Top Russia Expert: Ukraine Joining Nato Would Provoke Nuclear War

George Washington's picture

Stephen Cohen is one of America’s top experts on Russia.  Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University, and the author of a number of books on Russia and the Soviet Union.

Cohen says that the West is mainly to blame for the crisis in Ukraine:

This is a horrific, tragic, completely unnecessary war in eastern Ukraine. In my own judgment, we have contributed mightily to this tragedy. I would say that historians one day will look back and say that America has blood on its hands. Three thousand people have died, most of them civilians who couldn’t move quickly. That’s women with small children, older women. A million refugees.

Cohen joins other American experts on Russia – such as former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock – in this assessment.

Cohen also says that if Ukraine joins NATO, it will lead to nuclear war:

[Interviewer:] The possibility of Ukraine in NATO and what that means and what—


STEPHEN COHEN: Nuclear war.


[Interviewer:] Explain.


STEPHEN COHEN: Next question. I mean, it’s clear. It’s clear. First of all, by NATO’s own rules, Ukraine cannot join NATO, a country that does not control its own territory. In this case, Kiev controls less and less by the day. It’s lost Crimea. It’s losing the Donbas—I just described why—to the war. A country that does not control its own territory cannot join Ukraine [sic]. Those are the rules.


[Interviewer:] Cannot join—


STEPHEN COHEN: I mean, NATO. Secondly, you have to meet certain economic, political and military criteria to join NATO.

Ukraine meets none of them. Thirdly, and most importantly, Ukraine is linked to Russia not only in terms of being Russia’s essential security zone, but it’s linked conjugally, so to speak, intermarriage. There are millions, if not tens of millions, of Russian and Ukrainians married together. Put it in NATO, and you’re going to put a barricade through millions of families. Russia will react militarily.


In fact, Russia is already reacting militarily, because look what they’re doing in Wales today. They’re going to create a so-called rapid deployment force of 4,000 fighters. What is 4,000 fighters? Fifteen thousand or less rebels in Ukraine are crushing a 50,000-member Ukrainian army. Four thousand against a million-man Russian army, it’s nonsense. The real reason for creating the so-called rapid deployment force is they say it needs infrastructure. And the infrastructure—that is, in plain language is military bases—need to be on Russia’s borders. And they’ve said where they’re going to put them: in the Baltic republic, Poland and Romania.


Now, why is this important? Because NATO has expanded for 20 years, but it’s been primarily a political expansion, bringing these countries of eastern Europe into our sphere of political influence; now it’s becoming a military expansion. So, within a short period of time, we will have a new—well, we have a new Cold War, but here’s the difference. The last Cold War, the military confrontation was in Berlin, far from Russia. Now it will be, if they go ahead with this NATO decision, right plunk on Russia’s borders. Russia will then leave the historic nuclear agreement that Reagan and Gorbachev signed in 1987 to abolish short-range nuclear missiles. It was the first time nuclear—a category of nuclear weapons had ever been abolished. Where are, by the way, the nuclear abolitionists today? Where is the grassroots movement, you know, FREEZE, SANE? Where have these people gone to? Because we’re looking at a new nuclear arms race. Russia moves these intermediate missiles now to protect its own borders, as the West comes toward Russia. And the tripwire for using these weapons is enormous.


One other thing. Russia has about, I think, 10,000 tactical nuclear weapons, sometimes called battlefield nuclear weapons. You use these for short distances. They can be fired; you don’t need an airplane or a missile to fly them. They can be fired from artillery. But they’re nuclear. They’re radioactive. They’ve never been used. Russia has about 10,000. We have about 500. Russia’s military doctrine clearly says that if Russia is threatened by overwhelming conventional forces, we will use tactical nuclear weapons. So when Obama boasts, as he has on two occasions, that our conventional weapons are vastly superior to Russia, he’s feeding into this argument by the Russian hawks that we have to get our tactical nuclear weapons ready.

