In 1990, as the collapse of the Soviet Union unfolded, NATO along with the United States made agreements and promises to Russia, not to expand their territory.
“We understand that not only for the Soviet Union but for other European countries as well it is important to have guarantees,” then-US Secretary of State James Baker told Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990. “If the United States keeps its presence in Germany within the framework of NATO, not an inch of NATO’s present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction.”
Following that promise, the United States and NATO proceeded to do the exact opposite. Those who have been paying attention, have seen this crisis in Ukraine unfolding for well over two decades.
Nigel Farage, a former MEP of the British Parliament, tried to point this out in 2014. In the video below, he decried the expansion of NATO and the EU toward the border of Russia and predicted that it would provoke "the Russian bear."
He was right.
After increasing provocation, on February 24, 2022, it came to a head as Russia's dictator, Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. When Farage made the statements below, he was ridiculed in Western media as being a "pro-Russian" mouthpiece. However, had the West and NATO listened to his words, Ukrainians would not be under siege by a murderous tyrant.
Yes, it is true that Putin's invasion of Ukraine is horrific — and, it is also true that the West and NATO knew their actions would eventually cause this. Since the US promised not to expand toward Russia in 1990, the only thing they did was expand.
In 1999, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic joined NATO amid growing Russian opposition. By 2004, another seven Central and Eastern European countries, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, joined NATO.
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Albania and Croatia joined in April 2009, while Montenegro and North Macedonia joined in 2017 and 2020, respectively. Below is a map showing NATO's expansion from 1990 to 2019. Notice how the Russians watched from the East as their entire western border slowly became surrounded by countries who were joining an organization sworn to defend the world from the Soviet Union which no longer existed.
As pointed out by Farage in 2014, the conflict in Ukraine is nothing new and the US and the rest of the West knew that enlarging the size of NATO — which was arguably no longer needed given the dissolution of the Soviet Union — would directly provoke opposition from Russia.
Despite clearly being lied to for years, the Russian government has asked for two very simple concessions: that Ukraine never join NATO and that advanced conventional weapons never be deployed in Ukraine. The US has rejected both of these proposals and instead has been sending massive weapons systems to Ukraine like anti-armor and ground-to-air missiles.
All the while, political actors continued to push for Ukraine to join NATO while the Obama administration staged a coup to oust Ukraine’s democratically elected neutralist government to install a rabidly anti-Russian regime — as pointed out by Farage above.
When you understand the history of this encroachment on Russia's border by NATO and the US, the current invasion of Ukraine becomes far more complex than the media is spinning it with their "Russia bad. Ukraine good" narrative.
How would the US feel if for the last 30 years — after being promised that the exact opposite would happen — Russia was gobbling up territories in Canada and Mexico along our border? How would the US feel if Russia then began installing complex weapons systems in those territories that could take out Washington D.C. in under 10 minutes? How would the US feel if Russian black ops were in these territories training their armies how to take out our military?
The US waged a murderous war in Iraq, on the other side of the planet, in which tens of thousands of innocent people were slaughtered and millions more displaced — all based on a lie they made up about weapons of mass destruction. What do you think the reaction would be if we were surrounded by a hostile military who was training to take us out on our own borders?
So yes, what Putin is doing in Ukraine is violent, murderous, and wrong but to deny NATO's role in stoking it, is to deny reality itself.