31 outubro, 2021

Anti-Russian Hysteria, Part 55



Russian tanks by the Ukrainian border.

in Wilson Centre at The Russian Military Build-up on Ukraine's Border | An Expert Analysis | Wilson Centre

 Last Spring, we witnessed yet another surge of anti-Russia hysteria. Like most and previous hysteria situations, this one will fizzle away without a bang.

 This latest hysterical strain is based on a Russian onslaught of Ukraine. The story originated in Ukraine (where else?) and quickly and predictably spread to Washington, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, etc.

 The ruse, yes that’s what it is, started with the Ukraine deploying troops and weapons to the Donbas region. After this move, Russia responded by deploying troops and weapons systems along the Ukrainian border to engage in a series of military exercises. Yes, it could also be the start-up to an assault on Ukraine, or part of it, but that was not the most likely scenario.

 Bottom line: there will be no Russian attack unless Kiev escalates and slides into a full-fledged conflict.

 Why did all of this happen?

 The Ukrainian President, Zelensky, has been falling in the opinion polls, so he thought that confronting Moscow would enable a wave of nationalism that would foster his public support. This, in turn, opened the way to try to press the US to deliver more weapons’ systems, namely the Patriot missile.

 Being aware of the anti-Russian stance of most Western powers (United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Poland), it could count on them for military aide and/or political and moral support.

 Finally, it was hoped that it could help to change or terminate the Minsk II Protocol concerning the Donbas status and situation, signed by Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France and which Kiev has been refusing to respect.

 The Russians responded in kind by spreading their troops and weapons along the Russian-Ukrainian border. First and foremost, this was an unequivocal message to Kiev not to cross a red line, or else… Furthermore, the message goes to European countries like France and Germany that it is better not to play with fire, or they can get burnt.

 The rejection of the Minsk agreement, the renewed attack on the Donbas and, especially, an invitation to Ukraine to adhere to NATO, are Moscow’s red lines, the latter two probably Leading to the outbreak of war.

 Why did it not spark a conflict between the several actors involved?

 Ukraine did not do it, because she could well be crushed or punished by Russia.

 Russia did not do it, because she held the best trumps over both Kiev and the West.

 The West did not do it, because it lacked the means, the courage, the support and the will to confront the Russian bear.

 In the end, we witnessed a long episode of chest-thumping with no losers, but where Russia clearly showed that she had the upper-hand.

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