Former Polish president – and famed anti-communist activist – Lech Walesa agrees that the U.S. and Nato’s arming of Ukraine could lead to a nuclear war

Cohen also notes that the West has entered into an agreement to cover-up what happened to Malaysian airlines flight 17, because Russia was not responsible:

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jacship's picture

A Bulava missile weighs 36.8 tonnes and can travel 8,000 km (5,000 miles) and hold 6-10 nuclear warhead

Tested today

eddiebe's picture

' And it's 1 2 3 what are we fighting 4?

Don't ask me I don't give a damn,

Next stop is Ukaraine.

And it's 5 6 7 

open up the pearly gates.....'    Country Joe and the Fish in the new millenium.

atthelake's picture

American apathy and inaction will cost us, dearly.

Notsobadwlad's picture

Even if the current illegal usurper government of the Ukraine, put in place by the US and NATO as a result of the coup decides that it wants to join NATO, it does not represent the Ukraine ... only the usurper government.

windcatcher's picture


The monopoly fascist criminal bankster/ big oil/ military complex/ mass media/ drug cartel are a giant octopus on the face of mankind. The fascist criminal cartel completely rule the USA government with an iron fist, they are far beyond prosecution by the corrupt Criminal Justice System or by the corrupt and treasonous Congress.

Most Americans are brainwashed stupid by mass media propaganda and do not realize that in order for the New World Order criminal cartel to survive that they must be sacrificed.

The criminal cartel have already overthrown our democracy (government of, for and by the People) and destroyed our Free Enterprise System of capitalism economy that was free from corporate monopoly.

The last to be destroyed is our national sovereignty and independence. The dictator puppet Kenyon Lie-ing King will destroy our sovereignty and independence with North American Union open border immigration and UN Agenda 21st. Century.

Who and what army is going to stop the global Washington Empire?

The American People's fate is sealed and our only chance of survival is strangely in the hands of the BRICS nations and how they deal with the psychopathic, murderous New World Order criminals.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Wow, just imagine truck-mounted rocket-launchers with low-yield nukes. IED's triggering buried nukes.

That'll invite all sorts of Murrkinz to Die for Their Nay-shun.

The power of those slow-motion flags is almost incomprethinkable.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Not that a visit to D.C. urging your elected representative to resign and that you're not leaving "his or her office" for the treason they've committed wouldn't be better, this is a limited alternative that still has some bite if enough of them are sent.

Feel free to add your own flourishes to let them know what they will encounter if we send more "Blackwater/Academi" to Eastern Europe to kill more innocent men, women and children for the U.S.'s looting agenda...

Spread the love!

Minnalousha's picture

Cohen is a Communist and, like all Leftists, is both sadistic and masochistic.

On the one fist, he fancies himself empowered by strongmen like Putin, believing that by his sympathies he somehow  vicariously partakes of that power.

On the other fist, he craves the totalitarian jackboot up his ass, the better to be a fascist's foot-puppet.  He is not to be taken seriously.

Escapedgoat's picture

You forgot to call him SELF-HATING JEW.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

No worries GW

It's just another rabid "Y" that has his "bigger than dick" bent out of shape because the Zioncon establishment running the ethnic cleansing Nazi clinic in Ukraine that has displaced hundreds of thousands and killed thousands -like Syria, Iraq and of course "Gaza" ain't gonna be gettin that second beach front condo near the Black Sea that Vicki Nuland and Bob Kagan has been promising.

No Minnalousha your days in Tel Aviv may be numbered if you keep pressing Russia's "buttons".  As a matter of fact you may get us all killed. And if any of us survive the aftermath of "Defcon 1" we'll be looking for your ass and give you a Holocaust you never could have dreamed of in your wildest imagination.  Far worse than Gaza, Syria and East Ukraine could ever be!

Just like everyplace else you people shit on, even the Kosher chickens sooner or later come home to roost!

