ISSN 2330-717X

Ukraine Under Siege – OpEd

By

When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain?”    

Advertisement

When the hurly-burly’s done, When the battle’s lost and won”.   — Macbeth

Above are the famous lines uttered by the three witches “weird sisters” in Macbeth. They are full of nuisances with supernatural powers at their disposal. Thunder, lighting, and rain symbolize terror and darkness. Another witch replies that they will meet when the chaos and confusion of the war are over and the result of the war is declared. The witches with their supernatural abilities have an idea of war result. Shakespeare uses this supernatural element in the play in order to make prophecies. How true that these prophecies can be applied to the whole Ukraine play.

The three main players can be near compared to America, NATO and Russia playing the role of the spoilers to result into this avoidable Ukraine invasion. In my earlier articles I have reiterated that the US role of interferences and regime changes the world over. Russia’s Putin repeating “Russia will not invade Ukraine” but Russian actions on ground of massing troops along the Ukraine border were not in line with the promises.                                                     

All three (America-NATO-Russia) and the Russian sibling Ukraine of over 300 years need to share the blame for the devastation created in Ukraine which could have been easily avoided. Ukraine after seeing the situation should have been intelligent enough to declare that the country will keep away from NATO to avoid the obvious Russian invasion as ultimately the battle was to be on the Ukraine soil. US and NATO as it would not have lost anything in human sufferings. Sufferer was well known would in any circumstance would have been Ukraine – ‘the writing was on the wall’ but not taken seriously by the Ukrainian President Zelensky. He relied on false promises, virtual strength of the US and the NATO. Once Putin declared the war on Ukraine it would have been wise of Zelesky to raise the ‘White Flag’ knowing well that his country can in manner block and fight the far superior Russian Armed Forces especially when the US and NATO were not prepared to fight physically. Sanctions cannot block a determined strong leader like Putin with a stronger force who has  experienced such sanctions earlier. 

Zelenskyy, appealed to global leaders, “if you don’t help us now, if you fail to offer a powerful assistance to Ukraine, tomorrow the war will knock on your door.”

Advertisement

Recent events are showing that the UN world body is failing to ensure that international law and moral ethics are followed. The influence over the UN by the US is slowly shifting to China the world’s most emerging economic power. UN in the Ukraine crisis has sadly failed to influence any decisions. It has been totally sidelined by the US and Russia.                    

Spoiler actions leading to the Ukraine invasion.

  • In order to woo Ukraine, Washington claimed it “stands with Ukraine,” and repeatedly promised it would protect Ukraine. After having pushed Ukraine into war, it stepped aside and left Ukraine alone to bear the burden and that is for the world to see now Ukraine suffers.
  • The US has opposed Russian gas on the grounds that direct supply of gas to Europe would strengthen Russia’s economic and political influence over the region.The US wishes to sell its liquified natural gas to Europe.
  • None of the NATO members except US is interested in the present created avoidable crisis.Germany and France have their own economic interests of Oil and Gas from Russia. 
  • The continuous eastward expansion of NATO pushed by the US has squeezed Russia’s strategic space. NATO with the exception of Germany and Italy, majorities say Ukraine should become a member of the alliance.
  • Russia has no choice but to launch the military operations.“Territorial integrity of Russia can’t be compromised. We won’t give in to threats and blackmail. We will employ all means – all legal means – at our disposal to quell those who dream of taking away any part of Russian territory.” Vladimir Putin 
  • Russia’s sibling Ukraine has lived together for more than 300 years. However, Ukraine moved closer to west taking an anti-Russian path similar to that of the Baltic countries. Convinced that with the backing of the US, it is safe for them to be hostile to Russia. This has long irritated Russians. Ukraine, therefore is a warning to the rest of Eastern Europe.
  • Russia is experienced to US West combined sanctions and now Russians are not much worried especially with China standing by its side.
  • After annexing Crimea on 18 March 2014, Russia started looking at the two separatist regions – Donetsk and Luhansk, referred to as the Donbas region of Ukraine. Ever since the annexation of Crimea, the pro-Russian separatists in the above two regions within the Donbas were fighting against the Ukraine state.

Tensions over Ukraine’s future with NATO became a primary concern between Russia  and the US. Russia wanted certain written guarantees over Ukraine joining the EU and NATO.  Multiple discussions were held but the primary difference  over the future of Ukraine remained. The Ukraine crisis will embolden mainland China for the ‘invasion’ of the Taiwan island. Taiwan fears of being abandoned by the US has now heightened seeing Ukraine’s plight. China will never allow anyone to separate Taiwan from it with this development with the UN, US and NATO failed to protect Ukraine. US performance during the Ukraine crisis should serve as a warning to “Taiwan independence”. Washington is not a reliable partner on whom Taiwan has totally pinned their own fate of their protection. The US promises are unreliable. Putin’s challenge in Europe has upset the US but also elsewhere. China may emerge as the biggest beneficiary; without firing a single shot, it would pin the US back in Europe. This would also prevent the US from having a larger push in the Indo-Pacific.

The UN occupies a unique place in international politics and holds unparalleled legal authority. Charged with maintaining international peace and security, it is the sole international body that can authorize the use of international force and enact multilateral sanctions. Its P5 have the largest militaries in the world and can unilaterally veto any action; while they often have divergent interests and foreign policy objectives, they value the UNSC itself as a coordinating venue for resolving complicated multilateral problems. Putin has challenged the existing world order with his actions. Even if the UN want to take any action Russia itself will veto and so will China. World leaders are speaking to Putin, both President Xi and PM Modi have requested him to negotiate peace with Ukraine.

Beijing has followed a cautious diplomatic line on the crisis and refused to call it an “invasion” or condemn the actions of Russia, its close ally. China’s President Xi Jinping said he supported solving the Ukraine crisis through talks in a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Macbeth and Putin both held or hold a very high amount of power. Both are ruthless leaders willing to do whatever it takes to gain control and hold on to it, at any cost. Shakespeare’s Macbeth starts out as a noble military man, regarded as courageous by many. Similarly, Putin started out in the KGB, which is associated with the Russian military. Macbeth and Putin both display how gaining a high position of power quickly and forcefully can leave someone both unstable and unstoppable. They are related in the ways they gain control, how respected they are, their tragic flaws, and how much power they actually hold. Though one is fictional and one is still alive and currently ruling. Fictional Macbeth is being played  real in Europe’s Ukraine. (Macbeth and Putin Relationship gram.com/essay)

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.