The ebb and flow of Russia in Europe

Russia in Europe 1914

Russia in Europe 1914

Since 1848, the United States has been secure within its present continental boundaries.  That’s not been true of all nations, and particularly not true of Russia and its European neighbors.  I’ve collected a series of maps from Google Image showing the ebb and flow of Russian power in Europe.

What they show is why, on the one hand, Russia’s neighboring countries would feel in need of protection and why, on the other hand, Russia would fear any hostile military power along its border, especially in Ukraine.

The Baltic states, Poland, Belarus and Ukraine did not exist as independent countries a century ago.  People who lived in these regions during the 20th century would have lived under several different governments, including some of the bloodiest regimes in history, without having moved from the place they were born.

1wk_brest_litowsk_vertrag_karte

Russia in Europe 1923

Russia in Europe 1923

The Nazi-Soviet Pact 1939

Russia in Europe after the Nazi-Soviet Pact

Europe_under_Nazi_domination

Russia in Cold War Europe

Russia in Cold War Europe

Russia in Europe 2011

Russia in Europe 2011

Almost all nations in Europe today are smaller than they were at their greatest extent.  This is particularly true of Germany, if you compare its place on the 1914 map with its place today.

It is reasonable to expect that Russia, too, should accept the independence of Ukraine, Georgia and its other former subject territories.

But Russia, unlike Germany, was never defeated on the battlefield.   Russia has power—overt and covert—to resist foreign bases being placed in bordering countries.   The NATO powers should think twice before trying to extend their alliance into Ukraine and Georgia.

 

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