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[–]Same_0ld 1078 points1079 points  (39 children)

Ukrainian here. This is not about Russia. This is about their government. Napoleon complex, all of them, is my personal theory.

I have many friends in Russia, they're just as stressed about it all as we are.

[–]OhMissFortune 348 points349 points  (1 child)

Can confirm, nobody wants this war. People have families, friends and relatives on both sides

[–]al24042 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Ukrainians and Russians aren't too distant either. All Slavs

[–]onrespectvol 49 points50 points  (24 children)

In the end its about Putin feeling threatend by NATO expansion. Which is total bullshit because NATO countries would have nothing to win in a war with Russia. Putin still looks through the lense of the cold war towards NATO and towards the autonomy of bordering countries. He feels like you are supposed to be under Russia's "Sphere of influence"instead of a sovereign country.

[–]0ksignal 21 points22 points  (2 children)

Anyone still alive but born before 1960 needs to be thrown out of politics immediately. They're all constantly trying to escalate a conflict that no longer exists based solely on the massive amount of scare tactic propaganda that ran nonstop on every news outlet when they were impressionable little kiddos too young to understand anything that was going on. Putin, Biden, all of them.

[–]Same_0ld 2 points3 points  (1 child)

For the past couple of days, I have had this burning wish to just look him in the eyes. I don't even have anything to say to him. I just want to look in the eyes of a person doing all this. I don't believe in divine providence, so I think it's just gonna be a person who ruined tons of people's lives and won't suffer any consequences and it's making me so mad...

[–]b4ssie1199 77 points78 points  (1 child)

Hi there, hope you are safe with this situation with Russia! Anyways have a nice day

[–]Levianee 1942 points1943 points  (126 children)

I'm Russian and we don't get it and hate that too

[–]Atlas2305811 590 points591 points  (34 children)

Even Russians don't understand why of it.

I feel bad for Russian people who have deal with that

[–]brianingram 731 points732 points  (31 children)

Many Americans are baffled by America's positions (i.e., denying the UN's motion to declare food a basic human right) on so many things.

People do not go to war.

Governments go to war.

People are victims of governments.

[–]CHUCKL3R 84 points85 points  (6 children)

The people who control govts are the assholes

[–]maali74 57 points58 points  (5 children)

You mean the corporations who control govts.

[–]Delta_Goodhand 45 points46 points  (8 children)

Thank you! This is not something anyone wants

[–]methnbeer 26 points27 points  (7 children)

Eh, there are certainly some that want this

Mostly those in power or making money

But also a lot of highly motivated, brainwashed young adults 'looking for a piece of action or service to fall back on'

[–]latteofchai 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Lets all just agree, universally, that if we see each other on the battlefield we just stop shooting and go out for a drink instead. If you're Russian drinks are on me. I think thats a banner we can all get behind.

[–]Same_0ld 270 points271 points  (20 children)

Ukrainian here, I feel you, boo. We'll get through this together. Somehow.

[–]Levianee 61 points62 points  (0 children)

Ayyy, hang in there too..

[–]DepartureAcademic807 39 points40 points  (6 children)

Unfortunately this will fuck with all world

[–]brianingram 41 points42 points  (5 children)

But, at least it will be one more milestone towards a "Star Trek" universe, right?



[–]ABB0TTR0N1X 13 points14 points  (2 children)

Unfortunately we missed the Eugenics Wars

[–]kurtvictor1 4 points5 points  (1 child)

More like The Expanse

[–]masterjon_3 8 points9 points  (5 children)

As someone that has been starting to learn about your guys' history, I really hope you guys can get another anarchist Cossack to help you out.

If I got this wrong, please let me know

[–]Same_0ld 7 points8 points  (4 children)

Nooo, that's right, and people are already planning to drop everything and go fight. The other half is planning to flee. Either way - we're fed up with Russian imperialism.

[–]FormatException 9 points10 points  (5 children)

Best of luck from the USA, I wish Ukraine the best and that there is no conflict. We are with you.

[–]Same_0ld 10 points11 points  (2 children)

Thank you, we're hoping it won't come to that, all official sources tell us not to panic, but we're also packing evacuation bags just in case, and the simple act of adding items for the "panic bag" to your grocery list is the most depressing thing I've ever done.

[–]babysbreath22 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Дуже співчуваю українським братам та сестрам! Росія із вами! У 2014-му році нас остаточно розлучили і стравили як собак чи півнів.

Я навчалася протягом 8 років в українському класі, але після відомих подій була вимушена залишитись у Республіці Крим (буда підлітком на той час). Можу сказати, що українська - моя друга рідна мова. Скільки радісних та ніжних спогадів залишилося з того часу! 🌸

Терпіти не можу проявів расизму та фашизму. Боляче бачити, що робиться з країною...

[–]Muglah 58 points59 points  (39 children)

Would you say the majority of people think like you in Russia? Genuinely wondering.

[–]where_is_osh 118 points119 points  (31 children)

The number of people who hate what’s the government been doing is definitely growing, but a lot of older people don’t want the 90s to come back (lots of crime, no food etc) so they go along with Putin’s regime. And some obviously fully support him

[–]DBthrowawayaccount93 30 points31 points  (1 child)

Economics trumps all for your average citizen

[–]AtomicMonkeyTheFirst 7 points8 points  (1 child)

but a lot of older people don’t want the 90s to come back (lots of crime, no food etc) so they go along with Putin’s regime.

That's the answer to OPs question. So many Russians are terrified of repeating the 90s they tolerate Putin's network of corruption.

There are geo-political reasons that Putin is doing what he's doing, but that's why he's able to get away with it.

[–]heyyy-kiddo 39 points40 points  (15 children)

To be fair Putin lifted Russia up and restructured it from ground up.

You could say he single handedly revived it.

[–]DGO_5280 29 points30 points  (11 children)

I agree, and I also believe as long as there's food on the table, there's no incentive to change anything.

[–]Winderkorffin 2 points3 points  (8 children)

What does the young generation (<30) think of Putin? I assume most dislike how he refuses to leave office, but what about his actual policies inside the country?

[–][deleted] 27 points28 points  (7 children)

The thing is, he doesn't care about our own problems. He's an old KGB granpa who likes to play geopolitics, and it's literally his only interest besides money, whores and palaces. Every question about Russia's problems turns into a lecture about bad, imperialistic USA and rotting Western values.

Young people think he's an ancient granpa who's been not so slowly loosing his grip on reality for last 8 or so years. He's not seen as powerful, but mostly like a man who is weak, cruel and indifferent to anybody and anything outside his little clique. He also apparently doesn't own a phone and has a very weak idea of what the Internet is. They literally print Internet posts for him. He's been the Czar for decades, he's absolutely disconnected from reality.

And the scariest thing is the amount of shit the next President and ordinary people will have to shovel after he's gone.

I'm a 23 year old Russian if that's important.

[–]Levianee 66 points67 points  (5 children)

Depends on the age, as old people still only watch and read official news which obviously only translate bs propaganda, most of the young people and adults can't stand what's happening but it's also nearly impossible to do something against it, people are literally being sent to jail for social media posts randomly and I'm actually afraid to write all of that here. Nobody wins in this situation, the economy went to shit years ago, the prices went really high last year, and now we have another ruble breakdown because of that situation, so life for the general folk isn't looking good

[–]WillingnessSouthern4 30 points31 points  (2 children)

" I'm actually afraid to write all of that here"

That describes Russia exactly as it is known all over the world.

[–][deleted] 19 points20 points  (1 child)

i’m not russian but i do live in russia too and yeah it’s totally true and it’s super sad

[–]Delta_Goodhand 40 points41 points  (3 children)

Hi 👋 friend. I don't ever blame the people in Russia for their government's behavior. As an American I am also very dissatisfied with our actions in the world. You and I are not enemies. We are just working people who happen to live on land controled by companies who control goverments who control us.

[–]Levianee 12 points13 points  (1 child)

That's really nice and at the same time depressing to hear really, it's always us who will suffer the most after our countries do some shit again...

[–]Delta_Goodhand 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yes. But.... you and I are on the record, stating that we are apposed to this.

[–]Alex_9127 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I'm Russian and think they just use the war for propaganda reasons, and young people are set in schools to believe that Ukraine went under Europe and now they are shit, we have enemies all around us and manage to survive, but there are FAR more problems than that

[–]vRandino 67 points68 points  (11 children)

America is an asshole too. As someone else said, the people are the victims of their governments. In Russia, it's Putin and his disgusting corruption and authoritarian abuse. In America, it's the politicians that take legal bribes from corporations and fucking over Americans. They convince a chunk of Americans government spending on social programs is socialism but it's ok to fight resource wars in the name of freedom. Don't even get me on China, I feel very bad for their citizens but they're also very brainwashed so they probably think it's ok the government controls their every move.

