Russia feels threatened by NATO. There’s history behind that,

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times

Thirty years ago this month, the Soviet Union collapsed, and Ukraine broke away from Moscow’s control. Russian President Vladimir Putin has never gotten over it.

That, more than anything, underlies the current crisis in which Putin has moved nearly 100,000 troops to Ukraine’s frontier, raising fears of an invasion.

“To us, the end of the Soviet Union is a done deal,” but not to Putin, said historian Mary Sarotte. “What he really wants to do is renegotiate the 1990s.”

Last week, Russia sent the United States a list of its demands for defusing the crisis: a binding promise that Ukraine will never become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, plus the removal of all NATO troops and weapons from 14 Eastern European countries that have joined the alliance since 1997.

It was not an encouraging sign. The demands were so extreme that they appeared intended for rejection — or, worse, as a pretext for invasion. None of this should come as a surprise. […]

Russia’s western border is NATO’s eastern flank. American and British military advisors serve in Ukraine; U.S. missile defense systems sit in Poland and Romania; and NATO troops conduct exercises in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, once part of the Soviet Union. Läs artikel

Läs även Mats Björkenfeldts presentation av Sarottes bok som tidigare publicerats på den här sajten.