The Russian-Ukrainian war entered its fourth month, without achieving a decisive Russian victory that reinforces its goals of the invasion, which it announced at the beginning of the war, except for its control of some cities in the east of Ukraine. The most significant of which, of course, is Mariupol city and large parts of the Donbas region, which is witnessing pitched battles and continuous Russian bombardment to control it, after Moscow declared its control over the strategic town of Lyman. Simultaneously, the Russian forces incurred heavy losses, whether human or in equipment. Thousands of Russian soldiers were killed and hundreds of military vehicles and tanks were destroyed. While Russia’s most significant loss in this war is the destruction of its most powerful military cruiser, Moskva (the main vessel in Russia’s Black Sea fleet), which is considered a heavy blow against the Russian fleet.
Russia did not manage to enter and occupy the capital, Kyiv, overthrow the pro-Western regime of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and disarm Ukraine (and this was one of Russia’s goals of the war). Due to the fierce resistance and heroic fighting of the Ukrainian army, which confronted this blatant aggression and managed to defeat it, the Russian army was forced to withdraw and regroup its military forces and move them towards the east of Ukraine to continue its invasion. The Russian army advanced slowly, and succeeded in occupying some villages and small towns located on the coast after destroying them completely, and carried out the scorched-earth policy that it implemented before in Grozny in Chechnya and Aleppo in Syria.
Here there is an important question: why did the US rush to send the most advanced weaponry to Ukraine during the Russian attempt to invade and occupy the capital? This enabled the Ukrainian military to win this battle with Russia. Why did the US stop sending these kinds of modern weapons to Ukraine now, to defend its land in the East? Especially since Zelenskyy kept calling and demanding for sending of tanks and long-range rockets, but no one responded to his call!
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Some experts, including me, believe that the United States does not want both sides to win over the other in the short run, for the purpose of prolonging the war as long as possible, for purely political reasons. First, the US wants to consolidate its dominance over the world and prevent the rise of any other rival force. It is fighting Russia by proxy on Ukraine’s territory, without being involved to enter Ukraine and being engaged in war with its military. Russia fell into the US trap, and arrogant Putin slipped into the trap that the US prepared for him, with great wiliness and malice. Likewise, Ukraine also engaged in a war that was unnecessary and avoidable, which has destroyed its country, displaced its people and killed thousands of its soldiers. Zelenskyy, with his political stupidity, did not realise that he was a game in the hands of the US, which used him to achieve its goals. Let Ukraine burn, so that the US remains the only powerful pole in the world. It is the game of nations that the comedian did not understand!
The United States wants to deplete Russia as much as possible, after plunging it into the Ukrainian quagmire to weaken its military capabilities, push the Russian army to lose its prestige and reputation, and show its weakness along with the fragility of its weapons to the world. So, the demand for Russian weapons becomes reduced, and it does not find a way to promote and sell them.
Second, the United States wants to weaken Russia’s economic power. The severe and unprecedented economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union against Russia will not be fruitful in the foreseeable future. Putin tried to bypass them via some economic decisions and transactions in the Russian banks. He imposed measures on businessmen and investors, such as the necessity of dealing in rubles. He also imposed on the countries that he called “unfriendly” to pay the value of oil and gas through Russian rubles, which prevented the ruble from falling and increased its value against the US dollar compared to what it was before the war. In fact, this does not mean saving the ruble from falling in the end, a matter which has started to be clear recently. With the passage of time, the Russian people may be fed up with Putin, who has involved them in this futile war, and may launch a revolution against him and topple him. Perhaps, in the long run, after this war ends, Russia will be exhausted, shackled by debts and burdens. The Russian Federation may disintegrate the same way as the former Soviet Union disintegrated and, in this way, the US has achieved its goal.
Here I remember the words of the veteran politician and Cold War architect, former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, that “it is not an interest for the US to solve any problem in the world, but it is an interest for it to grab the threads of the problem and move it according to the US national interest.”
This ingenious politician (Kissinger) recently shocked the US in his online participation at the Davos Forum by saying: “The West must stop trying to defeat Russia, and it is dangerous to get driven by the mood of the moment and forget Russia’s position. Ukraine must negotiate and accept solutions,” which means Ukraine waives the Donbas region and Crimea to Russia, although in a previous interview with the Financial Times, he said: “Putin misjudged the situation when he launched the war on Ukraine and misjudged his country’s capacities.” Kissinger elaborated that he did not expect an attack to such an extent of seizing a recognised country.
What happened to Kissinger to change the strategic policy that he was adopting before? Was it motivated by age, after he became about a hundred years old? This phase of life is supposed to be full of wisdom, advice and peace, and not fearlessness and taking risks in uncalculated and unresolved battles as well! Perhaps the seasoned old politician took Putin’s threat into account when he demanded Ukraine waive its territory when he said three years ago that “there would be no world without Russia”, in other words, “why do we need this world if Russia does not exist in it”. During a television interview, Putin threatened to resort to nuclear weapons, and he repeated his threat just before he invaded Ukraine in a press conference with Emmanuel Macron.
Naturally, Zelenskyy became angry with Kissinger’s statement, which prompted him to slam Kissinger strongly, describing him to emerge from the deep past, and reminding him that we are in 2022 and not in 1938, when Britain, France, and Italy signed an agreement with Germany in Munich, according to which Hitler was granted the lands of Czechoslovakia to convince him to stop his continuing expansion.
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Yes, Putin does not possess the power and prestige of Hitler, nor does he possess the charisma or popularity that qualifies him to that. However, the Western media always tries to portray him as Hitler. Putin also tries to show his strength and seem like Russia’s new tsar, who hopes to return the glories of his Caesarean Empire, but the world today is not as it was during the Tsars period. Therefore, Sweden and Finland turned to the United States to demand to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), after they maintained a special relationship with Russia in which they stayed away from provoking it. But now, they are entering into the political game to protect themselves from the Russian bear that wants to seize all the surrounding countries that were within the tsarist empire. The two countries did not resort to be near Russia to declare allegiance to it.
Finland and Sweden have the right to worry about their countries, especially after Putin claims that Ukraine has never been a State in the true sense of the word, and that the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution and founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, caused the division of the country through the federal structure that he established after dissolution of the Russian Empire. Moreover, Lenin caused the loss of Russian lands which turned into separate states over time. He also committed a mistake when he granted the Ukrainians independence within the Soviet Union and waived Russian lands inhabited by Russian people to Ukraine. So, it is natural for Finland and Sweden to be concerned about their countries, as they are also concerned with this statement, since they belong to these countries that were created by mistake, and what prevents Putin from repeating the same thing when he invades them?
Since the beginning of the war, Putin has tried to create pretexts for the world by invoking history to justify his invasion of Ukraine, which he does not consider as an invasion, but a correction of a wrong course committed by Lenin.
It is, undoubtedly, a twisted logic. According to Putin’s logic, every country in the world has the right to invade a neighbouring country to return to the pre-First World War borders, or perhaps even before it. All the countries that existed after the First World War have border disputes with their neighbouring countries. In fact, many Russian territories were part of the Ottoman Empire, so Turkiye has the right to take them back and launch a war against Russia!
In conclusion, the world today is witnessing a conflict of strategies in light of the intense rivalry between Russia and China to form a new world order facing the United States which, in turn, is doing its best to maintain its dominance over the world, and establish the rules of the unipolar system, with a Western reference. The US established this system after the fall of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall in the nineties of the last century. So, Ukraine is one of its victims, and of course, it will not be the last!
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The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.