Countdown to Ukraine invasion: Can Biden and the EU do anything else to stop it?

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Just three days ago, the following information was filtered into thousands of computers belonging to different Ukrainian official agencies: “The worst fear, it is getting closer”.even though The scale of the cyber attack Not sure yet, it does not appear to have overly affected the daily life of the Ukrainian government as it did in December 2015, nor did it cause energy disruptions during the winter.

According to Microsoft, we don’t even know who is behind it, aside from the foreign minister’s blaming Russian hacking group, and 58% of foreign-targeted synergies between June 2020 and May 2021 responsible for the attack.

Now, although no one speaks out, everyone knows that this is not a lone wolf problem, but a government problem. Vladimir Putin. They know it, or, as the message itself says, they fear it. At a press conference with the French Foreign Minister and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Joseph Borrell, wanted to send a message of support to countries bordering the European Union, but dared not directly point out that Russia was responsible for the attack.

After a week of tense and unsuccessful negotiations with Russian representatives in various forums, no one wants to take the risk.

if he Network attacks He seems to be just one of many, and no one wants to appoint Putin as a thinker, so why does he attract so much attention from US intelligence? Simple: they’ve been waiting a month for something like this as a first step in the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian soldiers practice shooting in Russia’s Rostov region last Thursday.

Reuters

Back in December, Pentagon experts warned that Russia was planning such an attack Paving the way for his troops Or just to intimidate the Ukrainian populace and achieve the changes they demand without firing a bullet. Was what happened on Friday a prelude to the invasion or was it just an endless show of force? We may find out next week.

Transcript of the invasion of Crimea

The invasion of Ukraine has been taken for granted for so long that no one seems to be able to do anything about it. On the country’s eastern border, 100,000 to 150,000 Russian troops have waited weeks for fighting.

At the same time, repeated official sources have no intention of invading neighboring countries, a common thread before every Russian military operation. Clearly, the mobilization was entirely in response to the threats that the pro-Russian separatist community would suffer. A task of surveillance rather than aggression.Currently

In fact, everything will start here, as happened in Crimea in 2014. In diplomatic terms, this is known as a “false flag war.” A series of groups tasked with sowing discord and attacking your own allies have been introduced to the frontier. This behavior is exaggerated and strongly condemned.when the neighbouring government try to relativize the situation, he was charged with complicity and demanded immediate action. When it doesn’t arrive, because there’s really nothing to do, you send your army to “protect” your people, and since it’s there, it’s here to stay if it can.

Since at least November, the second week of January has been considered the most likely date for an attack. we enter the third Things didn’t seem to calm down. Putin’s rhetoric in recent weeks has been particularly aggressive. They are all grievances and grievances from the West, and they are all covert attacks.

Basically what your envoys are repeating at this week’s Geneva and Brussels summits US and EU. Russia is full of reasons to explode, probably because it has been planned for a long time. The words of Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov still resonate, and if his demands are not met, peace across Europe will be threatened.

Now, what are these requirements? What does it mean to meet these requirements? Can Joe Biden and Brussels somehow appease Putin and prevent war in the eastern part of the continent? Russia never tires of repeating that it feels threatened. It all starts with that subjective sense of threat that serves as an excuse for any follow-up. At this week’s meeting, Russia went back to its usual demands, only to issue an ultimatum: Ukraine would never join NATO, nor would geographically close countries such as Sweden or Finland. In the Russian narrative, NATO not only wants to kill them, but the Ukrainians “seek revenge” and would consider an alliance with the US to get it. Reality shows something very different.

appeasement

U.S. partial rejection or European Union Satisfying any requirement is linked to the lack of credibility of Russian diplomats. The story is so incredible that it doesn’t allow any rational discussion. In recent years, Western powers have not been hostile to Russia.

Josep Borrell, EU foreign affairs chief, in Ukraine in early January.

Josep Borrell, EU foreign affairs chief, in Ukraine in early January.

Reuters

Instead, over the years, every time Putin persecuted an opponent to death or annexed a foreign territory, the West has taken a different approach. Sanctions for the invasion of Crimea are ridiculous. In fact, until Joe Biden’s last election, not even a year ago, NATO In the face of Donald Trump’s unilateralism, which is practically gone, we know he has a very good relationship with Putin.

