Western leaders have held crisis talks amid growing fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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Joe Biden told reporters yesterday that Nato member states were “totally unanimous” that “rapid” and “unprecedented” sanctions should be imposed in the event of any conflict. any intrusion into the territory of Ukraine.
In an article published in Sun Armed Forces Secretary James Heappey wrote today that “a significant number of individuals assessed to be involved in the activities of Russian military strike forces” have traveled to Ukraine.
The Kremlin has denied it has moved on the ground or planned any military action against the neighboring country. But Boris Johnson told ITV News yesterday British intelligence suggested that Moscow was planning a “lightning war” against Kiev.
What does Putin want?
Putin’s interest in Ukraine stems from collapse of the Soviet Union and Ukraine’s position as an important geopolitical pinch point.
Once a member of the Soviet bloc, Ukraine declared independence in August 1991 and transitioned to a market economy, creating “tension between its old relationship with Russia and its new allegiance to other countries.” Western family”, said I news Location.
With Putin, now in “the twilight of his political career”, says New York Times (NYT), his renewed interest in getting Ukraine back into Russia’s orbit is part of an effort to “repair what he has long viewed as the catastrophe of the 20th century: the disintegration of the former Soviet Union. “.
Claiming Moscow’s influence over the neighboring country and its 44 million population “is part of his aim to restore what he sees as Russia’s rightful place among the nations.” major powers in the world, along with the United States and China,” the newspaper added.
“I don’t think anyone can claim to know [Putin’s mind] whole,” says James Nixey, Russia and Eurasia program director at consulting agency Chatham House. Metro. “But first of all, he is a radical nationalist and believes in the greater destiny of Russia… for Putin, Russia has a special destiny, more than the sum of its parts. it.”
The Russian leader’s “duty” is to ensure that his country “is not humiliated in the way it was in the 1990s – in his eyes, it continues to be seen as a great power with the right to de facto veto on all issues Nixey said.
But Putin’s interest in Ukraine is not simply an attempt to “revive the Soviet Union”, writes New YorkersMoscow correspondent Joshua Yaffa. Rather, Ukraine provides an opportunity for Russia, once and for all, to reassert its geopolitical relevance.
Yaffa argues that in Putin’s mind, “only the threat of war” can “reopen the conversation that, for many in the West, has long felt like history is destined: the Nato’s expansion to the east, Russia’s denial of regional questions. security, and the basic sense that Russia lost the Cold War”.
Putin has long considered Nato’s eastward expansion “an existential threat to his country”, and asserted that “Moscow’s military build-up is a response to Ukraine strengthens relations with the alliance,” said the NYT.
Once mainly limited to Western Europe, Nato expanded to include several countries that were once under Soviet control.
Ukraine is said to be an “ambitious” member of the post-war military alliance. And while no plans to admit Ukraine to NATO have been reported, member states have rejected Russia’s request for “legal guarantees” ruling out the move.
“Only Ukraine and 30 NATO allies will decide when Ukraine is ready to join NATO,” Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of the military alliance, told reporters in December.
Ultimately, “if Ukraine joins NATO, or is drawn into a de facto military alliance with them, then Putin’s project has failed,” said Yaffa of the New Yorker. But if he can stop Ukraine from doing so, he will “overturn what he sees as an unjust post-Cold War order”.
Putin also sees an opportunity at home in putting pressure on Ukraine, using the conflict to “strengthen domestic support by uniting Russians against external enemies,” he said. Time‘diplomatic correspondent Catherine Philp.
His renewed pressure on Ukraine coincided with growing opposition at home, especially among young urban Russians “disappointed with corruption and inspired by the actions of dissident Alexei Navalny“.
The NYT predicts that while some analysts describe Putin as a “crooked chess player determined to manipulate the West”, his latest game could “backfire”.
Nato can “strengthen his army presence in member countries bordering Russialike the Baltics”, while a full-scale invasion “would lead to sanctions that could reduce his support in a country tired of foreign adventures”, the article continued. customary.
And the existing “nationalist passion” in Ukraine is further fueled by the belligerent posture of the Russians, “with militias preparing for a guerrilla campaign to withdraw in the event of a Russian occupation.”
Members of the Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine, a military reserve part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, have begun “preparing for war”, said Time’ war correspondent Anthony Lloyd, reporting from Kiev. Ordinary Ukrainians have also begun to arm themselves to defend themselves against the Russian invasion.
“I have never hunted in my life,” Mariana Zhaglo, a market researcher in the Ukrainian capital, told Loyd. But she describes how she bought a shotgun after “hearing some soldiers discuss the best rifle to get.”
“As a mother, I don’t want my children to inherit Ukraine’s problems, or let these threats pass on to them,” she said. “I’d better deal with this now.
“If it happens then we will fight for Kiev, we will fight to protect our city.”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/955527/what-does-vladimir-putin-want-ukraine What does Vladimir Putin want in Ukraine?