This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets about the West’s allegedly provocative actions in the run-up to Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine which escalated again 24 February 2022.
The war began in 20214 with the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia's military involvement and support of seperatist in Donbas. Russia’s protreacted invasion of Ukraine is unprovoked and unjustified. Days before the new war in February, Putin had offered several reasons for launching aggression, including the necessity to help non-government-controlled territories in Eastern Ukraine from a genocide, Ukraine’s alleged desire to obtain nuclear weapons and Kyiv’s possible membership of NATO. These were only pretexts because Putin had seemingly taken the decision to invade Ukraine long before.
In late 2021 and early 2022, Western nations were trying to conduct a constructive dialogue with Moscow on all disputed issues including security guarantees. Russia put forth excessive demands, so the West had to decline them. Russia opted for a policy of confrontation, which is why these discussions achieved no breakthrough. See our account of the Russian demands here and about Seven Popular Russian Myths here.
Read more disinformation narratives about NATO’s allegedly provocative actions towards Russia.