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Slide 1

Teach-in about the war in Ukraine

by Donald A. Smith, PhD

Teach-in Teach-in

This teach-in

The importance of a negotiated solution

The U.S. lied about every war

The New York Times is particularly guilty of being a government mouthpiece

The NY Times is a government propaganda mouthpiece. The NY Times is a government propaganda mouthpiece.

So it shouldn't come as a shock to learn

Of course they're lying about Ukraine
Chomsky on provoked

OF COURSE the U.S. is lying about Ukraine!

The whole system revolves around the idea that the majority can be made to believe anything so long as it is repeated loudly and often.

The truth takes time and work to be exposed

The war in Ukraine was totally provoked and totally avoidable

We need teach-ins like this!

Couple watching teach-in on TV

U.S. hypocrisy is stunning

Obsessive Secrecy about Ukraine

U.S. security state hid information about Ukraine

NED hid information about Ukraine

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED, a CIA offshoot), the USAID, George Soros' International Renassiance Foundation, and various U.S.-funded NGOs played direct roles in starting the Madain protests. But the day after the Russian invasion, the NED "deleted all records of funding projects in Ukraine from their searchable ‘Awarded Grants Search’ database." (source)


Documentation of claims in this teach-in

Harper's Magazine is a rare mainstream article about U.S. provocations

Provocation doesn't imply justification

Both the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Hamas's invasion of Israel were extremely provoked but not justified.  NATO's aggressions towards Russia and Israel's oppression of Palestinians make them share responsibility for the wars.

Legacy of U.S. wars post-WW II

The CIA allied with Nazis

From CIA's own archives: Cold War Allies: The Origins of CIA's Relationship with Ukrainian Nationalists:

The sometimes brutal war record of many emigre groups became blurred, as they became more critical to the CIA... Hillenkoeeter did not deny that many emigres had sided with the Nazis, but did so, he said, less out of a "pro-German or pro-Fascist orientation, but from a strong anti-Soviet bias. In many cases their motivation was primarily nationalist and patriotic with their espousal of the German cause determined by the national interests."

CIA later informed the Immigration and Naturalization Service that it had concealed [Nazi] Stefan Bandera and other Ukrainians from the Soviets... By 1951, the Agency excused the illegal activities of OUN's security branch in the name of Cold War necessities.

Post 9/11

Between 1.5 and 3.4 million killed in Iraq

Nicolas Davies, author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq, writes:

"We can estimate that the number of Iraqis killed as a consequence of the illegal invasion of their country must be somewhere between 1.5 million and 3.4 million. "

Medea Benjamin and Nicolas Davies wrote:

The most devastating campaign the U.S. military has waged in recent years dropped over 100,000 bombs and missiles on Mosul in Iraq, Raqqa in Syria, and other areas occupied by ISIS or Da’esh. An Iraqi Kurdish intelligence report estimated that more than 40,000 civilians were killed in Mosul, while Raqqa was even more totally destroyed.

The shelling of Raqqa was the heaviest U.S. artillery bombardment since the Vietnam War, yet it was barely reported in the U.S. corporate media. ....

When British playwright Harold Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005 [he said,] "The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

“The West is leading Ukraine down the primrose path, and the end result is that Ukraine is going to be wrecked.” (2015)
John J. Mearsheimer, University of Chicago
Johmn Mearsheimer

More costs of militarism

What we can (war) and cannot (everything else) afford

From Anti-Imperialism in the US Today: What it is and is not

"The $18 billion the US provided to maintain Israeli apartheid in 2023 was almost the $20 billion needed to end homelessness here. The $111 billion spent just since 2022 for Ukraine war, which many progressives did support  – with Biden wanting $60 billion more – could make public university free ($79 billion a year) and end hunger ($25 billion as of 2016). UN climate scientists say $300 billion a year would stop the rise in greenhouse gases, a mere quarter of the US military budget."

U.S. allied with far-right recently in Ukraine

Aaron Maté's By using Ukraine to fight Russia, the US provoked Putin’s war

While hailed by the US as an expression of Ukraine’s democratic aspirations, the post-coup Ukrainian government was dominated by the right-wing forces that had brought it to power. At least five key cabinet posts went to members of the far-right Svoboda and another right-wing party, Right Sector, including the national security, defense, and legal ministries. Andriy Parubiy, the far-right co-founder of Svoboda’s origin party, was appointed the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. During the Maidan protests, Parubiy had served as the Maidan encampment’s “commandant” and head of its security.

