Historical Reasons For Russia - Ukraine War & Way Forward

"32-33 years back there was a competitor of NATO, called Warsaw Pact (WP), mainly Eastern Europe nations. It had 8 members. When USSR disintegrated in 1990, an agreement was reached between Russia and USA that NATO would not expand Eastward towards Russian borders"

Historical Reasons For Russia - Ukraine War & Way Forward

“The less you intend to do about a thing; more you have to keep talking about it”—The Law Of Inverse Relevance by Sir Humphrey Appleby, British Bureaucrat.

In the case of Ukraine - Russian war, more there is a talk of ending the war; less there is an action to do the needful. The law of Inverse Relevance is very much applicable here. Those who can take positive action, are actually fuelling the war by providing advanced and sophisticated weapons to Ukraine. Money bags are pouring into Kyiv from Europe and USA.

War is sought to be ended by defeating Russia. It will never happen, as Russian nuclear stockpile is not for showroom decoration, more so when Vladimir Putin minces no words on their use.  There are only three ways to end this war:

An external force is applied to subdue one of the belligerents. It is not possible in case of Russia but possibility exists in case of Ukraine. However it is unlikely to bring peace. It will be something like Versailles Treaty after World  War - I, where Germany was forced to surrender and led to rise of Hitler and consequently another war or the end of WW - II, when Germany was divided and  led to the Cold war.

This option is for the two belligerent’s to reach a mutual understanding, which ensures WIN WIN situation for both. However, this too is not possible because of the vested interests of 'Outsiders'. USA will not allow Ukraine compromise.

There is a remote possibility of one of the leaders of two sides being removed from the scene. This could be because of health reasons or internal rebellion or even an outside conspiracy.

However, for the time being, it was a “Stalemated” war and it would continue to be so till any of the three conditions above was fulfilled. One must remember that WARS were never time bound. The Duration depends upon the fulfilment of objective of the war by either side.

In the instant case, Vladimir Putin wants a commitment from UKRAINE and USA that UKRAINE would not join NATO. Putin does it because of NATO threat coming closer to his borders.  But Vladimir Zelensky, Ukraine President, was not prepared to do so because of same security reasons. He feels insecure by living in the shadows of a gigantic military power as Russia was. He looks for a security umbrella from the West.

In such a scenario, one can definitely say that the war would end only when one side blinks. Till it happens, it would continue. Fire - Fighting solutions would not yield permanent dividends.

As highlighted earlier, the real cause of any conflict was the Sense of insecurity of individuals, organisations, communities and even nations, often leads them to irrational acts — sometimes irrationality transcends diabolic limits. Russo-Ukraine war is the direct product of this. It must be noted, therefore, that the War in Ukraine was the cause of insecurity of all participants from Russia to Ukraine to Europe to USA. In fact, US is more insecure than the fighting nations.

Further, it is noteworthy that wars today have become a Chess game where Extensive USE OF PAWNS was made. Ukraine is no more than a US pawn as was Pakistan in  the war in Afghanistan. Even the use of Pakistan by China against India was no more than an attentive and a captive 'pawn'. In the same vein, I have no hesitation to say that USA was looking at India as its Pawn for war on China. India ought to play its cards well.

However, the essential question which needs to be answered in the instant case was to determine as to who was the aggressor in this war? Is it Russia or Ukraine or even USA? On the face of it, most people would blame Russia because of its offensive launched in February 2022. But is it really true? One gets the correct answer if one rewinds history and goes back in time.

One must note that 32-33 years back there was a competitor of NATO, called Warsaw Pact (WP), mainly Eastern Europe nations. It had 8 members. When USSR disintegrated in 1990, an agreement was reached between Russia and USA that NATO would not expand Eastward towards Russian borders.

However, as on today, 7 out of 8 WP countries have joined NATO. At present, NATO has 30 members, a jump from 15 in 1982. If one looks at its initial history. in 1949, there were 12 founding members of the Alliance: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The other member countries are: Greece and Turkey joined in 1952. So did Germany in 1955. Then Spain joined in 1982, followed by Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in 1999; Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2004; Albania and Croatia in 2009; Montenegro in 2017 and North Macedonia in 2020.

You may note that 15 countries have joined NATO after USSR break up in 1990s. And most of them are former constituents of USSR. This was a breach of agreement by  NATO and the West. This obviously created security concerns in Russia.

This expansion of NATO has rattled Russia. The expression of a desire of Ukraine administration to join NATO has further aggravated the sense of Insecurity. Therefore the real aggressor was NATO.

Once aggressor was identified and determined, then onus was on the aggressor to end the war. Frankly speaking, Russian sense of insecurity was larger than Ukraine’s security concern.

It is therefore essential that if at all war has to end, without further bloodshed, initiative has to come from NATO and USA. Ukraine demand of complete withdrawal of Russia from Crimea and other captured territories seems non- negotiable. First objective should be “talks on talks” to reach a CEASE FIRE. Thereafter a peaceful settlement could be reached to end the war.

(Col. Rajinder Kushwaha is an ex-NDA, commissioned into 3 Bihar. He is a battle-hardened veteran who served in  ’71 War & has operated extensively in various insurgency environs across the country. He is a renowned author, and a highly respected defence & national security expert writing for several reputed publications such as  ‘Defence and Security Alert’ (DSA), the ‘Indian Defence Review’ (IDR) among others. You can reach him on Twitter: @RajeeKushwaha, Email ID: [email protected])

(Views expressed are the authors own, and do not reflect the editorial policy of 'Mission Victory India')

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