By Paul Goble
Many commentators suggested and some in Moscow may have hoped that the outbreak of violence in the Middle East would lead the West to reduce its support for Ukraine, but in fact, it has had the opposite effect, according to Paris-based Russian scholar Gasan Guseynov.
In an appreciation of the October 2-4 Warsaw Security Forum meeting, Guseynov says that what the Hamas attack on Israel and Israel’s response have done is to lead more in the West to draw an analogy between Hamas and Russia and thus Israel and Ukraine (rfi.fr/ru/в-мире/20231019-варшава-или-путевые-заметки-вместо-репортажа).
He suggests that the linking of the two has fundamentally changed the narratives many in the West has accepted and ensured that the West will if anything do even more for Ukraine than it has up to now, viewing Russia as resembling Hamas in its willingness to use violence to get its way.
This shift was subsequently highlighted by US President Joe Biden’s speech that addressed both of these conflicts at the same time and explicitly linked them as examples of the kind of situations in which the forces of democracy and order must stand firm against the forces of authoritarianism and chaos.
Guseynov says that among those who are yet to come to terms with this new reality are many in the Russian liberal opposition who so far refuse to see that their unwillingness to consider the need for Russia’s defeat in Ukraine will undermine their standing with those who understand that that war is a crime that must be stopped and blocked from happening again.