Russia-Ukraine conflict prolonged

ByDr. Tahseen Mahmood Aslam

Designation: is an educationist with wide experience


June 19, 2022

Russia-Ukraine conflict prolonged

Dr. Tahseen Mahmood Aslam describes increasing risks of a global conflict

There appear to be no chances of de-escalation in the Russia-Ukraine conflict prolonged war as the Kremlin is adamant about achieving its war aims. Russian war aims have changed the balance in Europe with EU emerging as the decisive factor in European politics in the days to come as there is an onrush to join it. At the moment Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are pressing their candidature for EU membership. These three former Soviet republics hastened to submit emergency applications in the first weeks of the war. Ukraine’s prospects look promising, and so do Moldova’s but Georgia was slapped with a scathing European Parliament resolution described as the last wake-up call to the government in Tbilisi. Ukraine has led the way in arguing that joining the EU has become a geopolitical necessity, although the three states are known as the Association Trio for their co-operation with the EU on everything from political reforms to free trade.

Russia intensified its assault on a strategic Ukrainian city as NATO officials prepared to debate increased military support for Kyiv’s attempt to reverse Russian momentum in the country’s east. Capturing the city of Severodonetsk and neighbouring Lysychansk, which lies across the Siversky Donets river, would represent a major step forward in President Vladimir Putin’s quest to solidify control of eastern Ukraine and would mark a Russian revival following the battlefield failures that characterised the early stage of the war. Amidst fighting a top Russian military official offered a humanitarian corridor to permit the evacuation of civilians trapped at the plant.

The mounting pressure has pushed the Western allies to decide how much and what kind of weaponry is to be provided. While the Biden administration has not revealed its plans, the Pentagon suggested it would send additional multiple-launch rocket systems to Ukraine, potentially going farther to satisfy Ukrainian demands. In the meanwhile, Western leaders have gradually increased the array of arms they are willing to provide Ukraine but many remain nervous about supplying systems that could be used to launch attacks deep into

Russian territory or that Putin might use as a reason to strike a NATO country. The Western allies have emphasised that European unity would be paramount if Ukraine is to win a battle that has been framed as decisive not only for his country but for all of Europe.
On one hand Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that Beijing would keep backing Moscow on sovereignty and security. It was the second reported call between the two leaders since Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. China has refused to condemn Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and has been accused of providing diplomatic cover for Russia by blasting Western sanctions and arms sales to Kyiv. Beijing was willing to intensify strategic coordination between the two countries. Xi has reiterated his support for

Russia despite the warning of the European Union and America that any backing from Beijing for Russia’s war in Ukraine, or help for Moscow to dodge Western sanctions, would damage ties with China. China as well as India are two major economies that have not taken part in retaliatory measures against Moscow over its invasion.
In the eyes of Chinese officials, the Europeans have allowed themselves to be sucked into backing Ukraine, at Washington’s initiative, in a move contrary to their interests as Russian gas consumers. Once bitter Cold War enemies, Beijing and Moscow have stepped up cooperation in recent years as a counterbalance to what they see as US global dominance. The two countries have drawn closer in the political, trade and military spheres as part of what they call a no limits relationship. The two sides last week unveiled the first road bridge linking the two countries, connecting the far eastern Russian city of Blagoveshchensk with the northern Chinese city of Heihe. Beijing is Moscow’s largest trading partner, with trade volumes last year hitting $147 billion up more than 30 per cent in 2019.

On the other hand, the Western allies are trying to win over the Middle Eastern countries towards supporting Ukraine. It is quite clear that in wake of the war in Ukraine, the US and the EU needs Saudi Arabia and its neighbours once again. The US and Europe would like their partners in the Middle East to do things like pump more oil in order to lower global prices, support various United Nations’ resolutions opposing the invasion of Ukraine and assist with sanctions on Russia but they are reluctant as Saudi Arabia and the UAE are mostly sticking to production limits previously agreed with the OPEC+ group, which includes Russia. Moreover, super-yachts, private jets and Russian oligarchs’ assets are being sheltered from seizure in the UAE with US allies Iraq, Jordan and Israel have declined to vote against Russia at the UN Security Council.

This approach taken by the Middle Eastern states is baffling as the West, particularly America, remain the dominant security guarantor and largest exporter of arms to the region with the US still has large military bases around the Middle East and between 45,000 and 60,000 personnel stationed there. This situation is described by many observers that since 2019 when the Americans started to extract their own oil at home they have exported more petroleum than it imports with the result that the Middle Eastern oil producers became less relevant. This is the reason that the Arab states feel that they are being paid less attention and they have sought to reach out to others. In this context, China is by far the world’s largest importer of oil, and in 2021, 47% of its imports came from the Middle East. China has been strengthening its relationships there, including helping develop ballistic missiles in Saudi Arabia, buying up Iraqi oil production facilities and investing in Iraqi infrastructure.

The pressure of conflict has increased pressures on Russian population and lately it was reported that Russia’s teachers are being turned into front-line soldiers in an information war designed to mold children into loyal militarised nationalists. The nation’s powerful security chiefs, leading propagandists and parliamentary hard-liners are pushing radical changes to the education system, as the Education Ministry takes a back seat. In this context, schools have been ordered to conduct patriotic classes parroting the Kremlin line on the war and teachers who refuse have been fired. Textbooks are being purged of almost all references to Ukraine and its capital, Kyiv.

The powerful chief of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, a close Putin ally and his anticipated successor, has demanded sweeping changes to education, as part of a whole-of-government effort to shape loyal citizens from cradle to grave.
In must be kept in view that since 2013, Putin has driven changes to the teaching of history as part of a campaign to build a national identity based on the Soviet Union’s role in defeating the Nazis in World War II. Russia’s efforts to militarise students underscores the Kremlin’s long-term ambitions: not just cementing Russian support for the war but also building a generation of youth loyal to Russia’s increasingly totalitarian regime and this attempt runs contrary to the perceptions of Russian millennials today who oppose the regime and the war. On his part, Putin constantly plays on Russian nostalgia for past Soviet power to justify the war but rational commentators consider his government to be closer to a fascist regime with the ultimate aim to actively militarise children to engage them in this war, to engage them in support for this war.TW


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