Guest Post: Ukraine Is The Wrong Fight To Pick With Russia

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by L Todd Wood via,

The United States’ rapport with the Russian Federation is one of the world’s most important bilateral relationships.  Russia maintains a large nuclear arsenal and is a resurgent player in world affairs.  One only has to look at Russia’s recent role in the Syrian civil war and the Iranian nuclear problem to see Putin’s desire for ensuring Russia remains a powerful player on the global chessboard.  Bashar al-Assad staying in power after murdering thousands of civilians with weapons of mass destruction, and the possibility of the Iranian Islamic state acquiring nuclear weapons have very real consequences to American security.  Americans would be wise to understand the rich history of the Ukrainian region before interfering in its internal affairs and angering Moscow when there are more important issues with which to take a stand.

Ukraine was the heartland of the old kingdom of Kievan Rus.  At one point the most powerful kingdom in all of Europe, the state included modern day Ukraine as well as Belarus (White Russia) and parts of modern day Russia.  In the thirteen century, Ukraine was overrun by the Mongol Invasion and many of the Slavic peoples moved to the northern cities of Moscow and surrounding areas.  Northern Slavic power developed into the Russian Federation we know today.  For the last eight centuries, Ukraine has been ruled by many outside entities including Lithuania, Poland, and the Soviet Union.  Ukraine finally became independent in 1991. 

Russia has considered Ukraine to be a vassal for the last five hundred years.  Russian President Putin has routinely referred to Ukraine as a Russian state rather than a free and independent country.  Putin has whipped up anti-American sentiment in order to keep the threat of American trickery on the top of the ordinary Russian’s mind.   The bottom line is that Russia considers the Ukraine to be in its sphere of influence and theoretically a part of Russia. 

The result of all this history is that I believe it’s impossible for the West to unilaterally pull Ukraine away from Russian control.  Actually it may be dangerous to attempt to do so and that effort my carry long term global consequences.  Ukraine should be left to sort out its own problems.  This view may be harsh but it is also realpolitik.  The United States should stay out of this possible brewing civil war.  The visit from John McCain and American State Department officials carried a very high media profile and needlessly inflamed U.S.-Russian relations.  These types of efforts only serve to give the Russian government ammunition to excite anti-American sentiment within Russia and foster coercive measures by the Ukrainian government against the opposition and for Putin do to the same against the opposition in Moscow.  Fifty-four percent of recently polled Russians consider America to be the number one threat to world peace compared to twenty-four percent of the rest of the world.  The Kremlin’s propaganda has worked well.  Sending American officials to Kiev only fosters this view.

Iran obtaining nuclear weapons however, is a different story all-together.  Here we have a state that has actively called repeatedly for the destruction of the state of Israel.  Iran has recently used weapons of mass destruction via its vassal in Damascus against the Syrian opposition.  We are on the brink of a major arms race and nuclear escalation in the Middle East.  Saudi Arabia is rumored to be acquiring a nuclear capability to oppose the Iranian threat.  This region of the globe has been a flash-point for the world throughout history.  In my humble opinion, this would be an area to take a stand.  This would be an issue on which to confront Putin and anger the Russia bear.  The consequences of not doing so are horrific. 

How would the United States react if Moscow was able to exert influence over Mexico and install a pro-Russian government?  What if Mexico was to consider joining the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia?  What if Mexico openly talked of joining a Russian military alliance against the United States?  One only needs to look to the Cuban Missile Crisis to discover the American reaction. 

America needs to take off her rose colored glasses and look at the world with a Machiavellian view.  We should decide to intervene in centuries old conflicts only when there are clear American security interests involved.  Unfortunately for the idealistic leaders of American foreign policy, Ukraine does not meet this test.  The Ukrainian people have shown an ability over the two decades to have a natural ability to take matters into their own hands and are quite capable of deciding this issue among themselves.  


L. Todd Wood is a former special operations helicopter pilot and bond trader.  His first of many thriller novels, Currency was published in 2012.  He is a contributor to The Moscow Times and splits his time between NYC and Moscow.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
National Blessing's picture

The Ukraine is in a pile of shit.  Russia is the wrong fight to pick.  Now they are learning the hardway.  Putin is a vengeful bastard.

