The tensions that began on the Ukrainian border over NATO membership and pro-Western politics have finally turned into a state of war. On the one hand, Putin has repeatedly called the war a “temporary operation” to suppress Nazis and extremists, and on the other, Ukrainian President Zelensky has called on Western powers to help, calling it Russia’s illegal aggression. As a result, this retrograde attitude became clear and on February 24, the war erupted in the Eastern European country. The seeds of the war were sown six years before Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The tensions in Crimea put an end to the fair relations between the two unequal powers. The peace agreement reached between the two countries in 2015 in Minsk, Belarus, failed to restore peace on the Black Sea coast.
The most important reasons for sending the expedition to Ukraine are the expansion of Western NATO to the east and Ukraine’s growing Western interest. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Western alliance has been pursuing plans to encircle Russia. Putin sees the collapse of the Soviet Union as a catastrophe for Russia. Russia alleges that the United States did not keep its promise to NATO to expand eastward. However, the US administration has tried to calm the situation by calling Ukraine’s NATO accession a “lie”. However, Putin is adamant in his decision, not stepping on the sweet words of the West. He continues to attack Ukraine, even without US and Western sanctions.
Putin was a staunch supporter of the pro-Russian separatists’ takeover of Donetsk and Luhansk, two regions in eastern Ukraine. Not only that but he is also accused of helping separatists in the region to challenge NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe. Similarly, Donetsk and Luhansk were recognized as independent states by Putin. He also instructed Russian troops to serve as “peacekeepers” in the two republics.
Although the United States has issued stern warnings against Russia, in many ways Ukraine has become a battleground alone. Zelensky is urging the world to stand up against Russia, ignoring Russia’s offer of surrender. He has largely failed to win the support of European countries. In this case, the US intervention in the war did not go as expected.
Calculating the cost of going to war directly with Russia, the West has retreated. But Biden is pushing for a U.S. embargo on Putin. But it is clear in recent statements on China’s foreign policy that the Great Wall of China has become a wall behind Putin. Biden’s two-hour negotiation with China’s States power did not melt the ice. Instead, Putin has getting quietly backed by the second-largest economic country. In this political polarization, the US is also worried about the position of India, another economic superpower in South Asia. Instead of severing ties with Russia in the interests of the West, the Modi government is trying to handle the situation by laying two legs on two boats.
The Biden administration is not getting along with many of its experienced friends in the Middle East in the turmoil over Ukraine. On the other hand, 40 percent of energy dependence on Russia has divided the strategy of the European Union and NATO. That’s why the US administration has announced energy cooperation with European countries to punish Putin. In this case, They have to wait until at least 2030 to reduce Russia’s energy influence in Europe.
Russia is aware of its energy dominance in Europe. Putin has therefore resorted to humanitarian tactics one step further. Trying to win the hearts of ordinary Ukrainians by talking about the evacuation of civilians. He is planning to build another refugee camp in Europe, hoping the country’s citizens will take refuge in safer places. Europe is turbulent of Africa-Asia refugees is already at considerable risk, in this context Putin’s strategy could push Europe towards another economic challenge.
In this context, the US administration is having a difficult time dealing with the situation in Ukraine. The long-running strategy of encircling Putin has fallen on deaf ears. NATO member states have refused to send troops to Ukraine. However, 26 countries, including Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom, have pledged to stand by Ukraine with military equipment, including ammunition. On the one hand, the US administration is threatening Putin about the consequences of using chemical weapons, on the other hand, it is planning to prolong the war in Ukraine through military cooperation.
We know this same strategy have imposed against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s by US administrations. But the Soviet rate in the Afghan desert is very different from the current situation in Ukraine. Because Putin is now much stronger in dealing with Russia’s major economic shocks. Putin has become a pawn of China, and because of its military-strategic relationship with India, he has no fear to lose the Indian market. Putin, an arms dealer, is still acceptable to Middle Eastern rulers. Putin, who has long been in power in Russia, is Russia’s most powerful man. There is no possibility of a major revolution taking place in the country at the moment. Not only that but one after another sanctions imposed by the US and the Western alliance have created anti-Western sentiment among Russian citizens. It is not difficult for Putin to cope with the internal pressures in domestic politics to invasion broadly in Ukraine and others.
The situation in Ukraine is proving to be a way to separate Eastern Europe from Western Europe. Russia, the post-Soviet world power, is again challenging the US-Western alliance. China is counting down the hours to go one step further. Although the history of Sino-Russian relations is not very sweet. But in this journey, China and Russia are united in each other’s interests.
Putin’s war strategy has been described by Western powers as “brutal and illegal aggression.” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has described the Ukraine war as the most serious security crisis of a generation. The leaders of the military alliance can approve the increase of NATO troops in Eastern Europe at the NATO summit. Needless to say, this could lead to further deterioration of the war situation in Ukraine.
However, it seems that the equation with which Russia launched its campaign in Ukraine has largely failed. Putin’s attitude has made it clear that he is more interested in seeing a pro-Russian man in power than in occupying Ukraine. That is why he directly called on the country’s army to seize power after a simultaneous attack on air, land, and water. Even if Putin’s equation fails, the roar he utters against Western powers will have a major impact on world politics in the future.
The situation in Ukraine has taken a new turn in world politics. It is not yet time to say exactly what its course will be. However, as the US-led coalition’s influence in world politics continues to shrink, the war in Ukraine has become clear to the world. Putin’s victory in this war is a major blow to the wall of US imperialism. But if Russia does not succeed in Ukraine, the world could be attacked by a wounded bear. That could lead to an extreme humanitarian catastrophe all over the world.
The Author is a columnist and student of the University of Chittagong.