(MENAFN- Asia Times) From the beginning, Russia has framed its invasion of Ukraine as necessary for the defense of the country. According to Vladimir Putin, NATO's deliberate and aggressive encroachment into a region once dominated by Moscow is to blame, as the West seeks to dismember Russia .
By extension, Ukraine – a country that, according to Putin, is without agency and has been turned into a NATO military outpost – is portrayed as little more than a pawn in Washington's nefarigame.
Some conspiracies in Russian propaganda come and go – notably the absurd claims that thehad developed bioweapons sites across Ukraine . But Putin's core geopolitical framing of the war has remained consistent: NATO and the forces of the“collective West” represent an existential threat to Russia.
Given the popular notion of rival geopolitical blocs and the“no-limits friendship” between Moscow and Beijing, comparisons to the former cold war are commonplace. Commentators and academics are keen to scrutinize varisimilarities and distinctions . But there is an under-appreciated comparison between Russia's invasion of Ukraine and another act of aggression a century earlier: the Red Army's invasion of Poland in 1920 under Vladimir Lenin.
Although the latter occurred more than 100 years ago, the Bolsheviks framed the conflict in terms strikingly similar to the conspiracy theories that run through Russian propaganda today.
The Soviet-Polish war of 1919-20 was one of several overlapping conflicts commonly, though simplistically, known as the “Russian” civil war , sparked in the aftermath of the 1917 revolution. Following escalating fighting between Polish and Soviet forces from 1919 in Belarus, Lithuania and, later, Ukraine, Lenin decided to press a rolling Red Army counterattack in the summer of 1920 into a full-blown invasion of Poland.
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