Soul Glow's picture

This article is worthless.  The comparisons are worthless.  Should the US become involved?  Who cares.  The US is over involved in foreign affairs, period.  Right now no one is as powerful as they seem, Russia and the US included.

I am sure there is some Sun Tzu quote about how those that overplay their hands bla bla bla bla.  Russia will fall like the US government will; they are all using crap shoot games to keep the house of cards standing, and at the slightest wind, it will blow down.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

"Right now no one is as powerful as they seem, Russia and the US included"

Except they both still possess the capability to destroy the world many times over.  And there are a lot of dumbshits with access to the nuclear launch codes.

satoshi911's picture

The president of Russia a cool dude, who rides a Harley and is a real man.

The president of the USA, aka 'bathhouse barry', is a lady-man, and only known for being passed in the chicago-bath-house (AIPAC OWNED, think Rahm, & Cass ) and holding the record for being penetrated.


Who are you going to respect? Which country has cred?

Russia has POWER, ameriKKKa has HIV, enough said.

Son of Loki's picture

The Ukraine belongs to us! does Belarus, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, all the Sandwishstans, etc. What doesn't Putin understand about that?

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Forgot the 'sarc' tag, or having fun testing the readers?

Oh regional Indian's picture

"the idealistic leaders of US foreign policy".......


What a stinking pile of dogdoo. 

ZH is showing soem very "interesting" article selections of late.

Idealistic leaders....really? Who the F wrote this shit and what is it doing here?


satoshi911's picture

AIPAC Offer's to Store Indian Temple Gold

It's a good story, and the post is coming tomorrow to ZH.

Essentially the gist of the story is that IRAN is going to NUKE Bangalore (India) and hold them hostage to get all the temple gold.

Of course AIPAC say's never fear, if your store all the GOLD from the temples in Israel it will be the safest place on earth from the Iranians.

There is even a 'cross our heart, hope to die', it will not lease the gold to a third party /sarc-not.



Rock On Roger's picture

'And his customers included Seal Team Six.'

Fuck me, why do I read this shit?


Stack On




satoshi911's picture

"truth is always stranger than fiction, fiction has to make sense' - mark twain


Arius's picture

"The United States’ rapport with the Russian Federation is one of the world’s most important bilateral relationships"


WRONG!  to start with ... 60 years to late.... it is a NEW WORLD out there ... people get up and smell the coffee, but again, it is difficult to change, perhaps these guys thats what they did for the last 50 years.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

L Todd Wood has intentionally omitted the historical fact that Ukraine was also a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now the EU) before it was occupied and forced into the Soviet Union.

One can easily make the same arguments (as he is trying to make to justify Russian aggression and Putin's Hitler-like ambitions) that Ukraine belongs in the EU and not with Russia.

Also, L Todd Wood needs to learn about Holodomor (artificial famine imposed by Stalin's Russia on Ukraine) and the Ukrainian genocide before he gives his ignorant opinions.

Volkodav's picture

Stalin was not a Russian

Stalin did same to Russians and worse. Russians suffered more than any.


Cult_of_Reason's picture

Simply because Stalin was not a Russian (but a Georgian) means shit, the same as it means shit that Hilter was not a German (but an Austrian).

Putin's Hitler-like ambitions of invading and enslaving Ukraine are not any different than when Hitler invaded Poland.

Poland used to be a part of Germany (Prussia), so the "parts of Ukraine used to be a part of Russia" argument is simply stupid.

I'm surprised that Zero Hedge keeps posting such stupid articles on this website that attempt to twist history to justify and to provide cover to Hitler-like Putin's ambitions.

ebear's picture

"Who the F wrote this shit and what is it doing here?"

Manufacture of Dissent.

johny2's picture

The site is morphing into just a good financial news site. There are some nuggets of gold to be found, but more and more sand has to be sifted for it. 

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

? banned comentator

ebear's picture

"The president of Russia a cool dude, who rides a Harley and is a real man."

