Are The US To Blame For The Ukraine-Russia Conflict?

Yesterday morning, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The Russian military laid siege to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and as a result thousands of civilians have fled the city to seek refuge. There have been multiple air strikes over the city resulting in severe destruction and 137 fatalities.

As the invasion of Ukraine reached headlines across the world, thousands of people have looked to the media to help explain why Russia have invaded Ukraine, and how this catastrophic situation can be resolved.

The dominant narrative in the media is that the invasion was a sudden, unprovoked attack by Vladimir Putin, whose aim is to absorb Ukraine into the Russian empire. The only solution it appears, is for Western leaders to impose a multitude of sanctions on Russia and to send military aid to Ukraine.

After researching the Russo-Ukrainian conflict more, I came across a slightly different, albeit more controversial, explanation for the invasion by Professor John J. Mearsheimer.

A professor of Internal Relations at the University of Chicago, Mearsheimer believes that the Russians aren’t the only “bad guys” in this conflict. In fact, Mearsheimer predominantly blames the United States, arguing that the US provoked Russia by continuously trying to make Ukraine a part of NATO.

In an interview with Kings Politics Mearsheimer explains his view on the situation.

The idea that you could take a military alliance”, says Mearsheimer, “and run it up to Russia’s borders, and think that the Russians wouldn’t be bothered by it is simply unthinkable”.

NATO, the US-led international military alliance, has been expanding throughout Eastern Europe since the late 1990s, and typically leads to US troops and weapons being deployed in said country. Even though Ukraine is not officially a NATO member, the US have sent more than $2.5 billion in military aid to them since 2014. Russia, Mearschiemer argues, perceive this as an existential threat to their security.

Don’t you think the Russians“, Mearscheimer continues, “are going to be deeply disturbed by the United States turning Ukraine into a bulwark right on its borders? Or course they are! The Russians made it categorically clear that Ukraine is not going to become part of NATO. But of course the Americans, and their allies, did not listen”.

Mearscheimer ultimately believes that the US are to blame for the conflict in Ukraine, and argues that it will only be resolved once the US stop trying to make Ukraine a NATO member. This, however, seems extremely unlikely.

You can watch to the full interview with Professor Mearscheimer below:


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