It might come down to this: We know that neither Russia nor China trusts the US right now. Why do they not trust? Because there is no strong or stable leadership. Donald Trump He can be an ally on even days and an enemy on odd days. His way of understanding democracy is confusing and misplaces other superpowers many times. The attempted coup of 6 January 2021 provided the world with a sign of weakness that was embraced not with enthusiasm but with caution: everyone was afraid of disoriented missiles. Joe Biden has to manage from the inside, and that usually doesn’t work out well. It certainly would have been if the United States had not experienced its worst crisis since World War II.

US President Joe Biden.

US President Joe Biden.

Reuters

To this we have to add the expansionist desires that have always been part of the way Russia conceived its environment, with a clear rise in nationalism. Putin knows Ukraine will not be a security issue. First, because by now you should know that while Joe Biden will never publicly commit to not accepting Ukraine into the Atlantic Alliance, the truth is that his entry has been rejected several times, always for the same reason: no one Willing to disturb Ukraine, Russia.

Second, even in the event that Ukraine reapplyed to join and NATO accepted it, the country headed by Zelensky would be in the same position as the three Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania. Yes They belong to NATO and pose no threat.

Nobody wants war in Europe. In the face of a confrontation between Ukraine and Russia, whether Ukraine is a member of the Atlantic Alliance or not, no one would risk their own security to help such a distant neighbor. Russia knows this. If he pretends not to, it is because he has other interests beyond geopolitics, certainly not related to security. There, America has little to do. At most the EU, and it’s not at all clear.

natural gas blackmail

Russian state company Gazprom has been building a gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea since 2018 to transport Natural gas from Russia to Germany And solve – or at least alleviate – the energy problems Europe is currently suffering from. While the gas pipeline – Nord Stream 2, as there is already an original Nord Stream – has been completed since this summer, it still has no operational capacity and, most importantly, it also does not have the necessary licenses from the EU or from the German judiciary, They continued to refuse to approve the project.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Reuters

The gas pipeline goes through Ukraine, and none of this gets a penny.From the beginning, the Prime Minister Vladimir Zelensky, calling for European solidarity and for not authorizing the use of the aforementioned gas pipeline, as it is a huge geopolitical weapon of Putin’s authoritarian government. The problem is it’s cold.

And heating is getting more and more expensive, as we even found in Spain, we are in principle less dependent on Russian gas than the rest of the continent – over 50% of gas consumption in Europe is managed by Gazprom – but we It has been noticed how the competition has come together due to the lack of supply.

Putin knows all this too. Of course, Putin is not stupid. If it invades Ukraine, the next step is diplomatic action: the EU imposes “unprecedented” sanctions on Russia.Oh well Europe freezes to death. The Russian diplomat asked if we had any chance of getting out of this predicament. Yes, of course, look at it another way.

It is unlikely that Putin wants to invade Ukraine in what we have in mind military terms. His army may decide to annex eastern territories inhabited by pro-Russian communities, as it did with Crimea, but these will be rare exceptions.

What Putin wants is a puppet government in Ukraine.A government that allows you to let go of the gas without asking for an explanation, it does not flirt with others, it is loyal to its master, and in turn it can assume, as it already assumes Belarus, the immigrant threat to the EU.In short, you want a Viktor YanukovychIronically, Yanukovych had to fly to Russia after the invasion of Crimea because of his inability to defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity and harassment of his own citizens.

Russia’s military advantage over Ukraine is so great that the operation, if carried out, would last for a fairly short period of time. Fighting will be suicide. No one will send troops to Donetsk to try to stop Putin. Well, everything is in the hands of the dictator. If it’s worth it for him to start the invasion, he will. If it’s worthwhile for him to keep threatening and relying on small diplomatic victories, he’ll go that route.

It is clear that here, nothing is painted by the West. You shouldn’t succumb to demands that may be worthless in three years. Things don’t look good because we are all afraid, and the substitute for fear is action, which is what we fear. So the master-slave dialectic is Putin’s attempt to bring Russia back to what he aspires to be in the Soviet Union. A scene, of course, is nothing reassuring.

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