What is the historical and political basis of why Russia and its leadership is presently acting on the world stage as it is? Can a look at post-Soviet era Russia and its leadership in the 1980s and ’90s help explain the popularity of a leader such as Putin within his own country? There is debate about what should be our reaction to present Russian aggression. Should the West re-impose a policy of sustained “containment” as was the case with the Soviet Union OR should we adopt a more “liberal” view which acknowledges Russia’s “sphere of influence” vis-à-vis its neighbors.
Courtenay Haight is a retired banker, a farmer and a pan player.
There is a debate about what our reaction should be—those suggesting a re-imposition of the policy of sustained “containment” which dominated the West’s policy toward the Soviet Union for many years prior to the collapse of the Soviet state versus those suggesting a more “liberal” view which acknowledges Russia’s “sphere of influence” vis-à-vis its neighbors. This latter view also acknowledges that sustained NATO expansion ever closer to Russia’s borders has taken place, despite assurances that this expansion would not happen.
In addition, the following articles from Foreign Affairs magazine (available at the Blue Hill Public Library) will help fuel the discussion:
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