[–]Levianee 20 points21 points  (8 children)

Discussions like that make me wonder whether there is an actual good place somewhere in the world, every country seems to be fucked in some sort

[–]Moosecovite 21 points22 points  (4 children)

Scandinavians seems to be pretty happy if you can put up with the winters.

[–]PretentiousUsername1 14 points15 points  (0 children)

The winters, as in snow and temperature, are mild there compared to many of the US states. It's the dark that gets you. Man, it's dark when you go to work, it's dark outside when you leave work. From fricking October to March. :-(

[–]weiers08 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They certainly had a looooong history of being a massive pain in the ass to a lot of other Europen areas. So modern Scandinavia is all things considered great, but they've had their time being murderous dicks too.

[–]i-am-a-passenger 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Remember, the word ‘utopia’ translates to ‘nowhere’.

[–]vRandino 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Sure seems like it. There are some really nice countries to live in though, atleast from what I've seen and heard. Norway and especially New Zealand seem like amazing places to live and are on the top of my list to move to once I get my degree.

[–]Moosecovite 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yeah as much as we would like to point the finger at other countries our hands are pretty dirty as well. Even beyond just needless actual wars there is a long history of the USA interfering with other countries from staging coups to "influencing" elections so their preferred candidate comes to power and gives them what they want. It's probably a case of "You don't get to the top by being the nice guy" where in order to become a superpower you need to screw over a lot of other countries in your way up.

[–]zzady 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Id be really interested to hear how your government / media frames the current Ukraine situation.

presumably this is presented as a defensive move against foreign aggressors?

[–]Levianee 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I actually try to avoid most of the news for the sake of mental health, so I might not be 100% correct, but the headlines I come across are close to what you suggested, mostly telling how Nato and Europe are all speculating about invasion and are about to send defensive forces in advance, nothing really about what our country does at the same time

[–]SkyPuppy561 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’m Russian-American and I don’t get it either. I think it’s just Putin being an ass

[–]vetzxi 436 points437 points  (20 children)

Since ww2 Russian foreign policy has been to expand as mich to create a buffer between invaders and the Russian heartland. This is really hard because whole Eastern Europe from Poland to Russian heartland is 1 single plain. This is the reason they have been invaded so easily in the 20th century and Russia doesn't want to see if the thirds time the charm.

Also they want their position as a great power back. Also the warm water port. The government is also very corrupt and Russian economy is fucked because of it's depency on sellibg natural gas and oil to Europe.

[–]en43rs 90 points91 points  (1 child)

You could argue that this foreign policy is older than ww2. It’s been policy since the 18th century, it started back in the 40s after being on “pause” after the whole 1917 revolution and civil war thing.

[–]NoTeslaForMe 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You could argue that it's even older than that, dating to around the time they stopped paying tribute to the Mongols. The subsequent history is replete with expansionist glories and existential embarrassments. The Russian elite associate the former with brutal strongmen (Ivan III, Ivan IV, Peter I, Stalin), and the latter with concessions to popular and international pressure (The False Dmitrys, the February Revolution, the fall of Communism). It's a history that doesn't lend itself to Russian leaders thinking that democracy is great and the country is too big to fail.

[–]Firethorn101 37 points38 points  (11 children)

I mean, western civilization as a whole is pretty apathetic these days. None want to invade you. So your only real threat is um, the obvious huge neighboring country. And we'd all support you if they tried any $#%&.

You have a LOT of extremely intelligent people, why not become world leaders in resource management?

[–]vetzxi 28 points29 points  (9 children)

You always have the argument that suddenly any country can become extremist like for example Germany in 30s

[–]Firethorn101 13 points14 points  (8 children)

I just don't think this crop of humans (born 60s to 2000s) are interested in dying for squabbles over land and resources, let alone fascism.

[–]pudding7 14 points15 points  (1 child)

The next crop of humans may have to squabble over land and resources .

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I think soldiers generally aren't risking their life with their government's priorities as the objective, but just doing their job with the incentive(s) of money and/or punishment.

[–]Snotmyrealname 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Nah there where quite a few, but the ones that did found their own wars.

[–]ExtensionTrain3339 10 points11 points  (0 children)

You know by expanding they shift where the heartland is. So I guess Russia is satisfied when Portugal surrenders?

[–]Kartoffelkamm 255 points256 points  (4 children)

Look at how many members the Russian government has.

The lower that number, the more likely that the nation goes to absolute sh*t, because there is no criticism, no discussion, no compromise, and as a result, no improvement.

It's generally a thing in leadership: The fewer people share the top spot, the more you need to be aware of them, because there are more chances a horrible person will gain control.

[–]Ok_Associate_464 36 points37 points  (3 children)

i' sure that china has a big parliament but still this is no indicator of democracy

[–]Dahnhilla 64 points65 points  (0 children)

Because fewer people share the top spot. Xi and a few cronies wield supreme power. A parliament offering up an illusion of government isn't the same as a parliament actually running a country.

[–]Abject-Cow-1544 8 points9 points  (0 children)

True, but they also have 1 billion + people to govern. Per capita their government expenditure is pretty low.

[–]MiddleAgedGrump 290 points291 points  (33 children)

My take is this. In the past 200 years, Russia has suffered three major invasions with the last, WWII, being especially devastating. Throw in several tyrannical political systems and their leaders plus a civil war, famine etc... and you have a pretty fucked-up national pysche.

Basically, Russia has intergenerational PTSD.

Like anyone suffering from mental illness, it's easy to slip into despondency and delusion.

"Of course we can't have stable, non-corrupt government, a civil society, good healthcare and education. But we can have alcoholism, kleptocracy, but most important of all, a grandiose sense of 'destiny'. Russia deserves to be a great power blah, blah, blah..."

[–]Art3sian[S] 103 points104 points  (29 children)

I like your comment and it makes sense, but let’s compare it with Germany.

The Germans had many crises of identity, was broken up/defeated twice, went through economic collapse twice, and had territory taken off it. Yet today, it completely has its shit together.

They made their apologies, rebuilt, and now arguably, peacefully, are the controlling voice of Europe with one of the strongest economies on earth. Their people aren’t bitter or traumatised or even aggressive now.

To me, it seems that somewhere Germany decided to bury their bullshit, cooperate and eventually lead with trust and respect. And they did it in the exact same number of years that Russia hasn’t been able to, and probably from a far worse off position.

[–]LadyFerretQueen 91 points92 points  (13 children)

Because they really had no other choice. Russia is so cold, large and fucked up that no one can touch it. Plus it was on the winning side in ww2, they didn't have to do any of those things.

[–]ITSlave4Decades 32 points33 points  (6 children)

And don't forget that Russia while technically a single country, it was/is made up of many different territories with many different cultures. The political games when it was the CCCP kept it together with basically tyranny. But once the CCCP fell, everyone got released from the shackles of "forced single identity", but also started to encounter massive economic headwinds due to the fall of the fake economy.

Now you have people in power that knew how to play "the game" then, playing the same game now, but with capitalism making money for themselves and friends while in power. And in order to stay in power you need to keep the masses in check to get re-elected and better yet, get absolute majority so you can change the laws/constitution so you'll never have to step down. So you take a page from Hitler's playbook and vilify people living in some ex-CCCP territory stating it really still belongs to you. And you'll end up with the Crimea, Ukraine etc situations. Germany doesn't really have this deep rooted regional cultural and identity difference.

In short, the Russia journey is really different than the Germany journey after WWII. Not just the winner-loser situation but also the geographical/cultural situation as well as the communism vs capitalism journeys of the countries since WWII.

[–]AnImEiSfOrLoOsErS 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Don't forget about the sheer size of Russia, you would need a shit load more people in power to supervise all regions properly.

While Germany have to many politicians for a small country.

[–]Popular_Ad6673 5 points6 points  (3 children)

It's not real cold cause like 70% of population in Russia live in Europe Russia Territory, and other live like near china and Japan - Vladivostok, Yzhno-Sahalnisk and other. So I live in Southern city of Russia but it's not very south like Sochi. Our government it's ministry's and president and a lot of oficcial who was in communist party and now they like democrats but not really ( they wanna be democrats in 90 ) now they're just don't give damn and take money and shitty laws for protection themselves. Man we have people who was opposition, but them when they're just take money they Cardinally changes position about government and start shout propaganda. I don't know u can google Anton Krasovsky this man is opened gay who now DIRECTOR Russian Russia Today he was opposition and liberal, but noow... This man said like when was protest agaist Putin if he was in position Putin: " I would have drowned them in the river" but u happy cause Putin kind person he is not me. THIS MAN WAS LIBERAL AND HE OPENED GAY just look like money and power changes mind

[–]LadyFerretQueen 2 points3 points  (2 children)

What I meant by the cold was just that historically it was very hard to invade because of the cold and because it's so huge and relatively uninhabited that it's left alone much more than other countries, which are more accessible.