Yeah, all he has to do now is rescue a bear cub and he's in!

knukles's picture

Bah humbug
What with the Illuminati loosing their grasp, the MSM flailing about incompetently, the worst SuperBowl in memory, the peasantry badly depressed, we need a rallying point, something to draw us together, so I say Invade the Ukraine!
Think of all the welfare recipients, unemployed (50% at least of the population) we have all the warm dumb bodies to send into glorious combat for the sanctity of Der Fatherland, rally the National Spirit, decrease U for Janet, make work for the workless, think of the astounding enhancement of the lazy folks self worth, meeting new people they've never seen before, and slaughtering them wholesale.
What a way to soften the human footprint upon wasting scarce resources, implementing the Gates/Rockefeller Eugenics program, living in concert with the Georgia Guide-stones....
I say invade Ukraine, Now!

That or a weekend in Vegas.

SAT 800's picture

You better review your history of WW11. Invade the Ukraine is very, very, bad idea.

disabledvet's picture

Here's the actual history:

The German war aim of WWII was not "Ukraine" in case you were wondering.

I highly doubt the US "war aim" is "Ukraine" either.
Self determination...peaceful coexistence...etc.

I think a lot of Europe has it in for Putin...that is what has started this whole thing...if i were to hazard a guess "the USA will do what's best for the USA."

we're not gonna throw the Kurds under the bus.
The same is true of the Ukranians.

If they do in fact gain their independence (again...not a war aim for WWII)...something that would involve having their own currency in my view...then again maybe not...well, they're gonna earn it either way.

Clearly a lot of debt restructuring is in order either way.
I'm sure Wall Street will be banging down that door to get in.

Son of Loki's picture

Get your Mom to pack ya an extra pair of very warm socks and hand warmers.....and three pair of long johns.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

I'm not a fan of either team, but I got SO tired of all the Denver and Super-Manning hype, that I was delighted with the thrashing they took.

Humility is good for the human soul.

Rafferty's picture

I was just thinking that you'd need to put in the /sarc tag or else some idiot would take you seriously.


And right on cue...........

0b1knob's picture

How would the United States react if Moscow was able to exert influence over Mexico and install a pro-Russian government? 

Replace "Mexico" with "Cuba" and the point would be?   Exactly what?

SAT 800's picture

the point is exactly what you know it is; do you pretend not to understand global power politics?

GetZeeGold's picture



How would the United States react if Moscow was able to exert influence over Mexico and install a pro-Russian government?


That's happening north of Mexico's border.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

How would the United States react if Moscow was able to exert influence over Mexico and install a pro-Russian government?

I am thinking a lot of drugs would no longer make it into the US. 

KickIce's picture

Sun Tzu say when enemy is destroying itself sit back and enjoy popcorn.

johny2's picture

I say the same. With all its media power, economy control, military assets etc, the empire built on the back of the enslavement and death is surely sinking, and it must be its karma that is sinking it. 

Lin S's picture


Here's where your cred turned into a steaming pile of dog shit:

"Bashar al-Assad staying in power after murdering thousands of civilians with weapons of mass destruction, and the possibility of the Iranian Islamic state acquiring nuclear weapons have very real consequences to American security."



Maxter's picture

I totaly agree with you here.  This article is just a big pile of propaganda.

Unique Snowflake's picture

Agreed. Ayyone who uses the expression "weapons of mass destruction" is the most obvious stooge for pro govt propaganda. Not to mention the old chestnut of fearmongering via 'they got dem nukes' message. Fuck off Todd, from Todds Bullshit Blog.

Anusocracy's picture

Pity I couldn't give the article a zero. Or a minus five.

Freddie's picture


L. Todd Wood is a former special operations helicopter pilot and bond trader.

So he had two jobs with the Illuminati.   The guy sounds like a douchebag.  As far as Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Army.  They were the ones protecting Syrian Christians along with Putin and the Russian Navy from the Saudi Al Qeada gang backed by the US, Muslim Brotherhood Turkey, Qatar, Jordan and Israel

Who was the first navy to send ships to help the USS Liberty and to help the wounded and dead?  The Russian Navy.  McCain's old man with orders from LBJ sold out the USS Liberty and recalled F4 fighter bombers and ships.  The US Navy eventually showed up.

SovietCong's picture

This article is a disgrace and has no place at ZH. The author shows off his skinny-deep understanding of a complex geopolitical issue, making judgments that are downright silly. I mean, I could literally pick at every sentence in the initial three paragraphs pointing out egregious mistakes. The bottomline suggestion, that the U.S. should leave Ukraine to Russia because otherwise Putin will get upset is like saying that the U.S. should get out of Japan, because it annoys the Chinese. 

