Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ukraine war, Russia, US, Europe, China and India

In the olden days it was said that wars in one country did not affect another  country. Even in the middle of the second world war, countries like Norway  and Switzerland remained neutral and avoided war and enjoyed huge profits. But now, since the world economy is globalised and inter-connected, every country is affected. War in Europe has the biggest impact on the world. The war between Ukraine and Russia has touched every part of the globe.

Wars never end as anticipated by aggressors

The other problem of all wars throughout history is that they never end the way  the aggressor anticipated and sometimes, there are  opposite results. Russia started the 1905 Russia-Japan war and got defeated. This defeat eventually led to the end of the Russian empire. The First World War was started by 3 Empires namely The Austrian, The Turkish and The German empires. They lost the war and then lost their empires, which existed for hundreds of years.The Second World war was started by Hitler of Germany, which he lost.  Hitler committed suicide and the dictator Mussolini of Italy was hung by his own countrymen.  If you lose a war, your own country will punish you.

Also read: China‘s mistakes and Ukraine war

And Putin knows it

President Putin of Russia is fully aware that if he loses the Ukraine war, the Russians will rebel against him. Russians are very harsh and cruel on leaders who lose wars. As long as they win wars, Russians support their leaders. That is why Putin can only end the war when he feels that it looks like he won.

The statements coming from Ukraine President Zelenskyy in the last few days reveal that talks might result in peace. The Ukraine war started on 4 issues and Ukraine is agreeable to most of them. Russia also wants the war to end soon, as the economic sanctions and loss of prestige is affecting it.

Suicide drones

Russia is fully aware that Ukraine is getting the most sophisticated weapons like Javelin missiles and Stinger missiles. These weapons can be carried and fired by a single soldier. These missiles can bring down helicopters and destroy tanks. The Russian Army is based on tank warfare. Europe and America are also sending “suicide drones”.

When Russia started the war, it never expected that such sophisticated weaponry would be used by Ukraine. In retaliation, Russia is attacking civilian buildings and cities. But Russia is losing its power of attacking from close. If the war continues for more time, anything can happen. Russia need not lose the war. But Ukraine can stop Russia form early victory and that is as good as a defeat for Russia.

Expectations when the Ukraine war began :  

  1. Russia thought that the war would end in a few days, with Ukraine seeking peace.  Russia also wanted to set an example to all other European countries that they should not provoke Russia.  Russia also expected to claim its position as a big world power by Ukraine war.
  2. President Putin expected that his countrymen would support him fully. Putin also expected that the Europe and America will not do much and they will criticize him and the matter will end there, as it did when Russia annexed Crimea, a part of Ukraine in 2014. Russia was sure that Europe would never get hostile to it since they were dependent on Russian oil and cheap gas.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrives in Delhi on unannounced visit, set  to meet EAM Jaishankar tomorrow
Chinese foreing minister Yang Yi with Indian minister for external affairs S Jaishankar
  1. China had hoped to benefit greatly from the Ukraine war. When the Ukraine war began, China expected that Russia would become very dependent on China and also move away from Europe and America. China wanted to make Russia totally dependent on it. Instead, Europe and America have brought great pressure to bear on china that it should not support Russia or it will face consequences.
  2. China also thought that USA and Europe would not cooperate with each other and a great distance would grow between them. But the opposite happened and Europe and America are working closely together like never before. In fact, Europe and America are jointly pressurizing China to move away from Russia.
  3. China also thought that India would not support Russia in the United Nations and keep a distance, as India is now close to the USA and part of the QUAD. The QUAD is an association of USA, Japan, Australia and India, whose goal is to stop China in the Indian and Pacific Oceans from menacing activity and expansionist trends. But India continues to have good relations with the QUAD and yet, supported Russia in the United Nations.
  4. Chinese President and Russian president met in China in February, 2022 and stated that “China and Russia’s friendship had no limits”. They said that their friendship was more than an alliance. But now China is unable to supply arms and military equipment to Russia, as Europe and America have warned it. In fact, there is a danger that Russia might view China as an un-reliable friend.  
  5. Russia was also sure that Europe and America would not dare fight with Russia, because they were so dependent on Russian oil and gas . Putin also knew that prices of oil would shoot up greatly and harm Europe. Russia felt that Europe would give words of support and nothing else to Ukraine. Though Europe refused to send troops to Ukraine, USA and Europe have been sending huge quantity of latest arms and funds.
  6. Russia was also sure that as soon as Russian troops entered Ukraine, they would be welcomed as liberators. Instead, Ukraine has been fighting seriously and Russia is facing huge losses of soldiers.
  7. The USA and Europe never expected that Russia would actually go  to war with Ukraine. They underestimated  the intentions of Russia. Russian President Putin has been saying openly that Ukraine should not join NATO. But Europe and America ignored such demands. In retrospect, there is thinking that USA and Europe should have avoided provoking Russia so much.
  8. In the last 15 years, USA has neglected NATO. This has also sent wrong signals to Russia that America would not intervene in a European war.
  9. Also read: Ukraine still fighting?

