Jeffrey Sachs Discusses The War in Ukraine, ‘Shock Therapy,’ and More

In this recent interview Jeffrey Sachs reveals a great deal from an insider’s point of view on the role of the West in ginning up the present war in Ukraine and about the "Shock therapy," that the West administered to both Russia and Poland in the 1990s. The interview carried on The Duran YouTube channel is both informative and in certain respects inspiring.

"Insider" is an understatement when it comes to Sachs. For example, as an advisor to the Soviet government on economic reform in the 1990s, he sat in a room with Russian economist colleagues in the Kremlin when Boris Yeltsin entered with an announcement. Yeltsin had just conferred with the Soviet military in a nearby room and they had agreed to dissolution of the Soviet Union!

Perhaps the most stunning bit of information in the interview comes from Sachs’s disclosure of the reason for the failure of "Shock therapy" in Russia. "Shock therapy" is the name given to the abrupt transition from the Soviet-style command economy to a market-oriented economy. It was a success in Poland, but a failure in Russia where it led to a depression deeper and more costly than our own Great Depression. Why? Sachs was an advisor to Poland and then Russia for the "therapy." So he had witnessed a "controlled experiment," as he put it elsewhere. At a certain point it the process, financial help from the outside was needed to revive the economy on a new basis. It was provided to Poland; but when Sachs called for the same help in Russia, it was refused by the West, specifically by the White House. This happened despite Sachs’s direct pleas to the White House. The depression that followed was neither accidental nor a surprise. Far from it. This was the first time that the US attempted to "weaken" post-Cold War Russia, an attempt that was eventually reversed under Putin.

Various aspects of the US role in Ukraine are also touched on. Why, for example, have the European nations not stood up to the US’s demands to press on with the Ukraine war even though it is damaging to them? Sachs says he discussed that issue with a number of unnamed European officials and their reply was that the decision was not under their control; the US controlled that. What a sad admission that, in their alliance with the US, they have lost their sovereignty.

There is more. Sachs admits to his early naïveté as a younger man about the role of the US and holds out hope despite the present dismal order of things. In that last sense the interview is inspiring. Watch it. It is an antidote to the naïveté that abounds in almost every quarter of the West.

18 thoughts on “Jeffrey Sachs Discusses The War in Ukraine, ‘Shock Therapy,’ and More”

  1. I have told all who would listen that war with Russia began when it was still the Soviet Union. Immediately after the conclusion of WWII, a cabal of American generals, the lead being General Patton, wanted to fight the Soviet Union while it was weakened from its war against NAZI Germany. America celebrates VE-day on May 8. Russia celebrated on May 9. German officials who signed the document of surrender say that nothing happened on May 8, 1945, but that it was May 9, 1945 when things happened. So, at the 70 th year from the end of WWII, Russia celebrated. We pressured other nations not to attend. Such “rules based” folks we are. So it goes.

  2. Jeffrey Sachs, as one who believed in “spreading democracy”, a fair minded, liberal oriented advisor to various Presidents, must be rethinking the best way to world peace. His thinking seems to align with Scott Ritter, Marine Officer and UN Inspector proving there were no WMD’s in Iraq, and shows the parallel between what is happening in Ukraine today with Iraq back then, also historian John Mearshiemer whose studies support what Sachs concludes, to Col McGregor and Tulsi Gabbard, who served in Iraq with the intent of using our military power to bring a negotiated peace, then undermined by the regime change theorists, to even Henry Kissinger, all at various views on the political spectrum
    In short, we need a MAGA housecleaning of our government, especially of the MIC Uniparty element in Congress and Defense Dept and DOJ, domestically, revive natural gas production which will revive the economy, tax it, but don’t crush it, to fund basic research on renewable energy, especially fusion, and internationally, accept a multi-polar world of countries that keep the peace by mutually beneficial trade

  3. The provocation of Russia that’s relevant to the current situation began immediately after the Soviet Union was dissolved. At that point, NATO should have been dissolved also, or at least Russia should have been admitted as it requested to be. But the U.S. didn’t want peace with Russia, it wanted world domination (what else is new?), so it continued the existence of NATO, expanded it eastward in order to make money for the military/industrial complex, and turned NATO into an offensive force. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is just the culmination of these and other events, and is a perfectly logical response to them, despite the fact that I can’t support the invasion because I’m anti-war.

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