Russia’s uncivilized invasion threatens all Americans’ interests
Russia and Ukraine are so distant from the United States that many Americans believe that a war there is of little concern to America. People do not see that the conflict is another phase of the ongoing battles between democracy vs. autocracy and capitalism vs. communism.
During World War II, Nazi Germany was not America’s only opponent in Europe. The Russians were battling the Germans on the Eastern front, but they did not support the American principle of democracy. However, when the war ended in 1945, the Russians gained control of East Germany, while the U.S., Britain and France administered the rest of Germany. The USSR built the Berlin Wall.
Bolsheviks in Russia had ousted the czars to establish a dictatorship of the proletariat that was disdainfully recognized in the west as the Communist Party. Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) became the leader of Russia and its allied nations, called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
Russia and its 14 satellite countries was the world’s largest geopolitical entity. However, the USSR commitment to communism provoked the so-called “Cold War” with the U.S. from 1947 to 1991. The West challenged the extension of Russian influence over other European countries that had benefitted from Russian military assistance in World War II. Czechoslovakia became independent and Romania, Poland and Bulgaria later retained their sovereignty.
Armenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania became independent, while Ukraine and several other states became members of Russia’s CIS, the Commonwealth of Independent States. The CIS was an effort to establish an association for eastern nations that would become similar to a NATO for Western Europe.
President Vladimir Putin of Russia made it clear that he wanted to annex Ukraine when he claimed control of Crimea in 2015. Putin asserted that Crimea was historically part of Russia. When this unlawful act failed to provoke severe world reaction, Putin began plans to occupy and annex the rest of the country.
Putin claimed his troops entered Ukraine to rescue two provinces that had declared independence, and to “denazify” the rest of the country from oppression. Women and children fled to Poland and the men took up arms against the Russian army. According to economist Paul Krugman, this war has occurred because Putin has established the ability for oligarchs to hoard substantial wealth overseas amounting to an estimated 85% of Russia’s GDP.
So many American Republicans have canonized a dictator who has established a kleptocracy that deprives its citizens and wages war to annex the sovereign state of Ukraine.