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Hot Topics: Russo-Ukraine War: Home

A Alcuin Society and Library Collaboration

Helpful Articles on the Russo-Ukraine War

The American news media is rightfully outraged at the events unfolding between Russian and Ukraine.  War is an evil that ruins lives, nations, the environment, and cultures.  However, the American media is also spinning a largely uninformed and dangerous narrative about why this war is happening.  The popular narrative told by news agencies from both the right and the left is that Putin is merely an arrogant demagog and a vicious tyrant.  These things may in fact be true, but reducing Russia’s decision to these factors presents several risks.  By not understanding why this war is actually happening, the West might choose the wrong solution to the problem.  We have many examples in history of great powers choosing terrible strategies because they misunderstood the causes of conflict: Peloponnesian Wars, Second Punic War, Crusades, and World War I, just to name a few. 

Second, if the West misunderstands the causes of this war, then it is likely to pursue the wrong policy to end the war.  We have a very recent example in the Iraq War, which George Bush launched because he believed that Iraq suffered from a maniac tyrant named Saddam Hussein.  Little did George Bush or the Neo-Conservatives realize that their solution of a representative government and free market were not solutions to Iraq’s problems, because Iraq’s problem was not merely Saddam Hussein.  Iraq is a deeply divided country which is torn between Sunni and Shi’a populations.  US ignorance of the cause of Iraq’s problems led to a peace that was worse than the war.  Third, if the West commits to its reductionist explanation, then it might come to believe that it has every right to arm Russia’s enemies no matter the cost.  If the war is being caused by nothing more than an evil person, then the West will see no reason to use diplomacy or even apply common sense about costs.  

In an effort to resist the now common reductionist narrative on the Russo-Ukrainian War, please take the time to read broadly.  Here are a few articles that might be worth your time.  Be wise, be sober in your judgments, be as harmless as a dove, but do not let your naivete draw you into avoidable dangers.

Reference Articles

Historical Background

Smyntyna, Olena V. "Ukraine." In World History: A Comprehensive Reference Set, edited by Facts on File. Facts On File, 2016.

Monje, Scott C. "Russia." In World History: A Comprehensive Reference Set, edited by Facts on File. Facts On File, 2016. 

Country Facts

World Trade Press. "Ukraine: Country Overview.AtoZ the World, 9 March 2022

World Trade Press. "Russia: Country Overview." AtoZ the World, 9 March 2022

General Overviews

"Ukraine." Issues & Controversies, October 25, 2012. 

"Russia." Issues & Controversies, October 25, 2012. 

America - NATO

Foglesong, David. "Russia." In The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Military and Diplomatic History, edited by Paul S. Boyer. Oxford University Press, Inc., 2013. 

Eklund, Trudie, and Timothy J. Lynch. "North Atlantic Treaty Organization." In The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Military and Diplomatic History, edited by Paul S. Boyer. Oxford University Press, Inc., 2013.

Intelligence & Counterintelligence

HOLST, ARTHUR H. "Ukraine." In Encyclopedia of Intelligence & Counterintelligence, by Rodney P. Carlisle. Routledge, 2005. 

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