The Ukraine conflict is one driven by the personal obsession of Vladimir Putin with restoring the Russian empire. He has focused on Ukraine because of its liberal tendencies, which contrast with his autocratic rule, and because of economic factors, perhaps unspoken, but real. Ukraine is the breadbasket of Russia.
I think it is a bad time for Putin to have launched this adventure. If he had done it before 2021, he would very likely have had Trump’s support or at least quiet acceptance. If he had done this in 2023, then the worst effects of the pandemic would have abated. Now his troops must also face Covid as well as the Ukrainians. I cannot dismiss the suspicion that Putin has launched this war at this time because of domestic problems.
Vladimir Putin seems intent to re-establish the Russian empire. I cannot think of a single empire in history that once it had begun to contract and disintegrate had a leader that was able to re-establish it again. Not one!
The US and its NATO allies have social strains and conflicts, but Putin’s actions have actually served to shift much of these troubles to the side in terms of social and political attention.
In the short-term NATO will act to contain Russia, presumably with a subjugated Ukraine as part of its domain. In the long term, NATO is likely to extend membership to Ukraine if it can break away from Russian domination or if Russia collapses in some way. Putin’s actions have a good chance of bringing about just the opposite of what he sought.
The current sanctions will depress Russia’s economy to a substantial degree. I do not see the West lifting them for the foreseeable future.
Although some Ukrainian official stated that the US and western powers have not been reliable to confront Russian attack, I think some they wanted more weapons. I certainly think that the West has shown a good degree of unity in the face of Russian actions. It is a tragedy, but not of the West’s doing. The Afghanistan matter was poorly handled, but was of different origins from the current war, and with different political repercussions.
I argue Ukraine conflict is a sign of transition era to new world order, which is labeled as multipolar world order; with efforts at forming new alliances intended to contain Russian expansionism and to temper the ambitions of China. These efforts will have substantial economic consequences, but these will be second to security concerns.
There is much talk of the beginning of a new and dangerous world order. In fact I suppose that Putin’s actions have simply confirmed many leaders in their perception that Russia, China, North Korea, and perhaps a few other nations, were effectively turning their backs on the existing order. As to Taiwan, perhaps China’s insistence on diplomacy will suggest to the Taiwanese leaders that they should enter into negotiations with Beijing rather than risk a military action. I don’t want to over analyze China’s reaction to Putin’s war, but I would say it looks as though Putin misled Xi.
I also think Ukraine conflict might have some kind of impacts on the Vienna Talks which approaching to revive the Iranian Nuclear deal. Indeed, Russia is a party to these talks, so I imagine that they will either be ejected from further negotiations, or that the talks will be postponed.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of ICDT.