Saturday, May 28, 2022

Russo-Ukrainian Crisis: A creation of Western hegemonic attitude

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How did NATO betray Russia's reconciling attitude and security?

Russia launched a massive military campaign against Ukraine about a month ago, undeterred by NATO reprisal or counterattack. In that context, world opinion has sharply been divided, indicating a possibility of nuclear confrontation leading to third World War. The global people have been divided into emotionalist and rationalist camps. Emotionalists, uninformed of the perspectives, are showering their opposition to what Russia did, thus contributing to justify the unholy strategy of the Western hegemony and racism. It will not help the people of Ukraine, who have lost everything due to this war. Rationalists, including the critics of the US policy behind this entire crisis, finger out the gross failure of the United States of America's strategy and goal to respect the sovereignty and security of other states. The rationalists have urged to go 20 years before and probe what the U.S. had promised to Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yelstin concerning Russia's security after the Soviet Union's breakdown. Vladimir Pozner, an independent journalist, summarizes his opinion saying that the current crisis between Russia and Ukraine results from the largest American strategic failure.

Interestingly enough, the past facts show that Russia and the US were in this level of relationship marked by total distrust and hostility or antagonism in the past, including the Soviet Union era. Even during the worse time of the Cold War, Russian people, in the words of Pozner, 'were not anti-American, though they were anti-White House.' "Today Russians are anti-American at the grassroots," says Pozner. What made Russians the enemy of Americans? The simple answer is: The successive American administrations and elite media enlarged their policies of dominating and humiliating the Russian State as a second-class nation. In Pozner's words, "Russia was treated as a second rate country."

On December 12, 2017, the National Defense Archives of George Washington University declassified and divulged the minutes of the meetings between Gorbachev and Euro-American leadership, showing that the Euro-American leaders had unreservedly promised to guarantee Russia's security, under all circumstances. These minutes now prove that the NATO powers had been lying deceptively. In one of the minutes in a meeting between Gorbachev and James Baker (the then U.S. Secretary of State), it is well recorded that Gorbachev consented to demolish the Berlin Wall and let the two Germany unite for James Baker's commitment to respect Russia's security. In that meeting, he said, "If this happens NATO will not move one inch eastward." Not only Baker but the German leadership also repeated the same promises in other meetings. But Americans and Europeans betrayed their promise dishonestly after the first four years of the Clinton Administration.

Categorically, today's Russia-Ukraine crisis results from the US-led NATO's hegemony and aggression.

During the second tenure of the Clinton administration, a decision was taken to enlarge the NATO in 1996, granting membership to Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic in 1997. In that wake, George Kennan, an American security expert who designed the principle of containment against confrontation vis-à-vis Soviet Union, viewed that it was the reemergence of a new cold war. He wrote an article in Foreign Affairs saying, "I think it is the beginning of the cold war. I think it is a tragic mistake."

Interestingly enough, the Russian Federation maintained utter silence and reconciling attitude from 1997 to 2007. Russia did nothing to anger, irk or disappoint the USA and other NATO members. Vladimir Putin adopted the policy for cooperation, partnership, or trust with NATO and the European Union. He officially requested NATO to let it join and ensure the security and peace of the globe. However, the NATO bloc snubbed him. It said, "Go away." He then implored to accept Russia in partnership with EU. He was answered that Russia was too big for partnership. This apathetic attitude was not enough; Russia faced a different reality. It was rated and underestimated as a weaker country by the West, under the leadership of the US. Against his attitude of reconciliation, Putin was embarrassed by the expansion of NATO rapidly towards the East, embracing the former WARSAW Pact members and splinters from the Soviet Union. Second, Russia desperately saw NATO involved, without consent of the U.N., bombing Yugoslavia. Then Kosovo was detached from Serbia, which was always its part; Kosovo was granted recognition as an independent country. Yugoslavia was destroyed by unprecedented bombing by the USA and the UK without the approval of the United Nations in 1999. Helpless, Russia witnessed this bombing, killing hundreds of civilians.  

