The tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to escalate. Russia has deployed its soldiers and tanks in the separatist areas of Ukraine. In the name of ‘Peacekeeping.’ The civilians of Ukraine, the common people are now being given training for bearing arms. Because of the threat of an impending war.
How Russia-Ukraine crisis Started? What’s The Reason?
“Gunfire and explosions have been heard here, and in the second city of Kyiv. Shortly after the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Putin announced the move in an unscheduled TV address, he said that Russia would bring in troops, he told the Ukrainian troops to lay down arms and go home. Any attempt to interfere with this Russian action, would lead to consequences they have never seen. After Russian troops were told to lay down the arms, social media became a window into the reality showing the impact of what appear to be missiles being launched into Ukraine.”
The situation has been worsening for the last many months, on 10th November 2021, the news broke out for the first time, that Russia has started deploying its military soldiers to Ukraine’s border. By 28th November, it has become clear, that more than 100,000 Russian troops were present on Ukraine’s border. And that they could attack at any time between mid January to early February. By December, the news had reached the US Intelligence. Leading to a warning by US President Joe Biden to the Russian authorities. He said that if there was any invasion into Ukraine of any kind, Russia would have to face severe repercussions. “He told President Putin directly that if Russia further invades Ukraine, the United States and our European Allies, would respond with strong economic measures. The US Intelligence Agencies claimed that that on 16th February, Russia will declare war on Ukraine. But nothing happened on 16th February. This was widely mocked by the Russian authorities. Saying that America always spouts nonsense and that they wouldn’t have done anything, and that America was simply creating a sensation.
A day later, the news broke out that Russia was withdrawing its soldiers. Russia was apparently deescalating. But this news turned out to be fake. Experts believe that actually China had put pressure on Russia that Russia wait till the end of the Beijing Olympics. China didn’t want a war to be declared causing interruptions in the Beijing Olympics. They didn’t want China’s image to be hampered. This theory sounds weird but 20th February was the last day of the Beijing Olympics, and on the next day, on 21st February, Putin gives this address on television. Putin addresses the entire world and says that there are two separatist areas in Eastern Ukraine.
They now recognise the separatist areas as independent countries. “After a day of lashing out at NATO, Putin made an explosive announcement on state television.” “I think it is necessary to make a long overdue decision, to immediately recognise the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic. The names of the two regions are Donetsk and Luhansk.
The actual boundary of Ukraine according to the United Nations, looks like this from the outside. In eastern Ukraine, lies the regions Donetsk and Luhansk. They’re special because some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk is actually controlled by separatists. They are not under the control of the Ukrainian Government. These areas lie on the Russian border. And are actually known as Russian occupied. I won’t get into the entire history now. I talked about it in detail in the previous Article on Russia and Ukraine. You can go read that Article in detail, if you want to.
But as I said, in 2014, Russia occupied Crimea. This was the same year when the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk were broken apart from Ukraine. Russia supported the separatists there. They sent their military there and the war that broke out, led to new boundary lines being drawn. In these separatist controlled areas, Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, the separatist people there decided to form their own countries. While doing so, they called for an unofficial referendum in these areas. After that, Russia has tried to help these two separatist areas as much as possible. By giving them military support, financial support as much as providing Covid vaccines to them. The 800,000 people living here were issued Russian passports by Russia. To stop the tensions and foster peace in these areas, the Minsk Agreement was signed in 2015.
According to that, Ukraine had to provide special status to these regions. To give them a certain degree of autonomy. They had to acknowledge the governments of the areas. And it was promised that there would be no more riots, no weapons would be used, and the foreign presence in this area would be eradicated. Because Putin said that Russia considers those areas as independent countries, and now that Putin has sent his army to those areas, it is now being called an invasion. Putin’s action has caused the Minsk Agreement to be Null and Void. The threat, now, is that Putin wouldn’t stop here. The European countries and the USA fear that Putin is trying to capture Ukraine’s entire country.
I would like to point out one important thing here, since the Soviet Union has broken apart, after every 6-7 years, Russia does such things to its neighbouring countries. In 2014, Russia occupied Crimea. Before this, in 2008, Russia occupied some areas of Georgia. Look at this map, the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, are actually under Russian occupation. About 20% of the country of Georgia is actually under Russian occupation.