In the fall of 2014, the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion was formally incorporated into Ukraine’ National Guard, making post-Maidan Ukraine the "world's only nation to have a neo-Nazi formation in its armed forces,” the Ukrainian-American journalist Lev Golinkin later observed.

More on Andriy Parubiy, from Wikipedia

In 1991 he founded the far-right Social-National Party of Ukraine together with Oleh Tyahnybok[11] the party combined radical nationalism and neo-Nazi features (by its name and the "Wolfsangel"-like sign).[7][12][13] In 1998–2004 Parubiy led the paramilitary organization of SNPU, the Patriot of Ukraine....

Between 2002 & 2007 Parubiy was head of the L'viv based Society to Erect the Stepan Bandera Monument...

From December 2013 to February 2014 Parubiy was a commandant of Euromaidan.[20] He was coordinator of the volunteer security corps for the mainstream protesters.[21] He was then appointed Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine.[8] ...

As Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Parubiy supported the anti–terrorist operation against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.[23]

Victoria Nuland with her favorite Nazi Ukrainians

According to wikipedia and a reverse image search, the guy on the left is Oleh Yaroslavovych Tyahnybok, a leader of the Ukrainian "ultranationalist" Svoboda political party." The wikipedia page shows an image of Tyahnybok with Sec. of State John Kerry. The second guy is Vitali Klitschko, who founded UDAR, which allied with Svoboda. The third guy is Arsenny Yatsenyik, who "competed on a party list based on the party All-Ukrainian Union 'Fatherland'", which "played a substantial role in the anti-government Euromaidan protests."

Rep. Ro Khanna on U.S. support for Nazis in Ukraine

Victoria Nuland: "Fuck the EU"

BBC reports Ukraine crisis: Transcript of leaked Nuland-Pyatt call: "An apparently bugged phone conversation in which a senior US diplomat disparages the EU over the Ukraine crisis has been posted online. The alleged conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, appeared on YouTube on Thursday."

In the conversation, Nuland and Pyatt can be heard planning who will run the new government of Ukraine.

Why Victoria Nuland: She was Dick Cheney's policy advisor and an architect of both the war in Iraq and the war in Ukraine

In Remarks at the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation Conference in 2003 (also here and on youtube ), Nuland spoke of U.S. regime change operations in Ukraine:

Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine.

Victoria Nuland and John Kerry with new leaders of Ukraine


From 2018, in Medium: American Lethal Weapons Could Already Be on the Ukrainian Front Line "Two weeks ago, the Trump administration announced it will allow the sale of some lethal weapons to Ukraine, including the Javelin anti-tank missile....Butusov identified the [Nazi] Azov Battalion as a recipient of the PSRL-1 [grenade launcher] systems. "

More Nazi influence, possible false flag operation

"Sen. John McCain, Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-CT) and Victoria Nuland spoke to protesters on stage in Kyiv during the Maidan unrest. McCain and Murphy shared the stage with Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of the neo-Nazi Svoboda party in Ukraine. Tyahnybok ... later met with an anonymous Western official and discussed how many Ukrainians needed to be killed by the Yanukovych government for the West to no longer recognize Yanukovych as Ukraine’s leader," with evidence by Dr. Ivan Katchanovski (Univ. of Ottowa) and others that the Maidan killings were a false flag operation by the far right. (source)

The U.S. bombed Russian allies

Nicolas Davies reports in Key US Ally Indicted for Organ Trade Murder Scheme

In 2008 an international prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, accused U.S.-backed Prime Minister Hashim Thaci of Kosovo of using the US bombing campaign as cover to murder hundreds of people to sell their internal organs on the international transplant market. Del Ponte’s charges seemed almost too ghoulish to be true. But on June 24th, Thaci, now President of Kosovo, and nine other former leaders of the CIA-backed Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA,) were finally indicted for these 20-year-old crimes by a special war crimes court at The Hague.

