Russia’s military build-up against Ukraine has increased tensions in the region and with the US
Russian forces gathered on its border with Ukraine send a clear signal to Kiev, Europe, and the United States that Russia may eventually be ready to re-incorporate Ukraine into Russia’s sphere of influence, thereby creating an area in Europe’s eastern border. The threat of major military escalation is looming.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov warned of a “bloody genocide” if Russia dared to invade Ukraine, and the White House indicated that any Russian aggression against Ukraine would have “real costs”. President Biden spoke in a high-level phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin to defuse the crisis. Biden warned Putin that the US was prepared to face “serious consequences”, including economic sanctions, if Russia violates Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters after the phone call that, to stop the Russian offensive, “things we didn’t do in 2014, we’re ready to do now.” Biden made no concessions or assurances for Ukraine’s future in NATO.
President Biden also spoke with his fellow NATO and EU allies to ensure transatlantic unity against the threat posed by Russia.
Russia currently has more than 90,000 troops on the border with Ukraine and the US Intelligence It is estimated that about 175,000 could be deployed for a full-scale attack by early 2022. Satellite imagery has also revealed heavy military equipment and artillery build-up along the border. Putin’s latest moves in Kiev are being taken very seriously and Ukraine’s defense establishment has been pleading for more military aid from the US.
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Russia’s military build-up against Ukraine comes against the backdrop of heightened tensions in the region following the built-up border crisis between Poland and Belarus, where Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of President Putin, has been pushing migrants to spread chaos along the border with Poland. were encouraging. and undermine EU solidarity on the divisive issue of immigration.
The question before policymakers is what are Vladimir Putin’s real intentions and whether he will take such bold action in the face of strong and united condemnation from US and EU allies.
Putin seems to be upbeat on the international stage and there is little opposition to his rule at home. His main rival was the opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Poison and then imprisoned for his activism and dissent, while Putin’s political party, United Russia, won a clear victory. majority In September elections to the lower house of parliament, known as the Duma. Putin’s saber-rattling is seen as a poignant signal to the West that any action by Ukraine to move closer to NATO membership is a redline and seeks guarantees that Ukraine will not join the coalition, and neither NATO troops will be deployed along the border. Russia.
The “fortress under siege” mentality that defined Putin’s worldview, and Russian foreign policy historically took a new form after the Cold War. With the defeat of the Soviet Union, it put into question the very mandate of NATO’s existence, that is, to oppose communism throughout the world. US leaders assured Russia that NATO would not expand eastward in the 1990s.
“The Russians are angry at the West’s breach of a pledge made at the end of the Cold War – to induce its withdrawal from East Germany – not to expand NATO eastwards. They are distrustful because NATO repeatedly bombs Countries have gone beyond their defensive charter for regime change from Serbia to Libya,” Professor David English, director of Central European Studies at the University of Southern California, told Granthshala News.
Putin prepares the world to increase the number of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine
Any incursion into eastern Ukraine would fit Putin’s playbook of having a high tolerance for risk if he can achieve what he wants. Georgia was on a similar path to potential EU and NATO membership in 2008 when Russia invaded supporting the two separatist republics. The war with Georgia halted NATO advance to Tbilisi and kept Georgia internally fragmented and within Russia’s historical sphere of influence.
“The rise of NATO historically often precedes the ascension of the European Union and once Ukraine is in NATO, its pro-Western route is closed, so everything must be done to prevent this from happening because The process becomes difficult to untangle,” Matthew Orr, Stratfor Eurasia analyst at RANE, told Granthshala News.
The simple fact is this: Putin’s designs are nothing new in Ukraine, and he has made his views on Ukraine’s place in the world very clear during his 20 years in power. Putin told President George W Bush at the NATO summit in 2008 that Ukraine was not a country. in 5,000 words Article Published in July 2021, Putin is not equal in articulating his worldview of the historical complaint that includes Ukraine as an integral part of the Russian nation. Putin says Russians and Ukrainians are “one people” and questions the legitimacy of Ukraine’s borders.
Putin turned hostile rhetoric into action in 2014 after pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in the “Revolution of Dignity” for failing to build closer economic ties with the European Union. There was hope that Ukraine could finally orient itself to the West. As Ukrainians sought closer ties with a weakened transitional government in post-revolution Europe and Kiev, Russia took advantage of Ukraine’s vulnerability and invaded and eventually annexed the Crimean peninsula in March 2014. Russian Special Forces, aided by pro-Russian separatist forces in the Southeast, invaded Ukraine’s Donbass region and declared an independent “People’s Republic”. Frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine killed More than 14,000 people and millions more were displaced.
It would be unacceptable in Putin’s mind to have a stable and democratic Ukraine bordering Russia.
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“Putin needs this struggle to hang on to Ukraine because he cannot allow it to become a stable functioning state, which will set a dangerous precedent for Russia. People want to follow the path that threatens Putin’s regime.”
Putin’s imperial mindset is based on the belief that the collapse of the Soviet Union, as he once said, was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century. When the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991, it lost many of its constituent republics, including Ukraine. It seems clear that Putin’s complaints about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the humiliation in the turmoil of the 1990s have led to his grand strategy to turn Russia once again into a great power and an equivalent rival to the United States. is the basis.
“Putin understands that Ukrainian statehood and Ukrainian national views are a threat to Russian imperialism,” said Danilo Lubkivsky, director of the Kiev Security Forum.
Following the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of the Donbass, Russia began an incremental process of integrating the stolen territory into Russia’s sphere of influence. The occupied territories were converted into Russian ruble and Moscow began to provide substantial economic aid to the troubled areas.
The contrast between Russia’s sudden invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the current environment is the steady and relentless resolve of the Ukrainian people and its armed forces. Ukraine’s military is far more advanced in its capabilities than it was when Russia invaded in 2014, with more military aid from US Russia actions since the invasion of Crimea and the Donbass with the reverse effect of uniting the Ukrainian people against Russian domination. Is kept.
It is unclear whether the threat of severe sanctions from the Biden administration will have any effect on Putin’s behavior. The sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Crimea did little to change Putin’s calculations.
It may be a tough concession, but an assurance that Ukraine will not join NATO may be the best possible solution to de-escalating tensions. Many across Europe already believed that joining Ukraine into a military alliance would be a dangerous and provocative move and that bringing in other divided or unstable countries made little positive contribution to European and Western security.
“So why not acknowledge that reality in an agreement with Russia, to ease this crisis and allow Europe to focus on the main problems of Ukraine—poverty and corruption? Ukraine is the poorest in Europe.” One of the countries is Moldova and Kosovo at the bottom of the list. And Ukraine will never be a strong, stable country fit to join the EU and NATO, as long as it is economically weak, Professor English The argument is.