Putin has already partly won. this is the reason.

Putin has already partly won.  this is the reason.

The historian believes that the Russian invasion as of 2022 is not just a war of expansion, but also a war of extermination. The photo shows one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's many campaign posters ahead of the 2018 election.

Despite the relative failure in Ukraine, Moscow has changed the world to its advantage.

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We are approaching the end of the tenth year of the war in Ukraine. The outcome of Moscow's attack on the alleged “brotherly people” of the Russians is paradoxical for the Kremlin.

On one side Russia, as an alleged military superpower, has suffered a reputational disaster.

In 2022, war has become an international fashion for the Russian leadership, army and arms industry. Moscow's campaign in Ukraine has also led to the loss of Western partners, markets, and investors. These and other setbacks It will have far-reaching regional, geopolitical, economic, and perhaps domestic political consequences for Russia.

On the other side There are a number of partly ignored, partly underestimated, consequences of Russia's policy in Ukraine that weaken the international order and the West.

The large-scale Russian invasion of February 24, 2022 has already led to a partial unification of the West. NATO and the European Union have moved closer together in light of the Russian escalation. Western integration, not only between Ukraine, but also Moldova and Georgia, has taken a big step forward since then. Their status as EU candidates.

Despite the positive effects of the confrontation in Eastern Europe, the global political damage caused by the Russian war is enormous. Although this was not the Kremlin's primary goal, it is safe to assume that these secondary effects are in Moscow's interest.

The Russian attack on the global security system weakens the West and international organizations

The present and potential future Revisionism Actors around the world benefit from Russia's undermining of international law and order. The Russian attack on the global security system weakens the West and international organizations. Thus, it strengthens Moscow itself, its anti-Western allies, and other reactionary actors around the world. At least according to the Kremlin's zero-sum calculations.

Excludes Destruction in Ukraine Russia's adventure in Ukraine is the most alarming blow to global stability and cooperation since World War II. Since 1945, there have been several other equally tragic wars around the world with higher casualty tolls.

But the Russian war against Ukraine since 2014, and especially since 2022, has in the sum of its specific characteristics a new quality. Here are five Russian cracks in the world order:

1. NATO's flawed logic

First, in 2014, Russia attacked without provocation a hitherto peaceful and militarily helpless country. The shift in Ukraine's domestic and foreign policy in 2014 was far less dramatic than Russia and its defenders abroad gave it credit for.

Ukrainian minority policy toward ethnic Russians remained tolerant after the Euromaidan Revolution, and only became more restrictive as a result of the war. Ukrainian right-wing extremism Still weak by European standards. The 2014 EU-Ukraine Association Agreement did not conflict with the then Russia-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement.

Ukraine's membership in NATO, which was much regretted in 2014, remains a distant possibility today.

Ukraine's membership in NATO, which was much regretted in 2014, remains a distant possibility today. According to the logic of this popular excuse for President Vladimir Putin's behavior, Russia should have withdrawn its forces from Moldova long ago, as Moldova has officially been non-aligned since 1994.

Conversely, Moscow should have attacked Finland in response to the country's application for NATO membership in 2022. Admittedly, the Russian-Finnish border is not as long as the Russian-Ukrainian border. But the annexation of Finland in April 2023 made the total length of the NATO-Russia border almost double what it was before.

The merger also put St. Petersburg, Putin's hometown, in a precarious position. The second Russian capital is now located close to NATO. Both to the west on the Estonian side and to the northeast on the Finnish side.

But other than some noise, there has been no major Russian reaction. Over the past two years, Russia has withdrawn its forces from the Northern Military District on the Russian-Finnish border.

2. Extraordinary foreign policy

Second, the Russian invasions in 2014 and 2022 were not merely a temporary occupation of the conquered territories. On the Russian side, the invasion led to a final and complete annexation. First by the Ukrainian Karim and then by four other regions in southeastern Ukraine.

Such an apparent war to expand a state's territory at the expense of an internationally recognized neighboring state is not unique, but it became an unusual foreign policy after 1945.

