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How the West Brought War to Ukraine: Understanding How U.S. and NATO Policies Led to Crisis, War, and the Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe

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Dr Lewis argues that if the war is truly about Putin’s ‘imperial legacy project’ and an attempt to bring Ukrainian territory back under his control, then creating an uninhabitable post-nuclear wasteland, would make ‘little strategic sense’. Russia’s re-invasion of Ukraine breached the UN Charter and fundamental international law, says Chatham House International Law programme director Rashmin Sagoo. It is now clear that, contrary to the Kremlin’s expectations, the war has consolidated the West, rather than weakened it. Instead, the West will have to live, as one pole of a multipolar world, with hostile dictatorships such as China and Russia, but also with independent major powers such as India and Turkiye. The choice of face-to-face surveys in the latter two countries was directed by the tense internal political and social situation in Russia and poor quality of internet in India’s smaller cities.

This report is based on a public opinion poll of adult populations (aged 18 and over) conducted in late December 2022 and early January 2023 in ten European countries (Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Spain), and in five countries outside Europe (China, India, Turkiye, Russia, and the United States). For starters, the fact that NATO has deployed nuclear-capable weapons systems within range of Russia’s capital was a bit of a shock.NATO is a voluntary defence organisation, formed for the mutual defence and protection against Russia.

Susi Dennison, Josef Lolacher, and Anand Sundar made sensitive and useful suggestions on the substance. I think some of them certainly believe they’re doing it for the good of the country as well as their own good. Russia has a history of being invaded from the west; at the beginning of the 19th century, at the beginning of the 20th century and, most devastatingly, during the 2WW when the USSR lost more people than the combined total of the rest of its western allies. This is also what Brazil is currently doing: President Lula speaks in favour of preserving his country’s neutrality vis-à-vis Ukraine and Russia, to avoid “any participation, even indirect,” even as he accepts that Russia “was wrong” to invade its neighbour. Harkening back to the days when people with strong opinions would simply print them and hand them out to as many people as possible, “ How the West Brought War to Ukraine” is designed to be short, approachable and very much to the point.This philosophy suggests that a doctrine of restraint should take the place of the doctrine of deterrence.

But, warns Jamie Shea, ‘the risk of escalation is ever present with a Russian regime on the back foot and willing to lash out. The fundamental decision by Germany is something Jamie Shea, associate fellow in the Chatham House International Security programme, says ‘I thought I would never see in my lifetime’, bringing security policy alongside foreign policy for the first time in decades. By way of comparison, 31 per cent of Americans and Britons characterise their own country as “declining.

But the markets have fundamentally changed with new deals, renewables on the rise, and both governments and consumers alike all too aware of the dynamics and fragility of the global supply network. Prudent, given that it’s just a little bit too long for even the most dedicated online reader and just a little bit too short to be considered a proper work of political nonfiction. Other results in our poll further suggest that people in China, India, and Turkiye are sceptical of claims about defending democracy.

Since the start of the war, Ukrainians have emerged and shattered the country’s inferiority complex of being Russia’s ‘little brother’. Forced to crack down on such activities of oligarchs and their associates, UK and other states have realised they cannot keep letting this cash flow in while trying to leverage sanctions and take the moral high ground. Putin will be all too aware of the fears this would cause, particularly in Ukraine as the site of the world’s worst nuclear power accident – Chernobyl in 1986. Putin’s efforts to use gas as a weapon have so far failed despite the huge costs of subsidizing expensive alternatives to Gazprom’s supplies,’ he says.In addition, self-sanctioning by thousands of companies, from Apple to McDonald’s, who either ceased or curtailed operating in Russia has effectively added to pressure. That truth may turn out to be exactly what one already believes or it may turn out to be something quite different.

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