For those interested in the subject at hand, the January 14 interaction with Zachary Paikin, Alexander Lanoszka, Yuliia Ivaniuk, Anatol Lieven, and Paul Robinson is well worth to listen. Lieven and Robinson provide a commendable reply to the negatively inaccurate overview of Russia.
Concerning a point raised, a fact check should be done on the much ballyhooed Russian troop buildup near the Ukrainian border. Mark Sleboda tweeted that since 2014, Russia has regularly had around 90,000 troops at the Ukrainian border. Sleboda has appeared on France 24, Al Jazeera, CGTN, RT and the BBC. No one seems to have directly challenged his contention, which also notes that Ukraine has a comparable troop presence at the Russian border, as well as a noticeable armed existence just outside Donbass rebel territory.
Regarding a hypothetical occurrence mentioned during the discussion, Russia likely has no plan to put troops in Venezuela on account of knowing its limits in the Western Hemisphere, coupled with the imperial reply by the Biden administration if that were to happen. In turn, note the Biden administration’s open comment about not getting actively engaged in a Kiev regime-Russia war.
Ivaniuk and Lanoszka talk about the need for Russia to get directly involved in Russia-Ukraine talks over Donbass because of Russian support for the Donbass rebels. They omit the Kiev regime needing to sit down and talk with the Donbass rebels, in accordance with the signed Minsk Protocol.
Ivaniuk and Lanoszka suggestively downplay the Donbass rebel cause by noting the Russian support. During the American Revolutionary War, the colonists seeking secession benefited from foreign mercenaries and the involvement of France.
British history on the topic typically highlights that the American Revolutionary War was largely fought between loyalists and separatists among the colonists. The Donbass rebels are overwhelmingly from Donbass and some other parts of Ukraine’s Soviet drawn territory.
When bringing up the forced change of boundaries, Lanoszka omits the examples of Kosovo and northern Cyprus, while suggesting that Russia stands out as a heavy negative.
Ivaniuk’s anti-Russian advocacy runs counter to what I expressed to Frank Morano on a January 11 WABC Talk Radio segment. Lanoskza’s suggestion that NATO has been reasonable towards Russia reminds me of my response to what Aleksandr Kwashniewski said in 1999.
The anti-Russian stances from NATO are crystal clear. Russia’s NATO membership inquiry was met with astonished bemusement.
Shortly thereafter, the NATO inquiries from Poland and some others were taken seriously, along with Russia hating propaganda, including the notion that Russia is an inherent threat. Germany fought two world wars against the West. The Brits fought two wars against the US and sympathized with the Confederacy. As I noted in a recent commentary of mine, Russian-Polish relations have been historically more nuanced than what some suggest.
NATO was biased against historic Russian ally Serbia in the 1990s, when the latter constituted much of Yugoslavia.
While not being a pushover in its near abroad, the Russian armed forces have limits. They’re ranked a distant second to the US. The US outspends the next 11 countries in defense combined. Russia is ranked fourth in that category.
Those aforementioned 11 include NATO members UK, France, Germany and Italy. The current NATO head Jens Stoltenberg is blatantly anti-Russian, as is one of his predecessors Anders Fogh Rasmussen and numerous others in that organization.
Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic.