James Joyce’s famous statement that “history is a nightmare” from which we should try to awake, aptly describes current events in the Ukraine. All nations involved in these events are biased by the remembered, misremembered, forgotten, and mythologized history they carry in their heads.
“Our national memories have the passion and power to drive us blindly to hatreds and to war”
History is actually biased opinions based on popular stories that people believe as facts and do not challenge. Those stories are used to exacerbate our patriotism: “our stories” versus “the “enemy stories”. Stories are used in propaganda to manipulate the public opinion toward a common goal : eliminating the “enemy” and to consolidate political power, financial interests etc.
For example, Hillary Clinton, on March 5, said that Putin’s concern for Russians in Ukraine is like Hitler’s concern for Germans in Poland and Czechoslovakia.
This is a very good example of manipulation:
Labeling Putin as “Hitler” is a sure way to activate a demon in the American national memory and to mobilize the United States to again fight the evil personified (just like Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Chavez, Allende or Gaddafi , to name a few of many leaders that have been called “Hitler” by American politicians)
Russians are looking at Ukraine as increasing the threat of being invaded. After the collapse of the USSR, many previous Soviet republics in Eastern Europe are now members of NATO with military bases. Ukraine and Belarus are actually the last soviet republics that are not EU members.
Each era of Russian history has had its military super-power, and each super-power in turn attacked Russia: Turks, Poles, Swedes, French, Germans, British, and Japanese have each invaded Russia more than once.