There is a conflict brewing at the top of the world. The big brown Russian Bear is menacingly prancing at the borders of the nightingale. And the big powers have lined up their big guns to crash this dance. We may think this dance of the bear and the nightingale is too far away to affect us. It may be far away BUT it does concern us, for in all probability, it will lead to precipitation of military action along our borders too.

Some of us may have read or heard in passing of the conflict brewing at the top of the world – between Russia & Ukraine. The self styled “global cop” US, has as usual stepped in the middle of the conflict. Another major global power – European Union has weighed in with Ukraine. On the other side are Russia & China, a former super power & a new belligerent wannabe global power with the 2nd & 3rd most powerful militaries.

The story starts with the implosion of the erstwhile Red Bastion – The USSR in 1991. The economic meltdown of the USSR made the existence of the state untenable and it disintegrated into 15 new nations. These new nations had a common history of cultural, social and linguistic ties and they had a portion of USSR’s nuclear assets. Red USSR had been the “bear’ of the world’s nightmare of totalitarian communist regime. Even after disintegration Russia remained a nation with a powerful army with significant nuclear assets. There was credible fear that these new bankrupt states might sell their nuclear assets to terrorists or crime syndicates.

The Russian oligarch was the new mafioso of Hollywood movies and the public opinion was manipulated to demand that these states be defanged and their nuclear assets deactivated or handed over to western powers. The sudden disappearance of Mikhail Gorbachev (USSR President) from the scene and emergence of the old soviet elites made the west uncomfortable. To prevent their victory from slipping away, they arranged for a compromise candidate, Boris Yelstin to take over Russia. Boris proved a spectacular failure and hastened the death of Soviet Russia. A weak confederacy of the 15 new nations was formed and named CIS (Confederation of Independent States). Russia was made its de facto head.

As wise men say – the road to ruin is paved with good intentions. And so it was with Russia & the US. The CIS was dead from the start. Russia was trying to find its way back from financial and political ruin. The west tried to use this time to make inroads into the erstwhile “red zone”.

NOTE- By not knowing when to stop penalizing Prussia (old Germany), the Allies laid the foundation of world war 2 and the rise of Hitler. Something similar happened here too. The US, under George Bush Senior, failed to manage its victory and they overplayed their hand in trying to dismantle the foundations of Russia. In their moment of their greatest triumph, they paved the way for rise of Vladimir Putin – a former KGB spy master and a trained soldier.

They started courting the CIS nations with promises of security – expanding NATO, increasing economic cooperation- bringing these nations into European Union. promoting democracy – without taking into account religious, cultural & social diversity of these nations. The 5 ‘stans (Kazakh, Uzbek, Tajik, Turkmen & Kyrgyz – ‘stan) chose democracy & secularism. The other nations chose either democracy, oligarchy or socialism. Ukraine vacillated between democracy & autocracy. The public wanted democracy & the ruling elite wanted autocracy – a continuation of the old system.¬†

Historically, Ukrainians trace their lineage to medieval Kievan Rus, an early Orthodox Christian state that Russians also consider a core part of their heritage. In December 1991, Ukraine‚Äôs leaders helped dissolve the USSR. In 30 years of Ukraine‚Äôs independence, many observers have considered the country to have a ‚Äúhybrid‚ÄĚ political system, containing both democratic and nondemocratic elements.

A DECADE OF REVOLUTIONS

THE ORANGE REVOLUTION РUkraine is strategically situated to the east of the  Mediterranean and with borders to both the European Union and Russia (whose southern fleet is based in Crimea), it presents a desirable strategic asset or if in alliance with Russia, a possible security threat.

In an effort to bind Ukraine closer to the west, the EU elites reluctantly offered Ukraine a membership of the EU. But the US offered them its security umbrella as member of NATO (US led military alliance). In spite of western efforts, the 2004 elections Russian supported Viktor Yanukovich won. The western media claimed election fraud and they supported (and encouraged) street protests against the results. The people were mobilized to demand the overturning of the results and installing the west supported Vikotr Yushchenko to the High Chair. The agitators laid siege on the streets blocking access to the government. They were very well organized with agitators housed in weather proof tents and free food and rock music. Each protestor was even paid a stipend/pocket money. Western media raised the issue non stop portraying it as the People’s Revolution. Social media was harnessed to create a perception of wide spread unrest against a democratically elected Viktor Yanukovich

Note – isn’t this reminiscent of the fake kisan andolan that sealed Delhi’s borders and led to repeal of agri reforms.

“Razom nas bahato! Nas ne podolaty!” Together, we are many. We cannot be defeated.

The government used violence to suppress the initial protests, leading to larger protests, more violent clashes with police All this led to the killing of over 100 protestors (whom many Ukrainians refer to as the Heavenly Hundred); almost 20 police officers were also killed.

Fed by western money and a shrill SM campaign with music and videos and editorials published in Ukrainian newspapers these chants grew to a crescendo demanding regime change. They brought the government to a standstill and it culminated in a severe response by the government and the Russian annexation of Crimea (a province of Ukraine & establishment of the Donestek People’s Republic, a Russian puppet government)

This orange revolution was the first of its kind revolution. It was not a revolution in the traditional sense, it was not coup de tat. It was a revolution manufactured in the strategy rooms, fueled by social media and fed by western money power to cause a regime change.