Russian tactics:

Russia-Ukraine war: Hundreds dead as fighting enters fourth day | Middle  East Eye
Hundreds die in Ukraine war

Ever since Vladimir Putin became President of Russia, there have been many small wars against small rivals. Russia attacked Georgia and Chechnya,  who were earlier part of Soviet Russia. In such wars, Russia used their planes and heavy bombing to subdue them.

But unexpectedly, Russia is now trying the same  tactics of bombing cities and destroying them and chasing  away people in Ukraine. Yet, this has not subdued Ukraine . This spirit was unexpected from Ukraine. The war with Ukraine has  become unpredictable. Today, the Ukraine President Zelenksyy offered peace talks with Russia and said there must  be a settlement . Zelenksyy said that if the war between Ukraine and Russia does not stop, it will start a Third World War.

India and Ukraine war:

  1. In the initial stages of the Ukraine war, India was faced with the return of thousands of Indian students in Ukraine. This was successfully done as both Ukraine and Russia supported India. .
  2. Ukraine is one of the biggest exporter of wheat in the world.  Now, wheat exports have totally stopped and farming is also stopped. Hence, a huge demand for the wheat stocks of India had arisen. This is an unexpected economic windfall for Indian farmers. 
  3. The price of Russian oil has come down. India may get oil at lower prices from Russia.  Though sanctions have been imposed on Russia by Europe and America, India refused to heed them as India says that we are an oil-importing country. Lower oil prices are a boon to India.
Ukraine war is our war, say Brit ex-squaddies heading to Lviv - BBC News
Ukraine was is our war, say former British soldiers who head to the war zone
  1. Russia is aware that it has been isolated  and Europe and America are now treating it as an enemy.  It is obvious that Russia has been advising China to settle border issues with India.  Russia is aware that due to China, Europe and America and counties like Japan, Australia are all ganging up. There is every chance for China to de-escalate tensions on the China-India border. The visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Ye in India on 23 March 2022 is a sign that Russia has been at work.
  2. India has carefully used diplomacy to avoid taking  sides in the  Ukraine-Russia war. India abstained in the United Nations on an anti-Russian resolution. But India at the same time voiced its views against the war in Ukraine. 

It is difficult to predict how the Ukraine war would end. But it is a fact that the Ukraine war is the biggest war in Europe since 1945. Whatever happens, Europe, America and the rest of the world will have to review all the institutions like United Nations and NATO, which have not prevented the Ukraine war.

Ukraine is not Rwanda:

In 1994, in Rwanda in Africa, 8,00,000 (8 lakh) people were killed in inter-tribal violence in 100 days. The world did not intervene. There were United Nations soldiers in Rwanda. But they did not stop the killings.  But Rwanda is in Africa and Ukraine is in the heart of  Europe.  Europe and America are making all efforts to stop  the war and also help Ukraine. Don’t forget Ukraine is in Europe . Even neighboring countries welcomed already 40 lakh Ukraine refugees in 20 days.

Peace may break out in Ukraine soon.

Dr. P. Pullarao
Dr. P. Pullarao
Dr. P. Pullarao, born in West Godavari, studied at Loyola College, Madras, PhD from JNU, Economic research at University of Chicago under Prof. Buckminster Fuller, famed futurologist, and Dr. Milton Friedman. Public Advocate, writer, TV Commentator and newspaper columnist based in New Delhi.


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