Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently deployed a massive arsenal of missiles and rockets to Ukraine’s southern border. While this is clearly a war, it is also important to note that the military strength of the two countries is very different. A stalemate may develop, and Russia may declare victory. In the meantime, Ukraine may find itself defending its border with Russian troops, resulting in an even greater military expense for Russia.
In the wake of these events, Ukrainian national identity is gaining strength. As a result, the continued Russian involvement in the country has played a vital role in the development of the nation. However, it has failed to keep Ukraine in the fold. Despite the numerous advantages of military intervention, it is unclear whether or not Russia can rely on this approach. The question now remains: Will Putin use military force to prevent a Ukrainian invasion?
Putin’s use of force is an expression of desperation, and his decision to ignore the Ukrainian population’s will to self-determination is a result of that. In his February 21 address, Putin effectively denied the Ukrainian identity and legitimacy, and this is a symptom of his desperation. Russia is unlikely to be able to achieve its objectives in Ukraine unless it can convince Ukrainians that they are worthy of a nation-state.
While the Russian government has been announcing an intention to fight the Ukrainian opposition, the US and its NATO allies are rebuffing this move. The US and its allies have imposed sanctions on Moscow in response to the Russian actions. Russia has also stopped practical cooperation with NATO and ordered the closure of its office in Moscow. It also suspended the accreditation of NATO’s mission to Russia. In the meantime, Putin has warned those countries that were supposed to come to Ukraine’s aid to avoid a potential war.