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‘Skirmishes’ In The Global Village

Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin‘s decision to invade Ukraine shocked and terrified the entire world on February 24, 2022. A year has passed since then. At that period of time, no one could have even imagined that the war would continue in such a terrible form for more than a year. Ukraine has been destroyed in the past one year. Most importantly, the global community has realised that the Russia-Ukraine War is going to be a milestone in modern history, as the entire world is about to change in various ways.

Right now, Ukraine is facing two possibilities: a) Continuous attacks to be carried out by Russia. Many people will perish, many cities will be destroyed, and there will also be unrest within the Russian Federation. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy has expressed such a fear in a recent interview. b) The war could spread beyond a particular territory. In that case, President Putin’s desire to gamble with nuclear weapons might increase. The Russian President has already freezed the Nuclear Deal (the New START Treaty or Treaty on reduction of strategic offensive arms) with Washington DC, making US President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr and other Western leaders horrified, as well as angry. In other words, there is a possibility that Russia may trigger a major war in the near future.

Foreign Policy experts are of the opinion that the US and the Western European powers (or NATO member states) would have to play a larger and more active role in the Eastern European arena… even if President Putin agrees to sign a ceasefire accord. It is because any ceasefire in Ukraine is unlikely to last (just like the Israel-Palestine conflict or the Kashmir issue). Experts have predicted that Russia’s relations with the former Soviet Republics (especially with Ukraine) would remain explosive. In that case, another situation similar to that of Israel would emerge, and the Western camp shall always feel responsible for playing a decisive role, including military intervention (if necessary).

Both the procurement and supply of arms are rapidly increasing in the 21st Century. In a rare first since 1945, NATO has gotten involved in such a large-scale war in the third decade of the 21st Century. It is not a coincidence that Finland and Sweden have become NATO members during this crisis period. This development has prompted Russia to come quite a bit closer to China. How the new Moscow-Beijing rapprochement affects the Sino-US rivalry remains to be seen. Experts believe that this new geopolitical duel is going to be quite volatile.

This unfortunate situation is going to have an inevitable impact on the Global Economy, as well. The entire Europe has already started facing an acute energy crisis due to the disruption of energy supply from Russia. Although the recent winter has been comparatively calm than feared, world leaders are worried about the future. Russia and Ukraine produce about 30% of wheat in the world. Hence, there is a danger of shortage in food grains. Different countries are experiencing inflation, and anti-Government protests. Furthermore, new refugee flows from Ukraine are creating social instability in various countries. The year-long Russia-Ukraine War has already pushed the world to a turbulent time.

After carrying out a survey in 28 countries, a renowned international organisation has mentioned in its latest report that 64% of people in those countries have not changed their position on the war between the two former Soviet Republics. These people have been following the developments in Ukraine by sitting in front of their TV sets, and keeping an eye on broadsheets for the past 12 months. As per the survey, Global Public Opinion has not changed a bit in between, as the majority of people believe that Russia has committed a crime by invading Ukraine.

Such an incident has never happened since the end of the Second World War in 1945. According to Defence Experts, the Russia-Ukraine War has made the international community forget various events… how many global platforms and institutions were created for disarmament, crisis resolution and multilateral exchanges after the two terrible World Wars in the 20th Century. Democratic States had made serious efforts to curb corrupt Authoritarian State Powers in the 20th Century. In the 21st Century, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, the Syrian Crisis and the Ukraine War have proven that all those efforts have failed to ensure peace. So, Russia and almost all the Western Democracies are currently concentrating on arms procurement and supply.

Make New Friends, Keep the Old/One is Silver, Other is Gold
Governments of many countries do not want to talk about war for various reasons. For example, India is in great trouble due to the pressure of its friendship with both Russia and the US. New Delhi is not in a position to irk its old friend Moscow. At the same time, the South Asian nation cannot embarrass the US, its new friend; keeping in mind the growing influence of China in Asia. Meanwhile, India’s decision to mediate between Russia and Ukraine has offended the NATO member countries. Perhaps, the reason for the political silence in Europe and the US over the Ukraine issue is the growing influence of Far-Right Politics there. In fact, War is not only about Diplomacy and Politics. It is also related to the issue of Humanity on a large scale. This issue arises from within the society, and not from a State or a Government.

It is not the case that a society can resolve the crisis by creating a stir. The fact is that society is no longer getting restless even during a war. Now, members of the Civil Society follow the developments, but do not get upset. A technology-dominated, epidemic- and financial-crisis-ridden society is now more globalised than ever before, and much more self-centreed. The Ukraine Crisis is a fine example of this.

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