I asked a veteran Russia hand, ‘What would you do, if you were Secretary of State.’ Here is his answer. He happens to be my brother.
Interesting history and well-informed analysis of where best to go from here. Thank you!
Exceptionally interesting and, in the best possible way, informative, i.e., via storytelling. Thank you!
his insights are most welcome, but I love the story about his covert trip to the river on that long ago night in Kiev, when your brother was maybe 20. Impossibly young...
I am far from an expert, or even knowledgeable amateur, on international relations, but when I heard and read about Putin's description of Ukraine as an illegitimate creation of the Bolsheviks/Communists, I thought immediately "well, that's both historically absurd, and a shout out to Xi Jinping re Taiwan". In other words, I thought Putin was trying to win support from China by making an argument that China could clearly make in the case of Taiwan: "That country was birthed by an illegitimate regime, and is therefore illegitimate". Now, the issue of China and Taiwan is more complex than this, but in a sense this is the crux of the Chinese beef with Taiwan, so I have to wonder if Putin made this argument in the hopes it would buy Chinese acquiescence in the Ukraine invasion. So, having read your brother's thoughts on the history of Russia/Ukraine I am glad to have some more evidence to argue that Putin's description made no sense. 🤓
Many thanks or this review. As it happened, I was in the USSR on a student trip about the same time (1971) and met some Ukrainian students who made it very clear that they were NOT Russian. Regarding the present inflation and possible energy sanctions, one problem I've not seen discussed anywhere is that the Biden administration has punted on the task of educating the American public regarding how inflation increases happen rather naturally during times of disruption; and how prices also come down. The news media are pretty useless regarding this problem, so the general public is stuck with remotes of TV reporters in front of daily gas price signs at service stations.
Very fine personal history. Thanks for the share: Your brother's experience and rationality helps a little bit to ameliorate today's depression. Most obliged, --Barry