Is war inevitable? – The Times of Moscow


Over the past few days and weeks, the media has proliferated all sorts of predictions and doomsday scenarios about the immediate outlook for the Ukrainian crisis.

Journalists, pundits and politicians argue – with all seriousness – that a Russian-Ukrainian war can hardly be thwarted, let alone articles that seek to explore an alleged coup in Kiev, the overwhelming response of the West or even the impending nuclear conflict. of global dimensions.

We will try to find an answer to a number of intertwined questions, which may arise in the minds of those who face this wave of terrible prophecies and predictions. Why was this information attack launched? Who is behind all this and who benefits from it? What is really happening and what could happen to the Ukrainian question in the near future?

Starting with Moscow’s plans and intentions. Anyone familiar with the power structure in Russia knows well that few people particularly close to the circles of power know the real plans and motives of the Russian authorities.

As a rule, these people tend to avoid appearing in the media. Strong statements are usually made by those who are tasked by their superiors with attracting high visibility or by those who act at their own discretion to be noticed and appreciated by their management.

Obviously, none of these talking heads are aware of the Kremlin’s plans, which means they are simply working on their tasks at a higher or lower professional level. Unfortunately, being baseless and of no practical value, the campaign – launched by people so “concerned” about the alleged impending war in Ukraine – invariably affects public opinion in our country, causing either panic or warmongering.

This belligerent campaign, coupled with its disastrous consequences, has the potential to seriously demoralize and traumatize Russian society. Time will tell what repercussions this may have; However, obviously nothing good can be expected from this wave of hysteria.

Presumably some in Russia need another anti-Ukrainian campaign to divert attention from the serious socio-economic and political problems of the country, to raise the patriotic spirit of the people or to unite the country. If one thinks like this, one risks being seriously disappointed over time. The very idea of ​​war against Ukraine or in Ukraine is insufficient for a new national idea; it is not even close to a platform on which Russian society could be consolidated.

Let us now examine this problem from the point of view of Ukraine. We have to admit that there are many in the country who are interested in stoking the news hysteria around relations with Russia, and for a variety of reasons. They assume that playing the role of an innocent victim of bloodthirsty Russia can only bring benefits to Ukraine.

First, they believe that this way it would be easier to implement a plan to shape a new national identity. Second, the West might be willing to turn a blind eye to Ukraine’s internal scandals, corruption cases and other issues. Third, more economic and military aid can be counted on by claiming the victim. Fourth, many clumsy actions of Russian propaganda only serve to strengthen anti-Russian feelings across Ukraine. Therefore, it is logical to assume that Kiev will continue to do everything in its power to stir up tensions in the media environment.

The campaign around Russia’s alleged impending aggression in Ukraine is also good for Washington and its Euro-Atlantic allies.

It distracts them from their own domestic problems, allows for cohesion within archaic NATO, and diverts attention from the ignominious flight of Western troops out of Afghanistan.

By focusing on what is happening around Ukraine, the White House is trying to counter the Europe-wide perception that the Atlantic chain of US foreign policy is ultimately relegated to the back burner of US priorities, leaving to the Indo-Pacific, which is more important for Washington.

Long story short, everyone is minding their own business and waging a propaganda war around Ukraine.

Are there forces that might actually be interested in a real war rather than a propaganda war in Ukraine? The situation seems different here. If we put aside the opinions of fierce fanatics and professional instigators, it turns out that no one needs a real war with the use of modern weapons, countless casualties and immense destruction . Everyone would lose in such a war, be it Russia, the West or Ukraine. It would incur such political, military and economic costs for everyone that it would not be easy to recover for decades, not just years. The repercussions of a major war in central Europe would be no less lasting than the ramifications unleashed by the Chernobyl disaster, which have persisted for almost forty years. Who would be willing to take such a risk?

We allow ourselves to draw a relevant conclusion, if not too original, leaving all the prognoses and scenarios of a military conflict in the heart of Europe to the conscience of many slacktivists.

The only decent way out of the current situation is for all parties to come together immediately at the negotiating table on mutual security guarantees. Russia, the United States and NATO have all presented their proposals on this subject. The positions of the parties are known. Now we have to agree.

This article was first published by the Russian Council for International Affairs.

Opinions expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the position of The Moscow Times.


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