The United States and Russia have a long and complicated history. The USSR and the United States of America were allies during the Second World War and quickly turned rivals during the Cold War (1947 – 1991). It was throughout this period that the ideological differences between the two superpowers reached its height, with the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) by the United States, and the USSR responding by creating the Warsaw Pact effectively splitting the world between East and West. Despite there being no direct conflict between the United States and USSR, each state would actively participate in proxy wars; where agents supplied by them would engage in hostilities such as in the Chinese Civil War (1944 – 1949), the Korean War (1950 – 1953), the Vietnam War (1955 – 1975), and the Soviet-Afghan War (1979 – 1989).
Furthermore, the United States and USSR would attempt to place weapons within each other’s spheres of influence with the United States doing so in Italy and Turkey in 1961 and the USSR responding by supplying Cuba which ultimately led to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and nearly brought both superpowers to nuclear war.
Following the fall of the USSR, the United States was the only remaining superpower and relations between the United States and the newly formed Russian Federation began to improve, however by 1999 that came to an end as NATO further expanded in Eastern Europe with Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic joining, in 2004 Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania joined as well, all had been former members of the USSR and were viewed by Russia as part of its sphere of influence.
Since then, United States-Russia relations have been consistently deteriorating with recent significant events being the invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014 and accusations by the United States that Russia manipulated the 2016 Presidential Election. It is within this context of United States led encroachment into territory that Russia believes culturally and historically should be its own that the Russo-Ukrainian War resumed flowing the invasion of Crimea, below is where we will analyse what the United States has to gain and the legacy the Cold War casts on the Russia-United States relationship.