Critics of Ukraine often say that the US and NATO are supporting the country to weaken Russia. This is true—after all, Russia’s actions are directly opposed to American and NATO national-security and strategic interests—but this is a one-sided interpretation that places all the responsibility on the “collective West,” as Putin and his sycophants call the US–NATO alliance. Russia, too, is treating Ukraine as a proxy for its war against the West. Domestic Russian propaganda treats the war as a conflict of values between conservative, traditionalist Russia and the decadent US/NATO alliance and its client state, the Kiev regime.
The dissident Russian media network, TV Rain (Dozhd/Дождь), covers the anti-Western rhetoric espoused by Russian TV talking heads in its Fake News series. Dmitry Kiselev, Vladimir Soloviev, Margarita Simonyan and other propagandists spend as much time ranting about the United States, Britain, France, Denmark and other NATO countries as they do Ukraine itself.
Clearly, their war isn’t just against Kiev; it’s against Washington, London, Copenhagen and Paris. This is the very definition of a proxy war.
Even if you consider NATO’s problematic expansion policies or the relationship between the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations and post-Maidan Ukrainian governments, Russia still bears primary responsibility for the Ukrainian invasion. This is why I still support Ukraine militarily, even though I oppose many of its government’s actions.