Categorically, today's Russia-Ukraine crisis results from the US-led NATO's hegemony and aggression. An American professor of international relations, John Mearsheimer,  says, "The West bears the primary responsibility for what is happening." This crisis results primarily due to the 2006 decision of the NATO to make Ukraine and Georgia the part of the NATO." Mearsheimer says, "Russia had categorically said that that was unacceptable." Fareed Zakaria, a CNN correspondent, agrees with what Mearsheimer said. For him, it was the largest strategic failure of America.

This reality is so poorly grasped in Nepal. Some people in Nepal are more Americans than Americans themselves. They even succeeded in pursuading the current coalition government of Congress and two communist parties to break away from Nepal's traditional foreign policy of non-alignment. Nepal erroneously voted against Russia, thus making Nepal stand under the security umbrella of NATO. How will two communist veterans, the partners of the coalition government, justify this decision in the future? What answer do they have to the days to come? The global south refused to implement the NATO sanctions on Russia. What will Nepal do?

What will be the result of this war? Will Ukraine be able to weaken Russia? Will Russia lose its significance as a major nation in international affairs?  

There are many speculations, fully founded on biases and prejudices propagated by the Western corporatist media that are adept and efficient in manufacturing propaganda, as they did during 2002 in the American invasion of Iraq. The Western people paid only a little attention to the deaths of thousands of people in Iraq and Libya. The Western leaders and media deceptively lied to the world that Saddam Hussein had possessed a weapon of mass destruction. The Anglo-American collaboration knew that there was no such thing. They cooked the fake information and drew the Western people's support against Saddam, who they had created as 'their boy in the past.'

If we look at the military strength of two contesters, the fall of Ukraine is sure. Russia is militarily a powerful country. Over the last two decades, Putin has successfully restored the pride and honor of the then Soviet Union era for Russia, both politically and militarily.

At the time of independence, Ukraine possessed 176 intercontinental ballistic missiles and 1,249 warheads, along with 44 strategic bombers. Russia guaranteed the independence of Ukraine and its security. It promised to pay attention to the security of Ukraine. In 1994, they signed Budapest Memorandum along with Belarus, Kazakhstan, the UK, and the US. But against this normality of affairs, NATO offered Ukraine the proposal of NATO membership. The conflict ensued, gradually. In 2013, Victor Yanukovych came into power through democratic elections for president, who rejected the EU-Ukraine special trade deal. Instead, he agreed to take 15 billion USD as assistance for a bailout of the financial crisis. He also declined to be a part of the NATO bloc. Western nations were quickly involved in stirring protests against the duly elected president; Ukraine was pushed into terrible political instability.

Over the last two decades, Putin has successfully restored the pride and honor of the then Soviet Union era for Russia, both politically and militarily.

The protests in Kiev in support of Western outfits led to a political unrest dubbed the Orange Revolution. In that revolution, the protesters chanted the slogan, "Sign the EU deal, and Yanukovych must step down." Russia supported the troubled president against the West, which stirred protests. In February 2014, Yanukovych's government was toppled. The minority Russian populations felt disenfranchised and vulnerable to repression. The Russian language was banned as an official language. Once Yanukovych was ousted Russian military began taking Crimea. The Referendum followed transferring Crimea to Russia on March 16, 2014, which Khrushchev had handed over to Ukraine during the Soviet Union.

Soon followed Ukraine's suppression campaign in the Donbass area where Russian ethnic groups are the majority population, thus inviting the Russian military's entry into the unfolding crisis. Side by side, a series of discussions between Russia and Ukraine also followed. In the meantime, the West created more problems between Russia and Ukraine. However, the talks between the two countries resulted in Minsk Accords, which were first signed in 2014. Both sides agreed to hold a ceasefire and withdraw the military. Ukraine agreed to hold elections in the Danbass area. However, eight years since then Minsk Accords could not come into force. Ukrainian regime continued killing minority populations in Donbass. The rise of Nazi groups was phenomenal in different parts of Ukraine.

