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Tags: ukraine | war | russia

Ukraine: The Second Stage of the War

Ukraine: The Second Stage of the War
Smoke rises during shelling in the city of Severodonetsk, eastern Ukraine on May 21, 2022. (Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty)

By    |   Saturday, 21 May 2022 12:01 PM EDT

With my roots in Eastern Europe, I have a deep distrust of Russia. Throughout modern history, for example, my native Romania was invaded twelve times by Russia. Moreover, Russian expansionism is the same from Romania to Finland and from the Caucasus to Siberia. Today, Russian expansionism is evident in Ukraine.
As an analyst I am pondering: What is happening in Ukraine? Such a dangerous war, I am sure, would not have occurred under President Donald Trump. Who is pushing the United States and Western Europe into a war that could become catastrophic for the entire world--and why?
According to the latest strategic analyses by Washington specialists, China remains America’s and the West’s number one enemy. The West is defined as those countries that have embraced corporate capitalism and American-style liberal democracy. Democracy is increasingly a concept stretched to convince others that one’s political system is the best. 
When reason and logic do not work anymore and diplomacy fails, one resorts to war. This is the case of Ukraine where Russia wanted to impose its own undemocratic political system and to extend its sphere of influence. However, Ukraine is not really democratic, but unlike Russia, it decided to accept a certain role in the West’s global plans. The Russian Federation was also invited to become a part of the new world order, but here is the catch: Russia was offered a secondary role and Moscow said nyet!  And when Ukraine expressed its intention to join the EU and NATO, Moscow put its foot down and resorted to war.
As for the war, which Moscow calls a "special operation," Putin severely miscalculated the conventional wisdom that it would be just a demonstration of strength that would force Kyiv to submit. Against all expectations, the war showed that the Russian military was inefficient and technologically inferior.  More importantly, the West was ready to help Ukraine withstand and even defeat Russia.
In time, what was supposed to be a show of force became a war of attrition and herein lies the danger. Facing a stalemate, Russia turned to plan B and decided to concentrate on the southern region of Ukraine and deny it essential access to the Black Sea. With increasing military aid from America and other Western countries the war is about to enter a point of no return. 
What should the world expect?
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared that he wanted to see Russia weakened “to the degree that it can’t do the kind of things it has done invading Ukraine.”  And U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that he wanted to make sure that Moscow would no longer be capable “to bully its neighbors.” 
Indeed, aggressive Russia deserves a lesson, but Moscow cannot afford to lose this war. A negotiated compromise is needed. Otherwise, if cornered, Moscow could resort to new and even more dangerous weapons -- including nuclear weapons. In the meantime, Putin sent a stern warning to the West to stay out of the conflict and Sergey Lavrov, his Foreign Minister, warned bluntly against provoking WWIII, adding that the possibility of a nuclear conflict “should not be underestimated.” A new world order is in the making, but its birth is risky and awfully difficult. Even if Russia is subdued, China remains a redoubtable enemy.
Nicholas Dima, former professor at the US Army, J.F Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

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With my roots in Eastern Europe, I have a deep distrust of Russia. Throughout modern history, for example, my native Romania was invaded twelve times by Russia.
ukraine, war, russia
Saturday, 21 May 2022 12:01 PM
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