Moving on, there’s a country called Moldova in Eastern Europe, a big chunk of it that lies on its eastern side is a separatist area, called Transnistria. The separatists living there consider themselves to be a new country. And they actually want to reunify with Russia. So there’s a lot of Russian influence in this Transnistria region. And now if you look at the map of the places that Russia has deployed its army, its soldiers, to The red circles on this map, were permanent settlements, so they can be ignored. But the black dots that you see on this map, are the new troops that have been deployed in the last few months. Russia has surrounded Ukraine from 3 directions. And not only are the Russian soldiers present in Russia, they are present in Crimea and Transnistria too. As well as in Belarus. The dictator of Belarus comes under the influence of Russia too.
I had made a different Article on Belarus as well. There’s a very infamous dictator in Belarus. The result of all this is that the rest of the world is worried that Russia may move in its army at any time. And declare war on Ukraine. No one knows how much area Russia wants to occupy. Some people think that only this strip in the South, from Transnistria to Donetsk and Luhansk, will be occupied by Russia. Some others believe, Russia will reach Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. Intending to end the existence of Ukraine.
Seeing Russia do this, the rest of the world has three main options. The first is that they do nothing about it. But then the danger is that if Russia is allowed to occupy Ukraine today, tomorrow, Russia may say that they want Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Slovakia, Croatia back. They continue expanding by invading all of them. If such imperialism isn’t stopped, someday or the other, we will be under attack too.
The second option is that the countries use their military and send their armies at the locations Russia is invading, stopping the Russian forces by literally fighting with them. But this isn’t a good option, because doing so would mean literally declaring World War. And thankfully, most of the countries today don’t want to fight or go on a war. Because that just leads to bloodshed loss of human lives and there can be no positive result of that.
NATO has indeed deployed their military, 5,000 NATO troops have been deployed to Poland 4,000 can be sent to countries like Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia. But these are the NATO countries. Ukraine is not a part of NATO yet. So even if Ukraine is attacked, the chances are that NATO will not interfere with that. It won’t provide military support to Ukraine. But it’s for sure that NATO has tried to help Ukraine in some other ways by providing weapons, advanced weaponry, providing them financial help, at places, helmets were given. But no country is sending their soldiers to fight on behalf of Ukraine.
So if there’s an attack on Ukraine, the Ukrainians are alone here. And if you look at Ukraine’s military strength against Russia, Ukraine is very weak.
You can see it in this chart. Russia’s active soldiers are four times that of Ukraine’s. 15 times the number of fighter jets that Ukraine has. More than 5 times the number of tanks. And that’s why Ukraine is considering deploying more than 250,000 of its reserve forces. Civilians are also being trained. The common people of Ukraine, acknowledge this threat and to protect their country from an invasion. they are coming to the forefront.
In these Article, you can clearly see if Russia invades Ukraine, the Ukrainians wouldn’t give up easily. They are ready to fight to the bitter end. Are you scared for your family? We’re all gonna die someday. The thing you can do is you can live your life in dignity.
According to estimates by the US, if there is an all-out war here, more than 50,000 civilians can be killed. Thousands of people may have to leave their homes. There would be one more refugee crisis in Europe. And Ukraine’s condition would perhaps be the same as the present condition of Syria. A reason that I forgot to include here is that Russia has literally threatened other countries that they would use nuclear bombs if any other country goes to interfere.
What other option does the rest of the world have?
The third option is economic sanctions. Economically, if others try to isolate Russia, to attack Russia economically. To attack their money. “I’m announcing the first round of sanctions, these sanctions are a major step, and we hold further sanctions at readiness, to be deployed. The US and its allies have coordinated a first round of sanctions against Russia. Over its troop deployment to breakaway regions of Ukraine. The US, Europe, Canada, Japan, many countries have already declared economic sanctions against Russia. And have said that if Russia takes any further steps towards an invasion, more economic sanctions would be declared. They attacked the Russian banks first. And on Russian billionaires. Because many countries know Putin isn’t that great of a dictator on his own. Putin comes under the influence of the Russian Oligarchs, i.e., the Russian billionaires too.
