America and Europe simply took advantage of our weakness and chaos - but they didn't cause it; we did.
There was a real opportunity... the west likes to brag that the rebuilding of West Germany and Japan after WWII was all about the west learning from the mistakes at the end of WWI where Germany was blamed for WWI when it was no more responsible than any other participant, yet the terms of surrender were extreme. The result was WWII.
The problem is that the west is not actually that civilised and that the rebuilding of West Germany and Japan was really about preparation for the next big threat and nothing at all to do with learning from past mistakes.
When the Soviet Union collapsed they had an opportunity to prove they had learned from their mistakes and they could have actively helped Russia and the other former Soviet republics, both financially and politically, but they chose to play a waiting game because there was no obvious threat on the horizon.
I don't blame them for not helping and waiting to see what resulted, but if they are going to claim they only helped from the goodness of their hearts, well it is like Lend Lease all over again isn't it?
USAIDE gave Russia 2.6 billion dollars and saved Russia from total collapse... why aren't you guys more grateful?
In those 20 years the vast majority of aide went to dismantling nuclear subs and getting rid of old missiles and bombers. It sounds like a good thing, but they were spending money on the dead and not the living.
I should make it clear that my beef is with the US government, and not the American people, who I am sure didn't have ill feelings towards the Russian people. The American people can be very generous to foreigners, it is the US government that makes sure it has an interest involved before it lifts a finger to help anyone.