Ukraine Crisis Where Political Interest Defines the Moral Standard -MD Akij Mahmud

International

The whole world has been trying to figure out what Putin can do or how the West can protect Ukraine from Russian aggression.  But Russia has put an end to all speculations and launched an attack on Ukraine.  This attack cannot be called a surprise attack at all because in the last few months, Putin has mobilized millions of troops on the Ukrainian border.  The United States has been alleging that Russia will attack suddenly on Ukraine at any moment.  Russian President Vladimir Putin has recognized the pro-Russian separatist-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine as “independent republics.”  The announcement of the deployment of Russian troops as “peacekeepers” in the region has shown the thumb to the West’s fears.  Russia has reportedly supplied 7,000 tonnes of fuel, tanks and self-propelled artillery systems, and other weapons and ammunition, including mortars, to pro-Russian forces in the separatist region of eastern Ukraine last month.  This summary is telling us that the Ukraine invasion was just been a matter of time for Putin.

Political analysts have been voicing fears about the Ukraine-Russia war since the beginning.  According to their opinion, this war could turn into the birthplace of World War III because the two countries that have created this conflict are the two largest countries in Europe in terms of size.  Ukraine alone has border relations with six countries or territories, some of which are part of NATO’s military strategy.  In this situation, it is quite conceivable that this war in the Black Sea region is capable of shaking the whole of Europe.  It goes without saying that the White House will conduct a thorough assessment of the situation in the interests of NATO.

In this case, it’s true that the West will impose sanctions on Russia.  Needless to say, the whole of Europe is basically divided on the situation in Ukraine.  The cries of the Ukrainians may fade there in the importance of interests.  The Nordstream gas pipeline has made many European countries more dependent on Russia’s energy.  As a result, Russia has not been included in the usual Western equation of the situation in Ukraine.

Putin’s attitude without restraint is a threat to a large number of independent and sovereign nations.  Russia’s expansionist policy outside the sphere of influence in the US obsession reminds us of the former Soviet Union.  Ukraine is one of the few states to emerge from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, ending almost half a century of the Cold War.  Vladimir Putin dreamed of a change of days for the Russians, even as post-Soviet Russia fell behind in power.  He began to take tactful steps in order to regenerate the lost energy.  The success story of his ascension to power on the last day of 1999 has been affected by various US sanctions.  However, Putin, the Western “dictator”, did not hesitate to make one tough decision after another.  Although the situation in Ukraine is considered to be the result of NATO’s expansionist policy, it reflects Putin’s expansionism because before the invasion of Ukraine in 2014, he annexed the pro-Russian region of Crimea to Russia.  Basically, the beginning of the crisis is planted there.

Pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in late 2013 after he denied signing an agreement that will put Ukraine closer to European Union. Russia then staged a dramatic referendum in the pro-Russian region. This fragment image of the occupation of Crimea was criticized all over the world at that time.  Russia’s aggression was condemned in a UN General Assembly resolution.  Newly-elected President Volodymyr Zelensky did not hide, he criticized and by this, he had expressed his anti-Russian sentiments. Realizing the opportunity, the West also came forward to cooperate with Ukraine in various ways. That is why we see a huge improvement in Ukraine’s military capabilities from 2014 to 2022.  The war has not stopped, but President Putin and Zelensky have signed the peace deal in Minsk, Belarus, after more than 14,000 people dead.  However, the city of Minsk could not restore peace.  Zelensky’s increasingly westward policy continues to embarrass President Putin.  As a result, Putin began to see the expansion of Western NATO to the east and Ukraine’s interest in the West as a threat to Russia.  That is why, without breaking the treaty, he cooperated with pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine in various ways, keeping the proxy war going and keeping up the pressure on Ukraine.
According to experts, the country has become quite prosperous militarily since the resignation of the pro-Russian president in Ukraine.  In this case, there is no way to deny the cooperation of the West.  Russia needs to gain more momentum than ever before to launch aggression in present-day Ukraine.  Russia’s plan to surround Ukraine would be even more difficult if the United States intervened in the conflict.  This could lead to another bloody long-term war in Europe, which experts say will outweigh the losses of any previous war.

Although Western allies have long sought to calm the situation by saying they do not want conflict, Putin’s audacity is a blow to their very essence of peace.  Putin wants to bring the pro-Russian government to power in Ukraine at any cost.  We all know the economic woes of post-Cold War Russia.  The long-term plans of the western countries to control Russia’s economic activities are no longer a secret.  Putin is certainly a seasoned player in world politics.  He warned that if anyone tried to take action against Russia, the response would be “immediate”.  Russia knows the possible side effects of this conflict.  So the question is, why did Putin throw Russia’s fate into uncertainty?

According to political analysts, this could be one of the strategies to win the 2024 Russian elections. On the other hand, Putin has improved relations with China.  Despite the conflict of ambitions between the two countries, he has sided with Xi Jinping to survive against the US alliance at the moment.  It is highly probable that China will be Russia’s mainstay in Western sanctions.  What can Turkey do on the other hand?  Although they have played a virtually neutral role in keeping themselves intact, NATO’s intervention could hamper their position.  It remains to be seen which way Europe will stand in this difficult equation, and what steps Germany will take on.

Will the US-led Western superpower be able to protect Ukraine from Russian occupation by stopping Russia, which is rich in weapons?  Or will the world witness another horrific, brutal, conflicting time?  We don’t want that bloody history to repeat itself.  However, President Putin has said that “justice and truth” are in Russia’s favor.  Trump says that would not have happened if he had been president of the United States.  The world also wants Putin to better understand this path to justice, and the US leadership to take effective steps to defuse tensions. Conscious human beings never want bloodshed in Ukraine, Ukraine to become another Syria, or the Black Sea region to suffer the same punishment as the Middle East.
Author is a student of department of history, University of Chittagong.