If you have been to Ukraine, you have definitely tried ‘gorilka‘, the national vodka-style spirit. From ‘gorilka‘derived from verbs’recalcitrant person‘, which means’ to burn’ in the Ukrainian language. This unpleasant feeling is exactly what could have happened to Russian President Vladimir Putin if he continued to act stupid with his southern neighbor.
Signs that the Russian army built at the Ukrainian border were well documented and that preparations were underway for an impending invasion or at a minimum some slashing swords. extreme. If the former Dresden KGB resident chose the former, it would be a defeat on two fronts. It would be ineffective in changing the current domestic narrative and indirectly further Ukraine’s long-term strategic goals of closer ties with the United States and NATO membership.
Although Russian citizens have long accepted the rampant kleptocracy under the Putin regime, the current level of grafting has reached groundbreaking levels. With the declining national standard of living and the simmering social frustrations over the COVID-19, Putin can no longer underestimate the domestic discontent that engulfs the country. The spectacle of summer protests in Khabarovsk, not Moscow or St. Petersburg, over the removal of a famous regional governor is the best evidence of the political turmoil facing the Kremlin. Navalny, and suddenly the question of the regime’s existence was not trivial.
It is clear that Putin has been in a similar predicament and survived. His 2014 annexation of Crimea led to his slow approval ratings and alleviate growing dissatisfaction with his management.
With his political legitimacy at stake, Putin is looking to recreate this winning political strategy by distracting locals with overseas fleets and promises of greatness. future imperialism. The recent success of three Russian submarines crashing through the ice in the Arctic is all overly staged and a preview of what state propaganda has been planning. Hence, Ukraine is the next battlefield to make this political policy justified due to Russia’s proximity and overwhelming dominance.
If the Kremlin launches a military operation, it will do well to defuse expectations. With a wide range of domestic issues unfinished, this is unlikely to resonate positively with local residents who always pay attention to government accountability and escape the pandemic. None of this was done by invading Ukraine. Ultimately, any activity leading to Russian casualties is sure to raise the media list of the International Memorial Association, a national non-governmental organization that reports on Russian soldiers killed in campaign, respected by many people across the country.
When it comes to Ukraine, the specter of another potential Russian military attack is completely unwelcome but offers certain political advantages for Kyiv to exploit. Above all, this prospect of violence aroused Western fatigue in the bilateral conflict, which had slipped down the global security agenda with the onset of Covid and US-China rivalry. . Furthermore, it focuses Western governments on the failures of the Minsk Agreement and gives a new highlight to the OSCE Special Surveillance Mission reports in Donbass, which continue to report countless ceasefire violations. and death.
With vaccine deployments in Ukraine slow to progress and stubborn corruption hampering foreign investment, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Western supporters remain overwhelmed by the progress he has made. promise. Nothing is more blinding than the lack of judicial reform. With Russian forces massively on the Ukrainian border, he suddenly found himself in a position to present a besieged country and desperately in need of Western aid.
These calls for support have been heeded by the Biden Regulatory Authority with both action and rhetoric. Just last month, the Pentagon announced a $ 125 million military aid package for Ukraine, including two patrol boats Mark VI to protect the country’s territorial waters. Furthermore, the aid package includes radar units to combat artillery; supporting satellite image and analysis capabilities; and equipment to aid military medical treatment and combat evacuation procedures.
Another $ 150 million is expected to be transferred to Kyiv, if both the State and the Ministry of Defense confirm that Ukraine has made enough progress in key defense reforms. Although the device would not change the balance of the military, it would allow the Ukrainian forces to increase their lethality and force the Russian government to work harder to hide the deaths of the soldiers from the scene. public awareness at home.
Diplomatically, the growing security situation provided Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba with new ammunition found to strike Russia’s credibility as a strategic and trustworthy partner. to Germany for the Nord Stream II pipeline. Berlin’s support for the project, which is under close scrutiny, will only be strengthened because Moscow’s actions are intended only to confirm existing prejudices about Germany’s NATO Alliance. Trouble even more, is the news that the White House will appoint one special envoy lead the negotiations on stopping the final phases of project construction.
If that speculation was not enough to put Putin in a trap, the announcement that the Biden Administration was seriously considering Ukraine’s membership in NATO could have shocked him with anaphylaxis. Of all the greatest sins an adversary can commit to the Kremlin, nothing is more annoying than the prospect of becoming a NATO member for perceived vassal states.
For someone highly regarded as a master tactician, Putin mishandled the situation. Although there is a political imperative to change the domestic story, the risk-rewarding model to increase tensions with Ukraine is inappropriate. Not only will any foreign adventure not affect his popularity, but it will strengthen NATO’s value and continue to legitimize the path of membership of Ukraine. Like most short term strategies, there’s a high chance of getting burned. For Putin, that could be harsher than most.