Better find a way to turn this shit off if you want to live!

The Phallic Crusader's picture

GW, thought you'd like this:


The Hitler Slur and Making New Enemies

apropos of little - how about an essay on media control/ownership/coordination.  The way the entirety of the MSM drops and picks up stories is in itself fascinating.  I suspect if one could track fox, cnn, nbc, cbs, abc, you'd find mostly the same stories, and mostly the same stories dropped.

Naturally, the narratives are also very similar.  No 9/11 skepticism is ever entertained simply on issues that do fairly merit further investigation, the same stupid celebrity stories, the same way things aren't covered...


JoJoJo's picture

NATO has outlived its Cold War anti Commie usefulness Its looking for make-do busywork trying to hustle Ukraine. The West's Poroshenko may be even discussing a plan with Putin despite NATO's big buttinsky meddling. The West (Catholic Protestant) has never liked the East's Orthodoxy. The book of Daniel speaks of this giant division.


dreadnaught's picture

NATO-another out of control black hole budget Nitwit government bureaucracy, sad sack full of booger eaters........they spend EU tax money like the liberals do in the US

Sirius Wonderblast's picture

Spot on re NATO, why would you need such a thing now (or for last 20 years?). It should've gone when the USSR collapsed.

Anyway, NATO itself may not be so stable - edifices never are. Scotland could very well split from the rest o f the UK shortly,what then And TPTB have imposed moe than enough destitution and misery across southern Europe that I can't see those countries being able too justify the cost of military action in Ukraine. That broadly seems to leave the agent provocateur, the USA/ziocons, as the only party in with a will and in a position to do very much at all. Certainly posting 4,000 troops out there would just be ordering 4,000 suiicides.

As for Poroshenko, seems a reasonable notion - survivors usually find a way out, and in his position - culturally and strategically, I think I'd be buddying up to Putin.

Herodotus's picture

The new rapid deployment NATO force will be headquartered in Ketrzyn, Poland (formerly East Prussia) at a large, now disused, Army headquarters facility  that can be renovated for this purpose.  The base is somewhat secluded in the forest east of the city and retains its original sophisticated perimeter security system thereby making it suitable to host strategic military conferences for top-ranking NATO staff tasked to the Eastern theatre of operations.

supermaxedout's picture

This place is well known. Its called Wolfsschanze the Fuehrers Headquarter during the War on Russia. A bomb exploded there to kill ADOLF but miracously he survived.

supermaxedout's picture

Its very close to Russiaan territory. a few mile  North of it is Russian territory already, the former East Prussia enclave with the city of Koenigsberg now called Kaliningrad.

Herodotus's picture

Thanks for the information,  I can see now why the NATO generals picked this spot.  Looks like it will take quite a bit of work to fix it up though.  How long do they expect this Russian campaign to last?  Do you live nearby?  Is there any evidence of new construction going on here?

supermaxedout's picture

No I'm from Germany, however an uncle of mine was from East Prussia as well as a coworker, a woman in my age. She lost all her family at the end of the war by starvation and hard labor in the Russian and Polish camps except her mother.  We were talking a lot.

I just became curious when I read your comment and somehow Wolfsschanze came to my mind. I was also surprised to find out that this is going to be the new Nato place.  Most probably Nato is already there since a while because appx a year ago Russia stationed Nuclear short range rockets in Kaliningrad to counter the US missle defence capabilities installed in Poland. Wolfsschanze I knew is very close to the Russian territory of former East Prussia.

East Prussia is still waiting to be revived.  Its sorrounded by Poland and Lithuania but Russia has the unrestricted right of way through Lithuania to reach its territory by road and rail, plus its connected to Russia by sea.

