Russia, Ukraine and the West

Nobody thought that humanity would see a full fledged war between two nations anytime soon but in February when Russia invaded Ukraine our line of thoughts changed forever. I, for one, had always believed that war is a thing that humanity will refrain itself from, but this crisis has made me remember something that I read somewhere, “Peace is never long lasting no matter how tranquil the world order seems. It will always end up with violence”.

If we think reasonably about the reasons for this escalation, despite the propaganda against Russian volatility it can be understood that, if Russia has a greater role to play in this whole drama but the role of USA and NATO can also not be undermined.

Russia and the USA had always been in a continuous conflict. Both of them wanted that status of superpower. After the end of the cold war, with the disintegration of the USSR the USA emerged as the only superpower of the world. With this disintegration the NATO announced that it will refrain itself from expanding around Russia and will never include any of the Baltic nations into NATO. But after some years as the matter got settled it forgot its promise to Russia and later 3 of the Baltic nations Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were included into NATO. And seeing the trend other nations showed the desire to be included into this group.

The desire to be a part of the most powerful military alliance is understandable but the west ( NATO countries) should have been more cautious about the consequences. Though Russia is a degrading superpower it is not insignificant that it can be tamed in such a way.

So when Ukraine became vocal about joining the alliance it was natural for Russia to be alarmed. If someone thinks that a powerful nation will see all this inactively then that person does not understand power politics. Russia could never have seen NATO to surround itself. And as a result this invasion of Ukraine took place.

Basically this invasion of Russia is not an action against Ukraine only it has a deeper meaning. It is a message to all the neighbouring countries of Russia that if you want to go with NATO then you are going against your powerful neighbor and it is not tolerable.

The west is speculating that the inability of Russia to defeat Ukraine is a win for it because Russia thought that the Russian army will be welcomed in Ukraine but the reality can be far from it. Many thinkers believe that Russia and President Putin are not naive enough to think that they will win without any resistance. But what could be the possibility is that maybe Russia doesn’t want to defeat and annex Ukraine into itself because it is already a wast country and faces many problems in the administration. Maybe Russia only wants to weaken Ukraine to a point that it can not no longer be a threat to it and at the same time it can broadcast a message for other nations also.

The possibility is that NATO and the West will not allow themselves to engage themselves openly against Russia. So they are providing resources to Ukraine that are not letting Russia win but they are not lethal enough to defeat Russia. This indicates that Ukraine is fighting a war for the sake of NATO and the west and once they realize that the situation can go against the west.

There are numerous possibilities that can go against the west. What if in the wake of this crisis Ukraine decides to have their own nuclear weapons, will NATO and the west allow it?

Among all other uncertainties some things are clear, that is, Ukraine can not win this war. Russia will probably not see any regime change because the countries that are dependent on Russian oil and gas can not sustain longer without that. And Ukraine is going to pay the most in all this power tussle.

Maybe a compromise is the only option that is there for Ukraine. And the possibility is that even after the surrender of Ukraine these tensions will not cease to exist because this war is not to prove anything to Ukraine but the aim of Russia is to show the west that it is not insignificant yet.

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Abhinay Singh Abhikalp

Abhinay is a Delhi based independent journalist. writes poems and satire. Main domain is social, economic and political issues. Post-graduated from BHU.