The quantum leap in military support for Kiev tightens the noose around the Kremlin’s neck. From the tanks promised by Great Britain and France to the Patriot guaranteed by the USA and Germany, to the cluster bombs sent by Turkey, up to the powerful Samp-T anti-missile shield which should arrive from Italy. The “offensive” turn of the NATO aid irritates the Tsar who flexes his muscles by testing the super-torpedo Poseidon. And, to disunite Euro-Atlantic support, he unleashes the usual propaganda, to the rhythm of fake news and low blows. But now, forced to ration artillery attacks due to scarce supplies and weakened by continuous failures in the field, Moscow is playing the ransom, at least symbolic, in the hand-to-hand fight for a piece of land in Donetsk, squeezed between Bakhmut and Soledar .
If “Russia’s defeat in Ukraine is increasingly probable” – says a IlGiornale.it Robert D. Kaplanone of the greatest American geopolitical analysts, professor at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, former member of the Defense Council of the Pentagon, nominated twice by Foreign Policy among the “100 best thinkers” in the world – the West must ask itself if it is ready to face side effects that it may not have anticipated.
Often, as she teaches, the weight and destiny of a nation are written in its geographical position. Why is Ukraine so important?
“Ukraine was part of the Romanov empire as well as the Soviet one. In Russian eyes, Ukraine is one of the “Russias” and is the medieval-era birthplace of Kievan Rus’. Without Ukraine, Russia remains more of a Eurasian empire than a European empire”.
So what is at stake, for Moscow and for the West?
“For the Kremlin, in addition to geopolitical interests, there are significant emotional ties with Ukraine. For the West, an independent Ukraine effectively solves the problem of having the Russian Empire border Europe. An independent Ukraine would substantially weaken Moscow’s international weight”.
She wrote that “the crumbling of autocracies always has a price”. What will be the consequences of a possible Russian defeat in Ukraine?
“Autocracies and empires are born out of chaos and when they collapse they leave chaos in their wake. History neither guarantees nor teaches us any solution to this dilemma. War is ultimately a form, a way of doing politics. And the question is, how will Russia’s poor military performance affect Moscow’s politics? This we cannot say with certainty. But we should prepare for a Russian defeat on the battlefield. This could conceivably lead to a weakened Russian government or even a struggle to succeed Vladimir Putin, which is more likely to result in a destabilizing power vacuum than a democratic transition.
“To save democracy, we need a few good dictators”. Are you still convinced that it is also the solution for post-Putin Russia?
“Moscow, let’s remember, is a power with many nuclear weapons, both strategic and tactical. Hence, Western interests should be to avoid the risks of anarchy and ungovernability within Russia itself. Although the longer the war in Ukraine lasts, the more difficult it will be for Putin to maintain control of his ‘peripheral empire’ in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Far East. A disengagement that someone could take advantage of ”.
Month “when empires or great powers collapse, chaos and war resurface”, is the conflict in Ukraine a symptom of a collapse of Western domination?
“We can say that Western decline is relative. And, despite all the problems in the West, Russia and China are facing far greater difficulties. In short, I would not consider the West out of the picture”.
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“Russia will fall. Here’s what the consequences will be”
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