These descriptions prove that:

  1. Russia wanted to secure peace between the two countries and wanted its security and protection of the Russian language-speaking people. The Minsk Accords show that Russia had no intention to takeover Donbass, nor Ukraine itself. Ukraine failed to understand Russia's security threat and fulfill its accord obligation to hold elections in the Donbass area.
  2. Russia was concerned with Ukraine's sliding to the NATO bloc, which it thought was a serious challenge to its security.
  3. Ukrainian ruling elites lost insight into the need to remain neutral between Russia and NATO.

Soon after Minsk Accord, NATO bloc appeared in Ukraine's politics influentially and actively. Ukraine, as an outcome, wished to join NATO. Russia then expedited its strategy to push Ukraine out of NATO. The relationship between two constituents of the Soviet Union in the past sharply deteriorated.

Why does Russia dislike NATO?

There are several reasons. They are:

  1. The seed of the conflict goes in Ukraine's preparedness to join NATO. Ukraine shares the history of the Soviet Union and Russian Empire in the past. Ukraine is below the nose of Russia. Hence, Russia does not like Ukraine going to the Western bloc's lap, creating a serious threat to its security.
  2. Article 5 of the NATO Agreement provides that an attack against a member of NATO is considered an attack against all members. This regional pact stands against UN Charter's Collective Security system. It isolates and encircles Russia by the former communist states and splinters, who have turned conservative and liberal in the contemporary political landscape.
  3. Under the US leadership, NATO is expanding rapidly to the East, eying Central Asia. The main goal of this mission is to weaken Russia and control the fossil fuel reserve of Eurasia and the market in Europe.
  4. Between 2004-2009, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, and Croatia joined NATO, as they were inspired to become its part. This development was considered to pose a spectacular threat to the security of Russia because, with these countries connected with NATO, Russia was fully encircled by rival powers.

Soon after Minsk Accord, NATO bloc appeared in Ukraine's politics influentially and actively. Ukraine, as an outcome, wished to join NATO.

Russia's concerns are valid, understandably. In 2019, the amended Constitution of Ukraine included the aspiration of becoming a member of NATO. The crisis between Russia and Ukraine escalated immediately after it. The US urged Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO in 2008, meticulously challenging the security threat of Russia. Russian president objected to this urge as a serious national security concern. He made hard efforts to deal with this issue diplomatically. He raised this issue in the right forums and tried to convince the NATO bloc leadership. President Putin said, "America is at our doorstep with missiles. How will America feel if missiles are deployed in Canada or Mexico's borders?" President Putin asked this question in 2021 in an address to the nation. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, America resented the deployment and became ready to invade Cuba in 1962. Ukraine's situation is the same in all aspects.

Can Ukraine defeat Russia?

Probably not. If we look at it from the perspective of Russia's weapons and military strength, Ukraine's misjudgment is obvious and great. Russia has approximately 800,000 standing military forces against Ukraine's 200,000 militaries. Russia possesses 20,050 tanks against 2,045 of Ukraine. Russia has 314 naval ships, whereas Ukraine has only 44. Ukraine possesses only 3,973 artillery against 14557 of Russia. Russia has 4,441 air fighters against 425 of Ukraine. These facts show that Ukraine is a scapegoat of NATO's strategy to encircle Russia. Many commentators have said that Russia does not want to annexe Ukraine but aspires to create a situation that existed before 1997. Russia wants the US to stop giving arms to Ukraine and other East European countries. Indeed, this concern of Russia is legitimate and genuine.

Why the US wants the expansion of NATO?

America fears that with China's support, Russia will bring the USSR back. After taking office, US President Joe Biden escalated the perception by comparing Russia with the former USSR. He is engaged in ideological battle without reason. Biden played a crucial role in generating political stability in 2013 in Ukraine. The main reason behind this is not the threat of Russia to American security but strategic interest to convert Eurasia as a controlled territory. Noam Chomsky wrote abundantly in this regard, quite since the cessation of the Cold War.

