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Russia-Ukraine Crisis And The Idea Of The West

The West is not only a word, but also an idea, and like any idea, it develops new connotations with time.

In the eyes of its defenders, it can be equated with civilization and benign power; in the eyes of its adversaries, primarily in the East, it is synonymous with colonialism and unchecked brutality.

The Idea of the West

Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian and geographer, is commonly credited with coining the name “West” in the fifth century BCE. 

In the eleventh century, however, the separation between the West and the East became definitively geopolitical, as the centre of power of the Catholic Church shifted eastward from Rome to Byzantium.

Washington twisting of the idea of the West

To serve its own military goals, Washington has even redefined the West itself in the past. 

Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld referred to the newly integrated NATO countries of Eastern Europe who supported his country’s invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan as “Old Europe”.

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