There was some years ago a plan in discussion between Germany and Russia to convert East Prussia into a Intl. Free Port connecting the EU economy and Russia on a tax free base.  The Germans would have reinstalled the railway and Autobahn connection between Kaliningrad and Berlin.  No doubt that would have been a succes story and a giant boost for this forgotten place. It would have attracted investment from all over the world (including strong Chinese and Turkish participation). But this was not on the agenda of US/Uk so this plan was buried in quiet.

COSMOS's picture

Figures the NATO-NAZIS would use a NAZI Lair for an attack on Russia

AdvancingTime's picture

The idea of America getting involved or jumping into a war in Ukraine would have been hard to imagine a few years ago. As I write this we are engaged in a war of words but the potential for this to escalate into a major shooting war is real. Allowing events to deteriorate into a major war or possibly into what some see as World War III is becoming a reality.

As insane as it appears this could become the final outcome. The location of this as a military confrontation is right in Putin's backyard and this is a strong advantage for Russia. It is silly to think Putin and Russia will back down. This means poking the bear is not a smart move. More on this subject in the article below.

ebear's picture

"This means poking the bear is not a smart move"

Bears are very patient, but they do have their limits.

Lets Buy The Dip's picture

those damn dirty vodka fueled russians are at it again ey>? LOL

It amazing you know, that we are back to PRE DOT COM Levels. Only taken us 14 years or so. LOL. Amazing chart here ==>

I think with the SEPT 11th 2001 dates coming up, and all this war in UKRAINE, russia and that vodka fueled bugger PUTIN smirking like a drunk soldier, we could be in for a bit of wishy washy market action too. 

SmittyinLA's picture

Russia with their limited rules and 15% income tax is a political threat to the EU and the Brussels bureaucracy with their 50-70% income tax. 

60% income taxes with bank confiscations can't compete with 15% taxes and no confiscations.

The EU citizens should vote to join the Russia trade federation and dump all their Socialist parasite immigrants 



realestateroadkill's picture

Gee Smitty, it sounds like a true workers paradise...oops...capitalist paradise. But if it were remotely true, the other eastern european countries would be making a beeline to do business with russia and putin; but they are not, they are headed the other way as fast as they are able

bilejones's picture

You are confusing the oligarchs who loot and control the eastern european countries with the counties themselves.


Putin seems to have little time for oligarchs.

Mitzibitzi's picture

You can actually get that down to under 12% if you are engaged in anything innovative. Where the rest of the developed world likes to get in the way of entrepreneurs, the Russians seem to have worked out that 10-15% (and you WILL be paying it!) of something productive is better than claiming 50+% but, in actuality, getting next to nothing by the time they've paid their lawyers and accountants to work the system.

3rd Pig's picture


First we take Manhattan... then we take Berlin.

No that was the other Cohen.

It’s a Khazar take down anyway


blindman's picture

298 innocent, presumably, human beings in the act
of being human are murdered in the sky, like angels,
and there are those , on the ground, thinking those
crimes are concealable or negotiable, to be traded like
cloth or coin; the objects of political theater. innocent
human life become a commodity in the political-money freight train,
thrown into the hopper like coal.
is there a position, job or status in the world
of humans that exempts one from the facts of
who, what, where, how and why innocent people in the
hundreds or more are executed by men? that exempt status
is the essence of TYRANNY. the thing that will always be
perused to be executed in broad daylight, shamelessly
and with no forgiveness. they teach such in primary schools.
god have mercy on them and us, one and all.
but fuck them for their lack of values and absolute disregard
for the truth, may they receive their supreme rot in hell
for what they do and the persons they have chosen to become,
psychopaths in positions of extreme stupidity.
i can see how men and women have prayed to a god of
destruction, wrath and fire, to be poured on humanity
just for the hell of emotional and legal justice. but,
it does no good.
i hear suicide is on the rise and becoming a leading
cause of death in certain places and situations and
a potential false cause of demise.
stop it and think.....

Monotaur's picture

Germany could suffer a lot, if there will be a serious Escalation.

