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DON’T LET RUSSIA BE RUSSIA: NEITHER PROVOKE NOR INDULGE

DON’T LET RUSSIA BE RUSSIA: NEITHER PROVOKE NOR INDULGE Twenty-five years ago Russia was a mess. Yet, even shorn of nearly one-fourth of the Soviet Union’s post-1945 territory, Russia is back now: a bully to former Soviet Republics and allies, and a challenge to the United States and its European partner. As Russians visibly long for their imperial past, the vexing question is how to impress upon their government the limits of a self-image which the Russian state can no longer sustain and which the West need not tolerate any more. In Georgia first, and in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine next, Putin started something, but what? “Patience, patience,” advised George Kennan after the breakup of the Soviet Union: but for how long and how far? Strategic patience, too, faces a critical point beyond which it breaks. Is there a need to tell now, and if so how? In short, Russia is not a European country like any other. It is too big, too close, and too nuclear to be provoked; but it is also too demanding, too resentful, and too threatening to be indulged. Keywords: Russia; United States; war; crisis; history http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Geopolitics, History, and International Relations Addleton Academic Publishers

DON’T LET RUSSIA BE RUSSIA: NEITHER PROVOKE NOR INDULGE

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Publisher
Addleton Academic Publishers
Copyright
© 2009 Addleton Academic Publishers
ISSN
1948-9145
eISSN
2374-4383
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Twenty-five years ago Russia was a mess. Yet, even shorn of nearly one-fourth of the Soviet Union’s post-1945 territory, Russia is back now: a bully to former Soviet Republics and allies, and a challenge to the United States and its European partner. As Russians visibly long for their imperial past, the vexing question is how to impress upon their government the limits of a self-image which the Russian state can no longer sustain and which the West need not tolerate any more. In Georgia first, and in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine next, Putin started something, but what? “Patience, patience,” advised George Kennan after the breakup of the Soviet Union: but for how long and how far? Strategic patience, too, faces a critical point beyond which it breaks. Is there a need to tell now, and if so how? In short, Russia is not a European country like any other. It is too big, too close, and too nuclear to be provoked; but it is also too demanding, too resentful, and too threatening to be indulged. Keywords: Russia; United States; war; crisis; history

Journal

Geopolitics, History, and International RelationsAddleton Academic Publishers

Published: Jan 1, 2015

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