).

4) Harliner China? Basically, with no Deng and his "Reforms and opening up", China would likely stay Maoist in some form (Guodeng or Gang of 4). So, USSR/Russia in such timeline may receive more Western investment and, with the PRC becoming the leader of the communist world after the USSR dissolves/reforms, we may see Western attention being directed towards China- especially if the continued backing of the Naxalites, Shining Path and Filipino communist guerillas would result in actual Civil Wars. So, with China being a common enemy for Washington and Moscow, the NATO expansion becomes less likely with Finlandization being more seriously considered compared to OTL.

5) EU-US split. The general trope here is to have a Sino-Soviet style split occur in the West during or after the Cold War. There may be some PoDs for it- US doing some very disgracing moves in foreign (using nukes in Vietnam or actively backing far-right regimes in Southern Europe) or internal policy (electiong some very far-right far-left, or isolationist president), UK never joining the EU or EU focusing on turning itself into a full-blown federation. Overall, the stablishment of a Euro military pact as an alternative to NATO is likely in such case and that pact may establish good relations or even outright incorporate Russia/moderate or reformed USSR. So, the Moscow here would be able to realize the strategy of "Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok" and becoming a counterbalance to the American influence.

P.S. Just a standalone bonus PoD: Remove the West German recognition of the Oder-Neisse line (No Brandt chancellorship basically) and it would cause a lot of problems for NATO expansion into Eastern Europe with chief continental European ally of US (FRG) having a major dispute with chief NATO aspirant- Poland. [Although that could cause serious problems for German relations with USA, France and UK, and possibly cause those three to have a degree of reconciliation with Moscow (and by extension Warsaw). Maybe Germany and Ukraine could be odd men out in Europe, allied to a China trying to make trouble.]
 
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Let’s just accept the darned premise on it’s face already, OK?

Would Russia likely have invaded/occupied Estonia or Latvia between 1989 and 2023? Would Russia have partly occupied either, creating a “frozen conflict”?

Would Russia have made any territorial moves related to Belarus and either Lithuania or Poland to establish a land corridor to Kaliningrad over this time?

Could somehow Warsaw and Moscow have come to an opportunistic pact to partition parts of Ukraine, Belarus or Lithuania?
 
Let’s just accept the darned premise on it’s face already, OK?

Would Russia likely have invaded/occupied Estonia or Latvia between 1989 and 2023? Would Russia have partly occupied either, creating a “frozen conflict”?

At least it would try intervene their domestic issues with way or another.

Would Russia have made any territorial moves related to Belarus and either Lithuania or Poland to establish a land corridor to Kaliningrad over this time?

Probably.

Could somehow Warsaw and Moscow have come to an opportunistic pact to partition parts of Ukraine, Belarus or Lithuania?

I doubt that. Poland is not going to ally with Russia under any condition. Do anyone in Poland even want Lviv back anymore? More plausible is alliance between Poland and Ukraine unless Ukraine get pro-Russia government. Them had pretty much on/off relations until recently.
 
Going back to the original question: the easiest way to prevent NATO expansion into Eastern Europe would be for the Cold War to end hot.

Hast du etwas zeit für mich? Dann singe ich ein leid für dich...
 
Near the end of the Cold War Gorbicheve and Bush got together and helped hash out an agreement on German reunification. Part of this included an informal promise to not expand NATO any further into Eastern Europe. That promise of course went up in smoke after the collapse of the Soviet Union but it made me curious about how you could find some other ways to prevent NATO expansion into Eastern Europe?
(Also please don’t bring any of the weird Russian propaganda around this topic into the conversation)
Here are some thoughts that come to mind in a rough order of plausibility (at least in my view..)

Have a different post WW2 relationship between the Soviet Union, the Baltic States and the Warsaw Pact nations that removed the desire by the Baltic States and the Warsaw Pact nations to join NATO after the Soviet Union split up and the cold war ended ?

Possibly have a few NATO nations veto the membership of the new states (but I suspect in practice other NATO nations would extend security guarantees to the candidate member states so from a Russia perspective not much would have changed ?

