Brit Undergoes Conversion from NATO Believer to Donbass Defender
NATO Through The Looking Glass: A Personal Journey From Naivety Towards Lucidity
By Marcus Godwyn
It was chilly March evening as a Russian teacher of English and I stepped out into the night on the University Embankment of Vasilevsky Island in Saint Petersburg in 2004. We were colleagues in the same private language school which worked in conjunction with the Philological Faculty of the State University in that city. The pavement thronged and massed with students, other teachers and administrative staff as these courses were very popular and chucked out at 9 PM. We were going in different directions so we paused for a brief conversation.
He looked at me, sighed and said “The world is becoming a dangerous place!”
I looked at him askance. “What do you mean?” I said.
“NATO jets will soon be in Riga just five hundred kilometers away," he responded.
All three Baltic States were in the final processes of joining up to NATO.
I was living at the time, by choice, without any media at home. No TV, radio or internet.
I was aware of this development and didn't see any problem with it. In fact I thought that Russia itself would probably if not become a fully fledged member then at least make some kind of affiliation agreement in the relatively near future.
I knew that many Russians including many in the government remained highly suspicious of this organization but I blithely assumed that these were just old Soviet psychological cobwebs that would soon be gently dusted away into the half forgotten annals of history. I was genuinely surprised by his trepidation, especially as this person had taken the trouble to study to become an English teacher, had traveled in the USA and in general knew a lot about the Anglo-Saxon world.
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