Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 151

Why Russia has never accepted Ukrainian independence

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 25 gennaio 2022

In a special Christmas essay, my colleague Arkady Ostrovsky explained why Russia never came to terms with its separation from Ukraine at the end of the cold war. Now Russia has gathered over 100,000 troops on its western border and in Belarus, with more troops streaming in from the far east every day. It has been decades since Europe has witnessed such a buildup. Western countries have rebuffed Russia’s demands to roll back NATO. Though American and Russian diplomats have not given up on talks, the Kremlin shows little interest in compromise. As tensions rise, diplomats are leaving their embassies in Kyiv and NATO is dispatching jets and warships to shore up its eastern flank. Though war is not inevitable, its likelihood is growing. Should Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, decide to attack, he has plenty of options at his disposal, from air strikes to full-fledged regime change, as I explained in our pages last week. Though Ukraine’s armed forces are stronger than they were in 2014, when Russia first invaded the country, and now have access to thousands of new anti-tank weapons supplied by the West, Russia would have the upper hand—at least in the first days of any conflict. Nevertheless, Mr Putin’s choice is not an easy one. America and Europe are preparing a hard-hitting package of sanctions that would force Russia further into China’s economic embrace. And as we explained in a film and in a briefing last year, his regime is growing steadily more autocratic. Mr Putin may think that a state of permanent tensions with the West helps his cause, but a botched war—one that drags on longer than expected, or results in a stream of body bags—may do little to help him at home. He would not be the first leader of a big power to miscalculate in this way.Shashank Joshi Defence editor The Economist

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