The US has 255 Military Bases alone in Germany, which by the way have to be financed partially by german Taxpayers. There are around 50.000 US-Soldiers in Germany, plus around 8.500 "civil US-personnel" plus around 30.000 "other" US-Citizens which could include Soldiers of US-"private Security" Companies.

It is said, that US-Base in Ramstein/Germany is a Center for Drone-Attacks etc. Of course Merkel didn´t know anything about it.

Any movement of US-Air-Force in german Airspace is not allowed to be controlled or recorded. Any US-Air-Force Plane is allowed to land anywhere it might, without the possibility of german Intervention.

All that points clearly to Germany as an occupied and not sovereign Country, where both - Chancelor and President come from Ex-DDR (former East Germany) and seem to be blackmailed by "others" because of their STASI past, which has never been revealed, let alone have their STASI-Files been made public, as it was common after the fall of the Wall in 1989.

Note that now german President Gauck has been for 10 years the chief Commissioner of the STASI-Files Department after 1989.

Obaminator's picture

I hope every last one of you communist sympathizers DOES NOT get what you deserve.

And the ONLY reason I say that is becasue if THAT were to happen, it would mean Im in the mix with the rest of you sacks of shit who think so highly of Putin and Russian politics and hate the US.

You all bute the hand that feeds.

Please move wouldnt even be able to write ona  blog like this in the countries you so fiercly defend with your KEYSTROKES.

fuk it.

atthelake's picture

How's that Cool Aid? Grape, isn't it?

Mitzibitzi's picture

Yeah. Go Uncle Sam!

Wake up, moron, we're the bad guys! Or our governments are, at least.

Clifftastic's picture

^^^ This is the reason why its unsafe to marry your sister

nathan1234's picture

Dont even try sleeping . You may also end up with HIV if it is his sister.


44magnum's picture

"I hope every last one of you communist sympathizers"

No one has mentioned the communist countries chna,cuba,Nkorea. U need to study more.

"BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU" That line doesn't sound communist at all.

Monotaur's picture

I´m sorry for your relatives or friends in Ucraine, who for shure suffer a lot if they live in the war-zone.

Obviously it´s normal people who are stripped of their existence in despicable wars like there and on both sides there are happening terrible things.

But there are historic facts about the US involvement of Regime changes all over the world, just to serve their hunger of Resources, Power and global Control. And for shure it´s not just the US acting like that. But sorry to say that the US have had a leading and disgusting inventive Role in this kind of game and there is nobody today, who could stand up against that argument without lying their heads off.

Why don´t you read John Perkins´ "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" to get into the matter.

PS: Hate doesn´t make anything better, just worse. The most important thing is to be informed as good as possible from several sources and not to get brainwashed just from one side of the conflict.

Obaminator's picture

GW: Why Dont you just go friggin LIVE over in Russia and see what its REALLY like living under Dictator Putins regime? Huh?

DO YOU have family in Keiv or very near Ukrain? DO YOU?

DO YOU have direct first-hand reports from people who live there?

I Do. Period. And EVERYONE I know over there says the same things over and over...AGAINST Putin and his Gestappo.

Im so fukn SICK of your and other Pro-Russian, Everything Bad AmeriKA attitudes and stories.

America to "Blame" hardly...the people to Blame are the ones in Russia in power seeking to create a modern post-communisut Soviet Union...its 100% OPPOSITE America, and if that means WE are to Blame for their agression, then SO BE IT, ...its the same thing as blaming a person who owns a nice house for getting robbed...and if he shoots the intruder SO BE IT.

If you hate AmeriKA and Love Russia so much...GO LIVE there and try writing an Op-Ed piece like this over there...except against russia of course...and see which part of Siberia your dumb-add ends up in.

atthelake's picture

We don't hate America. It's the corrupt, warmongering, murderous, treasonous, greedy, liars who run our goverrnment, we hate. Do you know that America paid $5 Billion, according to Victoria Nuland, to invade Ukraine? Do you know America starts all the wars in the world? Do you know the reason is to strip every nation of it's wealth? You need to educate yourself.

