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LETTER: Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Cold War: Is the West getting what it bargained for?

Rescuers work at the crash site of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' Antonov aircraft, which, according to the State Emergency Service, was shot down in Kyiv region. Picture: Reuters – supplied by third party

Rescuers work at the crash site of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' Antonov aircraft, which, according to the State Emergency Service, was shot down in Kyiv region. Picture: Reuters – supplied by third party

Published Mar 1, 2022

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Rescuers work at the crash site of the Ukrainian Armed Forces' Antonov aircraft, which, according to the State Emergency Service, was shot down in Kyiv region. Picture: Reuters – supplied by third party

THE WEST especially conservative elements in the US and Europe, have got what they had bargained for. Russia has finally attacked Ukraine.

For decades after the end of the Cold War, Russia has repeatedly warned the West that it should refrain from goading it by wanting to militarily threaten it in what these conservative elements have been calling “breaking the back of the Russian Bear”.

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They were never satisfied that after the end of the Cold War, Russia refused to become their poodle – as graphically illustrated by Putin’s recalcitrance.

In essence, Russia has felt vulnerable that Nato and the West were increasingly encircling that country by expanding this military alliance to its borders. Indeed, Russia has legitimately argued that after the Cold War, the West promised that it would not threaten its security by expanding Nato to its borders – which was a hollow promise.

We know today that no matter how strident the West wants to portray Putin as a “mad man” – it is the author of this crisis which is now by all indications, is going to engulf not only Europe, but the whole world with catastrophic consequences.

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What is mystifying is why Western intelligence never picked up that Putin was serious in his view that Russia felt under threat and consequently some diplomatic measures could have been put in place to appease him. The reality is that they knew this but arrogantly and wilfully pushed ahead to expand Nato.

Any observer of global politics would have been very naïve to think that Putin was joking when he said he would protect Russia no matter at what cost.

Today the world will have to reap the whirlwind of Western foolishness of wanting to control the world because leaders such as Putin are never going to tolerate such machinations.

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Dr Thabisi Hoeane

Pretoria

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