In an address meant to warn NATO away from further expansion eastward, Russian General Nikolai Makarov lamented the unfortunate situation likely in the future in which Russia sees increased conflicts and tensions with her neighbors. Not only does Russia see these conflicts as increasing in number but also in scope, with some even potentially involving nuclear weapons. This comes with news that NATO is looking to expand eastward to include the former Soviet republics of Georgia and the Ukraine, a move that Russia is deeply hostile and suspicious of in light of NATO’s historical purpose. This news conflicts with Vladimir Putin’s assertion of Ukrainian openness to the idea of a new “Eurasian Union.” If the Ukraine seeks to reunite with Russia why should NATO’s overtures matter? In 2008 Russia helped the breakaway Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia declare independence. Most recently, Russia expressed her displeasure with the planned European missile shield. These maneuvers coupled with Putin’s return and his known desire for a renewed Soviet superpower status mark an increasingly assertive stance and active involvement in world affairs not seen from Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union.