From 1996 on, the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies covertly worked with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) to instigate and fuel violence and chaos in Kosovo....

I strongly urge you to read that article. You'll be shocked at the dishonesty and viciousness of the U.S. government. See, too, this.

NATO expanded to Russia's borders

NATO expansion

Source: Branko Marcetic: Diplomatic Cables Show that Russia Did See NATO Expansion as a Red Line

The U.S. had promised Gorbachev and other Soviets not to expand NATO

George Washington University’s National Security Archive reports NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard. “Declassified documents show security assurances against NATO expansion to Soviet leaders from Baker, Bush, Genscher, Kohl, Gates, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Hurd, Major, and Woerner.”

RAND Corporation's reports predicted the war

The 2019 RAND Corporation study Overextending and Unbalancing Russia “examines nonviolent, cost-imposing options that the United States and its allies could pursue across economic, political, and military areas to stress – overextend and unbalance – Russia’s economy and armed forces and the regime’s political standing at home and abroad." It includes the paragraph:

"Providing lethal aid to Ukraine would exploit Russia’s greatest point of external vulnerability. But any increase in US military arms and advice to Ukraine would need to be carefully calibrated to increase the costs to Russia of sustaining its existing commitment without provoking a much wider conflict in which Russia, by reason of proximity, would have significant advantages."

The highlighted words indicate that the authors were quite aware that US provocations would cause Russia to respond militarily.

The Washington Post reports

"Since 2015, the CIA has spent tens of millions of dollars to transform Ukraine’s Soviet-formed services into potent allies against Moscow, officials said....

The extent of the CIA’s involvement with Ukraine’s security services has not previously been disclosed....

These [often lethal] ... represent capabilities that Ukraine’s spy agencies have developed over nearly a decade — since Russia first seized Ukrainian territory in 2014 — a period during which the services also forged deep new bonds with the CIA."

The CIA strangles

YouTube video of John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar in Ukraine (December, 2016)

Surrounded by Ukrainian soldiers in U.S.-style Army fatigues, and with Senator Amy Klobuchar watching, Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain promise to help Ukraine stop Putin.

Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Amy Klobuchar in Ukraine, promising to fight Russia

Lindsey Graham: “2017 will be the year of offense. All of us will go back to Washington and we will push the case against Russia. Enough of Russian aggression. It is time for them to pay a heavier price. Our fight is not with the Russian people but with Putin.

McCain: “I believe we will win, I am convinced we will win, and we will do everything we can to provide you with what you need to win.... we cannot allow Vladimir Putin to succeed here, because if he succeeds here he will succeed in other countries.”

(Skip to 1:22.)

The U.S. withdrew unilaterally from arms treaties


People of the Donbas and Crimea wanted close ties to Russia

Responsible Statecraft: The Last Ukrainian Peacemaker: Sergei Sivokho Remembered

At first Sivokho’s optimism [that peace with Russia was possible] was echoed by Zelensky himself. At the 2020 Munich Security Conference, and later at the Forum on Unity in Mariupol, Zelensky called for “a massive national dialogue,” where people could discuss their common future face-to-face. To this end, he endorsed Sivokho’s pet project — a National Platform for Reconciliation and Unity — which was formally presented to the public on March 12, 2020.

That presentation, however, lasted just 20 minutes, because a gang of some 70 young people from the National Corps (the civilian wing of the Azov Battalion) stormed into the hall, and with shouts of “traitor,” pushed Sivokho until he fell to the ground. Sivokho was fired from his advisory government position two weeks later.

Notice a pattern of U.S. aggression?
Caitlin Johstone on U.S. agression

The U.S. undermined peace agreements

The American Conservative's
Why Peace Talks, But No Peace?

"Three separate times in the early weeks of the war, negotiations produced the real possibility of peace. The third even yielded a tentative agreement that was, according to Putin, signed. Both sides made “huge concessions,” including Ukraine promising each time not to join NATO. But each time, the U.S. put a stop to the promise of a diplomatic solution and peace, allowing the war to go on and to escalate, seemingly in the pursuit of U.S., not Ukrainian, interests."

