Kees van der Pijl
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The global gamble of a new Cold War
in Flight MH17, Ukraine and the new Cold War
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Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was brought down amid a new Cold War between the Atlantic bloc and Russia, and greatly exacerbated it. To understand the tragedy, this chapter contextualises it in the wider confrontation pitting the liberal West against a loose contender bloc composed of several relatively disjointed parts. It argues that in the current new Cold War with Russian President Vladimir Putin's Russia, the West operates from a perspective inspired by the mentality of extreme risk-taking that stems from the dominant role of finance in contemporary capitalism. The financial crisis of 2008 coincided with the first test of strength with Russia, when the George W. Bush Junior administration encouraged Georgia to try and recapture its breakaway province of South Ossetia by force. The European Union (EU) was simultaneously trying to commit former Soviet republics to an Eastern Partnership and EU Association.

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