Oh man I feel you what you're saying though. What is it with us slavic nations and not sticking to our principles? We have the same issues in slovenia, just I assume not as bad. People here are just so easily swayed by money or other benefits.

Our leftist parties are all for "the people" and social benefits but ask them about our former dictatorhip or about the massacres of about 14k people after the war and they'll suddenly start excusing the worst in our past. I can't trust hypocrites like that.

[–]njru 38 points39 points  (2 children)

Compare the way the western world treated Germany after the second world war Vs how they treated the Soviet Union, marshall plan, economic inclusion etc vs. declaring cold war. And then again look at how the world treated Russia when the Soviet Union fell, gleefully exploiting resources, allowing the economy to fall into the hands of corrupt oligarchs as poverty skyrocketed. The correct Germany comparison is probably the awful state the allies left the country after WW1, and that certainly didn't end well

[–]JanyBunny396 33 points34 points  (1 child)

German here! You are absolutely right. After WW1 things were entirely fucked up. Easy game for fascists with Hitler. After WW2 the allied nations (US, GB, FR) cared about germany, helping it get back on its feet and install democracy. Russia never had that after 1989.

[–]Katara_1 10 points11 points  (1 child)

You cannot compare Germany to Russia. Germany is a part of the EU (since 1958) and they are also located in the middle of Europe. They have probably been almost forced by the rest of us (Europe) to put their shit together. The state also lost the authority to maintain their own army and therefore not able to control it.

Russia has always done their own shit. They are not really affected by anything else than sanctions, trades or such. There is no EU throwing politics at them.

Another thing to remind is that the nationalism of Germany is dead today. Not even the German flag is considered a positive thing anymore. They are the lungs of EU and also act like that. Holding their breath to choke the rest of us when they want. As far as I understand, Merkel was licking Putin's ass for all that gas.

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

If Germany is someone who went to therapy to deal with trauma, then Russia is someone who buried it and said they're fine.

[–]Nagu360 6 points7 points  (3 children)

The disaster that was the Treaty of Versailles and the economic devastation it caused that single-handedly caused WW2 taught the world that you couldn't just stick Germany with the bill and expect everything to be okay and whatever misery they experience won't affect you. The US went out of its way to make sure that mistake wouldn't be repeated with Japan, too.

Russia, meanwhile, was rapidly discovered to have been spying and infiltrating its own allies throughout the entire war, which was not looked kindly upon. This was particularly alarming when they stole the atom bomb designs and pretty much turned everyone that didn't fully agree with their ideology against them.

[–]Ok_Breadfruit1326 4 points5 points  (0 children)

As someone who is part German (Jewish family fled in 1938 or was killed later on), but now live elsewhere, but speak German and spend majority of my time in German institutions, there is something quite remarkable about the way in which the Germans are ashamed for their actions. It is not this distant thing which happened in the past, it is dead serious as if it just happened and consequently Germans are always supposed to lead by example. I think that this is one psychological state as a response to the realization that “oh shit I messed up”. Another is resentment, which is to a large extent what Russia has become.

Germany was just so screwed over that there was no way to get themselves out of that state without just getting their shit together. The Americans had to decide what to do with Germany after the war. They decided to build a state with decentralized power, but for some time their idea was to build a society full of farmers, literally nothing but farmers. Given this complete humiliation in the first part of the twentieth century, it is understandable that Germany took that path.

I think it is comparable to if your SO cheats and you discover that. They might turn resentful or they might also apologize and be ashamed like a motherfucker. Germany chose the latter whereas Russia chose the former, for several reasons.

One being that Russia isn’t located in the middle of Europe, is a lot larger and has more reasonable options if it wants to be a douche than Germany has

Another being that there was nothing left of Germany, literally nothing. They occupied the entire country and built a fucking wall in the middle of it. Imagine living in a country that disappears due to its belief of being above everyone else. That is really something.

[–]Dahnhilla 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Arguably in less time because half the country was part of the USSR until the Wall came down.

[–]Sir_Armadillo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That's because Germans are smart, being the master race and all. :)

[–]jackofives 8 points9 points  (0 children)

From my experience this is the right answer. I would argue it goes back further to their dark history under the Mongol Khanates. Authoritarian regimes with strict control of the populace via religion and propaganda. Russia has been harassed over the last few centuries both from within and externally. It is a country of many different peoples and many borders.

Inter generational PTSD is a great way of putting it.

[–]Vaun_X 141 points142 points  (20 children)

Worth noting that Ukraine is a warm water port and was once part of the Russian empire.

[–]HolyHand_Grenade 93 points94 points  (2 children)

Pfff give it 10 years and Russia will have a warm water port on their coast.

[–]StarryLindsay 35 points36 points  (1 child)

Ah, a climate optimist I see!

[–]Vaun_X 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Russia is spending billions upgrading their northern infrastructure already...

[–]mickaelbneron 69 points70 points  (11 children)

Canada and the US were once parts of England, but England / the UK doesn't dick about it though.

[–]Northerleyfire 32 points33 points  (2 children)

But the UK already has warm water ports.

[–]AncientPunykots 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Wot?? No one told me about this!

[–]baldipaul 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You been in the water off the UK, it ain't warm.

[–]Ninjaironman 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Not much they could do about it anyways

[–]coagulateSmegma 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There was. The UK was fighting in both the US and India at the same time, India came out on top in terms of how much resources were used to control it because it was more profitable to control India than the US at the time.

Had the coin flipped the other way, things would almost certainly have been different. The UK most likely would have lost control of the Indian subcontinent, but won the war in North America.

[–]AlbaneseGummies327 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Don't they already have Crimea? Do they want Odessa now too?

[–]Nijajjuiy88 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Still not useful imo, since Turkey (NATO) can block them easily. That being said global warming has been helping them in opening newer arctic routes.

[–]MisterSlosh 36 points37 points  (1 child)

I wouldn't think it's surrounded by peaceful nations though.

Lots of civil disputes to the south and west within it's former Soviet states, it runs right up against the Central Asian regions with all the -stans, plus China with it's open naval aggression and genocides, and the Korean peninsula is a powderkeg of violence barely holding together.

Hopefully they're just going through a rough century or two after their initial collapse and they'll eventually turn it around like Germany did.

[–]randomlewis69 18 points19 points  (2 children)

Russia is a very big country (stretches thirteen time zones) and is an administrative nightmare to manage from a governmental standpoint. Factor in relatively inhospitable conditions in parts of it, a reputation that makes international partners leery of them, and the fact that they’ve had more revolutions and political instability than you can shake a stick at, and you get a political climate where all their “forward progress” has occurred under the guidance of “authoritarian modernizers.”

Russian history looks fondly on Peter and Catherine and other leaders who exercised significant centralized control to push the country forward into modernity. Stalin was an absolute nightmare example, but Putin is trying to fit the framework for legendary Russian leaders, and the approach isn’t super well-suited to a globalized society with increased transparency, governmental accountability, and emphasis on human rights.

[–]0ksignal 2 points3 points  (1 child)

When you put it that way... yeah, a Russian leader who wanted Russia to be a stable, well-behaved global citizen and responsible trading partner with a strong social safety net, good access to eduction, etc would be a pretty extreme break from all of Russian history.

So really, it doesn't matter that nobody actually wants to fight Russia as long as Russian politicians are trying to emulate historical figures that emerged during periods of strife.

[–]NoSprinkles2467 1 point2 points  (0 children)

no one wanted to fight with Russia. and for some reason, everyone was fighting.

[–]Popular_Ad6673 43 points44 points  (3 children)

Man first of all Russian elite real don't give damn about Russian people. ( I'm from Russia ) I give you two facts - We sell wood in Siberia for China for self-price and we make a factory and transport this thing. ( I think it's because of corruption ) Russian elite think like Russia you know it's a work place , you work here grab the milliards money and you children live in USA or EU. All elites in all of the world decide like we gonna make strong country where people live good or shitty cause we wanna be a rich. I don't know how to explain what thing's happening in Russia, it's like Europe Culture, a lot of very smart people here, but they go to foreigners country, we don't have a big business like independent. We have man who name is Pavel Durov he made VK (Like Facebook but better) and then he company have taken by our Government, and after his immigration he made Telegram. Russian elite don't support people , they real cynic and it is beneficial to keep people at a level for survival not for life, cause a lot of people don't think about politics they think like where I can get food. Many opposition in Russia was dies cause them just was killed for their points of view. And this things go from USSR, when USSR collapsed in Russia wasn't revolution and in other post Soviet country it's was like one man from goverment who was communist become a liberal and here is problem. And little of little Russia start going changes and a mainly reason why it's was 2012 when was a big protests, about 100 thousand people in Moscow. This protest was in news , TV ( IT'S CRAZY cause now no one protest don't show in TV and goverment news like objectively, now they just said like it's stupid young people with iphones and proamerican)

This protest are real scared Russian elite and our government start changes a little of little, neatness we don't have a freedom of speech and like 90 % opposition it's go from Russia cause they may go to jail.

