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Posts Tagged ‘Russian aggression’

The myth of Russian aggression – spiked

Posted by M. C. on November 17, 2021

As is so often the case, what was presented as an aggressive stance on the part of Russia was only half the story. The other half was what the US, the UK and NATO were doing not a hundred kilometres from Russia’s borders. Once you factor this in, you might just conclude that Russia was doing no more than taking prudent precautions and that any troop movements were primarily defensive.

Granted, memories in the era of instant media are short. But are they so short that US and European public opinion is being invited to accept, without challenge, a new round of scaremongering about Russia that comes only six months after the last?

It was, after all, as recently as April that most of Europe was on tenterhooks over reports that 100,000 Russian troops were massing on Ukraine’s eastern border, preparing for… well, it was never quite spelled out what they were preparing for. It could have been an invasion and takeover of the whole of Ukraine, the installation of a puppet government in the Donbass, or the annexation – or ‘integration’, as Russia might have preferred to say – of that territory by the Russian Federation, on the model of Crimea in 2014. Or just a new ‘offensive’ against Ukrainian government forces in the region.

Then, not only did nothing happen, but also two rather large clarifications emerged. The first was that there were not, and never had been, 100,000 Russian troops massing on Ukraine’s border. The vast majority were at their bases many kilometres away. And second, the much smaller number who were moving around were likely to be doing so in response to reports of Ukrainian troops mustering for a spring offensive, new weapons deliveries from the UK and the US, and some rather extensive NATO exercises being conducted in the Black Sea and to the west of Ukraine.

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Mary Dejevsky is a writer and broadcaster. She was Moscow correspondent for The Times between 1988 and 1992. She has also been a correspondent from Paris, Washington and China.

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