The Ukraine-Russia war is escalating and the death toll is rising. Although the UN emergency meeting voted to condemn the tragedy as “imposed war”, Russia is calling it a special military operation.
Many countries, including Pakistan, considered it appropriate to abstain from voting and showed their neutrality. It is too early to say how the situation will turn out. Analysts have so far called for it to prove Russia’s war frenzy, especially Putin’s, and have expressed fears of restoring the borders or map of the old Soviet Union. But there is another side to this whole situation. Let’s take a look at this aspect as well.
Putin is very popular among Russians. Whatever the factors behind it, such as patriotism or the standard of living, or the restoration of Russia’s lost identity, or revenge for the wounds inflicted in World War II. Former Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop recently said in an interview that Putin is a strong man who can take any kind of risk. She speaks very good English which impressed her too. They are very calm under pressure. This is what Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said about Putin during his recent visit to Russia, where he was to mediate. During Julie Bishop’s tenure, Russia shot down a militia plane flying over Ukraine with a missile. The attack killed at least 300 people, including 30 Australians.
On December 24, 2021, Putin issued a statement on Islamophobia, causing a sensation around the world. He said that insulting Muhammad (PBUH) is not freedom of expression at all. At the time, no one imagined that Russia would send troops to Ukraine. Now, in this context, some troops from Chechnya and Syria have entered Ukraine and are fighting alongside Russia. Was this statement to please the Muslim world, especially the Muslims in Europe? This cannot be said with certainty, but the UAE’s absence from the UN vote could be a link in the same chain.
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It has also become clear that falling oil prices, which have hurt the economies of many countries, are now moving backwards. These are all speculations, but in such a big decision you need friends, especially bad companions. That is why Pakistan also extended its visit to Russia, did not end it. Similarly, Putin made harsh statements at the beginning of the war, preventing NATO from jumping into the fray.
Some analysts have already called the war a failure of Russia, citing the Kremlin’s intention to occupy Ukraine in three to four days and declare it an independent state. But there is more to it than that.
Russia has targeted military installations, encircled civilian areas and forced people to flee to neighboring European countries. This will put a heavy burden on the economies of these countries. About 1.5 million people are currently displaced from Ukraine. The second goal seems to be to show them the face of the West, how they did nothing to save Ukraine in this difficult time. Nor did he make any effort to stop Russia, and leave Ukraine at this bad time – the same thing has been said by the Ukrainian Foreign Minister himself to the United States many times, and enough by the Ukrainian people and the army. There is grief and anger.
NATO countries and their allies have imposed heavy sanctions on Russia to put pressure on it. These sanctions will not last long, as the European economy has not yet fully recovered from Corona. Russia itself has been preparing for this war for 14 years. Russia has an estimated 30 630 billion in reserves, and a boycott of a prosperous country like Russia, with a GDP of 00 1700 billion, could cost Europe dearly.
Russia’s bloc currently has many allies and longtime friends, such as China, India and the Middle East. This scenario is still very blurred. All parties will have to sit at the negotiating table, but on whose terms, only time will tell.