Vince Dhimos answered a question at Quora.
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
Answered 12m ago
This question obviously arises from the Western media and political class constantly calling Russia an aggressor and from the Democrat party’s witch hunt that masquerades as an election campaign. I recently checked out the platforms of each of the Democratic candidates – that is all of those that the Democrats are allowing to gain publicity – and found that they all think the US should support Ukraine in order to “contain Russia.” Of course, need I mention that sites listing Democrat candidates generally omit any reference to Tulsi Gabbard, who is an embarrassment to the US Establishment because she has the cheek to state that US wars are unjustified and are waged for “regime change.” She has the strongest statement against US wars while Bernie, who sometimes also pretends to oppose war, gingerly dances around the issue.
Unlike the US government, which has been almost constantly at war since WWII, the Russian Federation has never been the aggressor in any standard, acceptable sense of the word.
In the Georgian war, for example, Russia was named a peace keeper and its intent was to protect its neighbours S. Ossetia and Abkhazia, who were being abused by Georgia under the mentally unstable Saakashvili, acting on behalf of the US-dominated West.
In retrospect it appears as if Georgian president Saakashvili was baiting Russia by invading these small provinces. At any rate, reacting to the murder of civilians, Russia attacked the invaders and drove them deep into Georgian territory. Although some Western analysts accuse Russia of aggression for not stopping closer to the border, it is generally acknowledged even among Western scholars, that Georgia was the aggressor.
In Ukraine, the instigators the Maidan coup were not Russian, they were the US and allies, who entered via State Department reps, members of European governments and agencies (eg, the German NGO Konrad Adenauer Stiftung) and NGOs such as a Soros Open Society foundation, the NED and USAID to start and actively participate in an illegal and violent coup. These were the real violators of international law, acting in the open, but virtually the entire Western media still insist that Russia “invaded” Ukraine. It did no such thing. What really happened was that the new US-installed Kiev government made laws outlawing the official use of Russian, even though Russia was until then one of the official languages, and BTW, before the coup, most Ukrainians spoke Russian at least as a second language, though many deemed it their mother tongue. It was and is the lingua franca in ex Soviet Bloc countries, who would be hard put to communicate with each other without it. It is vastly easier to learn than English for a Ukrainian because it is a very closely related Slavic language. In fact it makes no sense to artificially ram English down the throats of the countries at Russia’s border, though this is what Washington wants to do.
This draconian law triggered a backlash particularly in the Donbass where Russian was the mother tongue of most residents, and in Crimea, where almost everyone considered himself Russian. Recall for background that Russian author Anton Chekhov had written the short story The Lady with the Little Dog (Дама с собачкой), which was set in Crimean Yalta, then considered a Russian resort area, and all the characters in the story spoke their native Russian (when I visited Yalta in the early 70s, everyone I spoke with spoke perfect Russian). Recall also that Yalta was the site of the signing of the peace accord by Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt at the close of WW II. Stalin chose this town because it was a Russian site comfortably accessible to Europe and was an attractive tourist site that he no doubt wanted to promote.
So when the government not of Russia but of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (you see it was never a regular Ukrainian province) held a referendum and over 90% of the voters said they wanted to accede to the Russian Federation, it was no surprise to knowledgeable folks. But alas, there are precious few knowledgeable folks in the Western world, so the majority just swallow the media’s swill and dutifully parrot the line that Russia is a dangerous aggressor that must be held in check by NATO (after all, what would the alliance’s overpaid bureaucrats do if they hadn't invented an enemy? They’ have to find real jobs, poor things!).
The decision of Crimea to accede to Russia was made by ordinary Crimeans, not the Russians. How is that “Russian aggression”? Only Western politicians and media reps “know” that. They already called presidential candidate and Iraq veteran Tulsi Gabbard a Kremlin stooge for suggesting the US should work with Russia instead of treating it like a pariah.
As long as the Western grassroots keep believing that Russia is the enemy, the Democratic Party leaders, certain Republican politicians, the Pentagon and NATO will high on the hog, even as the little guy gets poorer.