Four months down the line after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, short of Russia using the ‘Nuclear Option’ or capitulating to ‘direct talks’ with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy (Ukraine’s condition for ceasefire dialogue), Russia’s global strategic stature of a resurgent Russia stands severely blunted and so also its quest to re-emerge as an alternative global power centre.
Russia has consequently suffered grievous losses flowing from inability to imposing overwhelming Russian military might on virtually defenceless Ukraine in an all-out war which Russia wanted the world to believe that Russian invasion of Ukraine was ‘Special Operations’.
Russia’s perceptionaly loss of its ‘ Global Strategic Stature’ post-Ukraine Invasion and implications emerging from it need to be examined on multiple planes to grasp the full import of heavy damage inflicted on Russia’s global strategic stature by Russian President Putin’s ill-advised and ill-timed ‘War of Choice’
Geopolitically, Russia in June 2022 stands diminished and will no longer be viewed as an alternative power-centre rivalling the United States. Russia today stands diplomatically isolated in global affairs with its dubious support resting on China, North Korea and Pakistan.
Russia has lost heavily post-Ukraine Invasion on its long-standing strategic partnership with India. India may have stepped back from outright condemnations of Russia in United Nations and bought cheap embargoed Russian oil but within India there is widespread condemnation of Russian military adventurism.
Indians draw parallels with Chinese similar military adventurism against India on the Himalayan Borders with China Occupied Tibet.
Post-Ukraine Invasion, Russia has been more intensely pushed into China’s strategic and economic embrace reducing Russia to a China-dependent client-state. Russia on present indications has limited geopolitical, strategic and economic space to wriggle out from the China cleft-stick. This reduces Russia’s global leverages.
The United States and NATO are in an undeclared ‘war state’ with Russia on its Ukraine Invasion. What is unfolding is a proxy war intensely crafted by them to ‘bleed Russian might’ in Ukraine strategically enfeebling Russia.
In overall strategic terms, Russia was for some years were being viewed as the B-Team of China. Post-Ukraine Invasion, Russia’s sole counterweight to Western Powers in stark realism terms gets limited solely to China and the Russia-China Axis. This is a demeaning loss of global strategic stature for Russia as an erstwhile Superpower rivalling the United States, with China then nowhere in sight.
Consequently, Russia’s global stature inn strategic and military strength and combat effectiveness stands severely dented. Russia’s personnel, military hardware and materiel losses have been heavy and with an enfeebled Russian economy would take decades to recoup.
In my very first Eurasia Analysis on Ukraine on March 5 2022,I had predicted that Russia’s Ukraine invasion would ultimately end-up as Russia’s “Afghanistan 2.0”. Precisely, unfolding military developments with unprecedented Ukrainian Resistance stiffened by advanced military weapons increasingly supplied by United States and NATO has resulted in ‘bleeding of Russian military might’ in Ukraine.
Perceptionaly, the strategic loss to Russia’ becomes more telling on global perceptions of its strategic might as 24/7 TV media coverage flowing from Ukraine theatre of war visually highlight Russian losses of its tanks, APCs, attack helicopters and Russian Navy battleships torpedoed and sunk in Black Sea by Ukraine Resistance. In addition the Russian Army has suffered heavy personnel losses in thousands including half a dozen Russian Army Generals.
Ukraine too has suffered heavily with Russian Army’s indiscriminate bombardment of civilian urban centres and infrastructure. But what has come to the fore is that four months down the line Russia has failed miserably to break the ‘National Will’ of the Ukrainian people to submit to Russian military might.
Summing-up Russia’s military losses in its Ukraine Invasion it is starkly evident that Russian overwhelming conventional military power has been militarily ineffective, Russian Army’s military prowess resting on massed use of firepower is questionable and so also is questionable the ‘fighting will’ of Russian Army.
Economically, Russia’s economic strength and resilience stands emasculated by US & Western sanctions applied post-Ukraine Invasion. Russian economy will be more strangled by Western sanctions if Russian President Putin persists in ‘Turning Defeat into Victory’.
Russia’s vast energy resources on whose high global prices Russian economic stability rested and which provided a $ 400 billion military build-up now is threatened by stringent Western economic sanctions.
Economic deprivations are likely to fuel domestic political discontent with serious implications for stability of the Russian State. Initial indicators are already are emerging to the fore.
In conclusion, what can be summed up is that Russian President Putin’s ‘War of Choice’ in Ukraine Invasion has badly misfired and not only endangers President Putin’s longevity in power at Russia’s helm but more seriously sets-back Russia by decades in its quest for regaining its global stature as an alternative centre of power.