I think it is important that we see both sides of the argument, especially if it explained by John J. Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science.
What is particularly disturbing about the video “Why is Ukraine the West’s Fault? Featuring John Mearsheimer” that I have featured above is the date of the video. If it is true that it is from 2015, and I have no reason to doubt that, then there is reason to believe that the assessment of the Ukraine crisis presented in it was likely a reason for Donald Trump’s rapprochement with Russia and Putin in particular. The reason I say it is worrisome is that the arguments presented in no way reflect Trump’s policies as perceived by the general public and were presumably masked by the narcissistic behaviour of a man unfit for public office. It looks as if the people who guided Trump at the time, despite his own pathological protestations of his brilliance, were trying to avoid further conflict with Russia in order to turn their attention to the crisis that is building in the Far East with China.
Of course, it can be argued that the developments in Ukraine were an expression of its own autonomy, which we in the West value, but what we seem to have overlooked is the division of the country, which, as Mearsheimer explains, is historical, and which was the reason for the conflict in the east of the country. Assuming that it was an insurgency by Russia, because the West has a very different view, overlooks the fact that the disunity in the country practically splits the country in two. According to Mearsheimer, western Ukraine wanted to join the EU, while eastern Ukraine wanted to stay with Russia. His assessment of which forces in western Ukraine were fighting the east is beyond me, but if he is right, the EU and NATO have been instrumentalized in this struggle and war is the result.
I am a child of the West and cannot imagine having an authoritarian government or a person like Putin at the head of a mafia-like structure that keeps everyone in check. There are clear arguments against this style of government and reasons to be wary of developments in the West that seem to threaten our freedom and want to align us with such authoritarian regimes. The emergence of the desire to restore an order in the West, where billionaires hold the sceptre, is abhorrent to me. At the same time, I have often pointed out on this blog that unless we are able to overcome the dissonance that seems to be growing in our countries and de-radicalize the questioning of the established order, we will plunge into a perceived security through even more rigid laws and a complete lack of compassion. We cannot want that.
Right now, we are in a momentum that seems to be escalating the situation in Ukraine, and the question is where it will lead. The suffering and loss of life, the atrocities of war, the widespread destruction of homes and cultural sites, and the threat of further escalation have already reached a level we thought Europe would no longer see. Where will de-escalation come from? Who is working for peace and on a solution to the conflict that threatens us all?