20 C
Guwahati
Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The West Is Using Ukraine To Fight A Proxy War Against Russia

NATO’s expansion in Europe has been really significant since 1997 with as many as 14 more European countries joining the security grouping. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the end of the USSR-led Warsaw Pact in July 1991. Russia has been doggedly pursuing Ukraine on its western border to stay neutral by not joining NATO. A Russian withdrawal from the attack at this stage will certainly lead to Ukraine’s full membership of NATO. Russia is not prepared to accept that in its strategic interest. The war is on. And, it is unlikely to be over soon with Ukraine receiving massive military and funds back-up from the West

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

By: Nantoo Banerjee

Few will disagree that the US-led 30-member North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is using Ukraine to test Russia’s military capability and patience. The increasing supplies of arms, money and even clandestinely despatching soldiers to Ukraine indicate that NATO is fighting a proxy war against Russia cleverly using Ukraine as a pawn. The Russia-Ukraine war, which started on February 24, is showing no sign of ending as NATO is continuously supplying weapons worth billions of dollars to Ukraine to counter the Russian invasion of Ukraine to protect itself from further expansion of NATO towards the east.

- Advertisement -

NATO’s expansion in Europe has been really significant since 1997 with as many as 14 more European countries joining the security grouping. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the end of the USSR-led Warsaw Pact in July 1991. Russia has been doggedly pursuing Ukraine on its western border to stay neutral by not joining NATO. A Russian withdrawal from the attack at this stage will certainly lead to Ukraine’s full membership of NATO. Russia is not prepared to accept that in its strategic interest. The war is on. And, it is unlikely to be over soon with Ukraine receiving massive military and funds back-up from the West.

The Western provocation to Ukraine to continue with the fight is not limited to only supply of lethal arms and money. It is using every international forum, including the UN, and Western-controlled media to censor Russia as the aggressor. There is little effort to bring the two sides together on a negotiation table to end the persisting armed conflict. Instead, Western leaders, heads of states and celebrities are regularly visiting Ukraine to pep up the morale of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, his government and armed forces to keep fighting Russia.

The visit of the US President’s septuagenarian wife, Jill Biden, under a cloak of secrecy, to Uzhhorod in western Ukraine on May 8 to meet the Ukraine President’s wife, Olena Zelenska, is unprecedented in the history of war. The US desperately wants the Ukraine war to continue until Russia pulls back unconditionally and pays for its military misadventure against its ally. Commenting on the development, Col. Richard Black (Retd), former US senator, lately accused the US of playing a dangerous game that could lead the world to a nuclear war.

The list of massive weaponisation of Ukraine by Western powers is long and increasing by the day. In the beginning, NATO members limited their supplies to conventional defensive weapons. The UK sent Ukraine thousands of NLAW anti-tank missiles and some Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles. NLAW stands for the Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon or the Next Generation Light Anti-Armour Weapon, having warhead weight of 1.8 kg and maximum firing range of 1,000 metres. The US sent Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. Slovakia sent its S-300 anti-aircraft system that can destroy aircraft up to 400 kms away. The US and Turkey had both sent drones armed with missiles.

- Advertisement -

Several NATO countries are now supplying Ukraine with heavier and more lethal weapons, to enable its army to push back the Russian forces.  The US is now sending helicopters, long-range artillery and armoured personnel carriers. France and the Netherlands are sending self-propelled guns. Germany is dispatching anti-aircraft tanks. Canada is supplying artillery and Czech Republic T-72 tanks and armoured infantry carriers. Even Australia is reportedly sending armoured vehicles. The continuing large arms shipments to Ukraine by Western powers is belatedly making a visible difference in the pattern of war between the two seemingly unequal forces. The impression is that the West is forcing Russia to decide on how it wants to end the war and pull back from Ukraine. It is coaxing Ukraine to fight a long and decisive war.

Along with the arms, the financial support to Ukraine is also pouring in from the West. US President Biden is seeking Congress approval of a large grant for security assistance to Ukraine. In fact, US Congressional Democrats have agreed to rush $39.8 billion in additional aid to Ukraine on top of $3.7 billion it already spent. Amid bipartisan support for arming Ukraine, some 57 GOP lawmakers want the Biden administration to first solve problems at home such as crippling debt, inflation and immigration issues before making additional fund commitments to Ukraine. They were against the $40 billion economic and military aid bill for Ukraine, last week.

The UK is offering an additional 300 million Pounds in military support to Ukraine. The UK’s long war supplies list includes armoured vehicles, electronic warfare equipment, anti-artillery radar systems and night vision devices. The European Union plans to spend upto 450 million Euros to fund weapon supplies to Ukraine — the first time in its history to help provide arms for a war zone. Belgium, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Spain and Slovakia are individually sending military equipment, fuel and rations. Simultaneously, NATO is gearing up to save its member countries in case the war escalates beyond Ukraine. NATO already has troops stretching from the Baltic republics in the north to Romania in the south. NATO has sent its Response Force to countries bordering Russia and Ukraine.

NATO has 100 fighter jets on high alert and 120 ships, including aircraft carrier groups, patrolling the seas from the far north to the eastern Mediterranean. The US has committed to sending more troops to Europe to join the existing four multinational battlegroups that NATO has set up in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, and a multinational brigade in Romania. Now, the question is: if the conflict were to escalate further, who stood to lose in case NATO and Russia go head-to-head on the battlefield? Russia has warned NATO that the fight could lead to a nuclear war. For reasons best known to itself, NATO has ignored the warning. For Russia, patience may wear thin under an extreme provocation, leading to a military disaster on both sides of the North Atlantic with potential to spread to the Asia-Pacific and other regions.

- Advertisement -

A two-year old Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) research work found that British forces would be “comprehensively outgunned” in any conflict with Russia in Eastern Europe. The RUSI found that the British Army and its NATO allies have a “critical shortage” of artillery and ammunition, meaning they would struggle to maintain a credible defence position if Russia were to opt for all-out aggression. “At present, there is a risk that the UK – unable to credibly fight – can be dominated lower down the escalation ladder by powers threatening escalation,” said the RUSI’s report. Incidentally, the UK is NATO’s second largest fund provider after the US. The possibility of a direct NATO-Russia war does not particularly look good for Europe. The European members of NATO must rethink their strategy and work together to stop the war at all costs. NATO’s European members must desist from further escalating the proxy war and prevent it from becoming a full-scale war in the region. The risk of pushing Russia to the wall could be too high for NATO and the world. (IPA Service)

- Advertisement -
Avatar photo
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
Latest news
- Advertisement -
Related news
- Advertisement -