In fact, according to Ukrainian Official Confirms Russia Was Ready to End War in March 2022 If Kyiv Agreed to Neutrality:
David Arakhamia, a high-ranking member of Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People political party, said that Kyiv could have ended the war with Russia after a month if it agreed not to join NATO. The official said that Moscow was not concerned about other issues, such as “denazification,” but only wanted Kyiv to agree to neutrality.

In an interview with TV channel 1+1, a Ukrainian network, Arakhamia confirmed previous reporting that Moscow and Kyiv had nearly agreed to end the war in March 2022. Still, Ukraine’s Western backers pushed it to try to win the war against Russia

Ukrainians know

An WSJ/NORC poll taken in June of 2022 showed that 58% of Ukrainians polled thought that the U.S. bears a great deal or some responsibility for the war. They knew what the U.S. did.

Henry Kissinger on the fataility of being a friend of the U.S.

Anti-Russia propaganda:
Russiagate was largely a fabrication

Of course Russia felt threatened!

Ted Galen Carpenter of the Cato Institute in The US and NATO Helped Trigger the Ukraine War. It’s Not ‘Siding With Putin’ to Admit It:

“One can readily imagine how Americans would react if Russia, China, India, or another peer competitor admitted countries from Central America and the Caribbean to a security alliance that it led – and then sought to add Canada as an official or de facto military ally. It is highly probable that the United States would have responded by going to war years ago. Yet even though Ukraine has an importance to Russia comparable to Canada’s importance to the United States, our leaders expected Moscow to respond passively to the growing encroachment.They have been proven disastrously wrong, and thanks to their ineptitude, the world is now a far more dangerous place.”

Ted Galen Carpenter

In short

The U.S. intentionally provoked the war by aggressive NATO expansion, including helping to overthrow the pro-Russian government of Ukraine in 2014; allying with far-right militias attacking Russian-speakers in the east of Ukraine; and underming potential peace deals both before and after the Russian invasion.

Yet another unnecessary, stupid, disastrous war

EU is a lapdog, submitting to U.S. Hegemony

EU as a lapdog on Uncle Sam's lap
House Foreign Affairs Chairman McCaul: "Ukraine Today, Taiwan Tomorrow"

Chomsky on Provocations

Noam Chomsky: Propaganda Wars Are Raging as Russia’ War on Ukraine Expands

"The Iraq War was totally unprovoked: Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld had to struggle hard, even to resort to torture, to try to find some particle of evidence to tie Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda. The famous disappearing weapons of mass destruction wouldn’t have been a provocation for aggression even if there had been some reason to believe that they existed."

"In contrast, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was most definitely provoked — though in today’s climate, it is necessary to add the truism that provocation provides no justification for the invasion."

Chomsky on provoked
The U.S. war in Iraq killed at least 300,000 civilians. Russia's invasion of Ukraine killed about 10,000 civilians

Diplomats and government officials warned that expanding NATO was unnecessary and would lead to war:

50 foreign policy experts warned Clinton

As quoted in Ukraine war follows decades of warnings that NATO expansion into Eastern Europe could provoke Russia

In June 1997, 50 prominent foreign policy experts signed an open letter to [President Bill] Clinton, saying, “We believe that the current U.S. led effort to expand NATO “is a policy error of historic proportions” that would “unsettle European stability.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to the USSR Jack Matlock says in Ukraine: Tragedy of a Nation Divided:

“Interference by the United States and its NATO allies in Ukraine’s civil struggle has exacerbated the crisis within Ukraine, undermined the possibility of bringing the two easternmost provinces back under Kyiv’s control, and raised the specter of possible conflict between nuclear-armed powers. Furthermore, in denying that Russia has a “right” to oppose extension of a hostile military alliance to its national borders, the United States ignores its own history of declaring and enforcing for two centuries a sphere of influence in the Western hemisphere.”

Matlock also wrote:

"What President Putin is demanding, an end to NATO expansion and creation of a security structure in Europe that insures Russia’ security along with that of others, is eminently reasonable. He is not demanding the exit of any NATO member and he is threatening none. By any pragmatic, common sense standard it is in the interest of the United States to promote peace, not conflict. To try to detach Ukraine from Russian influence — the avowed aim of those who agitated for the “color revolutions” — was a fool’s errand, and a dangerous one. Have we so soon forgotten the lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis?"

