PBS NEWS HOUR -- “NATO now is after Russia’s regime change, and, therefore, we have to defend ourselves,” says Andrei Tsygankov, a Russian politics professor at San Francisco State University. “So it is a defensive exercise. But really it is not just really about military deterrence. It’s about political survival as well.”
Tsygankov echoes the Russian establishment when he says NATO’s support of revolutions in previously Soviet states and satellites and NATO’s expansion to Russia’s borders convince Russia NATO’s an existential threat, and Zapad provides necessary deterrence.
“NATO is not merely a military alliance. It’s a civilizational clash,” Tsygankov says. “And NATO is the military outpost of the Western civilization, and, therefore, it’s just a tool to ultimately change regimes around Russia.”