It is difficult to be a neighbor of Russia because one fine morning the missiles may fall and the Kremlin’s policy will try to convince you that this is a “special operation” and everything is happening for your own good. Occupation of Abkhazia in 1992, the Russian-Georgian war in 2008, the annexation of Crimea in 2014, and the invasion of Ukraine in 2022: This is just a small list of Russia’s crimes in the recent past, disguised as a “special operation”. However, unlike in 2008, today the world clearly sees the bloody crimes committed by Russia.
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.
In the midst of the escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Joe Biden follows the policy of Obama’s presidency, which had underestimated the Russian threat.