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First, We Did Too Little to Oppose Russia. Now Do We Risk Going Too Far the Other Way?

Author: Hans Kundnani

Affiliation:  Chatham House

Organization/Publisher: The Guardian

Date/Place: March 13, 2022/UK

Type of Literature: Newspaper

Word Count: 1500



Keywords: Ukraine, Russia, European Union, United States


The author explains the mistakes that have been done by both the European Union and the United States on the War in Ukraine. After the Russian invasion of Crimea and Donbas in 2014, two policies were implemented to dissuade Russia. First was a military constituent, as in NATO forces; Second, an economic constituent, by sanctions. However, both components haven’t fully held up as the US announced at first there would be no military help provided for Ukraine if any conflict occurs; and Russian gas—which Europe strongly relies on—is excluded from the sanctions. The author admits that these policies have not functioned as they foresaw. He accepts the ultimate goal must be to de-escalate the war before further implementations of military arsenals are used, which Putin seems to be willing to match and respond to any foreign weaponry that finds its way to Ukraine. However, it seems Europe and the US are not stepping back but are forcing all components through the conflict which may end up bringing NATO to war with Russia. The author provides a long list of failures that include Germany’s reliance on Russian gas and the UK’s incompetence of Russian money laundering, and he draws attention to the danger of being reckless by framing international politics as a global struggle between democracy and authoritarianism. Further recklessness is implemented by the EU being geopolitically motivated and sending fighter jets and supplying weapons. To Putin, both the EU and NATO are US-led projects, thus he will not be intimidated by anything in his stopping Ukraine from being further integrated into these Western alliances. The author concludes by stressing what he calls “the sense of ethnic solidarity” (racism) that has been shown by EU countries towards Ukrainian refuges and other countries’ indifference to the war, by quoting from Web Du Bois, “War is horrible, but has it only just become horrible now that it is white people who are being killed?”

By: Cemile Cengiz, CIGA Research Assistant



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