Author Biography

Major Cody R. Schuette is an active duty Army officer, a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and holds a BA in Political Science, MA in National Security Studies, and an MPA. He currently serves as an FA59 Army Strategist.



Subject Area Keywords

Foreign policy, Information operations, International relations, International security, Russia, Security policy, War studies


Following years of grievances, Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022 and sparked the largest military conflict in Europe since World War II. Conversations between Soviet and Western leaders in the final days of the Cold War are at the center of the Kremlin’s justification for these actions. Russia claims the West exploited a weakened Russian state by rapidly expanding NATO in former Soviet and Warsaw Bloc nations, despite a promise not to expand. This research seeks to answer how Russia’s NATO-expansion justification for invading Ukraine is inconsistent with the historical record. Findings reveal that the West never provided assurances on NATO expansion and Russia accepted and advocated sovereignty, international borders, states determining their security arrangements, and not using coercion to settle international disputes. Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, Russia also increased cooperation with an already expanding NATO, which only further exposes the hypocrisy of their disinformation campaign and ultimately invalidates their war justification. This analysis is critical to understand how Russia changes the historical record to justify military action and threatens the geopolitical balance.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army.