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  • Rovindu Ambagolla

Monday Market Musings >>> Will Putin Go In?

Picture Source: The Moscow Times website

Tension between Ukraine and Russia are on the rise as speculation grows about a Russian invasion of Ukraine in the near future. Top military experts have warned that the Kremlin might unleash a “brief and victorious” war on Ukraine as soon as January.

Thousands of Russian soldiers have already been deployed to the boarder with Ukraine. However, Ukraine might have to deal with more than just one adversary, the invasion could also include Moscow-friendly Belarus joining the fight together with Russia. Ihor Romanenko, a retired lieutenant general and Ukraine’s former Deputy Chief of Staff commented, “The most effective way is to begin military action from all sides simultaneously”. The combined might of both Russia and Belarus together with the Blitzkrieg tactic could spell disaster for Ukraine.

Although the news of war between the two countries was sudden, Ukraine and Russia were already engaged in a conflict called the Russo-Ukrainian War which started back in 2014 following the Russian annexation of Crimea. The Russian government is also concerned that Ukraine’s ties to NATO and the EU will help them cut off Russia’s access to the Black Sea.

Picture Credit: BBC Website

Nevertheless, approaching the ongoing tensions with the threat of war could have serious consequences for Russia as well. If Russia does invade Ukraine, this will spark international condemnation and it provides an excuse for Western countries such as the EU and the US to impose heavy sanction on Russia which will cripple its economy. The act of invading Ukraine will also not be a simple exercise as the Ukrainian military has been heavily armed with weapons supplied and produced by the West. Nikolay Mitrokhin of Germany’s Bremen University commented, “Putin is artificially spiralling the degree of hysteria because Moscow realised that the Ukrainian military is irreversibly re-arming with all the US, Turkish and soon, German supplies, and won’t be so critically weak in the face of the Russian invasion with conventional weapons”.

However, some experts are calling Putin’s bluff. A few experts believe that the current situation was closely co-ordinated by Russia to force the West to be more attentive to their demands. “We’re not talking about an invasion but about a generation of uncertainty, of geopolitical entropy to achieve a critical mass to coerce the West to start the new Yalta talks with Russia­”, comments Kyiv-based analyst Aleksey Kushch (The Yalta agreement – was held in 1945 to discuss how Eastern European nations will fall under the Soviet Union’s Sphere of Influence post WWII). Only time will tell whether war can be avoided between Ukraine and Russia.

06th December 2021 | 1:00 PM

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