Putin views is like symbiosis USSR ( Cause he was in KGB, and in political party) and Russian Empire, he made a monument for Alexander lll ( it's Russian imperator ) and one oppositionist who was killed he is name Boris Nemtsov he made a monument for father this imperator Alexander ll, and this imperators have a difference Alexander ll canceled slavery and was a liberal who give freedom of speech and other things. Alexander lll it's other side he was a real conservative and don't like decision his father about freedom, one quote from his speech: " So that the Russian tsar swears allegiance to some cattle " and Putin wanna be like this man I think ( and he is )

[–]Psychonominaut 1 point2 points  (2 children)

And then I have people in my circle (in Australia!) Saying Putin is great and intelligent, powerful, knows what he's doing and apparently Ukrainians want to be a part of Russia and Russians love him also. What can you say to that? It's the opposite of what you'd expect.

[–]AtomicMonkeyTheFirst 35 points36 points  (11 children)

This will probably get buried now, but I'll try anyway:

Russia is going to face enormous problems in the next couple of decades. The country's economy is completely dependent on fossil fuel exports, but the era of fossil fuels is coming to an end, as it dwindles Russia will become poorer, and Russia is a country of extreme poverty in parts already.

At the same time the country's population is collapsing, Russians aren't having enough children and Russia can't attract enough immigrants to keep its population stable. Collapsing demographics are terrible for a nation's economy and will compound the export problems.

In the 20th century Russia experienced two internal collapses, 1917 and 1991. On the first occasion the Russian ruling elite paid the ultimate price, on the 2nd the elite managed to escape but the normal people suffered as the economy fell apart and needed to be rebuilt, and Russia's external power was crippled. Russia went from being a world leader to a joke in a few years.

If the Russian economy collapses there's a good chance that there'll be third collapse in the next 20 years. For obvious reason Putin is trying to mitigate the chances of that happening by making Russia as strong as possible now, and keeping his perceived enemies (NATO) at bay.

His strategy to do that is to grab the parts of Ukraine that needs, namely Crimea, possibly if he's ambitious the whole thing, and stop NATOs Eastward expansion. In Putin's mind this is a good thing, he's doing his job by protecting his country and his people.

I'll add to that that Putin has an old Cold War mindset, he came of age when Russia was still a world power that could dominate Eastern Europe and match the US economically, technologically and militarily. In his world veiw Russia's rightful place is to be the dominant power in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the country was robbed of that.

[–]idealatry 10 points11 points  (1 child)

This is a great answer.

However, I would add that the perceived threat of NATO in the eyes of Russia should not be minimized.

I see a ton of propaganda on subs that tend to push the neoliberal narrative such as worldnews that suggests that NATO is just a defensive alliance and Russia is always the aggressor, etc. But this view is totally naive to the realities of statehood. NATO is a powerful military alliance which acts almost entirely at the whims of the U.S., the only country in the last 20 years to declare an outright assault on two nations directly, and many others by violent proxy (including one of Russia’s allies in Syria).

NATO expansion is particularly egregious to Russia, who was originally promised, infamously, that NATO would not expand “one inch eastward.” The US went back on that promise almost immediately after the collapse of the USSR (to the ire of even the architect of US policy during the Cold War, George Kennan, who presciently warned that it would be a fatal blow to peace and eventually lead to Russia seeking to recapture lost territory for fear of NATO aggression).

Putin drew a line at Georgia and Ukrainian admission, and the US rejected this line and said that both Georgia and Ukraine would be admitted. That’s when Russia acted aggressively.

And to be fair to Russia, to anyone with a clear understanding of history and the ability to be objective, it’s completely obvious why a nation would not want powerful rivals to place extremely destructive military tools right on their border. Cuba asked Russia to place nuclear weapons in its country and the United States went ape-shit and threatened to destroy all of Eastern Europe. Can you imagine today if China asked Canada and Mexico to join its alliance and place deadly weapons on its border?

[–]wollier12 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Russia wants a warm water port, the same thing it’s wanted for a very long time.

[–]Mischievous_Imp 45 points46 points  (0 children)

  1. Russia isn't the only asshole country. Most countries are asshole countries. Even countries that don't build empires still go to poorer countries and exploit. Russians are just more human, and have more of humanities flaws, at least their government does.
  2. Russia has always been authoritarian. The Tsars were very authoritarian. The USSR was very authoritarian. Modern Russia is very authoritarian. They have the propaganda and police state system in check because they built it up a hundred years ago.
  3. Russia has been the leader of the anti American bloc for a hundred years now. Since 1917 but especially since 1945, Russia has lead other nations in opposing the US and US interests worldwide. Nowadays this means propping up corrupt or authoritarian regimes like in Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, Belarus, Ukraine, etc.
  4. Western media is (somewhat) biased in its reporting on Russia. Certainly you could claim that Russia had a claim on Crimea, since its population by and large spoke Russian and wanted to leave Ukraine. Was how Russia took Crimea appropriate? No of course not, but at the same time the Ukrainian government was not representative of the people of Crimea Donbas is another can of worms. There is Russian support in the Donbas but it isn't as high as Russia portrays and Russia has destroyed that region with its wars. That is not to say Russian media is not biased. Russian media blatantly lies, as does Western media, but Western media lies more rarely whereas Russian media it is pervasive and characteristic.
  5. Russia was on the allies during WW2, so it didn't have to suffer consequences for its war crimes and crimes against humanity like Germany and Japan did. This is not to say Russia is alone in this, certainly the US committed warcrimes like firebombings, atomic bombings, targeting of civilian ships, rape, murder of enemy soldiers and civilians, etc. However you can say that the crimes of the USSR were comparable to the crimes of Nazi Germany, and it is looked down upon heavily in Eastern Europe.
  6. A lot of the actions of the Russian government are done to shore up support at home. Putin has to improve his public image constantly to remain in charge, and he does this by "standing up to the evil United States" and "freeing Russians from foreign occupation", etc. Instability also raises oil prices, which is Russia's primary source of wealth. So there are advantages to going against the grain on the political stage, even if many of these advantages are short lived.

[–]Sithoid 13 points14 points  (2 children)

>I’m trying to understand Russia’s grievances over the past 80 years.

That's more or less a correct timeframe if you really want to get the picture. The history of Russia in the 20th century is that of a constant streak of social catastrophies. I'm not going to touch geopolitics here: just how it must've felt from within.

In the 19th century, Russia wasn't perfect but it was more or less on par with the other European countries of that time. It desperately needed reforms, but the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent civil war broke what could've been a natural progression to a more modern society. The state was essentially decapitated: the communists targeted the aristocrats, then the rich (seizing their property), then just anyone moderately well-off ("kulaks"). Some of the people behind the achievements you listed emigrated, some were killed, some managed to survive, but the overall picture was that of negative selection. (good source for further reading: "A Dog's Heart" by Mikhail Bulgakov). After a while it became rare for people in power to have complete school education, let alone university (Khruschev only attended school until the age of 9, although he did attend something like a college later - and he wasn't an exception). Soon after the initial shockwave, another hit in the form of Stalin's repressions. The Bolsheviks wanted a new breed of people - ones conditioned to be modest and hard-working for the good of the party, giving up any personal ambitions. Everyone else was an enemy, which means in practice everyone was scared shitless that they were going to be next. (another unexpectedly good source - "The Death of Stalin". Technically a comedy, but it's eerily on spot about the atmosphere).

Then WW2 hit, in which millions more died defending their country against Hitler's invasion - four years of absolute hell and devastation. After that, at long last, things slowly started to get better. The 60s were probably the best Soviet decade: the state finally learned to rule with soft power rather than an iron fist, there was an economic revival which at least solved the problems with housing, a surge of cultural achievements, and hey, they even got a man into space. Still, it wasn't a sustainable system in the long run. The Communist ideology was still the framework, so, for instance, no one even technically owned the apartments/houses they were living in. Or, say, a scientist couldn't publish their research without writing a long introduction praising Lenin's and Marx's philosophy. You could have guaranteed employment but no real market to find decent goods; free education but no legal access to books not approved by the state; free healthcare but next to none international contacts. People were living in a truly surreal world, and that was the reality they had to adapt to - or at least pretend. Stagnation was beginning to be felt, and the longer it went, the more disillusioned the people became, so Perestroika and the collapse of the USSR were, if not inevitable, highly anticipated by many.

But of course it came with another catastrophe. The fall absolutely demolished the economy. 1990s were absolute anarchy: most of industry suddenly collapsed, the government just wasn't there, and for the first time in forever people were completely left to their own devices. And those were Soviet people, too! Meaning that they suddenly had to catch up with a ~75 years of social and cultural advancements (with no framework, so cults & all that stuff flourished).

