Why does Russia not want Ukraine in NATO?

The Ukraine. Russia.

Focus.

Right. So having said -

… and it being pointed out that the point you raised was at least arguably incorrect, you now purport to chastise me for failing to focus? Just so we are clear what happened here?

If one accepts the basic premise – as most political observers do – that Putin is inherently imperialistic and has expansionist ambitions seeking to recreate some semblance of the previous Soviet regime, then this won’t work. It particularly won’t work since Ukraine is the richest target of this expansionism. Putin will either flatly refuse such a deal, or will enter into it in bad faith intending to violate the agreement on some pretext in the future. Which then leaves the NATO powers in exactly the same quandary as if Ukraine were a NATO member.

I’m not sure anyone else has mentioned this, but Russia has very few warm-water ports on its own borders, which severely limits its ability to move its navy around. Taking Ukraine gives them more beachfront property for their ships.

We wouldn’t tolerate it, but I think the reasoning is different in this case. It’s not that Russia fears a NATO incursion. There’s never been a NATO offensive, and they know there never will be. What they do not want is the Ukraine to be protected by the NATO umbrella because, if they decide to invade the Ukraine like they did a couple of years ago or so, they will be invading a NATO allied country.

And on top of that, Crimea sort of constricted access to the ports they do have. To solve the problem of supplying Crimea, since access via Ukraine is untenable for now, Russia has built a bridge between their territory and Crimea.

Plus, apparently a touchy subject for them, the claim that Crimea was traditionally part of Russia and apparently Stalin gave it to Ukraine in the 1930’s, back when ownership between SSR’s was mere administrivia.

Regardless, there are borders all over the world that are subject to such “what-about-isms”. One of the basic tenets of the United Nations was the recognition that these sort of territorial disputes were the main source (or excuse) for WWII and that existing borders shall not be changed except via the free agreement of both parties. This is what makes the Russian moves so provocative.

Considering how different variations of English have been before modern travel and media, is it a surprise that neighbour regions would end up with different languages from similar roots? The variations of Yorkshire, cockney, etc. while southern or Appalachian USA, and Australia are good examples that only took two or 3 centuries to diverge, y’all. There’s the old joke about a language is a dialect with a navy - which might explain why Russia wanted to deprive them of their major seaport.

Welcome davidwball!

Talking about taking warm water ports reminded me of this video of as botched Russian naval mission (off topic but fun)
The dumbest Russian voyage nobody talks about

The two languages are not mutually intelligible. They are not the same language.

They’re similar very much in the sense that, say, English and Dutch are similar, or French and Italian.

That’s a good point, but consider that the Black Seas Fleet already had a base in Sevastopol, leased from Ukraine through 2042. Of course, the presence of that base made the takeover of Crimea in 2014 much easier. The only other major Black Sea port I can think of in Ukrainian territory is Odessa, which (I think) has a lower grade of naval port facilities, though the Ukrainian Navy has probably been improving things since being kicked out of Sevastopol.

Oh, and welcome to the Dope!

This sums up the issue perfectly.

We understand that U. S. overreach over the last number of years has many ticked off at the U. S. But no one believes that the U. S. is trying to get closer to Russia to launch an attack against Russia. This effort by Putin is merely to make the Russian empire larger or to keep Ukraine in play so he can take it if and/or when he wants to.

The ideal approach might be for Ukraine to get NATO membership in return for shedding off its pro-Russian segments to Russia. It’s hard for a nation to be a good NATO candidate when it has active hot-spot wars going on that could drag the rest of the alliance in unwillingly, and also still has a sizable pro-Russia populace opposed to NATO membership.

By slagging off those parts, Ukraine would be left with a perhaps 90% pro-NATO/pro-West/pro-EU populace and also have gotten rid of its hot-spot ongoing conflicts. It would be much more akin to Poland then.

Or like English and Swedish-Chef?

Certy berty.

It’s not all pro-Russian people, but a minority percentage of people which is higher in East Ukraine, but still not a majority. The wiki article has the demographics.