Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 launched the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II. This is a significant issue, as war can have disastrous consequences for the world’s economy. The question is how Ukraine responds, and what the long-term implications may be.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sparked a refugee crisis of enormous proportions. Five million Ukrainians have fled the country. Putin’s decision to use force smacks of desperation. However, the odds of Moscow maintaining a long-term protectorate are dropping daily.
The western world sees the current situation in Ukraine as a major power struggle. But what is the real story?
The Ukrainian people have fought back. They have a largely apolitical population that has refused to give in to Russia’s demands. Some pro-Russian fighters have even appeared to be motivated by belief in Russian fascism.
The Russians have made a number of attempts to stop Ukraine’s progress toward European integration. These attempts have failed.
There is a small chance that the war will end in a military victory for the Russians. While the western Bloc will rally behind the Ukrainians, the Russians will not be forced to do so.
Russia has already suffered a significant amount of material and personnel loss. It has been unable to achieve its stated military objectives. The military losses will hurt Putin’s image at home.
Putin’s speech on February 21, 2011 effectively denounced the legitimacy of the Ukrainian state. He also highlighted the positive contributions of the Soviet era to greatness.