Russia-Ukraine war is at least 300 years old
Why Russia-Ukraine war is not a NATO’s proxy war. Writing this in English, because Ukrainians know this anyway.
Sometimes I hear voices around the world, that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a Russia-NATO proxy war. Sometimes I even hear that this war is NATO’s fault and that the sole reason for Russian invasion is a fear of NATO’s expansion. These voices say that “we have to look deeper” and that it only seems to be a Russia-Ukraine war, oh you stupid boy, but it’s actually a Russia-NATO war, and Ukraine, as a new nation, is simply a western pawn.
However, if these voices actually want to “look deeper”, they should understand that what they think is “look deeper” is barely scratching the surface.
Here is an excerpt of the Ukrainian history book written by Orest Subtelnyy in late 1980s. Hopefully this citation will give you a glimpse of how deeply rooted the problem actually is. It’s an introduction to the history of eighteenth century Ukraine under Russian rule.
Seeking to monopolize power, the tsars (i.e. russian rulers) in their very essence opposed the idea of Ukrainian or any other self-government. Prior to that, the principles and practices of absolutism spread throughout Europe in the eighteenth century. Steadfast representatives of absolutism, such as Peter I and Catherine II — the two most prominent rulers of Russia — considered the central government the most effective and advanced. However, these views contradicted the form of self-government that existed in the Hetmanate (i.e. Ukrainian autonomous state) and was based solely on Ukrainian principles and customs. Thus, the main issue in the political life of Ukraine in the XVIII century is the long and fierce struggle of the imperial centralism of Russia with the Ukrainian desire for autonomy.
As you see, the struggle between Russian absolute monarchy and Ukrainian democracy is not new. And please don’t think that Ukraine is only 30 years old and therefore is NATO’s pawn. You may try to see it in reverse. Ukraine is actually pretty old. Much older than NATO. Who’s a pawn?