Russian Military offensive: The Revisionist Agenda and the Ripple Effects
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, termed Special Military Operations (Invasion) started on 24th February 2022. The reason for this is to protect its Russian ethnic minorities, and halt the entry of Ukraine into NATO. In effect, Russia does not recognize Ukraine as an independent country and feels free to invade and bully it into submission. This war is costing massive loss of innocent lives and damage to infrastructure, in addition to going against both the nature and ecology of the region. This aggression has shaken European security architecture, which has been crafted since the second World War. I further ague that it has indeed strengthened NATO and brought the US into firm leadership in this region. The West and its allies have since imposed heavy sanctions upon Russia.
Many countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and West Asia who believe in a multipolar world order have not taken sides, even as they oppose the war. They believe that Russia supports their national interests and that Russian security interests should be considered in any negotiations. They oppose all wars, and treat Ukraine in that continuity.
The Ukrainian crisis has adversely affected the global economy, it is contributing to a sharp rise in the global defense expenditure and worse, the ‘nuclear aspirants’ reviving nuclear option. The humanitarian situation in Ukraine is persistently deteriorating with the huge exodus of refugees to the bordering states is at an alarming scale. At this juncture, the international community is facing more daunting questions and formidable challenges. Do the claims and comparison that Russia reviving its old order and Vladimir Putin is emulating Peter the Great with the ideology of “gathering the Russian lands” and the reign of Catherine the Great of the 18th century with idealistic and cynical policy, who conquered and controlled their neighboring territories an accurate analysis? Unlike Catherine II, who turned Russia into a great power, does Putin have long term strategy and a primary goal of securing Russia’s sphere of influence in the Eurasian space and holding back its drift over to the NATO. Is Russia trying to reassert its place in the new world order? Is Ukraine a pawn of the great power competition? These questions are conjectures.
The post-Cold War optimistic security agreements from Atlantic to Urals are dilapidated. In this space, the US is trying to establish its primacy as the principal institution of reassurance of security in Europe. The competition between ‘Democracy’ and ‘Sovereign Democracy’ is playing with innocent lives. India’s strategic neutrality is becoming a major concern for US global primacy and its grand scheme of things in the Indo Pacific - but there seems no option for India.