Anatol Lieven in Time:
When I was a journalist for The Times (London) in Moscow in December 1992, I saw a print-out of a speech by the then Russian foreign minister, Andrei Kozyrev, warning that if the West continued to attack vital Russian interests and ignore Russian protests, there would one day be a dangerous backlash. A British journalist had scrawled on it a note to an American colleague, “Here are more of Kozyrev’s ravings.”
Andrei Kozyrev was the most liberal and pro-Western foreign minister Russia has ever had. As he stated in his speech, his anxiety about Western behavior was rooted in fear that the resulting backlash would destroy liberalism in Russia and Russian co-operation with the West. He was proved right as we see today. Yet when he expressed this fear, in entirely moderate and rational terms, he was instinctively dismissed by western observers as virtually insane.
The point about this history is that the existing crisis with Russia has origins that go far beyond Putin.