ISSN 2330-717X

The Ukraine War: Changing Contours – OpEd

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Having studied Mackinder’s  ‘Heartland Theory’ over half a century back in school,it now appears to be somewhat coming true in the form of Russia Ukraine War. “He who rules Eastern Europe commands the Heartland.He who rules the Heartland commands the World Island(Europe&Asia) and He who rules the World Island commands the world.”

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The Ukraine War with every week is turning out to be a more and more ‘Confused War’ with changing Contours and remotely controlled by the US led West through their proxy Ukraine’s Zelensky who is fighting the war for the West. Ukraine War’s complexities and global implications, have not been adequately projected by the world leaders or the over dominating western media. Most commonly, the Ukraine War has been depicted as the Ukraine War wherein  Ukraine is simply defending against the Russian invasion.But as you see this ongoing war is not so simple as being portrayed to the populace.The Russia-Ukraine conflict which was driven by geopolitics to start with; however it  has now become more of a Geo-economic conflict for the world. It is really becoming complex by every passing day for the world.

The general western media portrayal has been to demonizing Putin as a War Criminal who has the grandiose project of restoring the boundaries of erstwhile Soviet Union.  What the dominating western media by design tends to  forget mentioning  is the US Government policy agenda of inflicting a humiliating defeat on Russia through this proxy Ukraine War and contain Russia to re-emerge as a super power.US through this war seeks to remind Russia and China in particular that only the US possesses the will, authority, and capabilities to act as the policeman guardian of global security  on the planet.

Changing Contours 

  • Origin of the  ongoing conflict. The Ukraine Revolution of February 2014, culminating in the Ukrainian Government being overthrown. This event was quickly followed by Russia’s annexation of the 27,000 square km  of Crimean Peninsula in March 2014. Russian-backed separatists then captured the Donbas- a region in Eastern Ukraine controlled by the separatist Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. 
  • Recognising Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics on 21 February 2022 by the Russian President formally  much to Ukraine’s annoyance.  
  • ‘Special Military Operation’ launched by Russia, on 24Feb 2022. It has been more than three months into military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine and there are no signs of positive negotiations towards ceasefire or ending the war.
  • US led NATO and her allies  encouraged Ukraine and gave the impression that they would support Ukraine in case Russia embarks upon military adventure. A very significant political issue that has drawn attention is reluctance of US and her allies to join the conflict directly due to fear of initiating third world war. The Russia nuclear threat  is also one of the  factors that has kept the west away to participate directly in the war.
  • West supply weapons to Ukraine :NATO Secretary-General  said “NATO is ready to support Ukraine for years in the war against Russia with modern Western military equipment and weapons.We need to be prepared for the long term…There is absolutely the possibility that this war will drag on and last for months and years.President Joe Biden will ask Congress for $33 billion to support Ukraine funding for its war against Russia.To stand up to the Russian might Ukraine is being actively supported and led by the US ,NATO,EU and Europe through supply of all kinds of Switchbladesuicidal ‘Kamikaje’ drones, anti-tank weapons and heavy weapons. 
  • Large reserves  of critical natural resources(Lithium, titanium) in Ukraine is an essential driving factor of the conflict because the logic of economic interest is what primarily determines the foreign relations.Russia, China, and Turkey were the largest importing states of titanium from Ukraine in 2021.Ukraine has strong industrial bases in aerospace, shipbuilding, steel making and manufacturing of defense equipment. 
  • Critical mineral industry on the global stage :“The Russian invasion came when Ukraine’s critical mineral industry was trying to develop into a major player in the clean energy transition to enhance the strategic importance of Ukraine on the global stage.” Ukrainian President  Zelensky said.
  • Ukraine  proven oil reserves and the second-largest natural gas reserves in the West. The natural resources and critical minerals are perceived as a concealed factor of the Ukraine war, reflecting Russia and Europeans Geo-economic objectives. 
  • Ukraine is a crucial transit route for Russia to reach the global market. In this context, Russia and Ukraine signed various agreements. For instance, both countries signed a transit agreement in 2019 to transfer Russian gas to Europe via the largest gas transportation system in Ukraine.
  • US not  letting  Nord Stream 2 pipeline commissioning seems to have rattled Russia the most  which was already complete with due agreements.This significantly  came as a blow to Russia’s economic interests and national ambitions.

Food Security:Finally the Contours of the conflict have shifted from Geo-politics, Geo-economics to the Food Security and its blame game :The UN World Food Programme, David Beasley has  said: “Right now Ukraine’s grain silos are full. At the same time, 44 million people around the world are marching towards starvation. We have to open up these ports so that food(wheat) can move  out of Ukraine. The world demands it because hundreds of millions of people globally depend on food that comes through these ports.”Russian UN Ambassador;“If you do not want to lift your sanctions of choice, then why are you accusing us of causing this food crisis? Why is it that as a result of your irresponsible geopolitical games, the poorest countries and regions must suffer?” 

The geographical position of Ukraine presents the global powers to seek  control of Ukraine for their strategic economic interests. It has access to the Black Sea via the Odesa port and is a junction point for the Europe and Russia. That’s why; powers need to control Ukraine at any cost due to their Geo-economic objectives. Hence it appears the Geo-economic implications are playing up more than Geo-politics as the reasons why  the US-led Western allies are ready to go to great lengths in this conflict to not let its hold on Ukraine. 

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Reference:

Geo-Economic Contours Of Russian Ukraine War –  Dr. Iqtidar Hussain 

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

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