Diplomat and historian George Kennan

“I think it is the beginning of a new cold war. I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the founding fathers of this country turn over in their graves.”

Kennan also wrote:

“Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial complex would have to remain, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy."

Self-licking ice cream cone
William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton, wrote How the US Lost Russia – and How We Can Restore Relations in Sept. of 2022:

"Many have pointed to the expansion of NATO in the mid-1990s as a critical provocation. At the time, I opposed that expansion, in part for fear of the effect on Russian-U.S. relations….Still, the first step in finding a solution [to the war in Ukraine] is acknowledging the problem and recognizing that our actions have contributed to that hostility.”

Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush, in We Always Knew the Dangers of NATO Expansion:

"[T]rying to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO was truly overreaching, … recklessly ignoring what the Russians considered their own vital national interests."

Ambassador Michael Gfoeller and David H. Rundell: in Newsweek‘s Lessons From the US Civil War Show Why Ukraine Can’t Win:

“Before the war, far right Ukrainian nationalist groups like the Azov Brigade were soundly condemned by the US Congress. Kiev’s determined campaign against the Russian language is analogous to the Canadian government trying to ban French in Quebec. Ukrainian shells have killed hundreds of civilians in the Donbas and there are emerging reports of Ukrainian war crimes. The truly moral course of action would be to end this war with negotiations rather than prolong the suffering of the Ukrainian people in a conflict they are unlikely to win without risking American lives.”

Michael Gfoeller
James W. Carden, journalist and former adviser to the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission at the U.S. Department of State, in Simone Weil Center’s America’ Crisis of Reality and Realism: A Symposium (Part I):

"The de facto alliance of Ukrainian westernizing liberals and the fascist Ukrainian far-Right which together drove the so-called Revolution of Dignity in 2013-14 ignored their obligation to respect the democratic process."

Former Ambassador Thomas Graham, who served under six U.S. presidents and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in Was the Collapse of US-Russia Relations Inevitable?:

"US hubris and Russian paranoia undermined partnership." After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a weakened Russia sought closer ties to the West and even helped George W. Bush fight the war on terror. But instead of helping Russia fight Chechen rebels, which Russia considered to be terrorists, the U.S. lent support to those rebels. The U.S. pressed its advantage, aggressively expanding NATO, instigating regime change operations in countries friendly to Russia, and undermining Russian energy exports.

(More from Ambassador Thomas Graham)

"Finally, in light of the growing problems with Russia in the former Soviet bloc, the US push in 2008 to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO was ill-advised at best. It tied together the two strands of the Bush administration’s hedging policy—NATO expansion and Eurasian geopolitical pluralism—in a way guaranteed to provoke a powerful Russian backlash. Key allies, notably France and Germany, were adamantly opposed. Bush’s own ambassador in Moscow warned that extending an invitation to Ukraine would cross the “brightest of red lines” and elicit sharp condemnation across the political spectrum."

Henry Kissinger in an interview with The Wall Street Journal:

“We are at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created, without any concept of how this is going to end or what it’s supposed to lead to.”

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said in an interview in 2014:

"With respect to Ukraine, we have not sat on the sidelines. We have been very much involved. Members of the Senate have been there, members of the State Department who have been on the square …. I really think that the clear position of the United States has been in part what has helped lead to this change in regime…. I think it was our role ... that forced, in part, Yanukovich from office."

Fiona Hill, former official at the U.S. National Security Council during the administration of George W. Bush, in the New York Times’ Putin has the U.S. right where he wants it:

“At the time, I was the national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia, part of a team briefing Mr. Bush. We warned him that Mr. Putin would view steps to bring Ukraine and Georgia closer to NATO as a provocative move that would likely provoke pre-emptive Russian military action. But ultimately, our warnings weren’t heeded.”

Alfred de Zayas, a former senior lawyer with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, says in The Ukraine War in the Light of the UN Charter:

"The war in Ukraine did not start on 24 February 2022, but already in February 2014. The civilian population of the Donbas has endured continued shelling from Ukrainian forces since 2014, notwithstanding the Minsk Agreements. These attacks on Lugansk and Donetsk significantly increased in January-February 2022, as reported by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine."