The UK has targetted five Russian banks, the United Nations has also condemned this. And perhaps the most important economic sanction was from Germany. Germany has stopped the certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. This is a big step. More than 50% of Germany’s gas supply comes from Russia. To take such a step means that Germany is interrupting its own gas supply it means that the gas prices in Germany would rise rapidly.
This is the thing about economic sanctions, friends, when some other country is isolated, when you try to attack economically, it affects your country too. And this is the deciding factor. The level of negative effects on the economy a country can bear to teach a lesson to another country.
For example, if today, India says that all made in China goods are banned in India, it would have more adverse effects on the Indian economy, as compared to the Chinese economy. That’s why it would be very difficult for India to impose economic sanctions on China.
What role does India play in the Russia-Ukraine crisis? How will it affect India? And what are the steps that India can take?
To talk about this, we’ll have Mohak Mangal in this Article. You may know him, from the Soch YouTube channel. He will explain the role of India in this context. The Indian government has said that they are very concerned about the Russia-Ukraine crisis. “The escalation of tension along the border of Ukraine with the Russian Federation, is a matter of deep concern. If you pay attention to the statement of the Indian government, you will see that the Indian government isn’t saying that Russia’s actions are wrong. Because India is dependent on Russia for a lot of things. And to understand this properly, I’d like to tell you the impact of a war between Russia and Ukraine, on India.
We have classified this impact into 3 categories. The immediate challenge for the Indian government is that to ensure the safety of the Indians that are in Ukraine now. It is estimated that there are 25,000 Indians in Ukraine, of which 20,000 are Indian students, studying medicine or engineering from Ukrainian universities. The situation between Ukraine and Russia is evolving so rapidly, many Indians in Ukraine and their families in India are really worried about the situation.
A tweet by Himanshu Dhoria shows that he had to make arrangements for the flight of his children, because of the lack of directions from the Indian government. Although, the Indian government have started their evacuations. In Ukraine, the Indian embassy has issued an advisory, that Indian nationals should leave Ukraine if living there isn’t essential for them. The medium term concerns of the Indian government is related to the economy. And specifically, the price of petrol.
The latest economic survey of the Indian government had estimated, that the petrol prices would be about $65-$70 per barrel during this year. And just a few hours ago, this price had reached $100 per barrel. Highest since September 2014. Mainly because people are worried that the oil production and supply chain in Russia would be severely affected because of this Russia-Ukraine war.
Russia is the second-largest oil producer in the world. And almost 13% of the global crude oil is from Russia. This situation may even worsen if the US and the European Union countries impose sanctions on Russian oil and gas production. And we know that if the global supply of oil drops, its prices would increase worldwide including in India. Because of this, there will be a heavy impact on the lives of almost all Indians. Because India imports nearly 85% of its crude oil requirements. Kshitij Purohit, a researcher on this matter, says that the rising petrol prices, may lead to inflation in India, because the transportation cost of all things would be increased. And this would have a deep impact on the budgeting of the Indian government. Because, if the prices of petrol and oil increase, the Indian government would have to spend more money on the LPG and kerosene subsidies.
Now, let’s come to the long term impact. With this, you will get to know Why it is so difficult for India to discuss Russia. On one hand, India is hugely dependent on Russia for military supplies.
According to the analysis by Roshan Kishore, between 2016 and 2020, nearly 50% of the Indian arms imports came from Russia. According to some estimates, about 50%-80% of the equipment of the Indian military are of Russian origin. And this partnership between India and Russia, is still growing. This partnership isn’t limited to Russia selling armed supplies and Indian buying them. Instead, both countries are jointly developing and researching armed supplies. The BrahMos cruise missile is an example of this. The joint venture between India and Russia, in fact, the name BrahMos, is coined out of the name of two rivers, India’s Brahmaputra, and Russia Moskva.
A few hours ago, President Biden announced that they were imposing sanctions on those Russian companies, that have military ties. This can have an affect on India’s military. Gurjeet Singh, the former ambassador of India to Germany, said that because of these sanctions, India may face many problems related to defence supplies. This isn’t the first time that such sanctions have been imposed on a country.
