February 24, 2023: Unwanted and highly undesirable Russia-Ukraine war is exactly one year old. Putin’s declaration of suspending START signed in 2010 (due to expire in 2026) by Obama and Medvedev heightens the risk of a nuclear war.
The most pertinent question is, ‘Whose war is it anyway’? Few military strategists believe there is no specific answer because of the truth. Few believe that it is due to Russia’s hostile attitude towards Ukraine.
That is surprising because the simple answer to this supposedly complex question is ‘Finally, the USA and its NATO cronies found a puppet in the form of Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky, who was/is willing to dance to their tune even though, in the process, he has single-handedly destroyed a beautiful nation and has brought the world on the brink of a nuclear war.’
The President of Belarus has been categorical in his assertion that the USA and other NATO members forced this war on Russia (during an interview with BBC).
This is the near destruction of a nation’s infrastructure and the death of hundreds of thousands of soldiers/civilians (exact figures will/may be known after the war ends, if and when it does). What was the crying need for the USA to push Ukraine to join NATO? Until this insane desire of the USA altered, Russia-Ukraine relations were stable.
Instead of treading into the past regarding the expansion of NATO eastwards, the most recent event of German reunification merits a mention. After Russia was convinced of the need for German reunification, the then Secretary of State of the USA, James Baker, stated, “NATO would not expand an inch eastward.”
Non Expansion Of NATO Eastward
Russia reminded NATO and USA about the verbal commitment of the USA regarding ‘no eastward expansion of NATO’ on quite a few occasions. The Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014 merely caused a little whimper from G-7 nations when they decided to boycott the summit to be held at Sochi.
As late as February 14, 2022, the Russian Foreign Minister clearly and unambiguously stated that the continued efforts of the USA to bring in Ukraine as a NATO member would have serious repercussions.
Russia demanded a legal ban on Ukraine from joining NATO based on a commitment made by the USA as one of the conditions for German reunification. But Russia’s demand was rejected, both by NATO and Ukraine.
Russia was forced into a corner, which led to Russia openly justifying the breach of the Budapest Memorandum. As if Ukraine’s impending entry into the NATO fold was not enough for Russia to retaliate, Sweden and Finland joined the queue.
It would be pertinent to mention that Sweden and Finland decided to remain neutral during the height of the Cold War. But without objections raised by Turkey and Hungary, Sweden and Finland would be NATO members.
Despite repeated statements by Russia, Ukraine declined to join Russia for talks. The last offer made was on February 19, 2022. Russia attacked (read Special Military Operations Commenced) on February 24, 2022. USA and NATO countries did not expect Russia to launch the offensive. But Putin is famous for doing the unexpected, which is what he did.
Russia Vs. Ukraine Or Russia Vs. NATO
Except for the first six weeks of the war, when it could be called the Russia-Ukraine war, the nature of the war started altering rapidly to Russia–NATO war.
Military strategists of the world opine that Ukraine has fought Russia on equal terms. Nothing could be further from the truth. Russia has given a befitting reply to NATO and USA combined.
The current state of Ukraine is in total ruins. Beautiful cities have been reduced to rubble. What an exorbitant cost to pay for NATO membership! Whatever chances that were for Ukraine joining NATO have evaporated in thin air.
In the prevailing scenario, Russia will adopt all possible measures, including nuclear options, to ensure that Ukraine is not admitted to NATO.
US & NATO Want The War To End?
Instead of addressing the issue of whether Ukraine and Russia want to end the war, the above question is more pertinent. The US’ hypocrisy is evident. The USA has already given more than USD 30 billion as military aid and nearly USD 40 billion as humanitarian aid.
However, the US Secretary of State announced a grant of an ‘astronomical’ sum of USD 100 million to help Turkey recover from one of the most disastrous natural calamities the world has witnessed.
POTUS decided to travel to Kyiv on February 19, albeit by a ten-hour train journey. It is only the third time that POTUS has visited a war zone but with a difference.
Obama visited Afghanistan, and Bush went to Iraq. But their trips were made secretly. Biden visited Kyiv after giving prior information to Russia lest an errant SSM finds its way close to where Biden was in Kyiv.
NATO members are following their ‘political master’ faithfully. UK, Germany, France, and Poland have openly offered military aid to Ukraine. Are their actions meant to end the unwanted war?
This is even though Germany’s bill for energy for the current fiscal would/might exceed by nearly USD 160 billion.
Germany thrived and prospered due to Russian gas. The international policeman probably did sabotage NORD STREAM 1 and 2, not hesitating to carry out the most disastrous ecological catastrophe in recent times.
A mature and responsible head of state should have announced from the war zone that the war must end to avoid further disaster and eliminate any chances of a nuclear war. Instead, Biden said that the USA stands with Ukraine.
Military deployment in Europe has increased substantially. NATO forces, around 5000 before January 2022, have grown to nearly 40,000 under direct NATO command, comprising eight multinational battle groups stationed in Baltic states.
Broken promises by NATO under US directions have been the only and primary cause of Russia launching an offensive against ‘one of his own’ countrymen in the not-too-distant past. NATO and US found a willing ally (a puppet), a non-NATO member of Ukraine, which was promised NATO membership.
The story of the US failure to keep the promises under various treaties and verbal assurances to rid the world of the agony of the Cold War is described in detail in a book titled “Not One Inch: America, Russia and making of the Cold War Stalemate” authored by Mary Elise Sarotte published in 2021, barely a year before the most unwanted war was imposed on Russia to enable the USA to fight its proxy war against Russia.
The destruction suffered by Ukraine is of little or no consequence to USA and NATO. What an outstanding example of a strategic partnership!
India, China, And Russia
India’s deft handling of pressure exerted by western nations to condemn Russia’s so-called war against Ukraine has established a new normal in international diplomacy.
India’s Minister of External Affairs has shown EU nations their place. The German Chancellor in the Munich security conclave has acknowledged the truth of his statement.
Without a doubt, Russia has also suffered economically and by way of loss of lives. Prolonged war might force Russia to seek military aid from China, resulting in further escalation.
If Ukraine’s demand for nearly 200 modern fighters from western nations is met, Russia will have two options; first, to seek military aid from China and second, to ‘end’ the war with Ukraine as the US did during the Second World War. NATO and USA have to decide.
China’s stand on whether or not to support Russia due to US pressure is enunciated in an official Chinese statement released after Wang Yi met with Anthony Blinken in Munich; “It is the US, not China, that has been pouring weapons into the battlefield in Ukraine. The US is in no position to tell China what to do. China will never accept US finger-pointing or coercion on China-Russia relations.”
United Nations Secretary-General had this to say in the context of the Russia-Ukraine war” “Geopolitical crises with grave nuclear undertones are spreading fast from the Middle East to the Korean Peninsula to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” He made this statement in Hiroshima.
- Gp Cpt TP Srivastava (Retd) is an ex-NDA who flew MiG-21 and 29. He is a qualified flying instructor. He commanded the MiG-21 squadron. He is a directing staff at DSSC Wellington and chief instructor at the College of Air Warfare. VIEWS PERSONAL
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