Saturday, September 24, 2022

What India Truly Believes About The Referenda And Mobilization

IndianPunchline |  What emerges is that Russia has given up hopes of any negotiated settlement. Moscow was initially optimistic that Kiev would negotiate, but the bitter experience turned out to be that President Zelensky was not a free agent. The US-UK tandem undermined the accord negotiated by Russian and Ukrainian officials in Istanbul in April under Turkish mediation. The Biden Administration holds the stop watch for the proxy war. And Washington’s timeline is linked to the weakening and destruction of Russian state, which has been the ultimate US objective. Lest we forget, Joe Biden played a seminal role in installing the new regime in Kiev in 2014 and in moulding Ukraine as an anti-Russian  state.

Suffice to say, the referendum on Wednesday is Russia’s only available course of action under the circumstances, while Kiev maintains a maximalist position as advised by the US, UK and Poland. 

The accession of Donbass, Kherson and Zaporozhye creates a new political reality and Russia’s partial mobilisation on parallel track is intended to provide the military underpinning for it. The accession signifies a paradigm shift insofar as any further attacks on these regions can be construed by Moscow as attacks on Russia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. 

Certainly, Kiev’s wanton attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Donbass, Kherson and Zaporozhye will trigger Russian reaction. Any attack will be considered aggression and Moscow reserves the right to respond “adequately.” The fact the Russian deployment in these territories will be significantly augmented and upgraded signals the  willingness to use force. 

Meanwhile, Russia’s special military operations will continue until its set objectives are fully realised. Which means, even more territories may come under Russian control, creating ever newer facts on the ground, whilst the track of dialogue has become extinct. And, of course, all this will be playing out at a juncture when Europe descends into recession, as sanctions against Russia boomerang. It is improbable that European public will support their governments to enter into a war with Russia over Ukraine. Kiev and its mentors in Washington and London need to factor all this very carefully.

The Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder has reacted as follows: “No one will take such bogus referendums seriously, and the US will certainly not recognise their results. How will this affect our and international support for Ukraine? This will not affect in any way, we will continue to work with Ukraine and our international partners to provide them with the necessary assistance to protect their territory.” 

That is a sufficiently evasive statement couched in brave words.  Neither Pentagon nor the Russian military command will risk brinkmanship. The likelihood is that the accession of the new territories to the Russian Federation will not be militarily challenged by the US or NATO.

That said, Russia is anyway at war with the NATO, as Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said, albeit not in terms of US weapons supplies, which “we find ways to counter,” but in the Western systems that exist — communication systems, information processing systems, reconnaissance systems and satellite intelligence systems.

The point is, the accession of Donbass, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to the Russian Federation is an irrevocable step that cannot and will not be undone for as long as Russian Federation remains an independent state, as Medvedev underlined. The US — and the “Collective West” and NATO — would know it. Plainly put, the NATO’s proxy-war algorithm has become obsolete and becomes a museum piece.

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