Is Russia really a threat to the Baltics, or the West?

As apparently NATO are beefing up security therein and the powers that be reckon Putin and the Big Bad Bear actually poses a real risk. And it’s come up on Question Time but need to follow it more closely.

I honestly don’t get it, to be fair. Seems like posturing. I don’t really understand quite what is going on in the Ukraine, whether the so-called “pro-Russian” rebels are being backed by Russia, or actually are a false-flag type operation involving actual Russian military. Or if the current administration in Russia is as “Nazi” as some make out, just because of that Right Sector lot. Or if there was not some skullduggery on even the West’s part in the overturning in the old regime in [Ukraine, presumably].

I am not too sure I can trust our own powers that be any more than I do Putin on the issue. Just because Russia might be involved in the Ukraine, doesn’t mean it will be in the Baltics. I mean, surely Ukraine once was Russia, or at least part of it. The Baltics have passed between various powers over the years.

Yet I can see the real fear those countries may have. Once part of Russia, then gaining their independence, then losing it again to Stalin’s Soviet Union. Russia is right on their doorsteps, Britain is not. My late Estonian grandfather, I am told, couldn’t go back (part of having to do with having fought for the other side- which along with the fact of my other, late German grandfather, causes some mild embarrassment when talking to British war veterans, even if thy are sympathetic) and became a displaced person. It would just have been too dangerous for him. Yet old Blighty took him and others like him, in.

Listen to the pro-Western and pro-Russian commentators, you get two completely different versions of events. Question is, who do you trust? Again, I have no answers. Do any of my readers?

[ERRATUM, 15th March: As noted in the comments below it was presumptuous of me to suggest that “surely Ukraine once was Russia, or at least part of it”. I did have the Kievan Rus in the back of my mind when thinking of this, however, it is of fairly little relevance to the modern nation of Ukraine or its people. After all Estonia and presumably the rest of the Baltics also weren’t really a “proper” nation (independent, self-determining and recognised as such) until recently (i.e. last century or two) and were part of the Russian Empire too for some time, as well as being passed between various European powers. I suspect I may be corrected further on this, though.]

5 thoughts on “Is Russia really a threat to the Baltics, or the West?

  1. “I mean, surely Ukraine once was Russia, or at least part of it. ”

    – No, it never was. Why do you pontificate about things if you are so ignorant on the subject. Ukraine never was part of Russia. Has the US ever been part of England? Has Mexico ever been part of Spain?

    Man, try to educate yourself or something.

    1. I’m posting this article from a position of relative ignorance, so perhaps if you’d like to enlighten me, that would be a little more helpful. I had assumed what comprises a lot of modern Ukraine was once part of the Kievan Rus’, which later gave its name to Russian and Belarus. Then again, that was centuries ago and regions seem to have come under the power of various different states (I suppose I could have said Ukraine was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or similar).

      What then is the fundamental difference between Ukraine and Russia?

      Perhaps I might do a little background research before firing off random articles in response to the news, admittedly.

      1. “What then is the fundamental difference between Ukraine and Russia?”

        – These are entirely different countries, with a different history, culture, literature, and language. Just like Spain and Portugal or Canada and the US or Mexico and Cuba or India and the United Kingdom.

  2. Tensions do seem to be rising even more since this was originally posted, I don’t really follow the story with Russia and Ukraine as much as I probably should do because I mainly focus on domestic politics, scanning over headlines every now and then about the Russian-Ukranian situation. Putin was growing up during the Cold War and joined was in the KGB. I think Putin has some nostalgia of his country’s past and wants to bring it back (whether he admits that in public I very much doubt he has or ever will) But the question as to whether Russia itself is a threat to Ukraine or the west? Although Ukrain’s president has recently called for Ukraine to prepare for a possible full scale invasion, according to press, again I’m not too knowledgeable on the subject my self.

    However, somehow my first inclination and thought is to be complacent and take the view that no, Russia is not a ‘serious’ threat in the sense of talking about wholescale invasions of other countries and so forth. Given circumstances are wholly different in the global system than they were several decades ago I very much doubt Russia would be willing to take such an aggressive action such as that, but again I could be wrong, only Vladimir Putin knows what he secretly wants to do in the back of his mind. I very much do fear we might be returning to some form of Cold War Version II so to speak however, with sanctions on Russia, there was even hypotheticals on the most recent Andrew Marr show of US missiles possibly being placed in the UK in order to stare down Russia for his actions abroad.

    1. Again, thanks for the comment.

      I don’t follow this as much as I’d like, either- perhaps even less than you at the moment but have rather similar fears. Not sure I like the idea of US missiles in the UK, personally…

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