Benjamin Abelow – How the West Provoked Russia

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What was the responsibility of the United States in bringing about the war in Ukraine?

That’s an angle of the Ukraine invasion that’s received little attention in the mainstream press. And while it doesn’t excuse the Russian invasion, or war, our guest argues Western provocations had the effect of bringing the situation to a crisis.

Our guest is Benjamin Abelow, author of the recent book How the West Brought War to Ukraine: Understanding How U.S. and NATO Policies Led to Crisis, War, and the Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe.

In the book, Abelow argues that moves like expanding NATO eastward toward Russia’s borders, and conducting military exercises there, created a sense of threat for Russia and contributed to its decision to invade Ukraine.

So too did the US’s withdrawal from treaties like the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, while placing anti-ballistic launch systems in newly-joined NATO countries, as did withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which increased Russian vulnerability to a US first strike.

Other provocations, says Abelow, were laying the groundwork for an armed, far-right coup in Ukraine, and leading Ukrainian leadership to adopt an uncompromising stance toward Russia.

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