24.10.2023 Author: Abbas Hashemite

Why Some Western Philosophers Blame NATO for Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Why Some Western Philosophers Blame NATO for Russia-Ukraine Conflict

The Russia-Ukraine conflict commenced in February 2022 when the former entered the latter. Most of the Western propaganda media channels put the ounce of this conflict solely on Russia. The West has completely blocked the Russian media. It has established unprecedented censorship and control over the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict to prevent the Western public from knowing the facts leading to this conflict. They portray it as President Putin’s ambition to revive the Soviet Union, ignoring the historical and geographical facts behind the conflict and his denial of any desire to revive the Soviet Union. Although ignorance is considered a bliss in some situations, this time it is proving a catastrophe because this event would affect the global geopolitics for decades to come. The Soviet Union collapsed at the end of the Cold War, which resulted in the creation of many new countries in the region. This created a security concern for Russia. The United States and Russia agreed to no further eastward expansion of the NATO in the 1990s. This deal was made between the then-Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev and the US officials while discussing the conditions for the reunification of Germany on February 9, 1990. The two sides agreed that there would be no NATO expansion beyond the territory of East Germany. This promise was reiterated by the then Secretary General of NATO in one of his speeches that very year in Brussels. However, the only mistake committed by the soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at that time was that he trusted the oral promises of the Western leaders, and this treaty was never recorded on paper.

Russia wanted its neighboring states to act as buffer zones against any European or Western invasion, as the collapse of the Soviet Union created a security concern for it. However, NATO betrayed this promise multiple times since then. NATO added Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary as its member states in 1999. This was the first violation of the agreement between Russia and NATO. This move sparked a debate within NATO and the American establishment that adding new members would increase the financial burden and would make it less effective. Georgia and Ukraine are among the most significant neighboring states for Russia. They provide access to Russia’s border to the Western nations. Tim Marshal holds in his book, The Prisoners of Geography, that Ukraine provides the best land route access to Russia to the European countries and the West, endangering the former’s security. Georgia’s ambitions of becoming an EU and NATO member led to the Russia-Georgia Conflict. The West knew that it had violated the Russian red line and thus responded weakly. Similarly, the West provoked the Russia by meddling in Ukraine’s politics and overthrowing the government of democratically elected pro-Russian President Viktor F. Yanukovych. Russia responded  by holding a referendum on Crimea’s inclusion into the Russian Federation. This response was a message to the West that Russia would not allow the former to step into its redlines.

NATO’s eastward expansion is the root cause of the recent Russia-Ukraine conflict. NATO wanted to add Ukraine as its member country. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was pursuing the ambition of making his country a NATO member. This raised security concerns for Russia. The latter warned Ukraine and NATO about the implications of this move. However, Ukraine’s NATO ambitions led to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Contrary to the Western claims of Russia’s ambitions to revive the Soviet Union, some famous Western Philosophers hold NATO and the West responsible for inciting this conflict. Noam Chomsky, considered one of the greatest living intellectuals of the current era, also endorses this idea. He further says that this belief is also shared by many high-level US diplomatic officials who are familiar with Eastern Europe and Russia. He also claimed that some US leaders violated the agreement by abstaining the NATO’s eastward expansion due to domestic political issues. Shunning the Western claims, he also holds that Russia is fighting more humanly than the US fought in Iraq. Moreover, John J. Mearsheimer, a famous American political scientist and philosopher, has also blamed the US and NATO for the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. He further holds that the US has laid the ground for Russia’s entrance to Ukraine and sparking a nuclear war between Russia and the US by pushing the NATO expansion and establishing closer ties with Ukraine. Many other Western analysts have also endorsed such claims. However, NATO and the US are still pursuing such policies which can lead the world to World War 3 as they are now attempting to include Finland and Sweden into NATO. Finland joined NATO officially in April 2023 while the membership process of Sweden is still in progress. Russia has warned of severe security and political implications of the NATO membership of Sweden and Finland. The West and NATO, on their part, should take prudent measures to avoid conflicts in the region. However, it seems that the US and NATO want Russia to remain involved in regional wars to refrain the latter from rising economically.


Abbas Hashemite- is a political observer and research analyst for regional and global geopolitical issues. He is currently working as an independent researcher and journalist, exclusively for “New Eastern Outlook”.

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