For balanced insight into the Russian perspective on Ukraine, see,
Leonid Ragozin, “Russia’s Ukraine manoeuvres are a response, not a provocation; The Ukrainian government’s push for NATO membership could provoke a dangerous escalation of the Ukrainian conflict,” Al Jazeera, April 13, 2021
Leonid Ragozin is a freelance journalist based in Riga.
Whatever Putin’s motivations may be for a massive military mobilization on and near the Russian border with Ukraine, he has committed the grave foreign policy offense of credibly threatening to invade a sovereign European country. Whether or not Russia invades, Putin and Russia should be punished for these actions.
The U.N. Charter in Article 2 paragraph 4 probits “the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence” of any state. The architects of the Charter knew that the architecture for the maintenance of international peace and security they were building required the prohibition not only of the use but also of the threat of the use of force. This fact must be born in mind as the nations of the world continue their project of building international law and institutions that can be used by nations to preserve the peace.
So, will Russia invade Ukraine? More importantly, what is the U.S. and the West doing to dissuade Putin from invading the Ukraine?
The decision to send more American troops to Germany was a good move, demonstrating American resolve. The decision not to send two warships to the Black Sea, after having notified Turkey of their passage through the Bosphorous, gave the appearance of weakness, not resolve. Biden’s request for a meeting with Putin simikarly suggested weakness and a lack of resolve. Biden’s announcement, AT THIS MOMENT, that U.S. forces would withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11–SEPTEMBER 11 appeared to send a message of surrender and defeat.
Biden’s announcement of minimal sanctions against Russia for interfering in the 2020 elections, and for Russia’s massive cyber attack known as “Solar Winds” on U.S. cyber infrastructure, suggest to this observer, and probably Putin, that U.S. reaction to these aggressions is not very serious or costly.
For an insightful view of the current situation and the big picture, which includes the oossibility tgat Russia and the U.S. could end up in a face-off similar to that in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, see
Torsten Krauel (Chefkommentator / Meinung), “Eine neue Kuba-Krise droht – an der Ostgrenze der EU,” Die Welt, den 15. April 2021.
This is a dangerous situation. If Putin invades Ukraine and doesn’t face resistance or crippling sanctions, China could be emboldened to invade Taiwan.