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Putin Thinks the Ukraine War is ‘Unfair’

BM-27 Uragan at War in Ukraine
BM-27 Uragan firing in Ukraine. Image Credit: Twitter Screenshot.

The late Sir Winston Churchill once suggested, “There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies and that is fighting without them.” This is no doubt a point that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his lackeys now understand all too well as it is essentially facing the most powerful military alliance in the world.

In an article for Tass this week, it was noted that Western military assistance to Kyiv is already 94.9% of Russia’s defense spending last year – $51.1 billion. It is easy to see why Moscow has taken the stance that it isn’t in a war with just its neighbor but with NATO.

The article stated, “As Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized earlier… ‘the military potential and capabilities of virtually all major NATO countries are being actively used against Russia.’ Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu noted that Moscow is fighting not so much with the Ukrainian military as with the ‘collective West.'”

Tass further tried to emphasize that Russia was at a considerable financial disadvantage on the battlefield, as foreign aid to Ukraine has exceeded $150.8 billion, including military, humanitarian and financial support.

Sour Grapes For Putin on Ukraine

It is absolutely true that without that aid Kyiv would have been defeated long ago, a point noted by William Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel and ex-professor of history at the U.S. Air Force Academy, who told Newsweek this week, “there is no way Ukraine could have fought the Russian Army largely to a standstill.”

“Western military aid has created a stalemate in Ukraine,” added Astore. “Whether it will ultimately grant Ukraine a decisive edge depends on the willingness of the U.S. and NATO to continue supplying massive amounts of arms and ammo, together with the morale of Ukrainian forces and the willingness of Ukraine as a country to endure the brutal costs of war.”

For Russia, this fact is crystal clear – and likely especially frustrating.

It would be easy for Putin to cry foul that he wasn’t simply allowed to overrun his neighbor. That point has been noted by his supporters – and by those who are foes of America – that the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq would have been considerably different had Moscow, China, or another power provided aid to our adversaries.

Yet, that is exactly how the Cold War was fought.

It was a number of proxy wars, and in many ways, Ukraine is simply the latest example. However, Ukraine did ask for and received assistance from the West. This is what international alliances are about, and this is the West’s way of ensuring that Russia doesn’t take the path of the Soviet Union in demanding it has a “sphere of influence” over its neighbors.

Putin and his cronies can argue this is about Russian security, and those anti-Ukrainian factions in America can ponder “how would America feel if Mexico joined an alliance with China?” But the point remains that Kyiv didn’t want to be overrun and the Ukrainian people didn’t want to be ruled by Moscow.

Likewise, Mexico doesn’t need China’s protection as it has treaties that are honored by the United States.

Why NATO Expanded

Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – as well as Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria – sought NATO membership, not for some future hope of a war with Russia, but because of past history that reminds them, they were all once either under the direct control of Moscow or in its sphere of influence.

This may have seemed a “threat” to Putin, but he has admitted that he sees the dissolution of the Soviet Union as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.”

Finally, as the Brookings Institution noted last summer, Putin sought to portray the pre-invasion crisis that Moscow created with Ukraine as a NATO-Russia dispute, but that framing does not stand up to serious scrutiny. Russia retains the world’s largest nuclear arsenal and that serves as a serious deterrent to any invader.

It was Russia, under Putin’s leadership, that resulted in NATO taking a harder line – and why historically neutral nations such as Finland and Sweden are now seeking membership.

Putin may feel the situation isn’t fair, but if he wanted an easy victory he should have cheated in a game of Risk.

Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Matt Brubach

    January 14, 2023 at 1:01 am

    Finally, a really good article from 1945! Mr. Suciu’s writing style is far superior to those of his colleagues.

  2. Walker

    January 14, 2023 at 3:40 am

    This article makes a lot of good points. ex-Warsaw pact countries see Russia as a threat for obvious reasons and it is no wonder they wanted to join NATO. So it really is not that Russia sees NATO as a direct threat but just a threat to its ability bully neighbors. So Europe and US are really justified in stymying Russian aggression. And the article really shows the value that Ukraine is getting from us. It just goes to show how Daniel Davis should be forced to sit in the corner with a dunce cap on. I can’t wait for the day when Putin is hanging from a tree and Russia breaks up on itself. Russia will still exist in some form unfortunately.

  3. Steve

    January 15, 2023 at 2:05 am

    If Putin & his cronies didn’t think there’d be serious consequences for Russia invading a NATO-adjacent country, they have only their own stupidity to blame. Putin’s attempt to force now independent former Soviet Union republics into Russia is deeply unpopular, as well as a violation of international law. The world rallied to the defense of Ukraine, and the corrupt, ill-equipped & poorly led Russian military was exposed. Nice job, Vlad!

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