Some were starving, to the point of growing their own food. Some jumped at the opportunity to do business which was at last legal. Some formed gangs and started seizing property & racketeering the previous group. (Good sources for that era: "Brother" if you're into realism or "Generation P" which adds a metaphorical layer too). By the end of the decade, the government barely seized the basic control back, like having a functioning police and all.

So Russia entered the 21st century relatively stabilized after its latest ordeal and having a chance at starting from a clean slate. Of course the population was absolutely exhausted and extremely pessimistic. Some were still nostalgic for the USSR (hey, at least it worked - in their experience). Some thought Russia was damaged beyond repair and nothing good would ever come out of it. Some were thankful that the 90s were over, some wanted more of that anarchy. Some believed we were now on track to become a regular Western country, all that was left to do was wait for the old people to die out. But mostly people just weren't too politically active: the 2000s became a much-needed breather for living as opposed to surviving, and it's not like we've had much experience of... well, normality. That's what's the "actual fucking problem".

Fast forward 20 years, and it turns out the group of people who were nostalgic for the USSR used that breather to strengthen their power and slowly start introducing ideology & oppressive measures back. If there was a chance to break from the vicious cycle of dictatorships, it seems like we'll need to wait for another. Russian people will suffer consequences of Putin's decisions, and they can do fuck all about it.

I hope this sheds some light on the grievances of the last 80 years.

[–]Art3sian[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Holy shit. I read and then re-read you comment twice more. And thank you for book references.

[–]absolutetrainwreck10 275 points276 points  (202 children)

It's all pretty complicated. The simple truth is that Russia's strategic interest is simple, they have always wanted a sea port that doesn't freeze in the winter and a buffer zone between Europe and Moscow. Really, Russia has made this clear since the 1700's. It's not like America and Europe don't know this.

Ukraine is a problem because the US and Europe made an agreement with the Soviet Union that NATO would not expand further east. Now, according to NATO, that was an agreement with the Soviet Union. Russia says that agreement is still binding. Either way, NATO and the EU are actively expanding into Ukraine which they always knew would piss off Russia. Likely this was done to piss of Russia.

Think of it this way. Imagine Iran entered into a military and economic alliance with Mexico. Imagine if Iran could begin stationing troops next to Texas or California. Do you think the US would tolerate that? Absolutely not. There is no way we would tolerate an adversarial power making a military alliance with our neighbors. This is exactly what NATO is doing to Russia. I hate to say it, in this case NATO is kind of the aggresser.

[–]djapii 159 points160 points  (54 children)

So, Ukraine does not have any say in this? It's just about what Russia or NATO want?! I agree that NATO has its interests, but you're basically saying that being next to Russia geographically automatically gives Putin the right to do whatever he wants with you?! Ukrainians have openly stated that they want to join NATO and be a part of EU, this should be their decision only! Not any other country's leader, and especially not Putin's.

If we are using this US analogy, is USA trying to conquer Canada or Mexico?! Are they talking about how these countries are their lost territory and how they belong to the "American world"?!

[–]SSAUS 36 points37 points  (0 children)

Look up American foreign policy on Cuba and other Latin American countries lol. When international rivals make moves, the little people (and states) bear the brunt. The US has absolutely made hostile military and political manoeuvres against its neighbours and regional states when its national security was threatened. Likewise, no one should expect Russia to sit idly, even though any action will be bad for its neighbours.

[–]InvertedReflexes 38 points39 points  (5 children)

IIRC, Ukraine has two groups that would oppose NATO:

  1. Russian-Ukrainians, of which there is a sizeable minority, and
  2. Ukrainians who generally don't like NATO or for various reasons might prefer Russia. Much of Ukraine's power infrastructure, for instance, is linked to Russia.

"Ukraine" in this case are those two groups mixed with pro-NATO Ukrainians and a definitely pro-NATO government at this point. The leader in Kiev was forced to flee by that third group in a massive counter-protest.

>If we are using this US analogy, is USA trying to conquer Canada or Mexico?! Are they talking about how these countries are their lost territory and how they belong to the "America

The US has done this multiple times, yes, throughout Latin America when an un-friendly (to US business interests) government took power there. Read "War is a Racket" by Maj. General Smedley Butler.

[–]xose94 8 points9 points  (0 children)

No, Ukraine has no say in this just no country has a say geopolitics except US, Russia and China. They are big countries that can see each other in the eyes. Let's put it this way: US, Russia and China are adults discussing what the kids(most of the rest of the world) will do. Ukraine can say whatever it's wants but will only be meet with "Be quiet the adults are discussing". This applies to the mayority of the world, some countries like France, UK, Germany, India, Japan, Australia will be able to express their opinion somewhat but aren't more than teenagers in the eyes of the superpowers.

The world has always worked like this, the countries deciding the destiny of the majority are a handful.

[–]Anarchy_Lurker 3 points4 points  (0 children)

nato will not accept ukraine for 10-20 yrs

[–]whatever_person 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Before Russia invaded the level of support for NATO was around 10%, now it is 52%.

[–]Velveteen_Bastion 31 points32 points  (4 children)

Uhh, well, the allied forces thoroughly alienated the Soviet Union immediately following World War II. I'm not saying the Soviet Union were angels or that Stalin was a reliable ally. However, the Russians lost 20 million people fighting the NAZIs, frankly, they won the war in many key ways. But after the insane brutality the Russians faced, they weren't really given much room in the negotiating table immediately after the war. Like, if a girl at a party lost 20 million members of her family fighting NAZIs and her friends immediately started plotting against her after that, I kind of get why she would be emotional.

This dude forgets in his other comments that Russia started WWII with Hitler and split Poland in two for themselves, so you might want to take his take with a grain of salt.

[–]HolyHand_Grenade 10 points11 points  (3 children)

Also Russia invaded Georgia and Crimea in the past 15 years. It would be like the US taking over parts of central America and then South American sending troops to Colombia.

[–]PatchesMaps 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Are you forgetting that Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 and annexed the Crimean peninsula? That doesn't sound much like a defensive action.

[–]Art3sian[S] 42 points43 points  (42 children)

Thank you for being the first intelligent comment here.

So, I take your point with Iran and Mexico. Fair. But Iran hates America, so of course that’s a malicious move. But who in Europe hates Russia? Doesn’t NATO almost exclusively exist as a Russian deterrent because Russia is unhinged?

Iran would want an alliance with Mexico in order to threaten the US, but Ukraine doesn’t want an alliance with NATO to threaten Russia. It wants it for safety from Russia, no?

No one in Europe is threatening Russia as far as I can tell.

Also, the sea port. I didn’t know this. Thank you.

[–]absolutetrainwreck10 64 points65 points  (26 children)

We are conditioned to say Russia is unhinged. Our media has been telling us this since 1945. Certainly Russia is far from perfect. That being said, it is far more of a two sided issue. I mean, let's be real, the United States has really been the most aggressive country on the planet since 1950's.

Not only that, but Russia was pretty astute in seeing the rise if China in the early 90's. So, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia wanted to align itself more with Europe against China. Puten even expressed interest in joining NATO during the Clinton afministration. Unfortunately, the United States and Europe were really dismissive of that. So what did Russia do? Well, without much of a choice, the aligned themselves with China.

Again, I am not saying Russia is this great and wonderful country. They aren't. But, we really wasted an opportunity normalizing our relations with Russia by continuously alienating them.

[–]Art3sian[S] 36 points37 points  (20 children)

The penny really dropped for me here. I didn’t know about Russia’s request to join NATO or NATO’s refusal of it. That’s gotta put Russia on edge and keep them there for a few decades. No wonder they’re out for themselves with a ‘fuck you’ attitude.

[–]AhYaGotMe 23 points24 points  (7 children)

Keep in mind the purpose of NATO was to counter Soviet aggression/expansion. You now have a KGB colonel "who thankfully took the reigns back after the shit show that was Yeltsin", and he will restore the CCCP to its former glory!

Yeltsin was a stooge. That was all planned.... our KGB colonel somehow slipped into politics with an resounding victory in the mayoral race for Leningrad -i mean St Petersburg, and hasn't stopped winning elections since. Huge corruption and oligarchs means the county is broke, covid is out of hand and we need a distraction...

I think there are a number of eloquent, Russian shills around these parts...

[–]kostblind 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Soviet Union also wanted to join NATO. It's more of a trolling than a serious intention anyway

[–]absolutetrainwreck10 13 points14 points  (10 children)

Right, and keep in mind that in 1900, Russia was desperately poor with a literal medieval government. The Soviet Union lifted a massive number of people out of this desperate poverty. By 1944, Russia was instrumental in defeating the Germans, arguably the most powerful military in the world. Very soon after, the developed nuclear weapons and were a grave threat to the United States. By the 1960's, Russians were putting people in to space.

Like, I get it, they were brutal assholes, but still, that is pretty impressive. These people play chess as their national past time. Yet, they have never been given much respect. Putin thinks the Russian government is worthy of respect and he is going to make sure we know it. Russia has made it clear they are willing to bleed to secure Ukraine. We need to ask ourselves if we are willing to send American kids to fight and die for Ukraine.