The US had imposed sanctions on Iran once. Then India could negotiate because India knows that if the US wants to counter China, they would need India’s help. And this situation is quite unique. A country hadn’t invaded some other country then. Can India negotiate with the US now? And I’d like to explain why this issue is so important for India. That’s the India-China border crisis. “It is troublesome for India the settlement of the Chinese soldiers on the Line of Actual Control. Intrusion by Chinese troops led to clashes between the troops of both countries. The Indian Army foiled the attempt which happened three days back.”
The border tensions between India and China aren’t over yet. And because of these tensions, the last thing that India would want is that their military supplies become uncertain. So India’s military dependence on Russia is at one side, and on the other side is the budding close relationship between China and Russia. China is Russia’s largest trade partner. And it isn’t that difficult to understand this relationship.
All of us have heard the phrase, The enemy of one’s enemy is a friend. That’s the exact relationship between Russia and China. Both countries are against the US and Europe, and so getting into a partnership with the other would be in their interests. Russia knows that where the US and Europe would impose sanctions on it, China wouldn’t do this to them. And India is worried about Russia and China’s growing relationship. That it might turn dangerous for India. But this isn’t an irrational fear. It is justified because there is historical evidence that Russia has supported China many times instead of India. Such as during the 1962 war.
Tanvi Madan, a foreign policy expert, wrote in her book how Nikita Khrushchev, the President of the Soviet Union during the 1960s, during the Indo-China war, told China that the Soviet Union would support their ‘Chinese brothers’ instead of ‘Indian friends.’ In fact, Khrushchev had delayed the delivery of the MiG aircraft to India. That’s why India is worried that in case of an India-China conflict, will Russia support India?
Some of you may say, even though India is dependent on Russia, Russia is also dependent on India. Because 25% of the defence exports of Russia come to India. Tanvi Madan claims that Vladimir Putin is a person who is ready to bear hardships for something he wants. Take the Russia-Ukraine war itself.
Most experts believe that a full scale invasion would be a loss to Russia. But Vladimir Putin is still doing this, so what guarantee do we have that during a India-China conflict Russia wouldn’t stop military supplied to India?
Another proof of China and Russia’s growing fondness was the example I cited at the beginning of the Article. The Beijing Olympics instance. But I’d like to focus on another point.
What about the people of Russia? Do they support this invasion?
The answer to this is quite disappointing. The TV channels in Russia are full of propaganda. They brainwash their own people with imaginary stories. If Russian newspapers and media channels are to be believed, it is Ukraine that actually wants to start a war. That they want to start a war in the separatist areas. And Russia is trying to ‘protect’ them. In the very first line of the Article, I told you that the troops that Russia has sent into the separatist areas, they sent them in the name of ‘Peacekeeping.’ Putin tells his people, that the actions taken by Russia are simply to foster peace. And that it is NATO and Ukraine that want to start a war. And unfortunately, when the Russians were asked about their opinion, most of them believed this. Even though they don’t want a war they believe that it is Ukraine and the Ukrainian soldiers who are trying to provoke Russia. This is true at all.
I know for sure that we have never taken any aggressive actions, Never. Russia is only defending itself. Ukraine has always been a traitorous country. Always. They’ve always betrayed everyone. NATO does whatever it wants to.”
According to a CNN Opinion Poll, 50% of the Russians believe that using military force against Ukraine would be the right thing if they want to stop it from joining NATO. But 43% of Russians believe that if we want to reunite Ukraine with Russia, it would be wrong to use military force for it. Although, 36% of Russians believe that it would be right. They believe that they can force Ukraine with military forces into reuniting with Russia. This is a huge number. 1/3rd of the population of your country agrees to attacking another country for reunification. This isn’t good. After hearing this, you would understand the magnitude of influence these propaganda-filled news channels have on people. About 2/3rds of people in Russia, watch the news through their TV. That’s why a strong impact of it is seen on the people.
When the pliable media runs imaginary news stories, somewhat like this, “Putin and Biden will abide by Modi’s decisions.” A matter that has nothing to do with Modi, they still have to include him there so that the process of false praises continues non-stop. And people are actually influenced by this. Anyhow, if we return to Russia and Ukraine, it is being said that if this invasion takes place, and a war breaks out, this would be the most devastating war in Europe since World War II.
All of us know what happened in World War II. Any sensible person wouldn’t want a repeat of that.
I hope you found this Article informative. And let’s meet in the next Article. Thank you very much!