War in Ukraine: What is the end game for Putin? - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Wednesday, March 2, 2022

War in Ukraine: What is the end game for Putin?

By Dr. Tapiwa Mashakada, Maji-Marefu Institute of International Relations and Security Studies

The invasion of the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine by Russia was predictable and compelled by sovereign security concerns. NATO is pushing its orbit and sphere of influence to Russia's door steps and that is unacceptable for any superpower. The geo-politics of the Euroasia region shifted dramatically with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 at the behest of  the CIA and its mole,  Michael Gorbachev. America succeeded in destroying the huge Soviet Empire which spanned Estonia, Latvia,  Belarus,  Lithuania,  Armenia,  Georgia,  Ukraine,  Uzbekistan,  Tajikistaj,  Turkmenia and other Soviets. The soviet union had become  become an imperial super power which also extended its orbit to communist Eastern European countries like Poland,  Romania, Bulgaria,  Hungary,  Czechoslovakia.

The soviet union extended its communist orbit to as far as Cuba,  Yugoslavia and Africa. This sparked a serious cold war in the 1960s,  1970s 1980s with the USA which reached a peak during the 1974 Cuban Missile crisis when the then Soviet leader Kruschev deployed nuclear missiles on the door steps of America.

But in 1991 Gorbachev destroyed the USSR from within leaving Russia economically weakened. Nay, militarily weakened. Russia agreed to disarmament and signed several treaties with America. America and NATO recruited the former Communist countries in Eastern Europe.  This did not end there. NATO  admitted into its membership, most former Soviet Republics like Georgia. America and NATO deployed defence missiles and warships in Eastern Europe and former Soviet States. All this happened in the face of a weakened Russia. 

But for Russia, the most devastating thing was the likelihood of losing Ukraine to NATO. The historical and cultural ties between Ukraine and Russia are strong. A huge Ukranian population is either Russian or speak Russian. Russian gas pipes to Europe pass through Ukraine. One of the biggest Soviet era nuclear plants called Chenobyl is in Ukraine. Ukraine gives Russia a geopolitical access to the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. 

*The genesis of the Russo-Ukranian Conflict:

In 2014 an Ukrainian pro-Russian  President was ousted by prodemocracy groups backed by the EU and America. The ousted President fled to Russia. Following the ouster, Russian speaking regions in eastern Ukraine rebelled and fought bitter independence wars with Ukraine for their sovereignty. Ukraine responded by heavy force and committed genocide in the breakaway Regions which were quickly recognized by Russia.  Ukraine continued to attack and bomb the Russian speaking separatist region and Moscow responded by annexing Crimea from Ukraine. This gave Russia access to the Black Sea. This angered NATO and America who responded by deploying missiles in the region. 

In view of all these hostile acts by America and NATO,  Russia had no choice except to arm itself and be ready for war. Ukraine continued its anti-Russian mantra and applied to join NATO. This was the last stroke for Russia. How can Russia be comfortable with a NATO member on its border?. So the invasion of Ukraine was a pre-emptive security maneuver to secure the strategic interests of Russia.  The objectives of the invasion are 3 fold:

Firstly to stop Ukraine from joining NATO. Secondly to stop Ukranian genocide in the eastern breakaway regions of Dones'k and others. Thirdly,  to give a warning to Nato and America against the militarization of the Euroasian region and eastern Europe. 

The war is meant to achieve peace and security in the region. The EU and America have imposed sanctions on Russia but Russia is unfazed. The war in Ukraine is a do or die for Russia. NATO and its Allies have deployed lethal weapons in Ukraine. It is a proxy World War 3. Talks have been called in Switzerland between the belligerents. Russia's demands are that:

1. Ukraine surrenders

2. Ukraine stops genocide in the eastern region

3. Ukraine stops joining NATO

4. NATO stops the deployment of missiles and warships in the region.

Meanwhile a humanitarian disaster is looming. Thousands of Ukranian citizens are fleeing to Poland and neighbouring countries. Regrettably,  African and Indian students are prevented from leaving. There is naked racism happening in Ukraine. This is most unfortunate. I hope that Zimbabwean students and nationals are safe.

NATO is mistaken to think that Russia wants to reestablish its Soviet empire. I dont think this is correct. The Soviet Union is gone. The egg cannot be unscrambled. The security threats faced by Russia are real and must be addressed. America must stop her double standards. It was good for USA to invade Afghanistan but wrong for Russia to invade Ukraine?  What is good for the goose must be good for the gander.


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