Ukraine Russia confrontation

The Ukrainian-Russian





NATO glance (2) understand/understood/understood
border worth (2) tension (2)
split therefore more or less
pact Cold War topographical
foment nervous feel/felt/felt (2)
join ground run/ran/run (3)
range level (3) run across (2)
invade direction dominance
plug in order to seek/sought/sought
gap reaction give/gave/given
annex post (2) country (2)
port heart (3) occupy (3)
access ambitious come to pass
lane scenario move up (2)
zone territory big/bigger/biggest
buffer encircle all the way
race (3) preceding speak/spoke/spoken
coast cut off (3) advance (2)
marsh civil war come down
flat (3) capital (2) freeze/froze/frozen
psyche coastline mechanized
region strategy division (3)
across eventually begin/began/begun
root (2) found (2) imagination
troops collective know/knew/known
Slavic belief (2) connection (2)
play (3) think/thought/thought (2)






To better understand the tensions between NATO and Russia over Ukraine, it’s worth a glance at history and a good look at a map.

During the Cold War, Europe was split more or less in two: the NATO countries in the West. Warsaw Pact, under Moscow’s dominance, in the East.

But post-Cold War, country after country wanted to join NATO.

And it’s moved up to Russia’s borders.

To understand why Russia feels nervous about that, a topographical map is useful.

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There’s a mountain range running across Europe, the Carpathian Mountains. Now, from the Baltic Sea here to the Carpathians start there, this is flat ground.

And through that flat ground have come Napoleon and the French, Hitler and the Germans, and many others who have invaded Russia from that direction.

And that makes Russia very nervous.

Therefore, it seeks to either plug that gap by occupying it, or if not, where the ground opens up into flat ground, it wants to, at the very least, dominate it.

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In 2014, its reaction was to occupy and then to annex Crimea, part of Ukraine, and its warm water port of Sebastopol, which gives the Russian fleet access out of the Black Sea, into the Mediterranean and from there, onto the great ocean lanes of the world.

It also fomented civil war in the Donbas Region in order to create a small mini-buffer zone.

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Now Putin seems to be more ambitious. Now, if there’s going to be an invasion, of of the four scenarios will probably come to pass.

1) Fully occupy and annex the Donbas Region.

2) Up from that, move up from the Crimea, and join all this territory up so your buffer zone is bigger.

3) One level up from that, race along the Black Sea coast all the way to Odessa, which is a Russian-speaking city. Annex the whole of the coastline and cut Ukraine off from the Black Sea.

4) And most ambitious of all, do all the preceding scenarios, and you move troops into Belarus, which is friendly to Russia, and you come down from Belarus through what are called the “Pripyat Marshes”, which are frozen in winter, and you encircle the capital of Ukraine, called Kiev.

The best time to do it is winter, because it’s going to be a mechanized advance and the mechanized divisions need hard, frozen grounds.

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That’s strategy. But it’s important to understand the place that Ukraine has in Russia’s hearts or in its psyche.

Russian culture began in Kiev, and it’s where what eventually became Russia was founded. It then moved eastwards across to Moscow.

But they still know in their collective imagination, that the root of their culture is in the heart of Ukraine.

Large parts of the country are Russian-speaking. There’s the Slavic connection, and there’s also the fact that many people are Russian Orthodox in their religious belief.

This is from the heart, and it actually does play in Russian thinking.

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Ukraine, Russia, Belarus. Russia plans to invade and occupy Ukraine for purely imperialistic reasons. True or false?

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. Has there been a shifting of alliances? Has Russia been winning or losing a popularity contest? Has Russia been winning or losing friends and allies?

Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan. Is Russia more wary about Germany and Poland or Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Serbia and Italy?

Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland. What are Russia are long-term geopolitical goals?

Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia. What are Russia’s short and medium-term military and geopolitical strategy?

Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia. Summer is always the best time to fight. Summer is always the best time to wage war. Is this right or wrong?

Germany, France, Netherlands. Russian civilization and nationhood originated in Moscow. Is this correct or incorrect?

United Kingdom, Ireland. Do Russians hate Ukrainians? Does Russia want to destroy Ukraine?

Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece. Why do you think Putin has amassed over a hundred thousand troops along its border with Ukraine?
Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland. Do you think there will be a full scale Russian invasion? Could there be a major conflict, if not World War Three?

Turkey, Iraq, Iran. Who is right and who is wrong? Is Putin entirely right, mostly right, in the middle, both right and wrong, it depends, mostly wrong or entirely wrong?

Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel. What does the Bible, Nostradamus, etc say about all this? What do your school history textbooks say about Russia?

Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya. What is the solution to conflict and war? How can conflict be avoided?

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