3. Genocide approach

Third, the Russian invasion beginning in 2022 constitutes not only a war of expansionism, but also a war of annihilation. The goal is to abolish Ukraine as an independent state and eliminate the Ukrainian nation as a cultural community separate from Russia.

Moscow's genocidal intentions are not expressed only in verbal statements. But also in a number of forms of mass terrorist behaviour:

  • Deliberate bombing of civilian infrastructure
  • Targeted destruction of Ukrainian cultural institutions
  • Mass smuggling of Ukrainian civilians through so-called liquidation camps
  • The arbitrary treatment and killing of hundreds of civilians and prisoners of war
  • – Mass deportation of tens of thousands of children
  • Russification campaigns in the occupied territories
  • Re-education camps for minors and adult Ukrainians

This genocidal approach is not unique, not even after 1945. However, it has never been practiced in this form by any permanent member of the UN Security Council outside its own territory.

4. The United Nations as an instrument of expansion

In connection with this, there is a fourth distinctive feature of war. Russia's targeted use of the seat on the UN Security Council, which it inherited from the Soviet Union in 1991, to diplomatically accompany a war of annihilation and politically secure territorial expansion.

With this approach, since 2014, Russia has turned the original function of the United Nations on its head. The United Nations, once established to protect international law, especially the borders, integrity and sovereignty of states, has become in Russia's hands an instrument of expansion.

5. The nuclear agreement was turned upside down

The far-reaching consequences of Moscow's behavior on the global security system are linked to a fifth aspect: the nuclear aspect. Russia possesses nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Ukraine did not do that.

In light of this, Ukraine, the West and the rest of the world are calculating their actions and signals. The most scandalous thing in this constellation is just that Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)The agreement, which has been in force since 1970, allows Russia to possess nuclear weapons but prohibits Ukraine from possessing or building such weapons.

Similar to the paradoxical effects of Russia's seat on the UN Security Council, Moscow has turned the meaning of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty on its head. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was intended to be a peacekeeping instrument. But its continued implementation, viewed in the context of Russia's behavior with today's non-nuclear Ukraine, has enabled an expansionist war.

Post-war cemeteries

With its war against Ukraine since 2014 and its escalation since 2022, Russia has not only shaken the liberal world order. The war also shook public order in Europe, if not humanity as a whole.

Russian attacks are not only targeting democracy in Ukraine. It also targets the state of Ukraine, its borders, sovereignty, identity and integrity.

The undermining effects of this behavior for a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the official nuclear-weapon state under the Non-Proliferation Treaty are exacerbated by the passive or ineffective behavior of other members of the Security Council, other nuclear-weapon states and other nuclear states. Several powerful Western countries – primarily Germany.

Other members of the Security Council, other nuclear-weapon states and many powerful Western states – primarily Germany – are acting passively or ineffectively.

The massive sanctions imposed by the West on Moscow since 2022 have hindered the Russian war and weakened the economy. But so far they have been unable to impose any basic restrictions on Russia. Not to mention that they ended the war. Western arms shipments to Ukraine remain hesitant and slow. It is still limited and excludes some important types of weapons.

The war waged by Russia often indirectly, and sometimes directly, affects the security interests of European and other countries.

This applies, for example, to Russian missiles operating near Ukrainian nuclear power plants, targeting the embassy district in Kiev, or destroying Ukrainian grain silos. Even if their security is threatened or weakened by the Russian war, even militarily strong European countries entrust the protection of their national interests on Ukrainian territory to the Ukrainian armed forces only.

Mirage?

International participation in non-military aid to Ukraine remains modest. Today it is discussed intensely in the West:

  • Transferring Moscow's frozen funds to Kiev?
  • Punishing Russian mass human rights violations in occupied Ukrainian territories?
  • Bring back tens of thousands of Ukrainian children deported from Russia to their homeland?

But so far few relevant practical measures have been taken to implement these similarly noble intentions. Instead, the widening gap between public discourse and political practice gives the impression that the liberal world order is a mirage.

It is true that Russia itself is on the wrong track as a revitalized empire, and will emerge from the war losing. On the other hand, the Kremlin has made great progress in its efforts to destroy the post-1945 world order.

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Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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