The Capitalist world, including confused people and a considerable mass of pseudo-intellectuals from India, built propaganda that Russian President Putin is trying to revive the USSR—the Western corporatist media is manufacturing the unfounded ideological division of the world. In South Asia, the Indian pro-Western jingoist media, fed from Western pipes, flared up Western propaganda against China and Russia as authoritarian nations seeking hegemony. A large literate mass of Nepal is influenced by anti-Asian and Russian psychology created by propagandist Western and Indian media. 

The Capitalist world, including confused people and a considerable mass of pseudo-intellectuals from India, built propaganda that Russian President Putin is trying to revive the USSR.

For the profit of arms deal, the US used post World War situation to create a new dimension of the world's division. As some critics have argued, the US and the West do not fear Putin but Russian civilization and scientific intellect. The few following facts establish this claim:

  • The USSR played a crucial role in defeating Hitler. Noam Chomsky has opined that no allies would defeat Hitler without Soviet Union's military and people's patriotic involvement against Hitler's regime. The West knows it but does not speak out. The West knows the patriotic and fearless attitude of the Russian people to defend their sovereignty. Hence, to break Russia, the West has to break the backbone of Russian civilization. The eternal conflict in Eurasia is their strategy, therefore.
  • The USSR developed Sputnik, a hydrogen bomb, and embarked on orbit, rudely surprising the West.
  • The Soviet Union produced these developments before America did.  
  • The Soviet Union was economically less rich, but it did not face a wider inequality gap. The concepts and institutions of social justice consolidated against widening inequality chasm in America and Western countries.
  • The Soviet Union was a country that first challenged Western capitalism— capitalism lost its invincibility after the rise of the Soviet Union. It brought China and many other countries against capitalism. The continuous breaking of American society economically and socially poses a threat to its political and social structure. American elites are not accommodative to other systems, therefore. Russia and China are considered as threats, therefore.
  • It was a country that ignited the fire of decolonization. The Western colonialists maintain a grudge against Russian minds and thoughts.
  • Russia has a different identity.
  • Russia believes in social justice and saves its society from being divided as in the US.
  • Most importantly, Russians are patriotic. 

The fear of America generated by these factors is augmented by some more factors such as:

  • In  December2021, Putin said that the 'collapse of Soviet Union was the historical death of Russia.'
  • In his address to the nation, Putin said, "the fall of the USSR resulted in a loss of 25 million Russians." They have been driven away from the country and are made part of the independent countries.
  • Putin also said, "Russian language, history, and culture suffered setbacks."
  • Putin also rejected to accept oligarchs' domination in Russian politics. They were parts of the Western capitalist regime promoting Western economic domination in Eurasia.
  • He nationalized the oil company held by Mikhail Khodorkovsky who was jailed for the crime of fraud.
  • In 2003 elections, he obtained a 2/3rd majority in elections which Western organizations criticized as a reemergence of authoritarianism. He declined to accept to become a Western puppet government.
  • During Arab Spring—the Western Scheme of regime change—Russia supported Bashar Al Assad of Syria.

Is Putin trying to bring the USSR back?

This question can be answered by posing another question: Is America falling from its supremacy? Many people believe that America is rapidly losing its position. The existing world order is fragile enough to break and fall. Is the conflict between Russia and Ukraine limited to the perimeter of Russia and Ukraine? Of course not.  

If the West continues to implement strategies to encircle and break Russia, it may soon flare up globally. Two major factors need to pay heed.

