Western powers have been supporting Ukraine through various means such as sanctions imposed on Russia and even directly in its fight against Russian forces. Analysts have been decoding what the war could mean for the future of history, whether Ukraine has a good chance at victory and even what could be done for the downfall of Putin. In this article, we discuss what strategy the West needs to adopt to defeat Russian President Vladimir Putin and his ideologies.
Why is Russia invading Ukraine?
We’ve read about it, the news has been filled with gruesome images of the on-ground situation in Ukraine, social media has been abuzz, and everyone seems to be talking about what is taking place between Russia and Ukraine and speculating what could be the direction this catastrophe takes. But, the more important question to answer is why is this war even happening?
The answer is that Russian President Vladimir Putin felt threatened by Ukraine which in his opinion was leaning toward the West. Ukraine had shown the inclination of joining NATO, a Western defence alliance and Putin did not take this well. He then unleashed a war on the democratic country to stop any means of achieving its dreams of being one with the West.
When the war began, Putin assumed that Russia would be victorious as Ukraine would surrender. But contrary to this notion, Ukraine has been fighting tooth and nail against Russian forces, even as the latter has destroyed major cities in Ukraine.
Should Ukraine be worried?
As the war continues, analysts spot a ray of hope in the dark as far as Ukraine is concerned. While many are finding similarities as to how this Russia Ukraine crisis draws parallels with other conflicts in history such as the Cold War, experts say not really. Hal Brands, the Henry Kissinger distinguished professor of global affairs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in an article to CSMonitor said “The developing conflict between Russia and the West definitely won’t look like the Cold War. But the basic challenge will be quite similar ... containing the malign influence of an authoritarian over many theatres over many years.”
People are also comparing the war waged on Ukraine similar to Germany’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938 as Adolf Hitler wished to go to war against Poland. However, Ukraine is fighting back and this is what sets the Czechoslovakia crisis apart from the Russia Ukraine conflict. Another thing that sets the two crises apart is that Ukraine has the support of Western powers.
What the West aims to do
The final aim of the West is to liberate Ukraine and help it maintain its independent status free from the clutches of any threats to its democracy. Restoration of the Government and peace that prevailed there is a topmost priority. In addition to this, providing Ukraine with the security and assurance that will help it defend itself against external threats in the future is what needs to be done. These actions will not only help Ukraine fortify itself but also be a warning to other countries that are watching the conflict closely and have an invasion in mind, that this will not be tolerated.
What strategy does the West need to follow?
In order to defeat Putin, the West needs strategy and this includes:
Sanctions against Russia
The West has right from the beginning of the crisis been imposing a range of sanctions on Russian oil, banks, financial institutions, trade, commerce etc. These have been crippling the Russian economy and preventing the elite from accessing their money that is linked to Western banks. While initially, the sanctions were not hampering the functioning of life to such an extent, their impact is now being seen, and experts say the sanctions must be continued.
Supply of arms to Ukraine
The United States has been supplying arms and ammunition to Ukraine to help it defend itself against the Russian forces. This week, President Biden earmarked an additional $800m in this sector. This will include anti-aircraft, anti-tank weapons and drones to help the war-torn country. While the West had declined to allow the no-fly zone over Ukraine as they said this would be a call for World War III, they have been providing the country with military help.
Rebuilding the Ukrainian economy
The war has caused a crumbling of the economy in Ukraine. As people fight for survival and are struggling from day to day, the economic conditions have gone down. Western assistance to rebuild this economy will strengthen the country and give it the assistance it needs.
Will Putin be defeated?
US secretary of state, Antony Blinken said in a statement “I’m absolutely convinced that Putin will fail, and Russia will suffer a strategic defeat no matter what short-term tactical gains it may make in Ukraine. You can win a battle, but that doesn’t mean you win the war. On the contrary, you can take a city but you can’t take the hearts and minds of its people and Ukrainians are demonstrating that every single day. We’ve already seen that Russia has failed in its chief objectives. It’s not been able to hold Ukraine. It’s not going to be able to hold Ukraine in the long term.”
Whether this holds true will be seen in the time to come.