US, Russia, Ukraine: Bluffing our way to war

As tensions between Russia and Ukraine threaten to boil over into a proxy war between Russia and US-led NATO powers, the war drums are once again beating from all corners of the military-industrial complex. With Russia, Ukraine, and the US all embroiled in their own respective bouts of domestic political and economic turmoil, and with all jockeying for position on a rapidly changing geopolitical stage, diplomatic saber-rattling may be a temporarily expedient way to boost support for each country’s ruling political establishment. However, whether they are strategic bluffs or not, there is a very real danger that these escalating threats could have irreversible consequences, including a full-fledged war that none of the parties involved truly want and that none are truly prepared for.

In this urgent interview, TRNN contributor Radhika Desai speaks to Dr. Oleg Barabanov and Dr. Boris Kagarlitsky about the current crises in Russia and Ukraine, the history of NATO expansion since the fall of the Soviet Union, and the possibility of bluffing our way to a major war. Dr. Oleg Barabanov is program director of the Valdai International Discussion Club, the academic director of the European Studies Institute at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and a professor at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Previously he was a senior research fellow at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies. Dr Boris Kagarlitsky is a world-renowned leftist writer, historian, sociologist, and political activist. A dissident and political prisoner in the USSR under Brezhnev, then a deputy to Moscow city council (arrested again in 1993 under Yeltsin and again under Vladimir Putin in 2021), he has run the Institute for Globalization Studies and Social Movements in Moscow, a leading Russian leftist think tank. He is also the editor of the online magazine Rabkor and the author of numerous books, including Empire of the Periphery: Russia and the World System and Russia Under Yeltsin and Putin: Neo-Liberal Autocracy.

“Russia moves troops and US sends weapons as fear of war mounts in Ukraine” – The Washington Post (Jan. 25, 2022):

“Russia’s reaction to US and NATO leaves Ukraine crisis to fester on the brink of war” – CBS News (Jan. 28, 2022):

“The US must prepare for war against Russia over Ukraine” – Defense One (Jan. 11, 2022):

“Top weapons companies boast Ukraine-Russia tensions are a boon for business” – In These Times (Jan. 27, 2022):

Pre-Production: Paul Graham
Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

Read the transcript of this interview:

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Author: phillyfinest369


20 thoughts on “US, Russia, Ukraine: Bluffing our way to war

  1. Thankyou, what great yak, when western media all following each other, holding the tail of the one in front in their mouth. No but really what has happened to the global media? Didn't they all join a media "kabal ", so no one contradicts the story /narative, manipulate and massage it for all its worth

  2. What a load of BS! Putin has made it very clear that he dreams of reunifying and reestablishing the USSR as a global power! Russia has been expanding its international influence against democracy (unchecked), and has already attacked US elections and grabbed a vital chunk of Ukraine without consequence, so he is emboldened to continue his campaign of aggression without fear of serious reprisals. I wouldn't just look at their aggressive posturing towards Ukraine, but expect that this may also serve as a distraction for any number of nefarious schemes to advance Russian power and influence.

  3. Democracy, in the idealist sense envisaged by Enlightenment savants and the Labour movements of the 19th Century, is difficult to obtain if not impossible. Somewhat ironically, in it’s ideal, it aspires to an elective aristocracy, government by those best fitted to hold public office. In practice, the reptilia, those with well developed reptilian brains, tend to flourish, but there again, the reptilia, the psychopaths tend to flourish in all social orders.

    From the outset, the European States which evolved the contemporary democratic process, broad franchise and the accommodation of Class interests to some extent, were managed, electorally and through public opinion, by the elites of the 19th Century and the earlier 20th Century. The composition and character of the elites has evolved, now dominated by University educated apparatchiks, but the arts and apparatus of managing the Demos has become all the more competent and comprehensive.

    Putin is popular in some considerable measure, but only survives because he has a power base. Brandon is unpopular, in some considerable measure, but survives because he has a power base.

    The Demos, it seems, doesn’t matter, much, until it does. There come crises in the public affairs of nations, states, empires, when what the Demos does, or does not, decides the course of future affairs. The ‘elites’ as we call them, tend to develop groupthink, distortions of perception which obscure their interest, which in some few cases can be catastrophic for their interests. More often they adapt, and survive, the cost being borne by the commons.

    The times ripen, though the Demos may yet be distracted.

  4. The US is trying to get A-war started but Russia's not going to budge because russia doesn't want to war if it wanted a word could have took away Ukraine any time within 1 or 2 days and it hasn't done that and it hasn't done that for many years. When it comes to the Crimea the Russians got involved because of the Ukrainians were in violation of the human rights charter andischarter and they were persecuting and trying to ethnically cleanse Russians from the Korean with bad treatment so the Russians stepped in to protect ukrainiand to protect Ukrainian people that were of Russian origin

  5. i have invested in popcorn for this one and chewing gum to keep my jaws with something to do while i sit back in my recliner with the TV remote in one hand and a big fat cigar in the other

  6. It doesn't take a PHD in international relations to understand that both the UK, US and possibly the Canadian governments are all a crisis of credibility. Having long ago handed all decision making over to private business, the countries have no capacity to either make make foreign policy or act on it. Such policy is a function of the interests of capital; in this case arms manufacturers and their collective representative NATO.

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