Ukrainians’ complicated embrace of NATO

Throughout almost the entire period of Ukraine’s independence after the fall of the Soviet Union, the idea of NATO membership remained a contentious topic with little support among both society and politicians. It was not until the Russian aggression in 2014 and full-scale invasion of 2022 that Ukraine's perspective on its place in the transatlantic Alliance decisively changed.

During the Cold War, there was often a risk that tensions could escalate into a “Third World War”. The presence of nuclear weapons on both sides of the confrontation, led by the United States and the Soviet Union, respectively, as well as the creation of NATO in 1949 and the Warsaw Pact in 1955, were meant to act as deterrents to this escalation and successfully avoid direct confrontation.

November 19, 2023 - Oleksii Lionchuk