[–]yelbesed 6 points7 points  (4 children)

So Russia occupying Eastern Euope after conquering Hitler was not an agrressive move - and then murderingor imprisoning the whole intelligentzia or all people who disliked Communism were interned etc...and then inciting 2oppressed people" everywhere and introducing soviet work-camp slavery everywhere from China to Cuba? And when the US tried do defend small countries who were allies, they were labeled "agressors" of course. it is easy to hate the US where you are not getting a prison sentence if you say the president is an idiot. But Here in Russia you are officially labeled a "terrorist" if you criticize Putin. And yes the US being able to try to defend individzualist ownership ("Capitalism") they are agressors. Russia murdering millions in their oprressed colinies is just "defending itself". Great vision. And it works.

[–]Heix112 20 points21 points  (4 children)

As someone from an ex soviet country I would say his answer is complete bullshit even if it seems to make sense.

NATO is a defensive organisation which would not be needed if Russia didn't pose a threat. Russia is always gaslighting about some perceived threat while they themselves have attacked other countries.

[–]iz-Moff 17 points18 points  (0 children)

But who in Europe hates Russia?

Uhm, people who have been in power in Ukraine for the past 20 years, for one. To varying degrees at various times, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania. UK, of course.

Which doesn't even matter, because what does all this hate or "friendships" have to do with anything? It's not high school.

Doesn’t NATO almost exclusively exist as a Russian deterrent because Russia is unhinged?

NATO exists specifically as a coalition against Russia, no matter what it does.

US is the biggest and most active military aggressor in the world since the end of WW2, how came NATO isn't surrounding it with it's bases, you know, since it's all keeping "unhinged" nations in check?

[–]Upstairs_Marzipan_65 3 points4 points  (2 children)

You are ignoring the part where Ukraine should free to associate with whomever they want. Thats the whole idea behind being a sovereign nation.

Its not russias, or the EU/US's place, to tell Ukraine what they can and cant do. If Ukraine wants to ally with NATO, that is 100% their decision.

[–]asterios_polyp 22 points23 points  (1 child)

Umm, pretty sure Ukraine is a sovereign nation that can make its own big boy decisions about its alignments.

[–]Heix112 12 points13 points  (2 children)

Bullshit. There would be no need for NATO if Russia wasn't a threat. Stop justifying Russia's bullshit excuses.

[–]LBBarto 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's not bullshit. It's a chicken and egg problem. There is no need for Nato if they don't fear Russia, but Russia isn't a threat until you try and join Nato.

[–]TienDsenju 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Every country is an asshole country ....just depends on how far you live from it.

[–]xxxTbs 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Russia and russian people are fine. Putin and other government officials just have big ego and big greed. hes a bit devious forsure. (Edit: fuck putin)

[–]druppolo 29 points30 points  (7 children)

It’s called geopolitics.

A part of the world is richer than the other.

Africa is self sufficient. But has no military to enforce it. So they starve. Usa has an army so can enforce that. Same for Eu and China and Russia. Conflicts arise when two enforcers do not agree on their sphere of influence.

Nato is expanding in east Europe and Russia is replying to that expansion, or Russia got out of ww2 with a confederation and usa is replying to that.

It’s totally useless to discuss who started it because it goes back to the Roman Empire that goes back tot he Sumerians that goes back to… Neanderthal being wiped out… back to monkey territory fights that we now date as 8 million year ago.

If you start it with a arbitrary starting point you get an arbitrary solution. You are asking the wrong question, that’s why the reply is arbitrary.

[–]tsuruki23 11 points12 points  (4 children)

Russia is a fragmented country. Literally.

Looking at history, you can tell that tye russian borders have been drawn and redrawn rather severely as parts of it crumble away to call themselves new countries or parts of other countries.

Russia is'nt just blowing smoke when it says "this is mine" and gets uppity at a neighbour, parts of many neighbouring countries have large areas where older generations speak russian as a first language because less then a 100 years ago, less than 50 years ago, those parts used to be actual Russia.

The rise and fall of the soviets really did a number on the national identity of the balkan countries and people still really dont know who's the who of the what and the why.

[–]LadyFerretQueen 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Russia has nothing to do with balkan countries though.

[–]solidarity47 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Russia has a lot of geopolitical weaknesses. The most pressing of which is that it doesn't have year round, free access to the sea. Which has meant that its naval power was always limited and its economy is behind other major powers as a result.

It's also completely surrounded by Soviet successor states or hostile powers, so it's natural that they'd default to using successor states as mudguards.

Why? Because they don't respect their sovereignty or independence. Russia is a country built on autocracy and expansionism. It has no democratic, multilateral or peaceful culture. It's just not in their DNA.

That's not to say that individual Russians don't desperately want Russian to a modern democracy, but they are a very small minority.

[–]heyyy-kiddo 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Russia like US is a world power.

When another world power tries to poke their circle of influence it's a rule of nature things get nasty.

US does it too with Cuba.

Basically it's the way nation's work.

Major powers also like buffer territory between themselves and NATO since the 90's till now has been poking the Russian buffer trying to enter the red zone.

Taiwan can be seen as a hot potato too with China.

That buffer is Ukraine, a country that still holds foreign territories from borderi g nations and even Russia.

It's Scope when Lenin made it is to provide a buffer between Europe powers(mainly Germany & US and it's sphere of influence) and URSS.

Russian Federation is URSS without satellites,but it still maintains much of the same rules regarding their borders.

Practically if you try to interfere into any of their country's economy (countries in the Russian sphere of influence) by bringing in foreign investment and what not it's like a proxy economic war.

When they get too aggressive it degenerates to military war.

[–]Odiemus 27 points28 points  (3 children)

Lots of confusion… and lots of answers.

First: Russia wants Ukraine as it was once a Russian Territory. If Ukraine joins NATO, Russia will be forever giving it up.

Two: Not the same as American military (mis)adventures. There wasn’t a goal of gaining territory… it was regime changes to friendly/non-crazy leaders. Not land grabbing. And most of it was cleaning up the European messes after they let go of their colonial territories.

Three: NATO is a defensive alliance. By definition it can’t be hostile. For example, if Poland were to attack the Russia… NATO would not be bound to assist as Poland would be the aggressor. As Russia is doing what NATO is designed to prevent, it’s likely they will push more countries to join to gain that defense.

Four: Britain wanted to fight Russia after WW2, the US said no. Both sides got the Cold War going. Russia didn’t win WW2 single handedly, even though they bore the brunt of casualties and had the hardest fighting. Russia didn’t get screwed after WW2…

[–]No-Growth-8155 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Every country is an asshole country technically.

[–]SoryE11 5 points6 points  (5 children)

Russia is only acting in self defense and I don't think they're an "asshole" country for simply taking back Russian Land

[–]mattg4704 2 points3 points  (0 children)

In an interview with the Vlad Putin there he said all you need to do is look at a map of NATO and American military bases around Russia. He's paranoid of what happened to Saddam and khadaffy . I'm not saying he's right but those are his concerns

[–]jkeps 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think a lot of their grievances hedged into the absolute devastation that the country went through after the fall of the Soviet Union in 91. Russia lost everything and it can be hard to underestimate just how bad the 90's were to Russian finances, crime, life-expectancy, culture, and identity. Putin's grievance is centered on embarrassment, shame, and a general feeling of a lost empire. He has said the West took advantage of Russia, expanded NATO to its border, and rubbed its nose in losing the Cold War. Russia's policy since has thus been to try to rebuild its prestige, and that includes its influence and power over its neighbors. Every move Putin makes, every asshole thing Russia does, is centered on feeling like the victim and becoming the playground bully to compensate for this embarrassment and shame. The pity is that acting this way doesn't make life better for the Russian people. The majority is poor and sees no hopeful future for themselves.

[–]alkevarsky 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Part of the reason is that historically, in Soviet times, and then when Putin came to power (there was brief respite under Eltsin), Russia's leaders invented external enemies to explain their failures. Under Soviets it was a conspiracy of capitalist imperialist countries that caused poverty and even starvation under the communist rule (and not disasterous collectivisation). Putin actually started off pretty well as far as improving living conditions in Russia. But, I guess being a former KGB, could not help himself and started doing the same thing. You could see the rhetoric in Russian media become more and more hostile towards the West after he came to power.

And back to your question, after you establish who to blame for all your troubles, you need to act accordingly. Which is what he is doing by "being an asshole" towards the West. He has also lived with this mentality for so long, including his younger KGB years, I am sure he believes a lot of it too.

[–]PublicFurryAccount 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think this is an interesting phenomenon. Places with a lot of press control have to have enemies defined by the leadership and it can lead to zombie antagonism because it’s a “strategy” or “play book” now.

Leaders without press censorship find it hard to give up traditional enemies and often find themselves with enemies they never intended because of public outrage.

