Russia’s point of view

– The attack is merely an operation to bring peace. In the separatist regions 14,000 people have been killed in a period of 8 years. 80 percent of the casualties fell on the pro Russian side. The Ukrainians have been shelling them for 8 years. The western media ignores this.

– There are active and influential Neo-Nazi organisations in Ukraine. To name one example, look at the Azov brigade. These extremists want to purify the nation. They want to rid themselves of Russian influence. They want to kick out all Russians and they want to put a ban on the Russian language. They regard the ethnic Russians as some sort of Untermenschen. This is a small group, but they are vocal, organized and armed.

– Some of these people glorify the Ukrainians who fought for Nazi-Germany. This is anathema to the Russians who are convinced – and with some justification – that the Soviet-Union paid the highest price to defeat Nazi-Germany. A small part of the motivation for what is happening seems to be out the anger some Russians feel, because the west has never fully acknowledged Russia’s role in defeating Nazism.

– The West imposes its pro LGBT agenda on the world

– the NATO expansion is a serious concern. Putin fears that Ukraine is becoming a weaponized base on Russia’s door step. As a member of Nato Ukraine would be able to provoke the Russians. With Nato’s backing it can take action against Russia and it would know it risks very little. If the Russians respond to provocations they risk war with all Nato countries.

– According to Putin and many Russians Ukraine and Russia are one and the same. There is this reflex to unite two countries that are considered to have had the same history and were one country for centuries (again, according to the Russians)

– Historically Kiev is important to the Russians because they identify with the medieval entity called Kiev Rus, one of the first ‘Russian’ kingdoms

– Often left unmentioned in the Russian rhetoric is the role that gas plays. The Russians would like to use a new pipeline which bypasses Ukraine. Normally the Russians lose money to the Ukrainians because Russia gas flows to the rest of Europe via Ukraine. Of course, if Putin really hoped to use that new pipeline then attacking Ukraine was THE way to make sure that would never happen. So maybe this is not what motivates him

– The West is the empire of lies, they lied about many wars and destroyed one foreign country after the other, countries that were not even neighbouring countries to the US and posed no direct threat to the US. The reasoning is that Russia is allowed to attack a country that is a much more serious threat to Russia’s security and influence than Syria, Iraq, Serbia, Libya, Yemen or Somalia were to the US.

– In 2014 Ukraine got a new government, but it was a coup, backed by the US. Joe Biden himself was involved in toppling the pro-Russian and democratically elected government and as a thank you, Hunter Biden got a lucrative job, 50.000 dollars per month at an energy company

The Western view as repeated by all western media and almost all western politicians

– This is purely Putin’s war

– It is purely his decision to attack Ukraine, a country that has done absolutely nothing wrong

– Putin is the new Hitler

– no mention of what happened in the separatist areas

– There are no Neo-Nazis in Ukraine

– No Ukrainians helped Germany during World War II

– Nato was never a threat to Russia, it’s the other way around

– Putin runs Russia like a dictatorship, he is also attacking the idea of a liberal democracy

– there is no justification for this at all, this is the work of a madman who wants to reestablish the might of the Soviet-Union, he’s an imperialist who will stop at nothing to expand his empire

– what he is doing is a flagrant violation of international law

– no mention of the US and its allies ever doing something similar

– there is no such outrage when Israel, a US ally, steals Palestinian land or claims Syrian territory as its own

– Putin’s idea of any sort of Ukraine-Russia unity is completely made me up (see Timothy Snyder for example)

Middle ground (as expressed by, among many others, the journalists Aaron Maté, Glenn Greenwald, Kim Iverson, Ben Norton and even several American officers and former diplomats)

– First of all: what Russia is doing wrong, they shouldn’t be attacking. If the Russians are indeed suffering injustices there must still be other ways to address those

– This is nothing the US isn’t doing every day, the US and US backed forces have recently bombed Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Palestine. In Yemen alone 400,000 people risk dying of malnutrition, most of them children. There are no emotional reactions in the West because of this, there is no moral outcry, there is no identification with the suffering of these people. One wonders why not?

– It’s only a third world war when white people are being bombed, nobody cares when brown people get bombed

– the Nato expansion was wrong, they take it as a fact that Russia was promised that there would be no expansion

– They agree that there was this coup in 2014 and that the US played a big role in selecting the new Ukrainian leadership. The refer to taped talks between high ranking US politicians where you can hear them talk about suitable replacements

– Ukraine is not innocent, they really did shell an area with 4 million people for 8 years, and the media turned a blind eye to that

– gas exports from the US to Europe are now booming, this gas is not ‘green’ and it’s more expensive. It looks like the US is overjoyed that Putin has attacked Ukraine

– weapons are a multibillion dollar industry for the US, this crisis will be very good for business. Nato expansion also seems to mainly serve the purpose of getting more countries to buy American weapons

– the West, but mostly the US, has been isolating Russia for years, Russia wanted

– A comparison this ‘camp’ has come up with: Imagine you cage a racoon (=Russia), you torment it for years, then the racoon attacks, and when you say you understand the racoon they call you a racoon apologist

Which camp’s opinion is closest to your own?