Rejecting NATO expansion, Putin recognizes forgotten Donbas civilians

Pushback with Aaron Maté
Support Pushback at Patreon:

After weeks of US claims that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was imminent, Vladimir Putin instead recognized the breakaway republics of Luhansk and Donetsk. The decision has triggered a new round of US-led sanctions while bringing attention to rebel-held areas, where, according to UN figures on the Donbas war, 80% of civilian casualties have occurred since 2018.

Professor Richard Sakwa analyzes the factors behind Putin’s move, and its likely consequences. Putin’s decision, he says, comes after Kiev refused to implement the 2015 Minsk accords, which could have ended the conflict, and a longstanding US-driven project to expand NATO to Russia’s borders.

Guest: Richard Sakwa. Professor of Russian and European politics at the University of Kent. His books include “Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands” and his latest, “Deception: Russiagate and the New Cold War.”

||| The Grayzone |||

Find more reporting at

Support our original journalism at Patreon:



Written by The Grayzone

The Grayzone is a news and politics website dedicated to original investigative journalism and analysis on war and empire.


Leave a Reply
  1. Has Ukraine simply taking plays from the Israel play book?
    Jewish head of Ukraine says he'd like to have nukes…Israel has them apparently.
    His military is shelling/sniping people living in a break away state holding it hostage. His Neo Nazi pals are waving swastikas as they attack the break away state largely home to those of Russian heritage. Sure seems like what Israel is doing to Palestinians, no?

  2. "the soviet heel"? "..Muhammad Ali in the USSR 1977 ..height of the Cold War ..I’ve never seen 100 nationalities getting along in peace, and done better than these people have. As far as what they believe or what they worship – that’s their business ..I saw nothing but peace and tranquility. I think that this should be promoted more..":

  3. GZ is the real News. Unfortunately some people were brainwashed by the mainstream media and continue to do so regardless. We can be at peace/free by knowing the truth.

  4. Hehe. Can you say "bad timing"? This makes Putin sound like a humanitarian. Hilarious! What a difference a day makes. I have enormous respect for Aaron Maté. He's human, he can err.

  5. The militant far right extremists, who are employed by the Ukraine gov, the Azov white nationalist movement (which has spread throughout the planet,) are white supermicists who hate russians and long to rule Ukraine, and the world.

  6. QUESTION: Why is it that the MEDIA OBSCURA NEVER reports on the Azov Battalion, the far-right, neo-Nazi military unit that is OFFICIALLY recognized as being a Military Reserve Unit of the Ukrainian National Guard ? You know, it’s the same guys who lead the Maidon coupe, and seated puppet-zelensky. WHY MEDIA OBSCURA, WHY ?!?!? Is the U.S. now actually funding and supporting, aiding and abetting neoNazis in Ukraine attempting a veritable Bolshevik revolution redux ?

  7. America seems to cause most of the troubles of the world. They speak with a forked tongue. Putin’s speech sounded heartfelt and genuine. He simply had to act. Ukraine is a hotbed of serious violent corruption. I bet America wouldn’t like a build up of hostile tanks on the Canadian border.

  8. Nazi is a Nazi. Since 1867 the American gov have used terrorist groups like klan to keep certain groups in their place. They don't have to be part of the Gov they just do some of the biddings of the government. A rogue street group.

  9. 4:00 "80% of incidents originate from Ukraine side – 80% of casualties been on Donbas side" – Anybody know off-hand where I can find this info? I looked on UN site and spent an hour at least, and the site is just too unorganized to pinpoint this info – I've found basically all other stats besides this specific one.

  10. This might be a ignorant question, but if Donetsk and Luhansk are both part of Eartern-Ukraine's Donbas region, and are both led by Russian-aligned leaders with culturally Russian people, then why are they separate republics? I'm sure there is a reason, of course, for them to be allied neighboring break-away republics, but I can't find online why the two are separate entities. I understand why Putin recognized them as independent republics, but what am I missing that would make him recognize them separately and not together as one nation?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *