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The Russia-Ukraine Conflict Ceaseless- What’s Next? – IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute

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The Russia-Ukraine Conflict Ceaseless- What’s Next? - IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute

Anil Trigunayat

Even as Russia’s own Wagner Group Chairman has urged Putin to declare victory and ceasefire after Bakhmut and control of the region in the east strategically designed for control by the Russian planners, and China brought in 12 point peace plan, the observers do not really see an end to the war. Indian PM Narendra Modi has been urging both sides to ceasefire and return to dialogue as he chairs the G20 and has offered India’s assistance in doing so if the warring sides were ready, but there are no signs of ceasefire that one could see yet.

Russia‘s special military operations were not expected to last this long by many strategists and they currently observe that Putin has been preparing for a proxy confrontation with the scheming US, UK, and some East European countries fearing their ulterior objective of decimating him and Russia. But he probably did not factor many hits and misses in his strategy thereby prolonging the conflict beyond anyone‘s initial estimates.

Recently, senior British MP –Bob Seely, who is on the Foreign Affairs Committee and is also said to be a Russia expert, has warned the UK that Russia may be preparing to attack British key infrastructure and vital installations, most likely through cyber-attacks, which will be well below the NATO response threshold.

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Recently, senior British MP –Bob Seely, who is on the Foreign Affairs Committee and is also said to be a Russia expert, has warned the UK that Russia may be preparing to attack British key infrastructure and vital installations, most likely through cyber-attacks, which will be well below the NATO response threshold.

Russia and UK have also been at odds for a long time as according to Russian calculations London acts on the behest and sometimes even exceeds the US expectations in confronting Communist Russia or China both of whom have been considered threats in their strategy papers.

Same is the case with Beijing and Moscow. For this brinkmanship, a constant readiness to initiate, respond and escalate the conflict has been given since the Cold War. The deep state on all sides plans for the worst and often engineers a scenario where choices and options become limited except directly confronting the adversary. The trust deficit is at its lowest among the warring sides and their supporters.

Also Read: Year in Review: A Way Out of Ukraine War

Why retaliation to the UK 

West, especially the UK, has been accused of sabotaging Nord Stream 2 pipeline and Seely referred to a possibility by the Russians against British assets since in this war of attrition the strategic infrastructure becomes a fair game. Earlier in 2022 Bob Seely had exposed some British legal firms intimidating local media naming “amoral” lawyers he claimed had allowed Vladimir Putin’s “henchmen” to intimidate the free press in Britain.

While Russia was always mindful of threats with expanding NATO and deteriorating relationships and tried to prepare for a counter strategy and response even as its military planning and weaknesses were exposed in the ongoing war, most Western countries had begun to even downsize their conventional forces. Hence, Seely was not far from the truth when he warned his country and leaders, “We simply can no longer protect our near seas and, rightly, step forward further afield, with our current peacetime-sized Navy, Army, and Air Force.”

But then Boris Johnson the previous PM was also instrumental in Zelensky defying any resolution to the ongoing conflict without ceding any concession to Russia. It has often been claimed that within two months of the way Zelensky had agreed not to join NATO after discussions in Turkey with Russians. Putin was almost ready to stop and could have even tolerated Ukraine joining the EU as a concession. Still, it was PM Boris Johnson with backing from their American Akaas, who blew the trumpet of war that Russia needs to be decisively defeated and the destruction ensues.

UK and Russia’s relationship has been adversarial for a while now. UK and Russia have a history of espionage and counter-espionage and the killing and poisoning of Skripals and Litvinenko in the UK further deteriorated ties. The UK has happily enjoyed the bounty of Russian oligarchs while openly giving refuge to anti -Putin rich aspirants for power and change in Russia like media mogul Berezovsky. London was also the first one to place extensive sanctions and provide lethal aid and assistance to Kyiv against Russia. In June 2021, a confrontation occurred between HMS Defender and the Russian Armed Forces in the 2021 Black Sea incident.

Even the spring offensive to reclaim Ukraine territory is being worked out. There is no guarantee of success if the recent Pentagon leaks are to be believed. The leaks also clearly exposed the full involvement of Western military outfits and experts and the group constitutes more than half of British military consultants.

What’s brewing at G20 and G7

At the moment even though the war has broadly moved into boardrooms of G20 and the G7s as the average Ukrainian and a large part of the world continue to suffer. There is a vertical standoff as the threats of an all-out war, even culminating into a nuclear conflagration or as Biden called “Nuclear Armageddon” with all-around destruction, are all on the table. As such global economy is taking a big hit and both Russians and Europeans are paying the price of political follies of their leaders.

War is nowhere near the end even though Wagner Group Chairman, fighting rather well in the Russian onslaught, has urged Putin to declare victory and ceasefire after Bakhmut and control of the region in the east strategically designed for control by the Russian planners. China brought in 12 point peace plan. Indian PM Narendra Modi has been urging both sides to a ceasefire and return to dialogue as he chairs the G20 and has offered India’s assistance in doing so if the warring sides were ready. Although routinely, it takes two to tango in this war, it may take three or four to tap together to reach any decision, which is being defied by the geopolitics of the decimated global order.

This article was first published in CNBC TV 18  as Observers see the Russia-Ukraine war nowhere near the end — so here’s what brewing up for the next stage on April 29, 2023

Read more by the author: India-China Disputes and India’s Growing Global Influence

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