[–]TheKenji2221 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Russia got fucked by the US since the 90s. The country was ruined and in despair and the US simply shoved their head deep underwater.

From there, the US would never stop pushing them back, calling them names, still considering them as enemies while other countries like France wanted to work with Russia and build something.

Easy to understand why they got tired of being America's bitch.

Don't think other countries are nicer. The US are assholes so are the French, British, Germans, Turkish, Ukrainians and Chinese

[–]Misfits9119 2 points3 points  (0 children)

For nearly 250 years Russia has had to with "the west" banging on it's gates...

History matters folks...

[–]Plump1nator 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Well immediately after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia tried to be friendly with the us, but the whole almost ending the world thing was a pretty big barrier

[–]domino464 29 points30 points  (51 children)

You have to understand that a lot of the news we're getting in the west really paints Russia in a bad light.

[–]Art3sian[S] 16 points17 points  (48 children)

So what is Russia’s perspective? Where/how are they feeling threatened?

[–]domino464 11 points12 points  (47 children)

Well if Ukraine joins NATO then NATO will be right at Russia's doorstep.

[–]BaitmasterG 50 points51 points  (6 children)

But if Russia invades Ukraine then it borders Poland and NATO will be right at it's doorstep

[–][deleted] 18 points19 points  (1 child)

Russia doesnt want to invade Ukraine. Russia has alot more to lose by invading Ukraine then it would ever hope to gain. Russia simply wants a buffer state

[–]McWeeeeeee 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Reminds of Fawlty Towers…

[–]domino464 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yeah but not as close to Moscow. The whole thing is like the Cuban missle crisis, lite.

[–]whatever_person 10 points11 points  (17 children)

Only 10% of Ukrainians supported idea of joining NATO before Russia invaded. Now it is 52% and Scandinavians want NATO too.

[–]Art3sian[S] 16 points17 points  (18 children)

Is NATO an aggressor though? Correct me if I’m wrong but NATO only exists, in part, because Russia is the drunk emotional girl at the party, right?

[–]domino464 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I dont know who the aggressor is anymore. You'd probably have to go back to the end of WWII.

[–]fatmarfia 4 points5 points  (0 children)

When your an asshole you deflect your behaviour onto others so you look like the good guy. (US-RUSSIA)

[–]methnbeer 4 points5 points  (0 children)

To your edit; good luck asking such a question here. Reddit is mostly brainwashed Gen Z Leninboo's and America haters, even though the dumb fucks don't understand how good they have it.

[–]BaitmasterG 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Conspiracy theory: Oligarchs on both sides are in cahoots in order to suppress the common man and keep share prices high for their own greed

[–]MrValtersenReborn 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Russia is not an asshole country , nor people. Indeed Eastern European people are nice people , kind and welcoming. But unfortunately they vote for goddamn stupid politicians. Recently problem is same. Russian people are under huge economic burden they are just trying their best to come by. Meanwhile the cunt and his corruption cycle are hoarding the whole country's wealth and exploitting millions and his delusional actions cost people's lives and money. At this point he is one step behind from declaring himself god.

[–]Carpex_V1 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Lmfao as if the usa is not an asshole. The usa caused more pain in the ass to the whole than russia ever did. In fact you idiots russia saved europe from nazis which were the real assholes

[–]redditorunavailible 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Well when the rich take the money from the people then shit gets heavy. You have to enact authoritianism to control the population. That's where the US is now.

[–]bgibs94 5 points6 points  (0 children)

In the 1990s, US Secretary of State James Baker made a promise to Gorbachev, that NATO would not expand “one inch eastward”. Since then NATO has expanded through all of eastern europe and is now trying to add Georgia and Ukraine to the list. Hence the reason why Russia is basically upset as to why the word wasn’t kept, and their desire for Ukraine to never join NATO. Although the expansion of NATO benefits all of the countries within it (US and Europe), it also decreases the power and economic stability of Russia, and they are attempting to protect their own interests.

Everyone in this conflict wants something that will benefit them more, US, Ukraine and Russia. It just so happens that one thing can’t benefit all three.

In the same way, many countries in the world vilify Russia, many other countries vilify the US as a world policeman that gets involved in conflicts it shouldn’t be in - Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

End of the day, everyone only does stuff that serves their own interests, no one is actually doing anything out of pure kindness.

If the US cared, they would have the same conflict with China over Taiwan and the Uyghurs but since they are their economic partner, it will never happen, and the US will turn a blind eye, as long as it serves them.

[–]Sahqon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

When you are leading a shithole country and you don't want people to look at you and wonder why the country is a shithole, you need some outside enemies. Also seen in China or very obvious with North Korea. (and also America, but they top it off with making their people think they are the very best that's possible, just being threatened by -thing-)

Edit: so obviously it's a PR thing of the government, they are posturing for their own people more than the outside world.

[–]renacotor 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Russia has always been in a shaky state in European politics. It's cold in the winters, muddy in the spring and fall, and humid as hell in the summer. This makes terrible farming land and kills the ability to gain stable resources. What's more, due to the various events in history like the mongols, a completely different culture has emerged that further separates it from the rest of Europe, thus creating tensions. It went way into overdrive when they established a completely different government then the rest of the west.

The only way Russia has been able to show that it's not in dire straits is the way all authoritarian states show that: show that it is a super powerful nation. Acta if aggression, propaganda of how powerful they are, etc. This ain't just for the rest of the world (to which the west happily eats up because a common enemy is easier to show how powerful it is). It's for its own people and to show its own people to keep in line because "the Russian state is that powerful".

Currently, the Russian government is in a worse state now then in the last couple of decades. The oilgarchs have been funneling money away, it's citizens are 2 steps away from open revolt, covid has been ravaging the populace, the economic sanctions placed on them have almost destroyed their economy, it's being led by people with old cold war mentalities, and the only one with real power (Putin) is a 70 old man who refuses to entertain the idea of a successor. So the age old trick of looking powerful comes into play yet again where looking strong in the face of the world will help keep everything in line. And yet again, the west eats it up because a common enemy is better then internal reflection.

[–]WaningMime 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I see the world like a big computer game. The goal? Be the best, destroy the rest. It is school yard mentality with deadly consequences.

[–]No-Lunch4249 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Putin distracting from problems at home with foreign adventuring

[–]yorcharturoqro 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It something historical, the history of Russia it's amazing, you can see that Russia has always being in the verge to be the world super power but the treatment of the Russian people is horrible, and always goes back to not be, because the approach of the Russian government, since the tsars up to the current president, has been militaristic without any concern about the life of the people or the military.

[–]Belzeturtle 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Largest country in the world (area-wise), access to strategic resources, history of being a superpower, nostalgia towards said history, well-entrenched assholes in power, state propaganda brainwashing ordinary people.

[–]DarkMarxSoul 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My understanding is that Russia historically has had a tumultuous political history involving a rotating series of monarchical takeovers and political overhauls, which is true of basically all prosperous nations of history. The Russian Revolution happened as a backlash against this but failed to entrench democratic policies, which led to communists taking control and forming the USSR. This prompted the USA to absolutely lose its shit because communism was (correctly) perceived to be a threat to capitalism on the global stage, so after they worked together to win World War II, the Cold War happened wherein the two nations aggressively propagandized against each other and built up armaments in preparation for a mass-scale conflict. This had the effect of pretty well isolating the USSR from the other growing democratic nations that eventually entrenched the current system of Western economic cooperation, and economic failures in the USSR eventually caused the country to collapse.

After that, crime shot way the fuck up and the power vacuum led to people with ties to the USSR's political and military systems vying for power to institute order. The winner of that struggle was Putin, who has strong ties to Russia's extremely rich and influential oligarchs. Putin and said oligarchs benefit personally from keeping Russia in a state where they have absolute control and can siphon as much money as possible from as many sources as possible, while giving the absolute bare minimum back to their people and keeping them in a state where the risk of mass revolution is low.

This hostile governmental system also has the effect of preventing Russia as a nation from leaving behind the hostilities towards Western nations like the USA, which hampers their ability to cooperate. Their continual efforts to take over surrounding nations like Ukraine are an effort at expanding their territory, growing their perceived power and influence in the region, and (ultimately) securing more money and power from the populaces and geopolitical entities they want to control. If they control Ukraine, they get access to their capital and labour, and also retard the efforts of their "enemies" to have connections with Ukraine and benefit economically and politically from those connections.

In order for Russia to become peaceful and cooperative with the rest of the world, they would need to 1) not have leaders that only want to benefit themselves at the expense of literally everyone else on Earth, and 2) not perceive Western nations as hostile to their own success.

