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Why the US and NATO have long wanted Russia to attack Ukraine | LSE - March 2022 |

Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine has come at a substantial cost for Russia, with the country so far failing to achieve its military objectives and the Russian economy suffering under unprecedented western sanctions. Robert H. Wade argues that while nothing can excuse Russia's invasion, the Kremlin has effectively fallen into a trap laid by the US and Nato that is intended to bring down Putin's regime.

On 26 March, President Biden, speaking in Warsaw, said, unscripted: "For God's sake, this man [Putin] cannot remain in power." Such an overt statement of intention for regime change in Russia has not gone down well in most of Europe. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken later clarified Biden's Warsaw remark: "As you know, and as you have heard us say repeatedly, we do not have a strategy of regime change in Russia, or anywhere else, for that matter". Blinken has apparently forgotten Vietnam, Chile, Iraq, Afghanistan, and quite a few more.

Consider the following quotes. On 24 February, during a White House press conference on the first day of Russia's invasion, Biden said sanctions are designed not to prevent invasion but to punish Russia after invading "...so the people of Russia know what he has brought on them. That is what this is all about."

On 27 February, James Heappey, UK Minister for the Armed Forces, wrote in the Daily Telegraph: "His failure must be complete; Ukrainian sovereignty must be restored, and the Russian people empowered to see how little he cares for them. In showing them that, Putin's days as President will surely be numbered... He'll lose power and he won't get to choose his successor." Finally, on 1 March, Boris Johnson's spokesperson said "the sanctions on Russia we are introducing, that large parts of the world are introducing, are to bring down the Putin regime."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 10:16:33 AM EST
Russian invasion is no time for UK ministers' clumsy messaging | The Guardian - Feb. 28, 2022 |

Over the past three days, some careless talk at the top of government has served to underline how difficult it is in a modern war for ministers to get their messaging right.

Run of the mill ministerial blunders in domestic politics can be tidied up with little consequence, but in a propaganda battle such as this, minor errors and misspeaks can be ruthlessly exploited by Moscow to justify escalation or to sow division.

That requires ministers to stick to the broad government script while trying to sound more diverting than an answerphone message.


In an interview on BBC One's Sunday Morning programme, the UK foreign secretary had replied "absolutely" when asked whether she would back anyone wanting to volunteer to help the Ukrainians fighting for their freedom.

It took the defence secretary Ben Wallace 24 hours to point out Truss's own department's travel advice urges British citizens not to travel to Ukraine, and if British people wanted to help, it would be better either to donate financially or even enlist to join the British army.

The messaging became worse when the prime minister's official spokesperson said western sanctions "are to bring down the Putin regime" at a daily briefing on Monday.
He said:

    "The measures we are introducing, that large parts of the world are introducing, are to bring down the Putin regime."

    "We have introduced widespread sanctions, we aim to inflict financial pain on Putin and his regime to stymie the Russian war machine as it attempts to subjugate a democratic European country."

Downing Street quickly explained the spokesperson had misspoken, explaining: "We're not seeking anything in terms of regime change. What we're talking about here clearly is how we stop Russia seeking to subjugate a democratic country."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 10:18:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the US and Nato have long wanted Russia to attack Ukraine | LSE blog by Robert H. Wade - March 30, 2022 |

Having summarized the ambition of Putin and the Russian state, we return to the US and NATO strategy for Ukraine and Russia. I draw on an eye-opening essay by Joe Lauria, "Biden confirms why the US needed this war". The essay fleshes out the US and NATO's ulterior motives in the Ukraine crisis:  to end the Putin regime and replace it with one friendly to and subordinate to the US.

The US strategy for regime change in Moscow has been long in preparation. In 2013 (before Ukraine's President Yanukovych was overthrown in 2014), Carl Gersham, director of National Endowment for Democracy (NED), wrote: "Ukraine is the biggest prize." He explained that if it could be pulled away from Russia and into the West, "Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself."   

This larger strategy for containing Russia is the context to understand expansion of NATO members all along Russia's borders, from Baltics to Bulgaria, and 30,000 NATO-designated troops. Also for the US and some other western states' military intervention to overthrow Syria's ruler, Russia's ally. Also for encouraging US NGOs to foment unrest in Russia.

Since 2015 the CIA has been overseeing a secret intensive training program in the US for elite Ukrainian special operations forces and other intelligence personnel. On January 14 2022 Yahoo! News reported, "The CIA-trained forces could soon play a critical role on Ukraine's eastern border, where Russian troops have massed in what many fear is preparation for an invasion."  A former CIA official explained,  "The United States is training an insurgency."

No surprise that Moscow has long read US and NATO actions as deeply hostile, intended to produce "regime change" in the Kremlin. 

Nuclear rhetoric and escalation management in Russia's war against Ukraine: A Chronology | Sept. 2022 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 30th, 2023 at 10:19:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Zelensky at AFB Soesterberg

Some of the most modern toys on display to fill your gift list from NATO allies ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 5th, 2023 at 07:39:55 AM EST
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