Chas W. Freeman, former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and a Lifetime Director of the Atlantic Council, says in The Many Lessons of the War in Ukraine:

"Less than a day after the US-engineered coup that installed an anti-Russian regime in Kyiv in 2014, Washington formally recognized the new regime... The United States and NATO began a multi-billion-dollar effort to reorganize, retrain, and re-equip Kyiv’s armed forces. The avowed purpose was to enable Kyiv to reconquer the Donbas and eventually Crimea.... Crimea was Russian-speaking and had several times voted not to be part of Ukraine." And: "From 2014 to 2022, the civil war in Donbas took nearly 15,000 lives." Freeman says that the U.S. undermined several possible peace deals. "Ukraine is being eviscerated on the altar of Russophobia" but Russia has not, after all, been weakened.

NATO head says Putin invaded to stop NATO

NATO Chief Openly Admits Russia Invaded Ukraine Because Of NATO Expansion
Dennis Kucinich says the U.S. sacrificed Ukrainians as pawns to weaken Russia

Academics, journalists, and the Pope agree

Christopher Caldwell in the New York Times' The War in Ukraine May Be Impossible to Stop. And the US Deserves Much of the Blame:

“In 2014 the United States backed an uprising – in its final stages a violent uprising – against the legitimately elected Ukrainian government of Viktor Yanukovych, which was pro-Russian.”

Thomas Friedman: in the New York Times' This Is Putin’s War. But America and NATO Aren’t Innocent Bystanders:

“The mystery was why the US – which throughout the Cold War dreamed that Russia might one day have a democratic revolution and a leader who, however haltingly, would try to make Russia into a democracy and join the West – would choose to quickly push NATO into Russia’s face when it was weak. A very small group of officials and policy wonks at that time, myself included, asked that same question, but we were drowned out.”America and NATO Aren’t Innocent Bystanders [from the title]

Pope Francis in Yahoo News’ Pope Francis Says NATO Started War in Ukraine by “Barking at Putin’s Door":

The real “scandal” of Putin’s war is NATO “barking at Putin’s door.”

Neoconservative Robert Kagan writes in an otherwise hawkish Foreign Affairs essay from May, 2022, The Price of Hegemony: Can America Learn to Use its Power?:

“Although it is obscene to blame the United States for Putin’ inhumane attack on Ukraine, to insist that the invasion was entirely unprovoked is misleading. …. the invasion of Ukraine is taking place in a historical and geopolitical context in which the United States has played and still plays the principal role, and Americans must grapple with this fact.”

Michael Brenner
(Prof. at Univ. of Pittsburgh)

[T]he provocations as you enumerated them were very great. And whether there was any alternative for Russia other than this recourse to a military solution, is a difficult question, because I think it was a part of Putin’s mindset to reestablish, as he had in Crimea, the Russians’ traditional sphere of influence in their so-called near abroad or borderland territories, as well as render protect[ion] to ‘Russians’ being abused in Ukraine. And in the course of doing this, to challenge U.S. “Unipolarity” that be best comprehended as, in effect, an unproclaimed “Monroe doctrine for the world.” Its geopolitical claim amounted to an enforced declaration that only the US could use military force outside its national territory for security or other purposes, and it any country dared challenge this purported red line without tacit or explicit U.S. permission (as granted to Israel) it would be met with retaliatory force. (source)
Stephen M. Walt, professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, in an essay in Foreign Policy:

“This war would have been far less likely if the United States had adopted a strategy of foreign-policy restraint…. The Biden Administration and its predecessors are far from blameless.”

Richard Sakwa, Professor at Univ. of Kent and author of multiple books on Russia and Ukraine in Book Talk: The Lost Peace:

"The argument that the invasion was unprovoked is completely false."

"The global north, once again, it's got this obsession, obsessive tendency to fall into war, endlessly. So the global north clearly is shooting itself in the foot. Blowback is going to be massive."

Richard Sakwa
Jeffrey Sachs on Ukraine
Uncle Sam as the Grim Reaper

John Quincy Adams warned against going abroad to fight monsters

Biden, Blinken, Sullivan, and Nuland fight monsters

Uncle Sam lighting a powder keg after torching Ukraine

For more information