Jake Coyle is an AP film writer
NEW YORK (AP) – Rivalry with Russia. Proxy battlefield. The skill of the nuclear frontier. For many generations of Americans it is like the old days.
The invasion of Ukraine quickly brought back echoes of the Cold War mentality to the United States with a familiar enemy in Russia. Bars are poured their Russian vodka. McDonald’s, a symbol of the end of the Soviet Union when it first opened in Moscow, is closed its Russian seats. Once again, the US president sees an unfolding ideological battle. “We will save democracy,” said President Joe Biden Address on the state of the Union.
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For America, where Russia has never gone out of style as an evergreen villain in film and television, renewed tensions with the Kremlin are driven by a blurred geopolitical scenario. The familiar cold east-west wind is blowing again.
“It’s a very echo of the Cold War,” said James Herschberg, a professor of history and international relations at Georgetown University and former director of the Wooden Wilson Center’s International Cold War Historical Projects.
Gershberg sees much more in today’s tensions with Russia. According to him, Vladimir Putin’s aggression does not seem to be driven by ideology, as communism was for the Soviet Union. The transformed media landscape has also helped turn the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky into a world hero.
But in a crisis, when two nuclear superpowers face each other, history repeats itself in other ways. Russia’s strategic excess, Herschberg says, is again causing a potentially dangerous moment internationally.
“We are in the second Cuban missile crisis in many ways in terms of the danger of escalation,” said Hershberg, whose books include “Nevushki: A Lost Chance for Peace in Vietnam.” “Putin is acting so irrationally that he seems like a rational actor compared to Nikita Khrushchev.”
The largest land conflict in Europe since World War II, More than two weeks of Russia’s war in Ukraine has rallied western alliances like a few events before that. Rejecting Putin’s invasion, the United States and its European allies came into force tough economic sanctions to Russia – that Biden on Tuesday applies to Russian oil – for now holding lines on military cooperation with Russia.
“When we talk about the Cold War in big letters, I don’t think I could call this Cold War the Second,” said Fredrik Logewal, a Harvard professor of history and international relations and author of the latest book, JFK: Pulitzer Prize Winner. Growing Up in the American Century, 1917-1956.
“But,” says Logeval, “if we talk more about the Cold War in general, when we mean the titanic struggle that involves all aspects of national power between two incompatible systems, but with the exception of open military conflict, then so be it.” “I guess it’s the Cold War.”
The Cold War is inherently linked to the crisis in Ukraine in part because it provides so much information about Putin’s worldview. A former KGB agent, he once called the collapse of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century. The invasion of Ukraine is intended to deter Western influence and NATO’s oppression from Russia’s sphere of influence and possibly rebuild part of the former Soviet Union the size of Texas.
Just two weeks ago it was often called the Cold War. This was stated by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres “The threat to global security is now more complex and probably higher” than during the Cold War, in part because there were no same feedback channels. This was announced by Russian Foreign Ministry official Alexander Darchiev. This was reported by Interfaxrecently suggested that “perhaps the well-forgotten Cold War principle of peaceful coexistence should be recalled.”
Even before the war in Ukraine, Americans looked at Russia historically dim. According to a Gallup poll conducted in February, 85% of Americans were hostile to Russiaeasily the country’s worst rating in more than three decades – a decline accelerated by Russia’s interference in the US election, the annexation of Crimea and the attack of a nerve agent on Leading Putin’s opposition leader Alexei Navalny who is currently a prisoner.
And for now former President Donald Trump maintains his respect for Putin, anti-Russian opinion has unusual bipartisan support. Gallup found that 88% of both Republicans and Democrats disapprove of Russia. Nothing unites like a common enemy.
Nina Khrushcheva, a native of Moscow, professor of international relations at the New York School and great-granddaughter of Nikita Khrushchev, claims that the Cold War is never over – that the West’s view of Russia is stuck in the broad images of villains Boris and Natasha in “Rocky and Bulwinkle.” For her, Putin’s invasion was devastating because it confirmed the worst about her homeland. Now she begins her classes with an apology.
“Putin is the world villain he deserves to be, and he is done with Russia for decades to come,” said Khrushchev, whose great-grandfather was prime minister of the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, when John F. Kennedy was president. USA. “My country just killed itself,” she says, and the United States “returned its enemy.”
“They got their enemy, who always was, always deserves to be and is always at the forefront of the American mind,” says Khrushchev. “Russia has no excuse. But for America, it’s field day. America is back, and it is rescuing a white country in the middle of Europe from a terrible Russian bear on a white horse. “
Logewal, who co-authored Cold War America: The Politics of Danger, is not expecting a repeat of the Cold War. The world is not as bipolar as it was decades ago. China, who signed a treaty with Russia shortly before the invasion of Ukraine, looms much more. And the relationship of the global economy – where waves of corporations severed ties with Russia – makes isolated coexistence more difficult to tolerate.
The conflict in Ukraine seems to be at least a code of the Cold War, if not a new beginning.
“Putin feels great resentment over the end of the Cold War. The West declares victory. Russia is losing power and influence. I think he is outraged by some Western triumphalism, ”Logeval said. “In a way, I think history is what drives them.”
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