Mitzibitzi's picture

DO YOU have family in Keiv or very near Ukrain? DO YOU?

DO YOU have direct first-hand reports from people who live there?


Yes and yes. Somewhat inconvenient for your argument?                                

realestateroadkill's picture

Sure, just keep writing what Putin wants you to. And if Russia is so great why is Putin eliminating ALL his potential adversaries??? Stooge! If Russia is so great and the economics are so wonderful the other east european countries would be making a beeline to do business with rissia, bu8t they are running full speed to NATO. So who are we to believe, you or our lying eyes. Russian Stooge! (and if Putin gets his way, soon to again be a communist Stooge)

dreadnaught's picture

you sound like an Obama puppet and a numbskull


I have friends in Kiev who think the whole takeover of Ukraine was wrong and hope that Russia will come save them. A LOT of people....many mothers are tearing up draft notices to their sons

Captain Obvious.'s picture

I have famiy there and all Slav fingers point the finger of blame at the Good 'ol US of A.

Bastion of apple pie. Brings a tear to my eye.

Emergency Ward's picture

Who in the fuck would want to move from America to Russia?  I like living in America and would hate living in Russia.  Why don't you move there?

That being said, Obama has invaded more countries and killed more people than Putin has even thought about -- just ask Obama -- he brags about it.

Blame blame blame.  It is painfully clear that US/NATO/EU, with their regime-toppling intrigues and provocations, bear a much greater part of the blame for the Ukrainian situation than Putin does.

Free Pussy Riot so they can Occupy the White House!

bilejones's picture



William Blum


Instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War. (* indicates successful ouster of a government)


  • China 1949 to early 1960s

  • Albania 1949-53

  • East Germany 1950s

  • Iran 1953 *

  • Guatemala 1954 *

  • Costa Rica mid-1950s

  • Syria 1956-7

  • Egypt 1957

  • Indonesia 1957-8

  • British Guiana 1953-64 *

  • Iraq 1963 *

  • North Vietnam 1945-73

  • Cambodia 1955-70 *

  • Laos 1958 *, 1959 *, 1960 *

  • Ecuador 1960-63 *

  • Congo 1960 *

  • France 1965

  • Brazil 1962-64 *

  • Dominican Republic 1963 *

  • Cuba 1959 to present

  • Bolivia 1964 *

  • Indonesia 1965 *

  • Ghana 1966 *

  • Chile 1964-73 *

  • Greece 1967 *

  • Costa Rica 1970-71

  • Bolivia 1971 *

  • Australia 1973-75 *

  • Angola 1975, 1980s

  • Zaire 1975

  • Portugal 1974-76 *

  • Jamaica 1976-80 *

  • Seychelles 1979-81

  • Chad 1981-82 *

  • Grenada 1983 *

  • South Yemen 1982-84

  • Suriname 1982-84

  • Fiji 1987 *

  • Libya 1980s

  • Nicaragua 1981-90 *

  • Panama 1989 *

  • Bulgaria 1990 *

  • Albania 1991 *

  • Iraq 1991

  • Afghanistan 1980s *

  • Somalia 1993

  • Yugoslavia 1999-2000 *

  • Ecuador 2000 *

  • Afghanistan 2001 *

  • Venezuela 2002 *

  • Iraq 2003 *

  • Haiti 2004 *

  • Somalia 2007 to present

  • Libya 2011*

  • Syria 2012

Q: Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington?

A: Because there’s no American embassy there.


FeralSerf's picture

Conditions for the average Russian keep improving, those for the average American keep getting worse. There is no discernible indication of this trend changing in the foreseeable future.

How long will it be before the two curves cross?

Ocean22's picture

Russia is against GMO's to and for overt homo parades in our streets. Sounds good to me.