Maybe have a stronger USSR / post USSR Russia be somehow in a position to successfully demand that NATO doesn't expand (or other bi or multi lateral treaties accomplish more or less the same result) ? But that likely means that the cold war doesn't actually end ?

Have NATO simply disband (and not be replaced by a successor organization or succession of bi lateral treaties that more or less accomplished the same thing as NATO.) I don't think that was likely to happen IOTL.
 
America just has to be the superpower that can't say no, huh?

There's something about that implication really rankles me. It really irons my waffle.

And Britain and France being the great powers that can't say no. And so with Germany and Italy not having a right to say no. Should bother them too.

The 'inevitabilst' reaction that comes up very often in reaction to what ifs about US post-Cold War policy in particular, and US Cold War policies (like the Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Korea proxy wars) as well, tends to smother alternate history discussion and more and more demonstrates to me at least the need for an "Alternate History Improv" sub-forum where, just like stage improv, "no" isn't an acceptable answer to the OP's premise. If you're playin', you run with it.
IMHO...

In my view the US and other nations probably wanted to capitalize on being on the winning side of the cold war. Given the massive post WW2 effort put into winning the cold war it doesn't seem un reasonable to me that there was a desire to capitalize on being on the winning side. This desire combined with the desire of the Baltic states and the Warsaw pact nations to join NATO made their joining NATO post cold war a virtual certainty in my view. I was around when this went down and in my view the prevailing attitude amongst many was that the USSR was finished and Russia wanted to more or less wash its hands of Eastern Europe and focus their energies on Russia and perhaps some of the smaller former Soviet Republics. It wasn't as if NATO forced GFSG to move back to Russia thru force of arms.

I seem to recall seeing cold war era maps that essentially stated that the US never recognized the incorporation of the Baltic states into the Soviet Union (see https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/topics/united-states-non-recognition-policy) so in turn it doesn't seem unreasonable to me that the US would have been willing to have them join NATO.

Why wouldn't the US and other nations want to expand their influence into nations that freely wanted to join NATO ? In my view the uncertainty about what would have happened if the West had simply said "No" to the requests for NATO membership likely made saying no a non Starter (if saying No was ever even seriously considered ?)
 
With no bogeyman to the East there is no need for the Eastern Nations joining NATO
A bogeyman by definition is not something real. It's an imaginary threat. Eastern Europeans will be panicking about the Russian threat even if Russia is reduced to Samara.
2023-09-15_10-37-08.png
 
I thought we were talking about NATO expansion into Eastern Europe. Which wasn't so much NATO expanding, as those nations banging on NATO's door asking to be let in so that they had protection against Russian expansion.

Which seems to have been a very real and rational fear on their part.
No, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy.
 
IMHO...

In my view the US and other nations probably wanted to capitalize on being on the winning side of the cold war. Given the massive post WW2 effort put into winning the cold war it doesn't seem un reasonable to me that there was a desire to capitalize on being on the winning side. This desire combined with the desire of the Baltic states and the Warsaw pact nations to join NATO made their joining NATO post cold war a virtual certainty in my view. I was around when this went down and in my view the prevailing attitude amongst many was that the USSR was finished and Russia wanted to more or less wash its hands of Eastern Europe and focus their energies on Russia and perhaps some of the smaller former Soviet Republics. It wasn't as if NATO forced GFSG to move back to Russia thru force of arms.

I seem to recall seeing cold war era maps that essentially stated that the US never recognized the incorporation of the Baltic states into the Soviet Union (see https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/topics/united-states-non-recognition-policy) so in turn it doesn't seem unreasonable to me that the US would have been willing to have them join NATO.

Why wouldn't the US and other nations want to expand their influence into nations that freely wanted to join NATO ? In my view the uncertainty about what would have happened if the West had simply said "No" to the requests for NATO membership likely made saying no a non Starter (if saying No was ever even seriously considered ?)
The USSR’s other late Cold War enemies, China, Japan, Khomeinist Iran, the first of which )(China) had major territorial claims on Russia, Mongolia, and Central Asia; the second of which (Japan) had territorial claims on Russia; and the third of which had ideological claims for influence in the Islamic ex Soviet republics, and in Azerbaijan, a Shia sectarian and ethnic connection, all did *not* press forward post 1989 or post 1991 to capitalize on Moscow’s weakness and “get in Russia’s grill” - why did, uniquely, the western alliance have to do it?
 
