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Anti-war protest in Hanover, Germany

Weekly News Briefing #1

Ukraine  As we entered the eighth week of the Russian war on Ukraine, Russia, after it failed to capture Kyiv and hence withdrew from its…

Neutral Ukraine - Anti War Protest, London

It’s not NATO threatening Russia – Democracy is

The claim that Putin feels threatened by NATO is not only the key argument of political scientist Mearsheimer and it has also been picked up and replicated by Russian propaganda. However, various scholars and experts on the region disagree with this notion of NATO threatening Russia. Instead, some argue, it is democracy that poses a threat to Putin and his regime and that fear of flourishing democracy in Russia’s neighbourhood is part of the explanation for the Russian invasion in 2014 and 2022.

Ukraine & EU

Putin is punishing Ukraine for choosing the West and why it is (not) the West’s fault

In 2014, John J. Mearsheimer wrote an article in Foreign Affairs called “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault”. He argues that the West bears the majority of the responsibility for the crisis in Ukraine in 2014, because of NATO’s expansion in Russia’s backyard by which Russia felt increasingly threatened, and because of EU enlargement in the same geographical area as well as its support to pro-democracy movements in the region. The same argument is now revived as the Russian invasion of Ukraine unfolds before the world’s eyes. However, this argument misses a crucial point. The West might be responsible for what is happening in Ukraine, but not in the way most people think.