The only benefit from reading that bunch of crap is that it helps explain why American foreign policy is mired by so many rookie errors: if the policy is informed by pseudo-analysts and self-proclaimed experts who provide decision-makers with this kind of stuff, no wonder they go from blunder to blunder. 

NickVegas's picture

It's paid propaganda. People have to pay the bills. That is just the way it is.

kashey's picture

If it's propaganda then we should ask in whose favor since it's so clumsy it can be nothing but counterproductive.

Escapedgoat's picture

IMHO  ZH is trying to keep us on out toes with a little bit of negative reporting, and to keep us sharp and focussed

ignl's picture

Totally agree. ZH should take a look at its own standarts first before complaining about cnbc etc... This article is ridiculous...

Rafferty's picture

Freddy, what you say about the Russian Navy helping the Liberty is correct.  McStain's daddy held off to give America's Israel 'allies' time to finish off the witnesses.  The point though is that, IMHO, literally not 1 in 100,000 Americans is aware of this.

Tim_'s picture

The pro-Palestinian convoy's visit to Iran is historic

"President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the occupation of Palestine is a historical problem and the existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to freedom, justice and all independent nations. 'The Europe and the US spend tens of billions of their wealth on the Zionists every year to help a criminal regime…continue its unlawful occupation [of Palestinian lands],' President Ahmadinejad added. 'Despite all apparent liberal claims of the Western states, nobody is ever allowed to raise a question or conduct a research on how the Zionist regime was established,' the president said."

"President Ahmadinejad further stated that the Zionists try to pitch states and nations against each other and create a rift between governments and their people and spearhead international terrorism."

"'The issue of Palestine is not an argument between one person and another or a conflict created between the followers of one prophet and another, but it is the dispute over Palestine, a dispute over dominating and managing the world,' Dr. Ahmadinejad added."

The Office of the Supreme Leader, Sayyid Ali Khamenei

"Looking into this trend of evil, as manifested in recent years in atrocious operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Pakistan, leaves no doubt that it is designed and masterminded by heads of world imperialism and Zionist think tanks which have the highest degree of influence in the government, the military and security agencies of the United States as well as Britain and some other European countries."

"For years those things held sacred by millions of oppressed Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in Iraq, in Lebanon and Palestine have been desecrated, all their rights and their dignity trampled on. Hundreds of thousands killed, tens of thousands of men and women captured and tortured, thousands of children and women kidnapped, and millions injured and made homeless - all victimized for what? And with these wrongs, why does the Western media represent Muslims as violence incarnate and Islam, and the Quran, as a menace to humanity? How can one believe that this vast conspiracy could be made possible without the support and involvement of the Zionist circles in the US government?!"

"The Zionist regime, since the very beginning of its creation until now, has continued shamelessly and openly its terrorist acts outside and inside Palestine. Both the former and incumbent leaders of the Zionist regime feel proud of their terrorist background and in some cases, of their direct involvement in terror operations" (Source).

WhyWait's picture

And your point is ... ?

ebear's picture

"And with these wrongs, why does the Western media represent Muslims as violence incarnate and Islam, and the Quran, as a menace to humanity?"

Technically speaking, the Quran is only a menace to half of humanity, that is if you share the belief that women are human, and therefore endowed with the same rights as men.

as for violence incarnate....

Fight all you want amonst yourselves.  Makes no difference to me.

Bring it to MY home, however, and here's what you can expect:


acetinker's picture

Ditto.  I immediately scrolled to the comments after reading that sentence.

Confundido's picture

Todd, you've got it all wrong. This is not about the US and Russia. This is about the European Union and Russia, which is why the US and the Brits stay neutral. They do not want the Germans to become a superpower. 

SAT 800's picture

the european Union and Russian, aka NATO; is exactly what it's all about. The United States remaining neutral;!! You are completely out of touch.

Rock On Roger's picture

It's all about the gaz, and the pipelines carrying the energy. Western Europe doesn't have much for energy supplies, Eastern Europe has lots of energy, and it flows from East to West through Ukraine.

It's a push me pull you place to be.

It is all about energy, and the Anglo-American cartel which wishes to control the energy.


Stack On