After months of tensions and threats of an invasion in Ukraine and in between how Russia could or could not invade Ukraine, Vladimir Putin called a full-scale invasion of Ukraine from the North, East, and South on February 24, 2022. Asserting, with a modern Ukraine, there’s a constant threat to Russian safety, development and foremost Russian existence. Thus began Russia war with Ukraine.
The first hit was military headquarters and airports whereas big explosions were heard in Kyiv, Kharkiv. and Odesa. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declares martial law as a result of the Russian attack on Ukraine’s military infrastructure and explosions across the country. Tanks and troops rolled into Ukraine from Russia, Russia-annexed Crimea, and ally Belarus.
The invasion took the world by surprise. The world leaders vilified the start of the Russian invasion that could lead to massive casualties and disrupt Ukraine’s democratically elected government. Warning of dire consequences ahead.
What escalated the tensions?
According to Noam Chomsky, “the idea that Ukraine might join a Western military alliance would be quite unacceptable to any Russian leader, and the Ukraine desire to join NATO is not protecting Ukraine, it is threatening Ukraine with major wars.”
Just in the last century, Ukraine was the breadbasket of Europe. One of the most influential, economically significant, and the most populous state of the former USSR. However, the dissolution of the USSR resulted in the separation of the republics proclaimed independence from USSR, Ukraine is one of them. Heedlessly, Russia has kept a tight watch over Ukraine much like how the United States has been solicitous over Western Hemisphere.
When Ukraine publicly stated interests in joining NATO with ambitions to align itself more with western countries to ensure protection it caused a stir in Russian Federation. Not to forget, it’s the same NATO that was created to deter Soviet expansion. Ukraine’s decision was met with Russian aggression. Tensions escalated in 2014 when the Russian-aligned president was ousted by Ukrainians. Russia annexed the region of Crimea under an improbable claim of protecting Russian and Russian speakers from Ukrainian persecution. Patently, the international community condemned. In the same time period, Russia also backed a separatist movement in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk leading to armed conflict.
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NATO expansion in what we can call the “Russian Hemisphere” is obviously going to militarize the situation and therefore raise the danger of warfare. Of course! The idea that you can march NATO up to the Russian doorstep and they are going to do nothing about it, is lunacy. Moving the NATO forces including American troops towards Russia’s borders, Russia will not back off. This is existential! It’s not just Putin who wants the whole of the universe, he has political class, the class has opinions. On the other hand, public support is running in favor of Russian policy. Sure Putin can compromise at these negotiations but he will not back off when confronted militarily.
The conception that Ukraine might join a western military alliance NATO has always been and will always be unacceptable by Russia and to any Russian leader. After the fall of Russia in 1991, Gorbachev agreed to allow Germany to be unified and to join NATO to pre-remarkable concessions where “NATO could not expand one inch to the East.”
If we compare, America has a huge border with Mexico. Assuming, that a revolution occurs in Mexico and the government that comes to power is not a fan of United States America and seeks help from Russia, four to five divisions are to be placed on the American Mexico border. So what will the United States of America do? Respond. Respond how Russia did. Because this here, is a serious strategic threat to Russia and any Russian leader would have to react.
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The folly notion that Ukraine will be safeguarded by joining NATO is a frenzy. This scenario of the Ukraine NATO alliance will only create further perplexity, impacting not only Europe but world peace as a whole. Provoking Russian aggression, increasing the threat of a major war. Does there have to be a compromise? Yes, from both sides. Where Ukraine guarantee’s to not become a member of NATO (which is the principal demand of Russia) and Russia steps out of Ukraine. For the sake of preventing Russia’s war with Ukraine that outset a stage for world war III.
How far will Russia go?
States like Russia and China are power-driven, believe in power, and hold little to no respect for weakness. Putin is considered to be one of the most powerful men on the earth. In the case of Ukraine, it has always been a sore point for Putin. Provoking Russia will lead to catastrophic causalities in Russia’s war with Ukraine, keeping in view Russia’s robust nuclear military might. And in order to protect the Russian Federation, Putin can surely get ahead of himself.
Now Imposing sanctions is like aggression vs aggression, which is not going to help. We have to focus not only on Ukraine but also on Russia and its fundamental prerequisites. Because it’s not like one day Putin woke up and chose violence.
NATO expansion, a strategic blunder?
The NATO expansion has been the most intense strategic blunder since the end of the cold war era. Instead of improving the US, its allies, and its partner’s security, it has rather encouraged a chain of events producing the most lethal security threats, the Ukraine crisis being one of them. That too in the age of nuclearization where consequences are beyond human imagination. The intent to integrate more members into NATO failed to analyze and understand the real situation of the international arena following the end of the cold war. Increasing membership was driven by the fear of European division. But claim remains irrational as no one threatening to re-divide Europe. NATO’s fundamental aim is to unify the continent but with harsh expansion, planning is not a decent way to reach it.
West-leading Ukraine, encouraging Ukrainians to become part of the west will result in Ukraine being wrecked. Instead of encouraging this outcome, it would be much more constructive to create a neutral Ukraine. A neutralized Ukraine buildup economically, far away from the competition between Russian Federation on one side and NATO on the other side.
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