This article seeks to discover the reflexive relationship between Russian national identity and NATO expansion debates. This is accomplished through a content analysis of American newspaper articles from 1993-2002. Three metanarratives of Russian national identity were discovered and charted over time. They are: Russia as Western, Russia as Oriental and Russia as Geopolitical Space. By charting these metanarratives over time, shifts in representation are connected to political events to illustrate the role of newspapers in mediating between political processes like NATO expansion and national identity.