  1. The American unilateralism policy is sparking tensions in global politics. The post-cold-war equation has been breaking continuously by American unilateralism. New world order is struggling to emerge, and the American world order has been tending towards its fall. Its declining economy and values show that it is directed towards a chasm.
  2. American antagonism to Russia is severe. In the Union Address, American President Joe Biden said, "I am announcing that we will join our allies in closing off American air space to all Russian flights, further isolating Russia and adding additional squeeze on their economy." This crisis is necessary for America to roll its arms industry more profitably. The alliance is not for the support of the Ukrainian but to profit its arms industry.
  3. In this crisis, America is trying hard to prove the importance of its position without success. Its defense secretary is traveling many countries, but its allies are resisting what it has been dictating. Germany is resisting to lockstep with it. It is buying gas from Russia despite American sanctions, and Saudi Arbia and UAE even failed to entertain Biden's phone call.
  4. Turkey and France are engaged in diplomatic dialogue with Russia, ignoring the American hard line.
  5. Even India rejected to act as a QUAD element and Indo-Pacific strategy partner in the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

What will be the outcome?

The crisis of Ukraine is long designed against the agreement signed almost 30 years before with Russia by NATO allies. The crisis occurred despite Russian restraints for several years. NATO allies persistently pursued to expand NATO towards the East, thus frightening Russia. Central Europe is turned into another middle east for America, and Ukraine has been turned into another Afghanistan for Russia.

Will the American game plan succeed? No one can surely say at this juncture. However, there is some expectation of the rise of a completely new world order against the American order.

  1.  Europe is tired of American bullying and use-and-throw policy. As a German member of parliament, Sevim Dagdelen, says, German people are not stupid. The US is using the people of Europe as slaves in the name of allies. Europeans are truly fed up with what hegemony the US is playing with. In that perspective, the Russo-Ukraine crisis may cause a paradigmatic shift in the present structure of the world order. Eventually, Russia and Europe, as the former aspired to join EU in the first decade, may join hands and push the US out of the European landscape. This possibility depends on how much Russia would be able to prove its strength in the present crisis—facing sanctions and demolishing Ukraine's rightist regime. Russia, China, and Europe's cooperation will cause dollar's decline, and the American economy may face devastation.
  2. The likelihood of Russia's allying with China may follow, provided that Russia failed to subjugate Ukraine's ambition of joining NATO fully. In that situation, the US further prevails over Europe, causing bigger security threats to Russia and China. This situation would force China and Russia to co-exist as an alliance with other countries, such as Iran, Syria, North Korea, and many more. India's role would be precarious in this situation. It would neither be able to surrender to the US nor be fully trusted by the Russo-Sino alliance.
  3. In a worse position, the Russo-Europe alliance may trigger the US's soft policy to China and seek a balance of power in favour of the US. In that situation, India would revert to the situation of Indira Gandhi regime—it will go closer to Russia. Nepal would be much more stable because the American strategy to meddle in Nepal's affairs would be slowed. However, the possibility of a Russia-Europe alliance is very thin.
  4. Nepal's first and second position situation would be terrible if some pseudo consultants continue to feed 'Zelenksies' of Nepal. Nepal has made a serious mistake by breaking the non-alignment policy, which may invite a heavy price in international relations in the days to come.

Nepal's political leaders' bankruptcy of know-how about foreign affairs is visible in the Russian-Ukraine crisis. They even failed to notice that the global south stood unwilling to sanction Russia. Nepal's political parties and think-tanks' ignorance of international politics and affairs is visible. None of the political praties pondered on what is unfolding internationally.

Astonishingly, even countries like Germany and France's leaders failed to look into an emerging reality that the world's economic power is shifting to Asia. The political leaders and some Western mind-infested intellectuals in Nepal fail to understand that the international community is quite larger than Europe and America, which is still economically friendly with Russia. Sanctions on dollars will not eventually harm Russia. It will rather harm America because Russia will be using Renminbi in place of the dollar in international transactions. The paradigm shift is visible, thus. If the West continues to squeeze Russia, no power in the world will prevent the Sino-Russia alliance from emerging, and if it happens, the present Congress-Communist alliance must face a hard time answering a question: What prevented you from exercising non-alignment policy?  

Published on 18 March 2022

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