The USSR’s other late Cold War enemies, China, Japan, Khomeinist Iran, the first of which )(China) had major territorial claims on Russia, Mongolia, and Central Asia; the second of which (Japan) had territorial claims on Russia; and the third of which had ideological claims for influence in the Islamic ex Soviet republics, and in Azerbaijan, a Shia sectarian and ethnic connection, all did *not* press forward post 1989 or post 1991 to capitalize on Moscow’s weakness and “get in Russia’s grill” - why did, uniquely, the western alliance have to do it?
None had plausible local allies willing to help them, or make themselves a nuisance if they didn’t receive help.

Iran, due to its burned-bridges relationship with the west, was reliant on Moscow for new military hardware in the 1990s. After 70 years of Soviet state atheism, the major avenue through which it might have been able to influence central Asian countries (shared religion) was eroded. What Islamist movements did exist were often Sunni and so uninteresting.

China and Japan directly border the RF, and so couldn’t really play any game of finding local friends.
 
Actually you need just one NATO country to veto expansion.
I have mentioned Turkey, but Germany is also a potential candidate, if the 1994 federal election just goes a little different, with Social Democrats and/or Greens in the government.
 
The USSR’s other late Cold War enemies, China, Japan, Khomeinist Iran, the first of which )(China) had major territorial claims on Russia, Mongolia, and Central Asia; the second of which (Japan) had territorial claims on Russia; and the third of which had ideological claims for influence in the Islamic ex Soviet republics, and in Azerbaijan, a Shia sectarian and ethnic connection, all did *not* press forward post 1989 or post 1991 to capitalize on Moscow’s weakness and “get in Russia’s grill” - why did, uniquely, the western alliance have to do it?
That is a good question..

In my opinion,

at least part of the answer stems from the circumstances in which the Soviet Union acquired the Baltic States (which the US never recognized as being part of the Soviet Union) and the way in which the the Soviets acquired a defacto sphere of influence over the Warsaw Pact nations post WW2. In my view the Polish situation in particular really annoyed some of the West as arguably the German invasion of Poland was the reason for some western nations entering WW2, and having to accept a Soviet Sphere of influence over Poland post WW2 was probably widely seen as something that was tolerated due to pragmatic considerations but wasn't really acceptable in the long term. As an example years ago I recall seeing a cold war era photo of a non US NATO soldiers displaying a banner or a sign that said something along the lines of "Poland or Bust" during a NATO exercise. In my view there was a strong belief amongst at least some of the West that the cold war era Polish situation needed to be changed if suitable circumstances presented themselves and the Poles were willing. The significant press that the Polish solidarity movement received in the west is also indicative of this in my view.

On a broader note I believe there was general sense of un happiness amongst at least parts of the west that nations that post WW1 had been independent had more or less fallen into a Soviet Sphere of influence (or in the case of the Baltic States were actually incorporated into the USSR) post WW2. In my view it wasn't reasonable for the Soviets / Russians to expect that they could more or less unilaterally abandon Poland and the other Warsaw Pact nations and not have these nations enter the NATO / Western Orbit (assuming the nations in question wanted to do so.)

I don't believe similar considerations applied to the various other territorial claims you mentioned and in particular the Russians seemed quite interested in preserving the territorial integrity of Russia. I'd argue it wouldn't have been reasonable for nations to expect they could try and carve out parts of Russia or parts of many of the smaller former Soviet Republics without eliciting a hostile response from Russia.

All that being said if I was a Russian citizen I suspect I would not agree with some of what I have written (I have had conversations with Russians who seem flabbergasted that significant parts of the West feel strongly about Poland being independent for example.) I think fundamentally there is a bit of disconnect between the perspectives of at least some of the population in the west and some of the population in Russia. I'm not sure what the long term solution to that might be.



Cheers.
 
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