Note - I am sure that the manufactured revolution template of the Orange revolution would remind the reader of the stark similarities with the protests India saw - CAA protests leading to riots, Fake Kisan Andolan leading to gratuitous graphic displays of violence - each designed to elicit a violent response from the state....steps to escalate a manufactured protests into a regime change revolution.

THE EUROMAIDAN REVOLUTION – “Yevromaidan or Euro Square”¬†was a series of manufactured demonstrations and protests (much like the orange revolution) against the pro Russian Viktor Yanukovich in 2013.

Yanukovich was now a President. He refused a multi billion dollar business deal from EU and chose to align itself with Russia & its deal of 50 Billion USD. This deal was significantly smaller than the one offered by EU/USA. The EU/USA alliance saw it as an affront and a roadblock in their attempt to bring Ukraine into the western block and place its military assets on the Russian border. Post refusal of the EU/USA deal once again like the Orange Revolution template organised protests began – with rock bands, dance, free food, living shelters, daily allowances were paid and all this was supported by a well funded social media campaign and multi media attacks were initiated against Yanukovich. Once again the agitation was systematically ratcheted up until the state was pressured to respond with force.

Riots were instigated and loss of lives triggered. International condemnation & bad press created public pressure and in 2014, Yanukovich was forced to step down and flee to Russia. West supported Viktor Yushchenko took over the government and signed the deal with the EU.

THE CRISIS

Putin has put massive pressure on the Yushchenko government to discourage it from siding with the West against Russia. Putin has made it clear that he would wreck Ukraine as a functioning state before he
would allow it to become a Western stronghold on Russia’s doorstep.
To show that he is serious, Putin has provided advisers, arms, and diplomatic support to the Russian separatists who are pushing
the country toward civil war. He has massed a large army (over a million soldiers) on the Ukrainian border, threatening to invade. And he has sharply raised the price of the natural gas Russia sells to Ukraine and demanded payment for past exports.

It is not difficult to understand Putin’s actions. It is “great game 101”. No country let alone a global power would allow its adversary to make inroads upto its borders.


A huge expanse of open flat land that Napoleonic France, Imperial and Nazi Germany crossed to strike at Russia itself, Ukraine serves as a buffer state of enormous strategic importance to Russia. No Russian leader would tolerate a military alliance that was Moscow’s mortal enemy until recently moving into Ukraine. Nor would any Russian leader stand idly by while the West helped install a government there that was determined to integrate Ukraine into the West.


In essence, the two sides have been operating with different playbooks: Putin has been thinking and acting according to realist dictates, whereas his Western counterparts have been adhering to liberal ideas about international politics. The result is that the United States and its allies unknowingly provoked a major crisis over Ukraine.

Now over a million men are at the border. Tanks & missiles, infantry & cavalry, aircrafts & radars are amassed at the border with Ukraine. Russia will not invade – it cannot afford to but if the west continues to double down on its position of pressuring Russia, Putin WILL go to war even of he cannot afford it. China has already thrown its cap in the ring and sided with the Russians. Xi & Putin have declared their joint statement condemning western aggression (it is a crisis manufactured by western intransigence & WOKEness).

WILL/WONT THE BEAR HUNT THE NIGHTINGALE

As Putin continues to threaten an invasion of Ukraine with a major military buildup, the west refuses to see beyond its willful unreasonableness & interference in the region’s politics. They threaten new sanctions. The old 2014 sanctions continue to hobble Russian economy and undermine Russian interests. New sanctions would derail Russian economy totally. The west continues to hope that this would help them depose Putin and install a puppet regime in Russia.

RUSSIAN MILITARY OPTIONS – Based on these political objectives, the Kremlin has at least six possible military options:

1. Redeploy some of its ground forces away from the Ukrainian border‚ÄĒat least temporarily‚ÄĒif negotiations are successful but continue to aid pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine.
2. Send conventional Russian troops into the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as
unilateral ‚Äúpeacekeepers‚ÄĚ and refuse to withdraw them until peace talks end successfully and Kiev
agrees to implement the Minsk Accords.
3. Seize Ukrainian territory as far west as the Dnieper River to use as a bargaining chip or incorporate this new territory fully into the Russian Federation.
4. Seize Ukrainian territory up to the Dnepr River and seize an additional belt of land (to include Odessa) that connects Russian territory with the breakaway Transdniestria Republic and separates Ukraine from any access to the Black Sea. The Kremlin would incorporate these new lands into Russia and ensure that the rump Ukrainian statelet remains economically unviable.
5. Seize only a belt of land between Russia and Transdniestria (including Mariupol, Kherson, and
Odessa) to secure freshwater supplies for Crimea and block Ukraine’s access to the sea, while avoiding major combat over Kiev and Kharkiv.
6. Seize all of Ukraine and, with Belarus, announce the formation of a new tripartite Slavic union of Great, Little, and White Russians (Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians).

Of these six options, the first two are the least likely to incur significant international sanctions but have limited chance of achieving a breakthrough on either NATO issues or the Minsk Accords due to their coercive nature. Options 3 through 6 could achieve another goal‚ÄĒthe destruction of an independent Ukraine. Option 4 leaves only an agrarian rump Ukraine but precludes occupying its most nationalistic areas. Option 5 leaves more of Ukraine free but still cuts its access to the sea and incurs fewer occupation costs.

Which road is traveled in the near future will depend on the west & whether they wake up from its stupor of “liberalism.¬†What is certain is that Putin will NOT back down unless the west abandons its intransigence.¬†

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.