Among Western journalists and political analysts there is noticeable trend to analyze the war in Ukraine in terms of “spheres of influence”. Tadeusz Kozcanowicz agrues that this imperial thinking frames the land conquest ordered by Vladimir Putin as a reaction to “Western expansion”. In a desperate bid to say something original, talking heads and Twitter intellectuals from both the left and the right talk about “NATO’s overexpansion in the East” and thereby reinforce Putin’s claims that Russia is threatened.
Tadeusz Kozcanowicz also draws attention to the fact that, according to the United Nations International Organization for Migration, three million people, half of them children, have left Ukraine since the outbreak of the war. These numbers make it the largest refugee crisis in Europe since the end of World War II. Their tragedy, and that of the thousands killed in the war, is the price Ukraine paid for not wanting to be part of a “sphere of influence.”