US, NATO Forgot the Beehive Principle of Diplomacy in Ukraine

Once Russia launched its illegal, criminal war on Ukraine, mainstream media spoon fed us one version for the war. Putin decided to re-establish the old Soviet Empire, starting with Ukraine. Additionally, he’s likely a delusional madman in the vein of Stalin and Hitler, who will never be satisfied with one conquest. That plays well with both our government, seeking to hide its colossal blunders leading to war, and the American people, susceptible to any propaganda whitewashing U.S. foreign policy mistakes.

The US has been poking at the beehive of Russian military strength since 1997 with the extension of NATO up to Russia’s borders. That represents 25 years of provocations that Russia has opposed from Day One. Two years later the US led an offensive NATO war against Russian ally Serbia, bombing it for 78 days to sever Kosovo from Serbia. Where was the Western media pushback against that illegal war to change a country’s borders?

But tensions escalated in 2008 when the 20th NATO Summit proposed eventual NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine. That prompted Russia to issue its first red line against further NATO expansion, including placement of troops and missile launchers near Russia’s borders, minutes from Moscow.

But the US really began poking the Russian beehive in 2014 when the Obama administration greenlighted a US inspired and promoted coup against the Russian leaning Ukraine president. Why? Simply to prevent him from signing an economic agreement with Russia that was better than the one offered by the EU. The West would not allow Ukraine to tack East, even if it meant violent coup. Worse, it set off a civil war with Russian leaning Ukraine provinces in the Donbass being brutalized by Ukraine neo-Nazis employed by the new Ukraine government for that venture. For the past eight years the now pro Western Ukraine government has been shelling and killing thousands in those breakaway provinces, in part using weapons the US funneled to Ukraine by the Trump administration.

The final poke at the Russian beehive came last November 10, when the US and Ukraine signed a Charter on Strategic Partnership, which asserted America’s support for Kyiv’s right to pursue membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. That was a poke too far for Putin’s Russia which unleashed the bees of criminal war just a hundred days later.

As Hardy would say to Laurel after Stan blundered into another jam for the duo, “That’s a fine kettle of fish you’ve got us into.”
Now, 13 days later, the US NATO beekeeper is powerless to stop the slaughter in Ukraine without possibly plunging the world into nuclear winter.

While too late for Ukraine, let’s hope the US policymakers finally learn the lesson of the diplomatic beehive. Poke it endlessly at your own risk.

Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at

11 thoughts on “US, NATO Forgot the Beehive Principle of Diplomacy in Ukraine”

  1. “let’s hope the US policymakers finally learn the lesson of the diplomatic beehive.”

    Good luck with that.

  2. “….let’s hope the US policymakers finally learn the lesson of the diplomatic beehive.”

    “Those who learn don’t seek to rule. Those who seek to rule don’t learn.”
    — Doug Casey

  3. Furthermore, Ukraine amassed 60,000 conscripts on the border to Donbass last fall, which they hadn’t done before. This was obviously an invasion army. That is why Russia moved its army closer in November.

    There was a deal worked out over several years where the coup regime in Kiev would give Donbass wide autonomy, while Donbass would still stay in Ukraine. Autonomy like this exists in seven places in Europe. Russian diplomats were mediating this over the years. Then in the last hour Zelensky backed out. Who would make him change his mind? Of course the Biden administration. Then the 60,000 invaders were built up. Of course for the same reason. Provoking Russia into doing something. Foreign wars give a president the chance to distract from the problems at home. “Look how tough I am against Russia!”

      1. In a manner of speaking, yes. The Ukrainian arming was amassing troops on the border with the two Russian speaking provinces that declared independence shortly after the coup government took power.

        1. the separatists, not the provinces, declared independence ONLY AFTER Russia put 130,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders

          1. The separatists declared independence in 2014. The Russian didn’t formally recognize that declaration until a few hours before it launched its invasion of Ukraine.

    it was both a threat and an opportunity that led russia to act now.

    if this was still true when russia invaded, combined with the poor weather conditions (thawing mud) then russia acted because the ukrainian army exposed itself to being surrounded in a difficult to maneuver situation.

    there have been far to many wars in my life time that went unpunished that for an american(i assume)to complain about a conflict being “illegal” seems in poor taste.

  5. The Ukraine has weapinized its Plutonium.

    Worth defending their lies and treachery?

  6. Putin knows NATO was not going to invade. He’s using that as an excuse to expand his sphere of influence.
    NATO has had several opportunities to invade: Russia’s violent suppression of pro-liberty rebellions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, Russia sending tanks into Lithuania to stop them from leaving the USSR, Russia’s genocide in Chechnya, Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, but NATO never did.

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