Sansad TV Perspective: Ukraine-Russia Conflict

In the series Sansad TV Perspective, we bring you an analysis of the discussion featured on the insightful programme ‘Perspective’ on Sansad TV, on various important topics affecting India and also the world. This analysis will help you immensely for the IAS exam, especially the mains exam, where a well-rounded understanding of topics is a prerequisite for writing answers that fetch good marks.

In this article, we feature the discussion on the topic Ukraine-Russia Conflict.

Anchor: Vishal Dahiya

Participants: 

  1. Alexandra Zubenko, Research Fellow, PIR Centre, Moscow
  2. Anil Trigunayat, Former Ambassador
  3. Prof. Swaran Singh, Chairperson, Centre for International Politics, Organization & Disarmament, JNU

Context:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed disagreement with the eastward expansion of NATO. This message was conveyed to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Additionally, Russia’s intrusion into the borders of Ukraine was condemned by the representatives of the European Union and G7 countries. This culminated in a tense situation at the Russia-Ukraine border which might bear long term implications. Therefore, the context gathers active prominence in the world of international affairs and requires a thorough analysis by experts.

Events of the past:

  1. The Euromaidan and its implications:
  • The year 2013 witnessed a mass protest across Ukraine at the central square due to the engagement of Ukraine in the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union instead of the European Union.
  • The protest was famous as the Euromaidan movement which resulted in a massive fight between the protestors and the security forces.
  • Consequently, the then President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych lost his power in 2014.
  1. Invasion of Crimea:
  • Russia invaded and annexed Crimea which was a part of Ukraine due to its declining influence over the region and emerging insecurities.
  • This conquest gave Russia a maritime dominance in the region contributing to Putin’s popularity in Russia despite extensive criticism by world powers like the US and EU.
  • This led to the imposition of sanctions on Moscow by the US and EU and empowered the commitment of the EU and the US to protect the borders of Ukraine.

Image Source: CBC News

  1. Crisis in the Donbas Region:
  • It has been alleged that the Russian government and security forces encourage the separatist groups of Ukraine to act against the Ukrainian government.
  • The region of Donbas faced tension due to ethno-linguistic divisions between Ukraine and Russian speakers in the region.
  • Therefore, it is claimed that Russia has been carrying out covert operations against Ukraine by triggering internal unrest among the ethnic communities as it has a friendship with some Ukrainian oligarchs who share the anti-west rhetoric.
  1. Turkey’s Role: Concern for Moscow
  • In the field of defense strategy, Turkey is assisting Ukraine with the supply of drones.
  • This move is vehemently opposed by Russia as it is against the weaponization of Ukraine especially by NATO (Turkey is a member country of NATO).
  • According to the Russian Government, there was a deployment of a Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone that targeted the Russian backed separatists in the Donbas region. This military empowerment of Ukraine can destabilize the region as anticipated by the Russian side.

The Present Scenario:

  • Russia seeks assurance from the US that Ukraine shall not be inducted into NATO.
  • The US has refrained from providing any such assurance and as a result, the Russian troops have progressed towards Ukraine borders which imposed a severe threat to the integrity and security of Ukraine.
  • The Russian attempt to attack Ukraine will invite brutal consequences that would pave the way for huge economic losses and the collapse of the supply chain of goods and services from Russia. The US and EU are firm to impose sanctions if there is any attack on Ukraine and the pumping of Russian gas through the newly constructed Nord Stream 2 pipeline to Germany shall be stopped.
  • The events of the past have all contributed to further progress of Moscow’s military adventurism in Ukraine with its non-negotiable demands.

Shaping the future of Ukraine – Russia

  • The US along with other western countries are expected to revive the peace process through diplomatic channels in mitigating the tensions between Ukraine and Russia which would be a time-consuming process.
  • Experts recommend more dialogues between the west and Russia that exerts emphasis on the issue surrounding Ukraine. Therefore, opening channels of negotiations is apparently the best way to avert the crisis.
  • The Russian military expansion in Ukraine can be prevented on the geoeconomic grounds that will hamper its trade in the region especially pertaining to the Nord Stream pipeline that can carve out a way of resolving the ongoing crisis as pointed out by an expert.
  • Ukraine’s internal disturbances need to be addressed in order to revive the Minsk II agreement for the development of peace in the region and dissolve the ongoing tensions.
Note:-

Minsk II Agreement:

  • This was a 13 point agreement that involved representatives from Russia, Ukraine, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and was signed in 2015.
  • The major aim of the agreement was to end the war in the Donbas region of Ukraine.
  • The agreement intended to take a series of steps pertaining to military and political reforms in order to establish peace in the disputed areas of Donetsk and Luhansk of Ukraine. 

The 13 points of the Agreement:

  • The agreement demanded a ceasefire with immediate effect 
  • Withdrawal of heavy weapons
  • The situation to be assessed by OSCE 
  • The onset of a dialogue between Russia and Ukraine on interim self-government for the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that should follow Ukrainian law.
  • Pardon and amnesty for people involved in the fighting 
  • Exchange of hostages and prisoners
  • Humanitarian assistance to the victims of the war 
  • Resumption of socio-economic ties
  • State border to be controlled by the government of Ukraine
  • Withdrawal of all foreign armed formations and equipment
  • Constitutional reform in Ukraine with decentralization of powers
  • Elections in Donetsk and Luhansk with terms agreed by their representatives
  • The representatives from Russia, Ukraine and OSCE must function as a trilateral contact group with the gradual intensification of work.
Read more summaries of Perspective in the link.

Perspective: Ukraine-Russia Conflict:- Download PDF Here

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