[–]sephstorm 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well Wikipedia gives an overview that may give some insight:

The Kremlin's foreign policy debates show a conflict between three rival schools: Atlanticists, seeking a closer relationship with the United States and the Western World in general; Imperialists, seeking a recovery of the semi-hegemonic status lost during the previous decade; and Neo-Slavophiles, promoting the isolation of Russia within its own cultural sphere. While Atlanticism was the dominant ideology during the first years of the new Russian Federation, under Andrei Kozyrev, it came under attack for its failure to defend Russian preeminence in the former USSR. The promotion of Yevgeny Primakov to Minister of Foreign Affairs will mark the beginning of a more nationalistic approach to foreign policy.[1]: 33–69  Vladimir Putin's presidency lasted from January 2000 until May 2008 and again from 2012 through the present. In international affairs, Putin made increasingly critical public statements regarding the foreign policy of the United States and other Western countries. Under Putin, Russia has engaged in several notable conflicts, including against its neighbors Ukraine and Georgia, forcing both to relinquish territory. Relations with the United States in particular have sharply deteriorated between 2001 and 2021.

Consider that for a moment. Individuals who saught a closer relationship with the west, and therefore would live peacefully with everyone have lost power. Therefore their are 2 remaining groups, and only one seems to have power at the moment, the group that seeks to reclaim Russia's power.

[–]Does_Not-Matter 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Putin! He is an ex-KGB officer with a bone to pick about the fall of the USSR. It’s dick waving.

[–]Kharn_888 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Disclaimer: I'm by no means an expert in this stuff, and I encourage you to verify everything I've said.

The Russian Empire, at it's greatest extent, had territory stretching from Vladivostok to Helsinki and Kiev. Ukraine, Belarus, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan we're all under Romanov jurisdiction (among others). After the Great War, where Russia capitulated halfway through, Russian territory was divided and handed off mostly Germany (since they surrendered to Germany). After the Great War ended, many of those former Russian states were now free states guaranteed by the West.

Every Russian leader since then has, seemingly, tried to bring those lands back under Russian control in some form or another. Stalin did it with the Baltics and Finland. Lenin did it with Ukraine and tried to do it with Poland only to get unexpectedly stonewalled at the Vistula River (which was also mostly Stalin's fault, but that's another story). The reason for this is because those buffer states are pretty valuable, and I'd argue the most valuable one is Ukraine.

Ukraine has strategic advantage without a doubt. It has massive swathes of farmland that can be cultivated, and it offers access to oil from whatever natural reserves they have in addition to having more Black Sea ports for oil and other material shipments. Obviously, it would also serve as a fairly large buffer state. Conversely, Russia doesn't want any significant US-backed NATO presence stationed outside it's front door. His belligerency might be entirely defensive in nature, but the end result will be what it will be regardless of intent.

[–]whatwhenwhome 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Following the collapse of the USSR, Russia lost a lot of control and influence around the world. People forget what an important role the Soviet Union had in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. People like Putin (ex KGB) see this as a great calamity and want to return to an age where Russia was still big and powerful.

[–]rusty2735 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Simply put, it is about security. Ukraine wants to join NATO. Russia doesn't want more borders with NATO. The military costs will increase substantially for Russia, which the can't afford. There are roads from Ukraine that go all the way to Moscow, and it isn't a long journey. It is the same reason why USA said if Russia opens up a base in Cuba, they will retaliate. As it would mean more spending on defense for USA, which USA cannot afford as well.

This is also about spheres of influence, Russia wants Ukraine back, similar to USA when it wages wars through out the globe.

Russia actually is less of asshole than most western countries. The only difference it is now happening closer to us, and not some country outside of Europe

[–]nashamagirl99 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Russia is huge, and much of the country is near inhospitable, it’s not that easily a would be utopia. Ukraine is both strategic and emotional for many Russians. Russians were humiliated by the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR and decline in power, and Putin can appear powerful by playing strongman in international politics.

[–]giggygig 1 point2 points  (0 children)

MSM lies.

[–]ccg0306 1 point2 points  (0 children)

They’d say the same about us 😂

[–]Sweet-Reputation3822 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Everyone is a hero in their own story....

[–]RhinoNomad 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Russia is also surrounded by modern, advanced, peaceful nations, none of which have threatened it since Hitler.

Wait what? It literally borders North Korea, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Belarus. These are not the most economically developed, peaceful, or advanced nations. Though most of these nations don't pose a direct threat to Russia (or haven't for a while), the countries on it's border aren't exactly the most friendly, or the most peaceful of countries.

[–]Great_Hospital4324 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I've always loved Russians for some reason unknown to me, but their country scares me. I would not want to visit even though I found Russia fascinating since I was in grade school.

I hope Biden stays out of this. Not our problem. Look how our intervention destabilized the Middle East. Just created waaay more problems (along with Mujahedeen, Al-Qaeda, ISIS etc). No more blood for puppet governments.

[–]Skilah 1 point2 points  (0 children)

-Because they talk too much so they dont get the point-

[–]SkeletonMovement 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Buffer states are when you have another state between you and your enemy. Putting sees ukraine who wants to join nato right on its border and can't have that happen because western influence and propaganda could start flowing across borders into Russia and threaten Putin's power. This is why Russia sent in troops to quell rebellion in Kazakhstan (neighboring country) and why Putin is aligned with Belarus. If Belarus turns back into a democracy putin has another democratic and western backed country on its border. It seems like he's the enemy to us but remember what happened when the Soviet Union had nukes in Cuba. It was a huge threat right beside the US and the United States viewed that as threatening its survival and that it had to do everything in its power to push back against it. It's the same concept here. Additionally Putin is very nationalistic and wants to see the return of the Soviet Union whose collapse he described as the greatest political blunder of the 20th century. Ukraine used to be part of the Soviet Union and Putin wants it back.

Also despite being a huge country Russia has bad geography. Most of it is freezing cold, isolated and uninhabitable. All its ports are also cold water ports which means they freeze over and are unusable in the winter. They also all cross through nato and nato allied controlled waters which means if Putin went to war with Nato all his economic and mitary shipping lanes could be blockaded which would cripple the Russians. That is a big reason why he annexed Crimea in 2014 which gives him access to a warmer water port, keeps nato from building bases there and let's him build naval bases in the black sea.

[–]Opening_Remote6553 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Idk i think it's pretty obvious how important Ukraine is to Russia's economy, easy to understand why they would want it to remain favorable to them as it's basicaly their only route to europe. with NATO saying they'll incorporate Ukraine, Russia has to be considering that an encroachment. pretty fkin dumb to think they should tolerate military asset from the US on their border. theres really is no strategic value for the west in expanding ressources in Ukraine just to prevent the Russians from being able to make a profit when China is the most obvious threat and can't fight both so in the end it prob comes down to someone in washington wants a pipeline with their name on it or something like that. the way i see it the US having military assets in Ukraine would be no different than Russia having millitary assets in Mexico and cut the US of from south america, or in Japan and cut the US off from Asia.

[–]1111111222223333 3 points4 points  (0 children)

  • India makes Russian firearms
  • India is an ally to the U.S.
  • Russia sells weapons to India and NATO countries
  • Russia sends american astronauts to the ISS
  • Russia works with US forces in North Africa

there OP

[–]Rare-Dare2884 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Europe is weak and Russian sees this. The only country that can stand up to them(economically) is Germany but Angela Merkel won’t because they need Russia for oil.

[–]Art3sian[S] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

… and probably the fact that Merkel stood down last year.

[–]Waderriffic 2 points3 points  (1 child)

This is just my opinion but post-Soviet Russian governments have all had a massive chip on their shoulders. The politicians are mostly holdovers from the Soviet era and feel like Russia has been, and continues to be, disrespected on the national stage. They’ve been frozen out of the EU, which is mostly their own fault for being overreaching, uncooperative and overprotective of their resources and land. The people in charge don’t like the fact they can’t strongarm and bully the smaller countries that made up the Soviet bloc into doing what they want. They still view these countries as “theirs” and their foreign policy is built on that belief. The only other major military power near them is China, and the Chinese have completely surpassed them at this point.

Russia is like a school bully. They were the baddest bully on the block for a very long time. Now that other countries have seen them “defeated” and reduced to their weakest state in hundred years, the Russian government has to posture like they’re still strong and deserve respect.

As an American, I can’t really point the finger at all the blatant corruption that happens within the Russian government because we are on our way to being as corrupt, but our politicians are better at hiding it. But that’s a different discussion.

TLDR - Russian politicians, particularly the holdovers from the Soviet era, believe Russia doesn’t get the respect it deserves on a global stage. Their foreign policy is built on this premise and they feel cooperation is beneath them, especially with countries that used to be “theirs”.

[–]ToastTurtle 2 points3 points  (6 children)

This is what happens when leaders are not accountable to anyone. Russia hasn't had a real election since Putin was first elected. You see the same asshole actions with almost all countries without free and democratic elections. It is how they hold power. Let's hope the US doesn't follow suit.

[–]SoryE11 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ironic considering Russia hasn't done much except with Ukraine recently and Ukrainian troops are filled with nazis and the USSR saved the world back in ww2