Since the end of the cold war the west, see NATO, has managed to annex several countries formerly aligned with the Soviet Union to its sphere of influence. This encroachment into Russia’s backyard has reinforced the famed suspicion of outsiders with which she is commonly associated. The conflict inside Ukraine is but one consequence of the eastward expansion of our allegedly north Atlantic alliance. In attempting to lure Ukraine out of the orbit of Russia we have opened age old wounds in that country’s fragile fabric. Many Ukrainians have a lot more in common with Russia and Russians than with the peoples of the west, thus it is quite reasonable in the current political climate for them to want to seek closer relations with her. Defenders of NATO appear to hold rival blocs to higher standards than their own side; as a thought experiment, imagine the reaction of these commentators if Russia were to bring Alaska under her protective aegis.