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We bungled chance to make Russia our ally

Thank you for publishing Stephen Kinzer’s “US tells a fairy tale of scary Russia” (Ideas, Sept. 20), which offers a rare perspective about our apparent return to the so-called good old days of the Cold War.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, we had a unique opportunity to bring Russia into the West as an ally and partner.

Instead, we have provoked the world’s largest nation by area by encroaching into its spheres of interest (as in Georgia and Ukraine), constructed missile defenses on its border, illegally bombed its historical ally Serbia, and ratcheted the anti-Russian rhetoric in the media to encourage anti-Russian sentiment within our populace.

Today, we live in a dangerous world where the very notion of civilization is being destroyed in the Middle East and elsewhere. We need Russia as a partner, and not as an enemy, to aid in our efforts to defeat ISIS.


Though Russia may be relatively weak, it still possesses more than sufficient nuclear weapons to destroy much of life on this planet. Given the tragic but valiant history of the Russian people defeating invaders, it would be far better to have Russia as an ally than an adversary.

Michael Pravica
Henderson, Nev.