US, NATO 'Far More Concerned' About Russian Maneuvers Than Safety of Those in DPR & LPR - Expert
04:42 GMT 22.02.2022 (Updated: 20:58 GMT 19.10.2022)
Several countries, including the US, have committed to imposing sanctions on Russia in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin recognising the independence of the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the move translates to Russia's withdrawal from the Minsk Agreements.
As the world awaits the announcement of further sanctions over the recognition of the DPR and LPR's independence, a number of questions have been raised regarding diplomacy, civilian lives, anti-Russian hysteria, and the primary focus of involved Western nations.
Dr Matthew Crosston, professor of political science at Austin Peay State University and the inaugural director of the Institute of National Security and Military Studies at Tennessee's Austin Peay Centre, spoke with Sputnik regarding several of these queries following Putin's announcement.
Although Russia has remained vocal about its red lines with regard to Ukraine, the West is attempting to send a message to Russia that its red lines, along with the security concerns and political questions coming out of the country, are not relevant, according to Crosston.
As a result, the DPR and LPR, which have "very little influence", have somewhat become secondary pawns in a larger chess game between the US and Russia.
"In real terms, some could argue it's been Ukraine itself that is the pawn in a game of chess between America and Russia, the far bigger players", Crosston noted, adding that he has no intention of being "harsh or heartless" regarding the matter.
He went on to claim that the US and NATO appear "far more concerned about Russian maneuvers" related to DPR and the LPR than about the safety and well-being of those living in the states.
"This is just the innate cruelty that sometimes happens in what we used to call Great Game Strategy", he noted.
However, Crosston remains optimistic that the West does not want to engage in a "direct and expansive military conflict with Russia", although there may be some smaller skirmishes or misunderstandings down the road.
Of course, the US will likely compensate for its lack of military action via the imposition of further sanctions, as already announced by Washington and other Western-allied nations.
22 February 2022, 01:14 GMT
Either way, civilians lose out without efforts toward a compromise or other diplomatic attempts.
"Anything on the diplomatic front, even if just symbolic, would be far better than the posturing and competing aggressive declarations currently being hurled back and forth across various media microphones", he said, adding that the primary goal is to prevent a war from starting.
Crosston raised that the "knee-jerk reaction" from the West was expected, but the true measure of Putin's decision will come a few months down the road, "when observers can truly see what consequences shake out from this Moscow acknowledgement".