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In Near Abroad, the eminent political geographer Gerard Toal analyzes Russia's recent offensive actions in the near abroad, focusing in particular on the ways in which both the West and Russia have relied on Cold War-era rhetorical and emotional tropes that distort as much as they clarify. In response to Russian aggression, US critics quickly turned to tried-and-true concepts like "spheres of influence" to condemn the Kremlin. Russia in turn has brought back its long tradition of
criticizing western liberalism and degeneracy to grandly rationalize its behavior in what are essentially local border skirmishes. It is this tendency to resort to the frames of earlier eras that has led the conflicts to "jump scales," moving from the regional to the global level in short order.